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Just got an accordion


ksoper

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I was gifted an accordion, a Jonelli 120 bass model with 4 registers. It's at least 70 years old and everything seems to work. That's the extent of my knowledge about accordions. It looks like a rabbit hole from the little bit of net searching I've done. Does anyone have any tips on how to manipulate this thing?

 

 

 

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What do you need to know? I haven't touched one on almost 40 years, but it was solid 10 years with a few a of them before that, so I might remember a thing or two.

 

In the 4-register models, they usually go one lower, two middle, and one high register. Sometimes the middle two will be de-tuned for the folksy effect.

 

On the bass (left hand) side, the button with a dimple (sometimes a gem-like stone us embedded in it) is C fundamental bass note. That will be in the second row. The first row is a major third above the note next to it in the second row. From there, the bass notes go up in 5ths and down in 4ths. The 3rd row is the corresponding major chord, 4th row is minor, 5th row is dominant 7th, and 6th row is the diminished 7th.

 

How else might we help you??

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I'm a fairly accomplished hack.

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You already got the info you need for the complicated (yet logical) bass button part of the instrument.

 

I'm not quite clear though on whether this accordion has a piano keyboard or is a type of all-button accordion (there are many types, including bandoneon and concertina). Generally such instruments have a few settings that have some similarity to the church organ stops concept.

 

It can be quite expensive to get an accordion worked on. I sold my 120-bass accordion last year -- I found it too bulky for my small frame, but might consider another one at some point as I love the instrument and consider it one of the most soulful ones available.

 

Generally, what happens over time, is that the reeds warp differently and thus start to get out of tune with each other. This problem can be worse depending on whether you live in an extreme humid or dry climate. The San Francisco area is lucky in that we tend to hover between 40-60% humidity year-round.

 

To the OP, humidity is DEFINITELY an issue in Murfreesboro (not far from where I grew up). Let your ears be the judge though; you'll know if it needs a tune-up. And tuning issues can be on the same note (multiple reeds) vs. adjacent notes. Reed issues can make the note sound sour, thin, breezy, wheezy.

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On the bass (left hand) side, the button with a dimple (sometimes a gem-like stone us embedded in it) is C fundamental bass note. That will be in the second row. The first row is a major third above the note next to it in the second row. From there, the bass notes go up in 5ths and down in 4ths. The 3rd row is the corresponding major chord, 4th row is minor, 5th row is dominant 7th, and 6th row is the diminished 7th.

 

How else might we help you??

 

Well, what fingers are expected to be on what buttons, i.e., root and dim 7th? Always 3rd and 2nd finger? 4-3-2? That kind of thing.

 

Accordion is my first love. Lots to know...different bass systems, etc.

Here's a great place to start:

http://www.accordionists.co.uk/index.php?sid=5ee9be3d25d27d695e7302c3865315bf

Thanks! Very helpful.

 

I'm not quite clear though on whether this accordion has a piano keyboard or is a type of all-button accordion...

 

It can be quite expensive to get an accordion worked on...

 

It's a piano keyboard. Frankly, I don't see myself getting any work done on it. It plays, all the buttons and keys sound, nothing jumps out as being horribly out of tune, wheezy or breezy. I'll check it against a tuner soon but I'm not worried about it. Strictly for fun.

 

It belonged to my friend's grandmother. She said she'd rather give it to someone she knows than sell it to a stranger.

 

Thanks, all for the help.

 

 

 

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Well, what fingers are expected to be on what buttons, i.e., root and dim 7th? Always 3rd and 2nd finger? 4-3-2? That kind of thing.

 

I am not an expert, but here are some suggestions.

 

A) A couple standard left hand patterns for bass- chord-five-chord:

1. root (ring finger) - major chord (middle finger) - five (index finger) - major chord (middle finger)

2. root (ring finger) - minor/dominant 7th/ diminished chords (use index finger) - five (middle finger) - minor/dominant 7th/ diminished chords (index finger)

3. You might shift your middle finger to the fundamental to play more elaborate bass lines.

 

B) Though it probably isn't standard practice, I experiment with combining different chords and/ or bass notes to create chords with upper structures. e.g. G minor cord over a C bass, or G major triad over a C major triad, though, you cannot control the way that you space the chord tones in the same way that you can with a piano. Sometimes I might just play the alternate triad to imply a chord that has extensions. e.g Play an A minor triad over a D bass to suggest a D9 chord.

 

C) I might be wrong, but I understand that one should not store a accordion on its back. Instead, keep the case and instrument in the upright position. My own experience, unfortunately, is that this is probably true. Some of my buttons got wonky.

 

D) I like the accordion, because of the dynamic control and the way that the air going through bellows affects phrasing. My old R&B band used to do a couple zydeco tunes in a set and I have also found that some roots artists like having the flavour in certain tunes. You might also find that there is potential for a different kind of audience connection, especially if you don't have to stand in front of a microphone. I got a bit of mileage out of an old Radio Shack PZM microphone. I just unscrewed the mic from its plate, removed the curved panel that sits above the accordion's piano keyboard, gaffer taped the mic to the inside of that panel and taped the panel back in place on the instrument. Surprisingly, I could get a fair amount of volume and a pretty good sound. I'm sure that there are better and more expensive solutions.

 

E) A friend gave me a great tip about playing tremelos. Either keep the bottom strap on, or place the bottom bottom side of the accordion against the inside of your thigh. Then just pump the top half of the instrument. Practice playing chords with your right hand while you pump eighth, triplet, or sixteenth rhythms.

 

 

 

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Great information here. People give Accordion players shit but it's not easy to do at all. My cousin Frank Pietrangelo is wicked and his son Tony is also. Back years ago when there were larger Italian families we would go to weddings and these guys would kill it. Interestingly enough a lot of them transition to Hammond organ very well.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Yeah but for some people that instrument is part of their culture so mocking out accordion players on a keyboard forum is kind of fucked up don't you think?

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Interestingly enough a lot of them transition to Hammond organ very well.

 

My Hammond tutor is also a fantastic accordion player, we've chatted about this a couple of times. He reckons it's due to the dynamic control being very similar, bellow pressure control being more like a swell pedal than varying key touch. That and there's no sustain pedal.

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I love an accordion. There is nothing else like it. I wish I could find/create an acceptable accordion voice on a digital piano.

Planet Squeezebox is a CD set that's now decades old, but has a vast array of accordion music, much of which is some of the best music I've ever heard.

Mollie B's Polka Party on RFD-TV has many accordion players of varying levels of skill, and crowds of people dancing and having fun to mostly accordion music. Check out Alex Meixner, who really puts on a show. It ain't highbrow, but neither am I.

 

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Yeah but for some people that instrument is part of their culture so mocking out accordion players on a keyboard forum is kind of fucked up don't you think?

Not nearly as f-ed up over getting all riled up over accordion jokes. Jeez. Lighten up, man. http://www.smiley-lol.com/smiley/musique/musicien/danser13.gif

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Great,

 

I have been wanting to get a accordion for some time now. They can be very expressive in certain contexts. That reed sound stands out very well and they are lighter than pianos. Of course largely for folk and jazz. Check out the latin American players of the button accordions. Especially Renato Borghetti...

 

Musicale

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I play an Accordian on a few tunes in my country band. Use the new Roland FR-1. The audience response is incredible and folks seem to really get into it. The instrument is incredibly expressive and fun to play.
Montage 7, Mojo 61, PC-3, XK-3c Pro, Kronos 88, Hammond SK-1, Motif XF- 7, Hammond SK-2, Roland FR-1, FR-18, Hammond B3 - Blond, Hammond BV -Cherry
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Great,

 

I have been wanting to get a accordion for some time now. They can be very expressive in certain contexts. That reed sound stands out very well and they are lighter than pianos. Of course largely for folk and jazz. Check out the latin American players of the button accordions. Especially Renato Borghetti...

 

Musicale

Flaco Jimenez is another guy I hear all the time on all the country records.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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The jokes come easily and they can't chase you with that bag of cats hanging around their neck.

 

 

http://www.drodd.com/images13/laughing-gif11.gif

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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My first 7-piece, country/rock band included three Hispanic guys, so we played our share of quinceaneras and weddings in addition to the weekend bar gigs.

 

I was with this group during my last couple years of high school, the rest of the band were closer to my parents' age. My bandmates would tell me that in Mexico, accordion players were the equivalent of lead guitarists as far as being the band chick-magnet in a band... never really had much evidence to prove that one way or the other and they could've been messing with me for all I know. I will say it adds to the novelty of a show, no different really than seeing someone whip out a melodica. It's also easy enough to leave strapped on if you want to switch to an organ or steel drum patch for a different verse of the song.

 

I think an audience likes the effect of changing to a different instrument mid-song, especially when then see it happening towards the end of verse/chorus leading into a solo and they haven't heard the instrument anywhere else before in the song.

 

I never bothered learning the lefthand bass part, just used it as lead instrument. Has an accordion player ever had a bass player complain about them playing the bassline? :rolleyes::poke:

 

I always just stepped up on the mic I used for vocals for amplification.

 

Another thing I haven't seen anyone mention... your left arm will definitely get into really good shape if you spend any amount of time playing it! (insert muscley smiley here)

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My bandmates would tell me that in Mexico, accordion players were the equivalent of lead guitarists as far as being the band chick-magnet in a band... never really had much evidence to prove that one way or the other and they could've been messing with me for all I know. I will say it adds to the novelty of a show, no different really than seeing someone whip out a melodica. It's also easy enough to leave strapped on if you want to switch to an organ or steel drum patch for a different verse of the song.

Not sure about 'chick magnet' but everyone does wants to be the picture with you. Mine is wireless so there are plenty opportunities. Good times!!!

 

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The accordion definitely has its place:

 

9784eb451a2292f7766c51de6f69625d.jpg

 

sure does, hence Outcaster's signature line :

 

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

:nopity:
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