What did you play before the accordion?
Some of us had other experiences with music before we embraced the "poor man's piano".

Here's the sort of stuff I did, and I still have the occasional session with it:-

Find an old beat up Fender Jaguar guitar, get some Finnish/Russian Army hats and big stick on Groucho Marx eyebrows, then get Hawaiian shirts altered to look like somebody's version of the Universe, and you're almost there.

Mistakes on the intro (and elsewhere) were allowed, such as here.

"Genre" is called Rautalanka, created in Scandinavia, and inspired by Hank Marvin (but definitely not Cliff Richard). The band are Finnish.

<URL url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFn7YqE6ZqY">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFn7YqE6ZqY</URL>

Only problem was that repeated performance of the music could have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing. Mikko is looking the worse for wear in this later performance, but he got over it.

<URL url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqxlrOXgYkk">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqxlrOXgYkk</URL> (turn the volume back down after watching the first clip!)

If it turns out you are actually "into" the music, here is more of the older stuff. Mikko always looks as though he's going to throw up when he's playing, but believe it or not it is due to the intense concentration required to deliver that type of music. You either put everything you've got into it or it sounds lame. US types might also recognise the heavy Surf influence.

<URL url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsdO9tCkdEY">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsdO9tCkdEY</URL>
Old American guys even copied what we did:-

<URL url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41YvSrk5paQ">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41YvSrk5paQ</URL>
the recorder!

<QUOTE author="jozz" post_id="63237" time="1538115446" user_id="2600"><s>
jozz post_id=63237 time=1538115446 user_id=2600 Wrote:the recorder!


Ditto here. Started with the recorder and also the piano. Embraced the accordion five years later (and abandoned the recorder while continuing with piano).
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
Piano at an early age, guitar at about 16. A few years later, dabbled with mandolin, bouzouki and tin whistles for Irish folk. Not to mention the tremendous fun I had with my Chinese made Skylark violin.
But years later the accordion came along and now I rarely touch any other instrument apart from the piano.
And another one for recorder! I played it quite seriously, for about ten years as a child & teenager; soprano, alto and tenor, and also performed with a recorder quartet at church. That may be where I acquired my taste for playing with others: I'm much happier in a band than on my own, and it gives the music a sense of purpose.

Taught myself basic guitar from age 15, the sing-along type stuff, and one classical piece. Then nothing till my early forties when I started taking piano lessons, at last!
<URL url="http://jubjubceilidhband.co.uk/">The JubJub Ceilidh Band</URL> and <URL url="http://www.kirstenbaron.co.uk/">Me</URL>
Mainly charango (a ten string instrument from the Andean countries), but also played with some success Spanish guitar, kena and siku (two families of Andean wind instruments).

Here is one of my charangos (sorry for the quality of the photo), which I bought in La Paz, Bolivia:

<URL url="https://ibb.co/h7eEXU"><s><IMG src="https://thumb.ibb.co/h7eEXU/20170714_222947.jpg"><s>[Image: 20170714_222947.jpg]</IMG></URL>
<QUOTE author="Francisco SC" post_id="63246" time="1538133346" user_id="1880"><s>
Francisco SC post_id=63246 time=1538133346 user_id=1880 Wrote:Here is one of my charangos (sorry for the quality of the photo), which I bought in La Paz, Bolivia:

Nice looking charango. Problems I had was remembering the strings did not correspond with guitar and I couldn't get to grips with high notes being played on the strings nearest the top. I also cannot grow my fingernails long so it wasn't a good choice for me.

Hector Soto and Jaime Torres were my favourite players, but Jaime used some sort of non standard tuning that made his tunes hard to work out. I even had a ronrroco at one time, but I gave it away, same as my charango, to my stepson. They were cheapies bought on eBay from Bolivia, but they sounded OK (to me). I still have a quena (kena) somewhere, but don't have the lung power to play it these days.
Started on piano as a kid. Had all sorts of keyboards/synths through the years. Picked up guitar and ukulele along the way.

A bit of dabbling with Chapman Stick at one point (what can I say? It was the early '90s. Times were strange...)

Besides some very brief, and pointless, music theory in school I didn't touch an instrument until the accordion a few years ago.

I haven't really paid enough attention to be able to guess, but how often is the accordion picked as a first instrument? I suppose in areas where there's more of a folk tradition it might be more likely? Or maybe it's more common with its smaller, often diatonic, cousins?
I started piano at around 8 years old. Still play regularly. It’s an amazing instrument that has given me huge pleasure and allowed me to take part in lots of musical events, groups etc.
1) Ballone Burini 46C (4+5) cassotto (LMMH) 3/3 PA; 2) Accordiola Piano V (5+5) cassotto (LMMMH) 3/3 PA;
3) Roland FR8X; 4) Hohner Vox 4k (LMMH) 3/3 CBA
Hi John,

The clips provided were very pleasant indeed .... thank you.

I started playing Clarinet in my early teens, and absolutely loved it.

My hands were far too big to play guitar, and I could never twist my fingers into the unnatural positions that guitar playing required.

Kind Regards,


A few of us got together in the late 60s and began to get interested in the music after watching a TV show about it. There was no way we'd get away with playing that sort of stuff in Scotland in those days, but when I played in a third rate rock band later I managed to persuade them to let me introduce one or two "surf" type numbers, and just made a few tunes up in that general style, often as we went. Laika and the Cosmonauts wound up on a farewell tour of the US in the 90s, but similar bands still exist, mainly in Finland and Sweden. The music still has a following there, although they have introduced a more modern approach to it.

You Tube is still full of old guys playing Hank Marvin type tunes, some of which were composed by Swedish players. Rautalanka is the Finnish term for the style, and has been the main source of inspiration for young guitar bands in Finland and Sweden from the time when Finnish TV first allowed it to be played. Can't remember the precise date, but prior to that only traditional and classical music was allowed on radio and TV in Finland. Rautalanka is a sort of bridge between rock and surf music, and there are rarely any vocals, which suited me perfectly.

As I grew older I got tired of all the noise and big chords and turned to the accordion, where I could play the noise and big chords without an amplifier, but I've still not quite got the hang of it yet. Electric guitar is a dawdle compared to the accordion.
<QUOTE author="Morne" post_id="63254" time="1538148827" user_id="1217"><s>
Morne post_id=63254 time=1538148827 user_id=1217 Wrote:Nothing!

Besides some very brief, and pointless, music theory in school I didn't touch an instrument until the accordion a few years ago.

I haven't really paid enough attention to be able to guess, but how often is the accordion picked as a first instrument? I suppose in areas where there's more of a folk tradition it might be more likely? Or maybe it's more common with its smaller, often diatonic, cousins?

Same with me. The trigger was a long service award at work - I had to buy something I could be presented with and I'd always wanted to play the accordion. Not having any experience reading music, I am playing by ear but do hope to learn the dots eventually
Oboe. Coordinating the hands on accordion is a challenge, being used to play one note at a time.
Piano, drums, brass, synths. I thank Sally Ann Forster for my being allowed to play accordion in New Grange, the “progressive” Bluegrass band I played piano in.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed), Hohner 1974 Melodica (Piano 36)
I played so badly out of tune, I quit and switched to an instrument that intonation was a bit easier. I've been happy with the change.
Hi Blake,

My eldest daughter played Cello in a Youth Orchestra. When she first started, she brought the instrument home. Her practice was relentless, causing me to find jobs that needed doing in the garden. We had a lovely garden.

Kind Regards,

I learned the flute as a child. I took up the English concertina in my early twenties. Then the Anglo concertina, harmonica, tin whistle, Ukulele, auto harp, and then finally the PA.

The EC and PA are my favorites. I think that i had been looking for an Instrument that really “fit”. The moment I picked up a PA, I was sold.

One thing that is interesting, on each instrument I tend to only play only specific styles of music.
Started with a Chinese two string vertical instrument called erhu as a kid. That was the affordable thing regular folks could handle. Played almost everything in college. From guitar drum keyboard violin trombone etc. Started self learning piano at age 30 for 10 years. Hit the ceiling and dropped out. Picked up the accordion a few years ago. Mostly inspired by the French musette waltz on YouTube. Now it is pure fan for me. Love hearing the experts here on just about anything accordion. Constantly amazed by the level of technical details of the old days. Guess I would have the same sense of wonder had I picked up watch repair :b

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