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Accordion addiction--it is a thing?

Tom

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Ah yes, as Tom pointed out, AAS is rampant around here. There is no known cure, since (as the saying goes) the optimal number of accordions is N + 1, where N = your current number of accordions.



My first accordion was similar. They must've churned those narrow-key, 120-bass, LM accordions out by the truckload back in the day ('50s & '60s, I believe). They're all over the used market, it seems.

And, like you, I found myself quickly realizing I needed that MM sound!



I'm lucky to be married to a fellow musician who "gets it". But I think every spouse has their own expensive and/or space-consuming potential hobby. You just have to find and encourage whatever that is for yours. Then neither can point the finger at the other!

"Um, is that another accordion case piled behind the couch, dear?"

"Oh, why yes it is. Well there wasn't room for it in the spare bedroom, what with your new pottery wheel..."
I get it Jeff! But this is what happens to your pottery studio when either 1. Your music studio is a guest bedroom. or 2. You don't own a Roland for that quiet practice at 1:00 am.
 

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jozz

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yeah the "thing" is with any video with a good accordionist playing a good piece, that person becomes an instant ambassador for the brand/type of accordion being played

and then you want it!

the psychology use by many marketeers

but as I recently learned so responsibly: the best accordion for the job is the one you have.
 

Tom

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I only crave 2 accordions. The first one I ever owned which I traded to a collector so I have an opportunity to get it back in another trade, and a Roland which I will probably get some time but no hurry. My acoustics are plenty fine for my ability, no problem.
 

saundersbp

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This applies to most musical instruments. My theory is that we mistake acquisition of the instrument for development of skill.
Well said!

My approach is to get rid of the previous instrument if I get a new one and not get attached to them, it's only stuff rather than skill after all!

My addiction is more to practicing. Personally I'd rather be able to play the world's worst accordion well than the best accordion badly. Sweat and tears are the way to finding your musical voice (and being kind to yourself if you can in the process) rather than acquisition I reckon.
 
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craigd

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There seems to be a bit of a burden that goes along with the pleasure of owning a number of fine instruments. And they are not always easy to sell, even at a good price.
 

Tom

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Well said!

My approach is to get rid of the previous instrument if I get a new one and not get attached to them, it's only stuff rather than skill after all!

My addiction is more to practicing. Personally I'd rather be able to play the world's worst accordion well than the best accordion badly. Sweat and tears are the way to finding your musical voice (and being kind to yourself if you can in the process) rather than acquisition I reckon.
I'm with you Ben. I am no pro or expert but I play well enough for me (basically folk and traditional). My holy grail is to have 2 hours of music available in my memory. Playing hour upon hour to build muscle memory seems possible but I don't know if I have the years for it. Any advice you have is appreciated.
 

oldbayan

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It all depends on how you approach your art! I know excellent accordionists who have played the one and same instrument very well their whole life, and this is what they are happy with. They do not think of acquiring another instrument.

I do not buy instruments with the intention of selling the ones I have already, unless I see no real use for them. Most second-hand instruments I buy undergo significant restoration work to put them to my taste (i.e. fine tuning, valve or pallet felt replacement, reeds upgrade, etc) and I do not expect to recoup that cost when I resell. I love fixing things!

For me, I like experimenting and playing different instruments for different musical styles. For example, I hear people playing Irish music on a PA but to me, it's much more fun to use a 1-row or 2-row diatonic, of which I own a few in various keys. I have a smallish 72-bass chromatic which is my "generic" box to play pretty much anything, and particularly some folk music. I also have larger chromatics that were sort of "given" to me, I use them for the fun of it, but they are heavier and require more physical strength to play. What's better than playing Italian tunes on a Soprani, or French tunes on a Maugein! I also use bayan squeezeboxes for Slavic and gypsy kind of music because they sound well for that, and they also look cool!

Some people collect old Cadillacs, I like musical instruments and accordions in particular. That's my thing.

Your journey may vary :giggle:
 

SteveH

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Hello, good folks of the forum!
I'm new here, so wanted to introduce myself. I'm not sure I'll have that much to contribute, since I'm also very new to playing the accordion--just got my first one this March. But I love it and am enjoying learning from all the posts and replies here on the forum.

My accordion is a blue and white Concerto, which I think is a production model made by Marotta in the 60s (70s? 50s?). It has two treble reeds (LM) and two bass registers. Possibly a "ladies" model, since the keys are a bit narrower than others I've seen and it's pretty compact for a 120 bass. I don't think it's anything fancy in the world of accordions, but it's perfect for me right now. It sounds good, fits my hands well, and I think it's really pretty!

Soooo...why have I found myself trolling the internet, visiting e-bay and etsy and the websites of Liberty Bellows and various other accordion shops from across the globe, looking at accordions, reading about accordions, watching video after video of people playing accordions? Why does it suddenly seem that I simply MUST acquire another smaller vintage accordion, preferably with at least two M reeds, for traveling with and eventually playing anything French?

Does becoming an accordionist mean one is now destined to go through life as a fickle, roving-eyed, instrumental philanderer, constantly cheating on one's original baby? Since I've read on here that storage sheds are a definite no-no, where does one keep all these newly acquired accordions? Do I build an accordion addition on my house? And how does one explain the steady accumulation of squeezeboxes to one's normally supportive, but decidedly non-accordion-obsessed spouse? Is this my new normal?

Seriously. What has happened to me???
Olivigus you are not alone: we are all so afflicted. It comes with the territory -- please see my confession here: https://accordionweb.com/2017/04/24/the-cordeen-and-me-episode-4-accordion-lust/
 

olivigus

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@SteveH Ha. That is funny, so relatable, and very well written!
I succumbed to my urges and recently got a little 48-bass Hohner Concerto in excellent shape. It only weighs about 10 pounds, so will be easy to travel with, and it has an MM register, which I really like for certain songs. I'm still doing most of my practicing on my 120 bass for the range, but the little one is great fun for playing the songs I already know, and seems to have scratched that acquisition itch for the time being.
I also really took what @Chrisrayner said about getting more instruments vs. developing skills to heart, and started pulling out the accordion(s) I actually have and practicing whenever I get the yen to go internet browsing for different ones.
 

SteveH

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@SteveH Ha. That is funny, so relatable, and very well written!
I succumbed to my urges and recently got a little 48-bass Hohner Concerto in excellent shape. It only weighs about 10 pounds, so will be easy to travel with, and it has an MM register, which I really like for certain songs. I'm still doing most of my practicing on my 120 bass for the range, but the little one is great fun for playing the songs I already know, and seems to have scratched that acquisition itch for the time being.
I also really took what @Chrisrayner said about getting more instruments vs. developing skills to heart, and started pulling out the accordion(s) I actually have and practicing whenever I get the yen to go internet browsing for different ones.
Thanks, Olivigus! I invite you to read the other entries at http://www.accordionweb.com -- and please let your Accordionista friends and anyone else who might be interested know about the blog site. My goal is world domination :)

Best regards,
Steve
 

Chickers

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Oh, soo many words of wisdom. Some hidden "warnings" in there as well.
Not much more to add to all the above wonderful, and truthful comments.
I think we (accordionists, and wanabe's) go through much the same things, along with our own little needs, wants, perceptions, etc.
but you are experiencing the real accordion bite. That's a good thing. You will eventually sort out some of these accumulations, and thoughts
about them, but on your terms, and with your special interests.
I'm pretty much a beginner---for a couple years now---and still having lots of fun in learning, playing, buying, accumulating, and trying
accordions because "someone else" makes that particular accordion sound soo good. They found the sweet sound that I'm still looking for.
Welcome, have fun, enjoy, keep the chat going on the forum---it's all interesting.
Another thought---from what I see on the internet---California has many accordions, and accordion styles somewhat unique.
Hope to hear more contributions from everyone.
CHICKERS
Seven Hills, Ohio USA
 

NickC

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I am guilty of looking at other instruments--A LOT. I just try to keep my AAS out of the practice room. When I have MY accordion in my hands, I'm content. I have no complaints when I'm playing. But, outside of the practice room, I do think about other tunings, tone chambers, free bass...maybe a Roland would be best. I wonder if the Proxima will be available in CBA format. Hmmm. I have to go and.....practice. Yeah, if you don't see me for a couple hours, I'm probably practicing.
 

olivigus

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Enjoying all the replies here. It's nice to know it IS a thing for so many. @Chickers I've definitely been bitten. But, you're right, the thinking, browsing, listening and lusting after certain sounds has been teaching me much about the accordion and my own interests. Like @NickC when I'm playing mine those other yearnings fall away, and I feel very happy and present. @jozz, the only "s" word I can think of is stockpiling. Ah, there's my justification... in the coming dark days, I will have abundant accordions to distribute to make people happy! Oh, and big shout out to @SteveH for his lovely blog post on keeping the darkness at bay with the 'cordeen. Definitely worth a read: https://accordionweb.com/2021/06/30/the-cordeen-and-me-episode-13-reflections-on-the-plague-year/
 

losthobos

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Ive 2 accordions... I often playbone for weeks at a time, when my mind wanders into the land of desires i pick up the other accordion and immediately think Wow this is beautiful i must play it more...proceed to do so for a few weeks.....and then repeat changing back to the original box.... Desire sated.... Thankfully they are both lovely instruments with different attributes... 😉
 

IHAccordion

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I've been happy with my 2 accordions - one's a 1970's LMH with all treble reeds in a cassotto chamber and has a "buttery smooth" tone especially when the cassotto switch is in the active position. The other one's a 1930's LMMH with no cassotto, but it has the bright and exciting tone (and medium musette tuning between dry and wet) and is actually lighter weight than the LMH. Both play like champs after they were restored.

Between the two, I'm very content (But that's just me!) since I'm able to have tons of flexibility between the two.
 

olivigus

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Ive 2 accordions... I often playbone for weeks at a time, when my mind wanders into the land of desires i pick up the other accordion and immediately think Wow this is beautiful i must play it more...proceed to do so for a few weeks.....and then repeat changing back to the original box.... Desire sated.... Thankfully they are both lovely instruments with different attributes...
That seems an excellent solution, and a great system for re-appreciating what one already has.
 

olivigus

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I've been happy with my 2 accordions - one's a 1970's LMH with all treble reeds in a cassotto chamber and has a "buttery smooth" tone especially when the cassotto switch is in the active position. The other one's a 1930's LMMH with no cassotto, but it has the bright and exciting tone (and medium musette tuning between dry and wet) and is actually lighter weight than the LMH. Both play like champs after they were restored.

Between the two, I'm very content (But that's just me!) since I'm able to have tons of flexibility between the two.
Those sound like two lovely options. I have my starter (LM) 120-bass and a little Hohner (MM) 48 which I am very happy with. But find myself longing for at least one more M in my full-size model...
 

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