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Accordion for frail older player

E

ebgt

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Hi.

My father has been an accordionist and piper most of his life. He's 84 now and has a neurological condition that has made him very frail and weak. The box he owns is a big Hohner that weighs a lot and he can no longer lift (and if he tried when no one was there, he could do himself some serious damage).

On the piping front he owns an electronic chanter which has enabled him to keep playing even though he doesn't have the puff for the real thing any more. I'm wondering if anyone has come up with an accordion designed with weaker older players in mind? i.e. perhaps something not too large, not too heavy that has an electronic air pump that means he wouldn't have to deal with anything other than "finger on keys".

I'm aware that there are many "virtual accordions" available on the iPad - but I've tried him on them and they are too fiddly for him. I think he needs something he can actually get a hold of.

Any leads/thoughts much appreciated.

Cheers

Ewan
 

TomBR

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Is he able for an actual accordion do you think, or does he need something lighter altogether?

Older boxes can be quite light. My pre-war Frontalini 34/48 (4x12) weighs about 13lb which is not much more than a Hohner VM 48 (6x8)
Heading for half the weight of a full size 120b.
The Frontalini is two reeds for everything and theyre nice reeds so the bellows effort is very low.
Basil at Accordions South West usually has some older accordions for sale so might be worth asking about weights.
http://www.squeezydoesit.com/id10.html
My Frontalini is very similar to the 60b that hes selling, and plays here....

If an accordion as such is just too much now a Casio SA-46 has the right key spacing and can be played vertically accordion wise, very cheap too.
Switch on and press the big green button and youre away with accordion sound. No basses obviously but ok for tunes!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Casio-SA-46-Mini-Keys-Keyboard/dp/B0040XK0GM[/url]
Good luck!
Tom

[Something compels me to say that Im getting quite a lot of necessary computer chores done today, hence a few breaks at this forum on this beautiful late October day! :D ]
 

JIM D.

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All the models of Roland V accordions can be played with or without operating the bellows. A small used FR-1 or FR-1x might just be your Cup O Tea ---
 

debra

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Since he has an older big Hohner he may want to stick to Hohner. There are often Verdi II accordions for sale which are small, light and very robust. In one of the orchestras I play in there are two really old players (one is 79, the other 84) and they both play a Verdi II.
 

Soulsaver

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Verdi 11 is 37/96 bass 3 voice.. I'd guess near 9kgs (20lbs)?
 

george garside

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the smallest piano accordion is the hohner mignon 12 bass. Light as a feather to handle ( about 4lb in weight) but definitely not a toy. It is the piano box equivalent of the hohner liliput 2 row diatonic . One on ebay now with start price of £9.99. ( I have absolutely no connection with seller!)

george
 
J

Johnathan

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I have a number of accordions including a beautiful Zero Sette bayan, that weighs rather more than I care to think about, and a Roland FR1Xb. The Roland keyboard is not as good as the Zero Sette which is hardly surprising, but it is a joy to play and it is about as light as you could get. You can also play it without operating the bellows if you want to. Because it is electronic it can offer a variety of different accordion sounds, it is like having 16 different accordions in one instrument, plus a variety of instrumental sounds, including bagpipes if you create your own User Set using the freely downloadable editor.

My one reservation in recommending a Roland would be with respect to the fact that being electronic the Roland VAccordions' controls are not as simple as a purely acoustic accordion. You can play one without getting very involved with all the features on offer. But, for example, to play it without using the bellows would require some default settings to be changed. Some people, as they get older, can find it hard to cope with technology that they are not already familiar with. I don't know if this would be an issue for you. There is an excellent Roland user group on Yahoo that can be very helpful for people who are new to playing a Roland.

I hope this helps.
 

TomBR

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george garside said:
the smallest piano accordion is the hohner mignon 12 bass. Light as a feather to handle ( about 4lb in weight) but definitely not a toy. It is the piano box equivalent of the hohner liliput 2 row diatonic . One on ebay now with start price of £9.99. ( I have absolutely no connection with seller!)

george

I've got one and it's certainly light. Mine's in decent shape, but I have to say it's a long way from being a joy to play. Whilst I don't doubt great music could be made on it, those stubby little keys have a certain "toy piano" feel. I think taking the size up to something like the dimensions of an average two-row melodeon, whilst staying smaller than a Hohner Student PA would be a much more useful instrument. High quality reeds could help keep the bellows size small.

Trying to get back on topic,(!) something like that would be useful for those who need something very small and light, yet want it to be nice to play, but as far as I know, there's no such thing.
 
D

Dflanders2222

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Does anyone have any experience with Weltzmeister accordions? I am looking at The Juwel 72 bass. At 13.7 lbs or The Rubin at 12.3. Lbs. I am not frail but need a smaller accordian also. Any reviews?
 

Soulsaver

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Dflanders2222 said:
Does anyone have any experience with Weltzmeister accordions? I am looking at The Juwel 72 bass. At 13.7 lbs or The Rubin at 12.3. Lbs. I am not frail but need a smaller accordian also. Any reviews?
You could start a topic with Weltmeister Juwel or Rubin or other appropriate title; itll get more noticed than using someone elses.
 

bocsa

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I think forum member Goldtopia has had some experience of Weltmeister, try a pm (personal message).
 

artidots

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The Weltmeister Rubin is deservedly popular, very good value for money, light and compact. Standard ex factory the sound in 2 voice has quite a lot of tremelo but pretty much acceptable and fairly loud. We bought our black one (2 previous owners, both uk, but little used and not very old - the box not the owners !) on eBay a couple of years ago, for about £440 I think; it has been totally fine with no problems whatsoever. The slightly narrower keys have never been any problem to us. Although we have since moved on to Italian boxes we still cannot bring ourselves to let the Rubin go. It still gets played occasionally (sorry no, still not for sale !) and we are kind of fond of it.

I seem recall that forum member 'Goldtopia' (mentioned above) once had a much liked Rubin that he sold in favour of a bigger instrument. He later mentioned that he was subsequently sorry he sold that Rubin and I believe recently purchased another new one. Don't think I have seen any posts from him lately though, so do hope he is ok.

From Weltmeister we have also had a Kristall and a Romance CBA-C, both new. They too were absolutely fine, very reliable, maybe a little heavy in the bass (but perhaps in Germany that is how they prefer them, fair enough).

Good luck with your search.

Rob
 

george garside

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the original poster asked for suggestions for a box suitable for ''a very frail and weak 84 year old with a neurological condition''. Most of the boxes mentioned on here will almost certainly be too heavy etc for someone thus described and there are no 'quality' very small light boxes available. The hohner mignon may not be everybodys cup of tea but can sound half decent in the right hands but obviously not as good as a quality 72 bass job.

I have the button box version i.e. the hohner liliput which was , like the mignon, originally made for backpackers and later widely used by German soldiers in WW2. It has good reeds and the sound is a lot more powerful than is expected from such a small box. It is the one box I have absolutely no intention of selling as hopefully it will enable me to keep playing when I become old and knackered!

george
 

artidots

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[quote I am not frail but need a smaller accordian also.[/quote]

George, are we talking about the same person here ?

Rob
 

george garside

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Rob I was referring to the original posting on this thread by Ewen (ebgt) requesting info on box suitable for 'frail elderley relative with neurological disorder''. The thread does seem to have moved somewhat away from possible answers to that request as threads do!

For what its worth I am not frail either but after a minor stroke at 73 am looking at my future needs boxwise



george ;)
 

artidots

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Thanks George.

Yes, you are quite right and I was a bit slow on the uptake there not to realise that (but the intentions were good).

Know the feeling, look after yourself eh.

BTW You are still a youngster though really, 'cos I'm 5 years further on than you and with a new aortic valve one year ago. All good though, definitely not frail and charging around (ish !) as usual. PA seems physically easier than Melodeon though (it's the quick reversals of push and pull). English Concertina is really great but I'm not clever enough to do very much chordal accompaniment despite years of playing, so it can sound a bit thin unless playing 2-part stuff with my partner Marj' (which we do a lot in various instrument combinations)

Errrmmm, what was that about thread drift ? Sorry.

Rob
 

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