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Chromatic C accordion, treble buttons all white

ArtMustel

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I used to play PA, many years ago, but always was curious about chromatic instruments. I want to learn C system just for my own enjoyment. I see chromatic instruments with all treble buttons white, and others with black&white ones and i was wondering if the first is more difficult to learn than the second. i assume that with black and white keys its possible to find notes easier but i really don't have a clue. it is particularly harder to learn on an instrument with all treble buttons of the same color? Thanks!
 

pentaprism

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The colors make no difference. The player doesn't see the button board/keyboard.

On most button accordions, buttons C and F have different texture from other buttons (similar to button C on the bass side). That helps you to locate the "home" keys.

One of my accordions, a Victoria, has all keys of the same color and the same texture. I glued a small dot of fine sandpaper on top of each C and F button to help me navigate the button board.
 
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losthobos

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I use little silver foil dot stickers to msrk the black notes, they leave no residue when they peel off and after a while you'll find you don't really need them.... Don't use sticky paper or you'll be stuck with sticky glue blobs forever...
 

debra

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I agree with the others: the textured keys are a great help in finding your way around. Colors are irrelevant as you (should) never look down at the keyboard. Colors are only helpful to identify pictures in "accordion for sale" groups. They help identify C-griff versus B-griff versus Finnish system versus Belgian Do2 system, etc... I once tried playing on an accordion without textured keys (but with colors). It was very awkward. I keps losing track of which button was which.
 

Anyanka

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I prefer the black and white versions. One reason is that it makes it more obvious that I'm playing a CBA, not a diatonic button accordion (melodeon). And although Paul is right about not looking at the keyboard... and usually I don't.... sometimes I get lost in the middle of a piece while playing with others and the quickest way to check whether I'm on the Bb is to glance down!
 

Chrisrayner

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I have instruments with all white and black and white buttons. Once you start playing a piece fluently the colours make no difference ‘cos you’re not looking. On my ginormous Paolo Soprani 120 bass the natural notes are all white, there are tiny black dots on the upper edges of the sharps and flats. Which is fine until the perishing things unscrew slightly so you can‘t see ‘em. I prefer the look of the all white keyboard, but not to the exclusion of playing a lovely sounding instrument with black and white buttons.
 

debra

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I prefer the black and white versions. One reason is that it makes it more obvious that I'm playing a CBA, not a diatonic button accordion (melodeon). And although Paul is right about not looking at the keyboard... and usually I don't.... sometimes I get lost in the middle of a piece while playing with others and the quickest way to check whether I'm on the Bb is to glance down!
Actually when I was just starting on the CBA I would be playing fine and then I wanted to have a quick look and got all confused by seeing it was CBA and not PA... That no longer happens fortunately. I can now look and not get confused at what I see. There are also accordions with all white keys but with small black dots on the side of the "black" buttons. So while the audience thinks all your buttons are white you can still see where the black ones are.
 

donn

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Mine don't have any tactile difference that I can detect. I guess that must be why I can't play very well!
 

debra

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Mine don't have any tactile difference that I can detect. I guess that must be why I can't play very well!
You can learn to play very well without textured keys. What is great about accordions is that no matter how may years you play on the same accordion the keys or buttons always remain in the same position. So after enough practice you don't need textured keys or colors to know where on the keyboard you are. Your "muscle memory" just knows...
 

TomBR

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I don't play very difficult stuff but I find it's easy to "know where you are" on CBA without textured buttons and without looking. There's such a strong and consistent relationship between buttons.
I'm also a "three-row-er" which may help.
 

saundersbp

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I think textured buttons are invaluable for classical music. In terms of colours, I have only been playing a year and still find the colours handy when there is a big leap to execute, but I wouldn't say they are a must once you've been playing a bit.
 

godgi

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I have an all white keyboard on two of my accordions and i think its a nightmare. If you say finish a section of a piece on a lower octave and want to jump up you have no idea where you will land - normally on totally the wrong note. I agree textured for C and F essential. I have tried everything like sticky labels/symbols indelible marker all no good. I have thought about refitting replacements as my small crosio is easy screw off but I am not sure if I can get identical color match plus the thread will be lager therefore creating larger recepitcal hole. For the other instrument the buttons are solid tight and I am reluctant to touch without giving to a pro. There is a tool to unscrew its about 80 euros.
 

stickista

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I personally think that imitating piano b/w keys is essentially useless, and possibly counterproductive. On a piano, the black accidentals provide a tactile topography, aided by the fact that the sharps or flats are added in an obvious pattern as you move along the circle of 5ths.
On CBA, there is no such topography or pattern. Those have to exist in your head. The important patterns are the minor 3rds up and down the board, and the rotation of columns as you move left to right (assuming the basic 3 columns.)
The markers are mainly useful in initially positioning your hands, or for reorienting for large shifts. Once you start playing, you feel by intervals or relationships to your current position, not by markers.
My own peccadillo is that I mark C, D, and G instead of C,F.
I like having a G to orient myself, and the D fills out a fairly equilateral triangle.
Doesn’t help when I sell an instrument because I have to switch DF back.
 
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I can understand why the C's are marked, but presumably the F's are marked so you have tactile "anchor points" on both row 1 and row 3?

I know you shouldn't look at the keyboard when playing (and I'm trying my best not to), but I do like the visual effect of the black and white buttons, I must admit.

Chris
 

stickista

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I can understand why the C's are marked, but presumably the F's are marked so you have tactile "anchor points" on both row 1 and row 3?

I know you shouldn't look at the keyboard when playing (and I'm trying my best not to), but I do like the visual effect of the black and white buttons, I must admit.

Chris
There are lots of patterns you can do other than ‘faux piano’.
 

debra

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Whether you can actually different patterns you can try depends on whether you have screw-on buttons or glued-on buttons. If they are glued you are essentially stuck with what you have... Glued-on buttons are also a nightmare if the keyboard ever needs to be disassembled for repair. Adding textured buttons if there aren't any then also becomes very hard.
Most keyboards have C and F keys that are textured, but Hohner used to do A, C# and G# and I have occasionally seen other markings as well.
 

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