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How much of a dirty cheater am I?

mitchnc

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I'm learning the CBA with the bellows of my Roland turned off.

It's too much at one time!

So I learn the treble and bass separately, then slowly put them together. Then finally add the bellows, which adds another whole level of complexity.

I know that acoustic accordions don't allow this cheat. Am I doing myself a disservice, or just really smart? Lol

I wish I had a teacher, because I know how to practice the notes, scales, regimens. But all I know about bellows is obviously don't change direction mid-phrase. That's all. I don't know how far to extend it or when to head home.
 

JerryPH

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This s a "cheat" that is only going to get you sor far because one day you will have to pull the bellows and play at the same time. I'd not recommend doing it all the time because you won't learn how to control the bellows at all, and from that point you may as well move to piano oe something without bellows.

For now, you are not competing or anything, do what works for you, just understand that you are taking away from yourself the chance to learn something properly. The act of using the bellows is a small thing shouod not take more than a couple days to get the basics down and it improves by itself quickly after that..
 

Anyanka

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I actually find that it slows me down to learn left & right hand separately for too long (bellows aren't optional on my accordions anyway ;) ). I usually play the right hand on its own 2-3 times max, and then start adding the basses - if I practise the right hand to near-perfection, adding the left at that late stage sets everything right back. Same on the piano. It feels as if the neural pathway that's been made without the left hand cannot be changed, and I need to plough a new one.
 

StargazerTony

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My accordion teacher was a student of the great Tony Lovello and passes his accordion wisdom down to me and his other students..Tony's approach was actually the opposite. He wanted his students to get the bass down first then add the treble, so that's what I do, and it works for me. Not down to performance level, but down to where you can concentrate on other things besides the bass (which always seems harder). Bringing a tune up to performance level requires treble, bass and bellows control all at the same time. Unlike the Roland, acoustic accordions to not have dynamic keys and all nuances are controlled by the bellows.

That said, my accordion is an acoustic, so I can't "cheat" that way. Virtual accordions do not play like acoustics do, so you are not getting the actual acoustic accordion experience.

In my opinion, you are doing yourself a great disservice by not playing your Roland as much as you can as an accordion rather than an accordion synthesizer, but then, that's why we have choices.
 

mitchnc

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I agree with all of these responses.
I guess I was so driven to make music on the CBA that I took the shortcut that was available.
Also, I can practice much MUCH longer without the bellows.

I also think my bellows is too tight. It's uncomfortably hard to pull, so I need to adjust the air valve.
I just don't know how easy or hard it's supposed to be.
 

StargazerTony

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If I'm not mistaken, there are two bellows adjustments. One is a dial that adjusts the physical resistance and one electronic that adjusts the sensitivity. I think a combination of these is necessary
 

mitchnc

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Jerry, you were right. The bellows felt natural after a couple days. I had to find the right adjustments.
 

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