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Learning a CBA

Elizabeth

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How easy/hard to learn a cba? As a senior citizen? I have a rather short life as a pa
Player, but a lifetime as piano player. I know they are not very common in the us, and i think a printed method maybe hard to find.
 

Dingo40

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Ask Paul, he's done both 🙂
Some considerations ( in the English speaking parts of America) though:
Fewer teachers
Fewer instruments on offer
Probably fewer repairers.
🙂
 

Siegmund

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I went the CBA route in part because I was really rotten at piano (I came from violin.) I suspect most pianists prefer to play PA to get "one hand for free."

But if you are concerned with limited use of a hand, this might be a good reason to go CBA. Not only does same finger-spread cover a wider interval,some of the old Russian methods use only 3 fingers, and by looking at the 4-finger recipes for scales in thirds you get some excellent ideas for how to play a single-note scale with two fingers.

Yes, fewer teachers and many fewer instruments available in the US.
I would worry a bit less about fewer repairers as so much of the internal mechanism is same as PA's.
 

Elizabeth

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Great ideas and thoughts about this. Definitely worth considering. Wheni go to a big city later this month i will try it out at petosas.
A friend plays one, hes a beginner abd finds it easier to play than a pa, because its easier for him to find the black notes, he says. Also, its easier to play with his very large fingers.
 

debra

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The older it gets the harder it is... A lifetime as a piano player gives you a great advantage on PA. I learned to play PA after 5 years of playing the piano (in primary school) and I was quickly way ahead of other kids starting PA at the same time.
After a lifetime of PA... my wife and I switched to CBA, mainly because of the more compact design. That was 13 years ago. So I must have been 49 at the time and my wife 57. Not exactly senior citizens, but no longer teenagers either.
Our experience was that after about 2 years we could play reasonably well but it took 5 to 6 years to approach our old level. We are not at twice that amount of time and by now everything is about as intuitive as PA ever was to us.
 

oldbayan

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The older it gets the harder it is...
I disagree! I am so tired to read everywhere that people are "too old" to learn something. I know a guy who learned to play the guitar at 87 and he is good at it.

All depends on your motivation and practice methodology. Unless you have physical challenges that prevents you from learning. :cool:
 

dunlustin

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Big factors in my opinion:
Young players often learn so as to please someone else whereas older players often have someone who is happy to put up with the 'birth pangs' of late-onset musical genius.
Young players are often motivated by chocolate or new trainers, older players not so much.
Older players are generally better organised and understand that doing something new does not come easily.
Older players generally do not dream of celebrity through their new found skills.
Older players are not embarrassed by activities that bring no 'street cred.'
The CBA is less demanding than a PA keyboard as stretching is less demanding.
Fingering once learnt is much more transferable through the keys.
Sufficient learning material -Maybe less choice than PA in the USA; definitely so if you don't go for C-system layout - but that's offset by on-line.
Go for it. Your piano skills give you the concepts - they just need transferring to a different keyboard.
I don't know of anyone who gave up the CBA for the piano accordion. (Perhaps someone has examples)
 

debra

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I disagree! I am so tired to read everywhere that people are "too old" to learn something. I know a guy who learned to play the guitar at 87 and he is good at it.

All depends on your motivation and practice methodology. Unless you have physical challenges that prevents you from learning. :cool:
There are two possibilities: people who never learned to play music and want to start late, say after 60, and people who always played music and start on a different instrument. While it takes a lot of time and effort you can learn a different instrument and reach a reasonable level. (My wife and I are proof of that.) But I have yet to see anyone who started late, "from scratch" and became good. The brain just isn't "wired" for playing music if you did not learn it when you were young. I understand that this is disappointing, but it holds for many things. The brain simply works better at learning new skills when you are young. Your muscles also need to learn the new skill, but in the case of accordion, if you used your fingers a lot on a different instrument they have the flexibility and speed to also work fast on a new instrument.
 

Jim2010

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How easy/hard to learn a cba? As a senior citizen? I have a rather short life as a pa
Player, but a lifetime as piano player. I know they are not very common in the us, and i think a printed method maybe hard to find.
Elizabeth, what prompted you to want to play the accordion? Was it the sound, the portability, the ability to face your audience, a particular type of music that uses accordions?
 

Elizabeth

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Elizabeth, what prompted you to want to play the accordion? Was it the sound, the portability, the ability to face your audience, a particular type of music that uses accordions?
I think you hit upon all the points! Its portability, appeal to the audience, the happy joyous polkas i heard first, getting out of that isolating practice room.
 

Jim2010

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I think you hit upon all the points! Its portability, appeal to the audience, the happy joyous polkas i heard first, getting out of that isolating practice room.
For portability, nice sound, novelty (almost nobody has ever seen or heard one), relatively low cost (compared with similar quality accordions), and a chance to see if you like CBA fingering, I think that the accordina is reasonable starting point. Think of it as a three-row, 44 note right hand of an accordion, with your lungs being the bellows. The breath needed is light (like a recorder or less), and it only weighs two pounds.

Marcel Dreux accordinas (accordinas.com) are played by a lot of the top European accordionists. A few members here play Marcel Dreux accordinas and the original Borel models that inspired Marcel Dreux, and I imagine you could get a lot of information from them.

Full discosure, I recently started a discussion about preparing one for sale (I have 3 slightly different models), but I've decided not to sell any at present. I wouldn't want you to think a was giving you a sales pitch. I am just describing the approach I took (also senior citizen at the time) when the idea of playing cba accordion popped into my mind.
 

Elizabeth

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For portability, nice sound, novelty (almost nobody has ever seen or heard one), relatively low cost (compared with similar quality accordions), and a chance to see if you like CBA fingering, I think that the accordina is reasonable starting point. Think of it as a three-row, 44 note right hand of an accordion, with your lungs being the bellows. The breath needed is light (like a recorder or less), and it only weighs two pounds.

Marcel Dreux accordinas (accordinas.com) are played by a lot of the top European accordionists. A few members here play Marcel Dreux accordinas and the original Borel models that inspired Marcel Dreux, and I imagine you could get a lot of information from them.

Full discosure, I recently started a discussion about preparing one for sale (I have 3 slightly different models), but I've decided not to sell any at present. I wouldn't want you to think a was giving you a sales pitch. I am just describing the approach I took (also senior citizen at the time) when the idea of playing cba accordion popped into my mind.
 

Elizabeth

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How interesting! I have never heard of these! It reminds me of the Hohner Airboard which i have.
I will enjoy exploring this, thank you.
 

debra

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How interesting! I have never heard of these! It reminds me of the Hohner Airboard which i have.
I will enjoy exploring this, thank you.
When my wife wanted to start learning CBA (being a PA player like me) I wanted to start on the accordina as the accordionists approach to harmonica sound. But when you are not an experienced player of (mouth-operated) wind instruments it's hard to just practice on the accordina. (It's not just because you need to develop breathing technique, but it's also hard to hold the accordina for a long time as it weighs over 1kg and you need to hold it up to your mouth the whole time.)
So to help me out in practicing i started on my wife's CBA and I was soon sold on it. I initially said, "no I will not play CBA, I'm just practicing for the accordina" but the CBA simply won me over...
 

Longshore

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For what it's worth: if you want to learn CBA, then perhaps get a good starter one that can be traded upwards if you take to it (or sold at very little loss if you don't).
If you want to play the accordina then you have a considerable outlay, but a quality instrument.
But...if you want to learn CBA - get a CBA.
 

oldbayan

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Go for it. Your piano skills give you the concepts - they just need transferring to a different keyboard.
The 3 outer rows of a CBA keyboard are simply the same as a piano keyboard sliced in groups of 3 notes placed diagonally! Very simple. I prefer the B-system because I think going left to right is more intuitive that the opposite, but this system is more popular in Eastern Europe and the Slavic world. I have two C-system accordions, and 3 that are B-system including 2 Bayans with 3 rows. I could never get used to a piano keyboard on an accordion :D
 

Tom

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Depends what you mean by "old" and "good." I have seen people get good enough to play in a performing band who I taught in their late 50s. My newest student is 65 or so. Ok, maybe they won't become virtuosos but "good"? No problem. It's the emotion, soul, that they put into music they love and can play. Soul knows no age and who cares about the Bumblebee anyway?
 

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