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Made the switch

Cheshire Chris

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My elderly secondhand Hohner Verdi V 120-base PA has metamorphosed into a new Hohner Nova III C-system 96-bass CBA ๐Ÿ˜. A lot of money to spend, but I decided that I really do prefer the CBA and it's much smaller and lighter than the PA! The CBA just seems so much more logical in its layout - learn a tune in one key and you can play it in any other key with exactly the same fingering; chords have the same fingering in every key, and so on.

Sounds lovely and I'm really looking forward to starting to play it. My local area goes into much stricter lockdown tomorrow, so the perfect opportunity.

DED6E8E3-1314-4747-97B5-EC83991D4890.jpeg
 

pentaprism

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Great move, Chris. Welcome to the club.

I made the switch about 8 years ago and am very happy about it.
 

dunlustin

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Very decisive - very wise. It was the way to go especially as you are starting out.
Playing piano isn't always a plus when starting a PA.
Just one tip: being very strict about not looking at the buttons will pay off quite quickly.
Now you just have to decide what the next model will be.
 

TomBR

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Good for you Chris, piano accordions are great and work very well for loads of people but the advantages of CBA are very real and you only start getting them when you start playing CBA!

Up to you what road you take from here but I hope you'll at least consider being a "three row player" for the moment.

As Richard said about not looking down. After my first week of CBA I made a cardboard "shield" that clipped under the bellows strap to stop me peeking. It didn't take long before I didn't need it because I just don't look.
 

losthobos

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I can't help peeking.....especially at the mathematical options the chromatic keyboard bamboozles me with.....
Don't confine yourself to 3 row playing though....and that doesn't mean take the easy option of just moving the hand chromatically (as a guitar) but to explore the different fingerings available to play each particular phrase... Each fingering gives a subtlety different quality to a phrase....
Enjoy...
 

Cheshire Chris

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Thanks, all. I've got a CBA book arriving tomorrow (Maugain's "Methode d'accordeon") which I'm going to use to learn the recommended fingering for the CBA keyboard, but I'll continue using my Palmer-Hughes course books for practice pieces. That's the plan, anyway ๐Ÿ˜

Chris
 

pentaprism

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Does Maugain's "Methode d'accordeon" use the thumb of the right hand? When I just switched to CBA, I signed up for an on-line tutor, then dropped because the fingering (not using the right thumb) did not suit me.
 

debra

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Congratulations! You have a long and tough road ahead but it's filled with lots of accordion playing, so it's a pleasant long road!
One tip: make sure the smallish accordion fits well. It is a lot more compact (especially in keyboard length) than the Verdi. With such a compact instrument you may feel that it sits too low. (We have a smallish Bugari that is 41cm long and gives this problem compared to the 46 to 47cm full size accordions we have.) You then need to put something under your left foot (a block of wood that raises your leg by about 5cm or 2 inches is fine). This raises your leg just enough to have a more comfortable posture.
 

Cheshire Chris

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Does Maugain's "Methode d'accordeon" use the thumb of the right hand? When I just switched to CBA, I signed up for an on-line tutor, then dropped because the fingering (not using the right thumb) did not suit me.
Having got the book now, I can answer your question. His fingering system uses all five fingers, thumb included. Eg the book starts with the first five notes of the C major scale, and he uses thumb for C, index finger for D, middle finger for E, ring finger for F, and little finger for G, exactly as you would on a piano keyboard.

The only very minor downside of the book being French is that he uses Do, Re, Mi for note names rather than C, D, E, but that's a trivial matter. My French is at a 50-year-old schoolboy level, but that doesn't matter in the slightest - it's the pictures and diagrams that have all the information. I really like the book!

Cheers,

Chris
 

pentaprism

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Thanks for the update, Chris. Now I have another book series on the list to get when I have a chance.

I've been using Lucien & Richard Galliano's Complete Accordion Method. It's a bit fast-paced but I also use practice drills in other PA tutor books.

>> he uses Do, Re, Mi for note names rather than C, D, E

I started learning music with Do Re Mi 50 years ago, and started with C D E when I came to the US 30 years ago. Now it's still easier for me with Do Re Mi than with C D E.
 

Corsaire

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Well done ! It's not always a decision that's easy to make, especially if you've played the PA for a long time. I can understand the weight issue which doesn't get any easier with age.
I've been hesitating about doing the same switch for the last year or so and have finally decided it's time to go for it. If it weren't for the total confinement here in France, I'd be off to our local accordion shop to hire one. I know little about CBAs but now the decision has been made, I'll have plenty of time to read up about them here !
I will use a French method by Florence Glorion as I've seen other "switchers" advance very quickly with it. I've already used the diatonic method devised by Diouflo and found it to be excellent. In fact it's playing the melodeon that has convinced me that buttons are the way to go.
 

dunlustin

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Diouflo.com - seconded.
I nearly mentioned them - thought: Anglo = Trad' --> CBA + French/Breton dance music, but didn't 'cos you can have too many books.
The 'Mรฉthode Chroma' isn't cheap at 50 euro + pp but you get an advice line as well as the music, slow/fast versions, Vdo/audio.
Progression is a bit steep. Lots of stuff on line. The Flos play for dance/teach for a living and a lot of thought goes into their books.
There is an English translation tho' she doesn't claim to be a linguist.
Worth a look if only for a listen.
 

Corsaire

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Dunlustin - I met the Flos at the end of last year during a short assessment and it was well worth it. As you say, a lot of thought goes into their books and you can see and understand how the progressions follow on. The diato version was well worthwhile and they said last year that switching to CBA shouldn't be difficult, so knowing how they work, the chromatic version is the way to go. Well worth the 50โ‚ฌ . Apart from anything else, work for musicians and performers in France has been catastrophic this year ....
 

dunlustin

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Well, that took a minute or two Corsaire - I mentioned them to you back in 2017 - glad you met them and I am just a bit envious.
Don't wait a moment longer than you need to pick up that CBA.
 

Corsaire

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Well, that took a minute or two Corsaire - I mentioned them to you back in 2017 - glad you met them and I am just a bit envious.
Don't wait a moment longer than you need to pick up that CBA.
Yes, some of us take a long time to get down to things ... With the confinements and restrictions on public performances in France, the Flos have really suffered this year. Fortunately they have got a good support network as they were very worried they would have to give up. It's learning the melodeon that's given me the urge to change from PA to CBA. Playing the PA made learning the diato easier and now the CBA's a natural progression - I like buttons ! I've never seen anyone here regret changing to CBA - some of us just take a little longer to see the light.
 

Cheshire Chris

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Yes, some of us take a long time to get down to things ... With the confinements and restrictions on public performances in France, the Flos have really suffered this year. Fortunately they have got a good support network as they were very worried they would have to give up. It's learning the melodeon that's given me the urge to change from PA to CBA. Playing the PA made learning the diato easier and now the CBA's a natural progression - I like buttons ! I've never seen anyone here regret changing to CBA - some of us just take a little longer to see the light.

The melodeon is a fun instrument. I have a D/G (the most common configuration in England) Hohner Pokerwork myself. Much lighter than the accordion!

I'm sure you'll love the CBA. Seems much more logical than the PA to me, and I say that as a pianist.

Do you have any thoughts on what CBA you might get?

Best wishes,

Chris
 

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