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Newbie... just about to get 1st instrument

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MJ

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:D Hi I'm MJ (Mary-Jane but known as MJ)

I'm very pleased to find this place as I am about to take the plunge and get my first instrument.

I learnt Piano and Keyboard as a teenager and am now in my 40's. I've been thinking for a while what a shame it is that I lost the skill of playing a musical instrument - I seem to spend far too much time on Facebook and the Internet these days! Back then a friend had a couple of Accordions and I used to be able to pick up her smaller accordion (not sure if it was a 48 or a 72) and knock a tune out. I don't have room for a Piano at home and so I had the idea of trying the Accordion. I've spent about a month researching online, and I've decided on a 72 bass Stephanelli, which I am going to take a look at over the weekend.

I would really appreciate some advice on how best to choose my first instrument; the place I'm going to seems very knowledgeable but you can't beat advise from other players who are not salesmen! I've been quite excited about things all along but I do hope I'm not about to bite off more than I can chew, I'm not even sure I can remember how to read sheet music so I really am going back to being an absolute beginner...
 

nagant27

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A lot depends on the type of music and the sound you like I think. ALso how it fits you and feels is important since you will be spending a lot of time with it. I also was a piano player, up until about 10 or so years ago- once I started playing accordion on a regular basis I haven't looked back since. Its a great instrument, that I think for me allows for expression that is not possible on the piano. Personally I would avoid any Chinese made accordions, sound and build is not so good, and you may get discouraged quickly from playing. Plus if you go to sell it once you get some ideas what you like and dislike, it will be a tough resell. Im not familiar with stephanelli.
 

Glenn

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Hi MJ, welcome.
I've said this before in the forum that I think the 1st instrument should be used. You get more choice, the price can be fair and not too expensive. Find one you like the look of, can lift comfortably and sounds nice. Then play it a lot to get the feel of where you might like to be a few years down the road.
 

Soulsaver

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Hi MJ, welcome to the forum. Ill guess youre in the UK. I hope youre not buying it new, because, whilst Stephanelli sounds like a quality Italian made accordion, .. its not... its made in China, and resale prices arent great should you wish to trade up .. or give up.

I dont know if this is something you already knew? If not maybe youre disappointed with the info... but Id rather you were disappointed before you bought it, rather than after.

Best wishes.

http://www.accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584
 

donn

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Soulsaver said:
Ill guess youre in the UK.

I bet youre right. The language clues are mostly fairly subtle, but learnt is likely British usage.

You can provide location information in User Control Panel -> Profile
 

george garside

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Whilst I agree with comments that looking for a decent second hand box can give more choice and , with luck, result in a higher quality instrument at 'new chinese' price its not that simple!

If you are near to a reputable accordion specialist dealer then you can be reasonably sure of good advice and a fair deal with some sort of comeback if all is not well. Better bargains an of course be had on the private market but without the help of a realy knowledgeable friend you are very likely to not spot problems and/or be misled as to where the box was in the 'pecking order' when new

The stephanelli is at the better end of the Chinese lot . They are imported by Steve Clinkscale and all checked over individualy before going to the shops.Clinkscales have a good reputation . Another Chinese box worth condisering is the black diamond ,soe models of which are fitted with Italian reeds. Again the firm have a agood reputation ( google black diamond accordions)

The downside of Chinese boxes is high initial depreciation but this doesn't matter if, like many players, you intend keeping it for a long time.
Equally a 2nd hand stephanelli or black diamond that has had little or no use can be a very good bargain bought privately as the first owner has copped for the initial high depreciation.

You don't say where you are and I would suggest that you post a general idea of you location eg town as somebody on here may be able to inform you of local dealers etc. or maybe even go with you to view a 'second hand bargain'!


george
 

Soulsaver

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I sought merely to inform, not necessarily dissuade.
 
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JB

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Another source of friendly advice might be an accordion club - if we knew where you were, somebody on the Forum might be able to point you to one. Not only would members of a Club be able to advise and support you, they might also know of a second-hand accordion for sale locally. JB
 
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MJ

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Thank you everyone; the place I went to was brilliant; The Accordion Store in Sunningdale, they have an accomplished Accordionist and teacher there and I went along today. There was a big range in stock; and I was able to trial a few. I had the offer of a hire for three months of a used accordion via another route; but I wouldn't be able to trial before I buy as the instrument was going to be shipped out from Aberdeen. This store matched the offer with a new instrument; they threw in 2 accordion tutorial books and a really excellent case as well. I found the first set of straps really uncomfortable and they switched the straps for me to a really nice leather and padded pair which were more comfortable, and the guy I saw was excellent and did me a full demo on the instruments I was considering. Whilst I have come away with the new Stephanelli it was the instrument I felt most comfortable with, the weight and size of it suited me most; and it's on a three month hire. So I can either hand it back in 3 months and choose another instrument or complete the purchase - the money I paid for the hire is banked and will come off the balance. All in all I think this is a really good option for me. I appreciate that the instrument is at the cheaper end of the market; but chances are I've still paid less today than the purchase of a good quality used instrument. I have all the time in the world to learn and upgrade in good time.
 

Glenn

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Congratulations on your new accordion. Hope you have great fun getting to know it.
 

Soulsaver

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Congrats & Good stuff, MJ - that sounds like a great plan. Welcome to the fold(s). {}
 

artelagro

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Congratulations MJ. My first (and only) new accordion was a 96 bass Stephanelli and I had three very happy years with it - There is nothing like the feel and smell of a new box.
Garth
 
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MJ

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:D :D Thank you :D :D I have to say I am delighted with it. Considering I haven't played for more than 20 years I was able to get a tune out of it in the store and have learnt a couple of chords today - although as is often the case when you try and learn something new, when I got it out again later this evening and started again I seemed to be back to square one!

To be honest I played it for about 2-3 hours this afternoon and then for 20 minutes this evening...and I ACHE. My left arm aches and I'm a bit sore where the straps have been. I think I've overdone it a bit, perhaps it will take me a little while to get used to the weight of it!
 

donn

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This is a good time to start developing technique that won't mess you up. I won't offer any expert advice, not being an expert, but you probably already have videos of skilled accordionists for reference, where you can watch how they work the bellows etc.
 

Glenn

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Hi MJ.
One tip from me is not to put the accordion away in its box but to find a place where you can leave the instrument case open and stand the accordion in it with a dust cloth. That way you feel more inclined to pick it up for shorter sessions. Three hours is too long, especially with little experience. I assume you are sitting to play? If so, allow the left thigh to support the instrument. It should not hang like constantly from your shoulders with all its weight.
 
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