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Simple question, diatonic curious.

wayne

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I obtained a chromatic 5 row about a year ago after playing piano accordion. But I am intrigued by the diatonic accordion. Are there any of you that play both chromatic as well as diatonic, and can you share issues getting your playing to switch back and forth, from one to the other? Thank you-
 

Skari

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I obtained a chromatic 5 row about a year ago after playing piano accordion. But I am intrigued by the diatonic accordion. Are there any of you that play both chromatic as well as diatonic, and can you share issues getting your playing to switch back and forth, from one to the other? Thank you-
I have 3 diatonics (all with gleichton) and 4 CBAs. For me, they occupy very different parts of my brain. Also there is not too much overlap on the music played by each type.
 

Waldo

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Wayne,
About to walk that path. New diatonic due in march or april. Expect an uphill slog, but we'll see. They both do have buttons. For sure, the bass side will be a piece of cake. Will report when experience garnered. There is an "Everything Diatonic" forum section under "Accordion Chat" where this dialog will take place.

BTW; I too, am interested in hearing from "cross dressers", CBA vs DBA, either way.

Press on....
Waldo
 

wayne

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I have 3 diatonics (all with gleichton) and 4 CBAs. For me, they occupy very different parts of my brain. Also there is not too much overlap on the music played by each type.
Thanks for the reply, what is gleichton?
 

Skari

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Wayne,
Gleichton translates from German as "same tone". On. GC instrument the G button near the middle of the 2nd row would be the same (G) in and out. It makes some music easier to play. You just have to reach over to the 1st row for the A (pull) that is on the 1st row. I think Hohner club accordions all have gleichtons. On a GCFB-flat Slovenian box, there are typically gleichtons on rows 3 (C) and 4 (F).

Once I got used to playing with gleichtons, I would never go back. I have even had several diatonic accordions modified or special ordered to get my gleichton reed plates.
 

Waldo

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Skari;
Can you please elaborate some on the reasons why you have had diatonics modified? Is it related to the specific type/style of music you use them for? Or convenience of play/fingering?
 

Skari

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I find the fingering to be easier and there are fewer changes in bellows direction. Seems to work well with folk and old-time music.
 

wayne

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I have 3 diatonics (all with gleichton) and 4 CBAs. For me, they occupy very different parts of my brain. Also there is not too much overlap on the music played by each type.
Skari, I understand you last response. So, in your experience, have you found the diatonic accordion to be any more, less, or the same, intuitive wise. It seems to me the switch from piano accordion to chromatic is intuitive in a lot of ways. I suppose I am asking if the diatonic playing is in any way "automatic", (in learning the difference between the two). Thanks-
 

Skari

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Wayne,
The role of intuition in playing accordion is a complicated topic. I have lots of opinions, and you will probably wish you hadn't gotten me started.

A lot depends on how our brains are wired and the type of music training we have had. I tend to think in spacial patterns, so when I started playing diatonic (6 years ago) I learned some basic relationships and applied them (along with muscle memory) to fairly simple music. Playing in this way became very intuitive and got me well into the intermediate level. Knowing the piano keyboard helped to visualize scales on the diatonic.

Now that I am working on more complex music, my intuition is not sufficient and everything is more cerebral. I actually have to KNOW the entire 33-50 button keyboard, both in and out. And this is just the treble side.

I also have three different bass systems (each with 12-18 buttons) to contend with. They have a few commonalities, but most of the buttons are where I, or someone else, decided they should be.

I spend a lot of time now refining my mental map of treble and bass to include the buttons I haven't used as often. Hopefully it will eventually become more intuitive and less cerebral.

The CBA treble keyboard seems more straightforward and predictable than on a diatonic. I could easily write down all the notes, but getting my fingers to play them consistently is another thing. I am still working on my mental map of angles, intervals and elusive notes like D#, G#, and C#.

The Stradella bass system makes no intuitive sense to me whatsoever. My brain doesn't like having fifths next to each other. I've just had learn it by force. For free bass, I decided on C-system so I can mentally invert the patterns from the right hand. Much more intuitive than the quint system.

I have only played a PA a few times. It seems awkward to have the keyboard placed on its end instead of in front of me. That said, switching from PA to CBA does not seem like it would be very intuitive because of the spacial differences and alternate fingerings on the CBA. Intuitive or not, lots of people have done it.
 

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