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Switching from pa to a cba

Elizabeth

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Has anyone switched from a pa to a cba successfully for purposes of tor one, finding a lighter weight accordion? Is the treble side easier on fingers and hand following a hand injury?and how does one learn? Is there learning materials available in english? Will a 60 something person live long enough to learn to a stage of enjoying it and performing it?
 

godgi

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Yes to all. I suggest a c system instrument.
Look for the Lars Holm tutor material he teaches in Malmo I think.
Then the sky is the limit.
By the way a nice instrument a Cavagnolo for sale below US based seller.
Godgie
 

Dingo40

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Several members have switched from PA to CBA, notably our Paul Debra.
Whether you'll live long enough to transition successfully is like asking how long is a piece of string: depends on who you are!
Still, as they say, it's the journey not the destination!πŸ˜€
In general, instruments, materials, instruction and companionship seem to be more plentiful and readily available for PA players than for CBA players unless you live in Scandinavia or Russia. πŸ™‚
Every now and then we get a glimpse behind the veil, suggesting it's not necessarily just beer and skittles in the world of CBA compared to PA, so buyer beware!🀣
One thing is certain: it will take significant time and effort to reach the same point of competence you have already attained with the PA.πŸ˜€
 
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debra

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My wife and I both made the switch about 13 years ago. I was 50 at the time, my wife 58.
The general consensus seems to be that when you are "pretty good" on the PA then it takes about 5 to 6 years to reach the same level on CBA. You can play about everything after 2 to 3 years again, but it takes 5 to 6 years for CBA to feel really natural and about 10 years to reach the same level of sight reading or improvising. I have no experience with how easy or hard it is following a hand injury.
The best way to learn CBA is to get a few basic fingerings for scales and chords, and then figure everything out by yourself by playing lots and lots of songs. You have to put the PA away and struggle on the CBA until you master it. It's a matter of practice, practice, practice!
Why did we do it? My wife wanted to learn melody bass (convertor) and just could not handle the size and weight of a PA with convertor. Think of a Bugari 289/ARS/C. We got a Bugari 508/ARS/C which is considerably smaller and also a bit lighter. It is of the same quality (a mano reeds, cassotto) and has about the same range. (The PA has 45 notes E to C, the CBA has 46 notes E to C#, the PA has 58 notes on the LH and the CBA has 55 notes on the LH.) I started on CBA because I wanted to learn to play the accordina (a very expensive wind instrument compared to a melodica, and existing only in CBA) and could not play a wind instrument for very long times, and carry the weight up to above shoulder level for very long times either. So learning it on an accordion made perfect sense.
The only thing we regret about the switch is that we didn't do it many years earlier, at least 10 but 20 years would have been even better...
 

debra

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...
In general, instruments, materials, instruction and companionship seem to be more plentiful and readily available for PA players than for CBA players unless you live in Scandinavia or Russia. πŸ™‚
...
There is absolutely no shortage of instruments in all of Europe. Companionship is a little bit of an issue. We play in an orchestra where we are the only CBA players, and another larger orchestra where there are 4 CBA players (and about 25 PA). We have some smaller groups, one with 3CBA versus 5 PA and two quintets that are 2 CBA versus 3 PA. But... an accordion is an accordion, so in terms of friendship with other accordion players there is absolutely no issue. Nobody is banned anywhere for playing one or the other, except for Belgium (at least Flanders) where in music schools everyone who starts on the accordion must start with CBA.
 

Dingo40

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"There is absolutely no shortage of instruments in all of Europe""..."
Yes, true, but Elizabeth is from Fairbanks, Alaska!πŸ€”
 

saundersbp

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Has anyone switched from a pa to a cba successfully for purposes of tor one, finding a lighter weight accordion? Is the treble side easier on fingers and hand following a hand injury?and how does one learn? Is there learning materials available in english? Will a 60 something person live long enough to learn to a stage of enjoying it and performing it?
I made the switch a couple of years ago for three reasons. I needed a new accordion anyway as I wanted melody bass, I wanted to be able to play all the written notes in classical rep rather than change things simply because my hand couldn't do piano keyboard stretches, and I didn't want playing a piano keyboard turned through 90 degrees to ruin my regular piano technique.

I found two years was enough to get back up to speed on a CBA. If you need any learning materials I have loads of C system stuff. I'd strongly suggest not figuring out the fingering yourself in the initial stages but looking at fingering used by top players instead to get your hand working in a really natural way. Again I have a lot of non copyright material you can have.
 

debra

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"There is absolutely no shortage of instruments in all of Europe""..."
Yes, true, but Elizabeth is from Fairbanks, Alaska!πŸ€”
Alaska may prove a bit more difficult, but my friend Edwin Ericson from Alberta may have some pointers.
When you said Scandinavia or Russia... I just wanted to point out a very large other area (all of Europe south of Scandinavia) where there is a lot of CBA being played. Of course that doesn't help Alaska.
 

debra

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I found two years was enough to get back up to speed on a CBA. ...
That's impressive. After about two years I could learn to play things at the level I was at before, but with a lot more effort, and it didn't feel natural yet. That really took six years. But I started playing at a fairly high level in accordion ensembles after one year. The higher level of the Dutch Symphonic Accordion Orchestra, in the first voice, took about three years. But... even now, after 13 years, I sometimes still get chords wrong that I would never get wrong on PA before...
 

Walker

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Has anyone switched from a pa to a cba successfully for purposes of tor one, finding a lighter weight accordion? Is the treble side easier on fingers and hand following a hand injury?and how does one learn? Is there learning materials available in english? Will a 60 something person live long enough to learn to a stage of enjoying it and performing it?
I play the piano accordion and have done so for most of my life. Whilst I do not play the button accordion, I say why not give it a go! You can only benefit from the experience. What a wonderful journey of learning and discovery.

In my country, Scotland, the chromatic button accordion is not popular, and it is difficult to find any reasonable selections of chromatic button instruments. Maybe it's the same where you are - I don't know. But where there is a will there is a way. Search and with a bit of luck you will surely find something. You can learn all the good (and even the less good) aspects of the instrument.

If you have played the piano accordion for a very long time and enjoy it, it would be a shame to completely walk away from it. Maybe it depends on your personality or learning style, but I could never walk away from the piano accordion. I would definitely try other types of accordions, especially C griff converter but not at the expense of losing piano accordion. As with everything in life, we have to make our decision and go play.

Good luck!​
 

Elizabeth

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I made the switch a couple of years ago for three reasons. I needed a new accordion anyway as I wanted melody bass, I wanted to be able to play all the written notes in classical rep rather than change things simply because my hand couldn't do piano keyboard stretches, and I didn't want playing a piano keyboard turned through 90 degrees to ruin my regular piano technique.

I found two years was enough to get back up to speed on a CBA. If you need any learning materials I have loads of C system stuff. I'd strongly suggest not figuring out the fingering yourself in the initial stages but looking at fingering used by top players instead to get your hand working in a really natural way. Again I have a lot of non copyright material you can have.
Thanks so much for your kind offer!
 

Elizabeth

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I play the piano accordion and have done so for most of my life. Whilst I do not play the button accordion, I say why not give it a go! You can only benefit from the experience. What a wonderful journey of learning and discovery.

In my country, Scotland, the chromatic button accordion is not popular, and it is difficult to find any reasonable selections of chromatic button instruments. Maybe it's the same where you are - I don't know. But where there is a will there is a way. Search and with a bit of luck you will surely find something. You can learn all the good (and even the less good) aspects of the instrument.

If you have played the piano accordion for a very long time and enjoy it, it would be a shame to completely walk away from it. Maybe it depends on your personality or learning style, but I could never walk away from the piano accordion. I would definitely try other types of accordions, especially C griff converter but not at the expense of losing piano accordion. As with everything in life, we have to make our decision and go play.

Good luck!​
I definitely could not walk away ever, from a pa either!
The cba keeps beckoning me, its so different and unusual and intriguing. Its lighter weight is an attractive feature and i do have a distracting amount of wrist pain, following a fracture then a surgery.
 

Elizabeth

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Alaska may prove a bit more difficult, but my friend Edwin Ericson from Alberta may have some pointers.
When you said Scandinavia or Russia... I just wanted to point out a very large other area (all of Europe south of Scandinavia) where there is a lot of CBA being played. Of course that doesn't help Alaska.
 

Elizabeth

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I can certainly acquire one easily enough, just hop on a plane and fly three hours, just would have to find learning materials, as far as hearing other players, that would have to be on line or after another plane ride..just like the pa.
 

Jim2010

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Here a data sheet (2 pages) that lists the specifications of all the current accordions from one brand, Pigini. You can use it to decide what trade offs you are willing to make: number of notes, voices, weight. Once that is determined you can ask the discussion group for suggestions of new and used accordions from any brand that match your criteria.
 

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vivdunstan

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I’m another with a real hankering to start to learn CBA, probably C version 48 bass or so, despite having been a piano accordion player for approaching 50 years (I started very young!). I’d love the challenge, and it’s something that is calling out to me hugely. But at the same time I’ve a progressive neurological disease, like a cross between strokes and multiple sclerosis. So I don’t know how long I have. And the disease also frequently makes me much weaker down my right side. It’s a miracle I can still play so much, though it’s also good healing therapy for my brain. But yup, it keeps calling ... Good luck Elizabeth!
 

Tom

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Don't know how well heeled you are Elizabeth, but why not consider a Roland? Then you can do free bass as well! I don't know either if you're at the level of Paul D. but if not, I doubt it would take you 5 years to get back to your desired level.

And to you, Viv, best of luck to you. I would have to agree the challenge will help you.
 

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