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Which size would be best to start and learn to play the accordion, an 80 bass accordion or a 12 bass accordion?

pillbugg

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I just bought my 2nd piano accordion (that needs fixing). Now this 2nd one has 80 bass buttons compared to the first one I have, which has 12 bass buttons.

And I have to wonder, which size of accordion would it be best to start learning how to play?
I feel like it would be best to jump straight into the 80 bass button one, no? You'll outgrow the 12 bass button accordion eventually. Or are there more learning resources for the smaller accordions?
 

Dingo40

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Hi pillbug,
Does the 12 bass work??
If so, play that while you have the 80 fixed,?
It's amazing what some people can squeeze out of a 12 bass.
(It's a bit like: there are no big or small parts ( roles) only big or small actors ?)
Since the arrangement of the 12 basses is simply a subset of the 80, which is itself a subset of the 120, you won't be wasting your time!?
 

Scuromondo

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It depends on how far along you are. If you truly are just beginning, and especially if you are also new to keyboards, a 12-bass instrument will help you narrow your focus while you get your footing, and will certainly see you through at least one full volume of the typical lesson book series. Then, if you stay with it beyond that point, you will almost certainly want something more capable. But, as Dingo said, I’ve seen good buskers squeeze music from 12-bass accordions that I never would have thought possible on such a modest instrument.
 

pillbugg

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Does the 12 bass work?
Both the 12 bass and the 80 bass need a lot of work. I was thinking of prioritizing one to fix. Even with the hole on the bellows, and the missing bass buttons, and pins, I think the 80 bass may sound better, and is prettier too.
 

debra

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The best size to start on depends on *your* physical size. I started around the age of 12 with an 80 bass and that was a good fit. I moved up to a 120 bass after 2 years or so and by that time it was a good fit. For adults the size of a 41/120 accordion is always good, but there are still differences between models and brands. There are "ladies" accordions with narrower keys, and some old accordions (like Hohner Morino M series) have extra-wide keys. I find that for good comfort most 45/120 to 47/120 accordions are too large (not the accordion body but the keyboard). I'm glad I changed to CBA because of the more compact keyboard size. (The body of PA and CBA is often about the same size because the same amount of stuff needs to go inside.)
Besides the size of the accordion the correct adjustment of the straps is also important for a comfortable fit.
 

Ben-jammin

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Both the 12 bass and the 80 bass need a lot of work. I was thinking of prioritizing one to fix. Even with the hole on the bellows, and the missing bass buttons, and pins, I think the 80 bass may sound better, and is prettier too.
12 bass instruments are very limiting, they can be fun because of those limitations but if you have aspirations beyond what’s convenient to play on them I would skip a 12 bass if it’s possible.

The economics of repairing either one may or may not make practical sense. Though if you’re planning to do the work yourself (and you enjoy doing it) they are probably great for practicing repair work on. Consider the cost of supplies and tools as well as how much time for the work and time learning to do the work and make a sober assessment if it’s the path you want to take. Will the finished instrument and the skills you will have learnt be worth it? You could get half way through repairing one and find you need to buy another broken accordion for parts or have something custom made. Nothing wrong with that, but consider it in you decision.
 

Valski

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Both the 12 bass and the 80 bass need a lot of work. I was thinking of prioritizing one to fix. Even with the hole on the bellows, and the missing bass buttons, and pins, I think the 80 bass may sound better, and is prettier too.
For an adult the 80 bass accordion is definitely a better size although based on your description it would seem that there are serious repair issues. Perhaps the bellows could be fixed using some kind of tape. The missing buttons might be a bit more of an issue, but I'm stumped with the pins because that's not enough information. Perhaps you can find a repair shop that could advise you on this. There are a lot of used accordions out there are in playable condition for a moderate price so don't get carried away on an expensive repair.
 

pillbugg

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12 bass instruments are very limiting, they can be fun because of those limitations but if you have aspirations beyond what’s convenient to play on them I would skip a 12 bass if it’s possible.

The economics of repairing either one may or may not make practical sense. Though if you’re planning to do the work yourself (and you enjoy doing it) they are probably great for practicing repair work on. Consider the cost of supplies and tools as well as how much time for the work and time learning to do the work and make a sober assessment if it’s the path you want to take. Will the finished instrument and the skills you will have learnt be worth it? You could get half way through repairing one and find you need to buy another broken accordion for parts or have something custom made. Nothing wrong with that, but consider it in you decision.
I bought them broken to repair them actually! That is their main purpose. More will probably be purchased by me. :)

The missing buttons might be a bit more of an issue, but I'm stumped with the pins because that's not enough information.
Yeah these two problems might pose to be a problem. Perhaps I can use the parts of other broken accordions to fix it. The bellows can be "fixed" with tape, I think.
 

Valski

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I bought them broken to repair them actually! That is their main purpose. More will probably be purchased by me. :)


Yeah these two problems might pose to be a problem. Perhaps I can use the parts of other broken accordions to fix it. The bellows can be "fixed" with tape, I think.
There are a lot of different varieties of tape available these days. The mechanism is a lot more complex and therefore more difficult to fix unless you really know what you're doing, especially on the bass side.
 

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