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Your Advice Would Be Appreciated

BernieS

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Hi, I am in my mid 70s and have been a pro keyboards player in trips, quartets, quintet and big bands for many years until I retired "for a quiet life" in Devon. Sadly, it's too quiet!

Thinking of getting myself a decent accordion (perhaps Roland V series?) to learn to play beyond the basics. My preferred music is relaxed and intimate, with a penchant for modern and Latin jazz.

I accept this may present some left hand challenges. Anybody done similar and willing to share their comments please? I should add I am probably thinking of this in a solo light , but am not averse to playing with others.
 

JerryPH

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Unfortunately, playing alone or in a group means means very little in this context.

The best thing that you can do is find a V-Accordion and play with it and see if it fits your needs. The "V" has incredible versatility, but it also has it's share of idiosyncrasies that if you cannot accept, will result in you being very unhappy.

- A V-Accordion is NOT an acoustic accordion
- The bellows control is close, but not the same
- The treble key action is very deep and can cause speed challenges, the advantage is the key velocity, flexibility for orchestral sound control, vibrato control, etc...
- The bass buttons are ever so slightly wider apart. Not an issue for most, but for me in Free Bass mode makes it vert painful to use for anything more than 10-15 minutes before the cramps start. I have 2 other Free Bass instruments and have no issues playing for hours on end with them.

It took me roughly 10-20 hours to get used to the feel differences between acoustic and digital, once I got over that hump, I started enjoying the advantages and began overlooking/working with the disadvantages. I went in knowing this and ready to sacrifice what the V-Accordion could not offer and thoroughly enjoyed what it could offer that an accordion could not.

Bottom line, this is an area where no one can realistically do more than offer you an opinion, and the best way to make a good choice is for you to play with one for as long as the store or owner let's you. :)
 

BernieS

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Unfortunately, playing alone or in a group means means very little in this context.

The best thing that you can do is find a V-Accordion and play with it and see if it fits your needs. The "V" has incredible versatility, but it also has it's share of idiosyncrasies that if you cannot accept, will result in you being very unhappy.

- A V-Accordion is NOT an acoustic accordion
- The bellows control is close, but not the same
- The treble key action is very deep and can cause speed challenges, the advantage is the key velocity, flexibility for orchestral sound control, vibrato control, etc...
- The bass buttons are ever so slightly wider apart. Not an issue for most, but for me in Free Bass mode makes it vert painful to use for anything more than 10-15 minutes before the cramps start. I have 2 other Free Bass instruments and have no issues playing for hours on end with them.

It took me roughly 10-20 hours to get used to the feel differences between acoustic and digital, once I got over that hump, I started enjoying the advantages and began overlooking/working with the disadvantages. I went in knowing this and ready to sacrifice what the V-Accordion could not offer and thoroughly enjoyed what it could offer that an accordion could not.

Bottom line, this is an area where no one can realistically do more than offer you an opinion, and the best way to make a good choice is for you to play with one for as long as the store or owner let's you. :)
Thanks for your comments. Don't think the spacing for the left hand should cause problems for me. I take your point regarding treble key action.

At the moment I am thinking along the lines of FR-4X
Unfortunately, playing alone or in a group means means very little in this context.

The best thing that you can do is find a V-Accordion and play with it and see if it fits your needs. The "V" has incredible versatility, but it also has it's share of idiosyncrasies that if you cannot accept, will result in you being very unhappy.

- A V-Accordion is NOT an acoustic accordion
- The bellows control is close, but not the same
- The treble key action is very deep and can cause speed challenges, the advantage is the key velocity, flexibility for orchestral sound control, vibrato control, etc...
- The bass buttons are ever so slightly wider apart. Not an issue for most, but for me in Free Bass mode makes it vert painful to use for anything more than 10-15 minutes before the cramps start. I have 2 other Free Bass instruments and have no issues playing for hours on end with them.

It took me roughly 10-20 hours to get used to the feel differences between acoustic and digital, once I got over that hump, I started enjoying the advantages and began overlooking/working with the disadvantages. I went in knowing this and ready to sacrifice what the V-Accordion could not offer and thoroughly enjoyed what it could offer that an accordion could not.

Bottom line, this is an area where no one can realistically do more than offer you an opinion, and the best way to make a good choice is for you to play with one for as long as the store or owner let's you. :)
Hi, thanks for your comments regarding treble keys action. I am thinking along the lines of FR-4X. Any thoughts on complex chord structures?
 

BernieS

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Go for it

Are you thinking along the lines if something like this?

Hi, the example uses quite traditional harmonies. How do you feel the more complex harmonies found in, say, the music of Jobim would translate to accordion?
 

JerryPH

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Depends on the mastery of the player. I personally don't think that ANY music cannot be made to work wonderfully on the accordion with the right captain at the helm. :)
 

jozz

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as in bossa nova Jobim?

I guess his well-known work is translated to accordion all the time. maybe not always succesful.

I'd say for that kind of subtlety you'd need a sweet tone, something as mellow as you can get

v-accordion could pull it off i guesd
 

BernieS

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Depends on the mastery of the player. I personally don't think that ANY music cannot be made to work wonderfully on the accordion with the right captain at the helm. :)
That is also my instinct. I'm fortunate I have time/opportunity to master technique. I think I'm also fortunate that I can think from an arranger's perspective.
 

BernieS

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as in bossa nova Jobim?

I guess his well-known work is translated to accordion all the time. maybe not always succesful.

I'd say for that kind of subtlety you'd need a sweet tone, something as mellow as you can get

v-accordion could pull it off i guesd
The Roland V will, I am sure, give me a suitable range of voicing.
 

Glenn

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I’m sure that the Roland will give you quite a lot of possibilities. As you have no experience with accordions (as far as I understand) you will have to take a risk. All instruments have their limitations, especially with regards to arranging music. Not everyone has a symphony orchestra at their disposal. The accordion requires some inventiveness if you want complex chords in the bass. A Roland V accordion can be configured in a number of ways. I have mine in a 3/3 arrangement for the bass which in my opinion makes it easier to get some of the “Jobim” chords although doing so limits others. It’s swings and roundabouts I’m afraid. In any case a V accordion will be great fun. Good luck with your search.
 

dunlustin

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I'm guessing you mean LH when you mention 'voicings.'
If you plan to explore 'Melody' or 'Freebass' you will probably want to fit some reference buttons - like the dimples on Stradella bass.
I am too cowardly to do this myself. You may want to be sure your retailer would do it for you once you know what you want?
Assuming you would stick with a piano keyboard, the 37 keys on the 4X are less limiting given you can switch up/down an octave and also transpose a semitone at a time - not of course 'on the fly.'
 

JerryPH

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If you plan to explore 'Melody' or 'Freebass' you will probably want to fit some reference buttons - like the dimples on Stradella bass.
I am too cowardly to do this myself. You may want to be sure your retailer would do it for you once you know what you want?
Adding bass embellishments on a V-accordion is very easy, the tops of each bass button can pop off and be replaced. not only with different textured buttons but even Swarovski crystals. Just pop them off with a small flat screwdriver or a fingernail and insert whatever your heart desires. :)


This is what a factory original 8X comes looking like
bass-1a.jpg


This is what I did to mine to change the pattern and denote the Stradella bass and if you look at the bottom row. there are 5 buttons with crystals, these are the "C" buttons for my choice of Free Bass.

bass-2a.jpg
 

dunlustin

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Well done - - more power to your elbow! That's encouraging.
Maybe I'll be brave enough to try one day. I was put off by other users who had ended up with buttons out of level.
Did you not need to grip the button somehow to swap the cap? Any advice would be gratefully received.
 
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BernieS

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I’m sure that the Roland will give you quite a lot of possibilities. As you have no experience with accordions (as far as I understand) you will have to take a risk. All instruments have their limitations, especially with regards to arranging music. Not everyone has a symphony orchestra at their disposal. The accordion requires some inventiveness if you want complex chords in the bass. A Roland V accordion can be configured in a number of ways. I have mine in a 3/3 arrangement for the bass which in my opinion makes it easier to get some of the “Jobim” chords although doing so limits others. It’s swings and roundabouts I’m afraid. In any case a V accordion will be great fun. Good luck with your search.
Thank you for your comments. My instinct is to consider the left hand very much as a bass/guitar bass, and as a tasteful rhythm guitar. I'm confident with my right hand as a lead supported by close harmony chords as necessary.

I figure that some intensive practise will let me get on top of playing decent base lines. I'm not going to attempt percussion. Dexterity with left hand chords will certainly take some concentration and subtlety.

Here's a question....I was thinking about using a drum throne (ie with backrest) to sit on. Does that sound practical?
 

Dingo40

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Losthobos,
Thanks for the clip.
I appreciated the music but loved the bonus of the uber blasė ginger and white cat!
Thanks🙂👍
 
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Glenn

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I think a drum stool is very suitable. If you can adjust the height for a stool and of course not have any arm rests in the way, anything comfortable for your posterior will suffice. A drum stool is very portable as well and generally not too expensive.
 

BernieS

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Thank you. Yes, adjustable height, no arm rests, back support, and seat will swivel as required. It's one of those practical issues where someone with experience of "doing it in anger" can be very valuable.

I think I am now decided on what I will do, and apply myself seriously to it.
 

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