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Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.

Acorn4 30 Apr 09 - 05:00 AM
G-Force 30 Apr 09 - 05:46 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 09 - 05:48 AM
treewind 30 Apr 09 - 07:04 AM
PHJim 30 Apr 09 - 01:33 PM
G-Force 01 May 09 - 09:43 AM
Acorn4 01 May 09 - 10:22 AM
SqueezeMe 02 May 09 - 04:20 AM
Acorn4 02 May 09 - 04:40 AM
SqueezeMe 03 May 09 - 09:50 AM
Peter the Squeezer 03 May 09 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 05:00 AM

I'm learning to play the piano accordion at the moment, and have bought a couple of second hand instruments(24 bass and 120) to do the learning on. When I (eventually hopefully!) go public, I want to get a slightly better instrument.

I'd more or less decided on a 72 bass as a compromise between portability and range, then noticed that there are 80 bass models made.

What is the difference between the 72 and 80 - is it just an extra row or are the buttons somehow arranged differently - does the 80 have any advantage over the 72?

Advice sought here.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: G-Force
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 05:46 AM

72 bass is 12 rows (i.e each key once only) times all 6 columns.

The 80 bass which I play is 16 rows, so I hardly ever run out of rows, but missing the 6th column (diminished chords). You really need these if you play a lot of music hall or 30's dance band stuff, but for folky stuff you can usually fudge along without it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 05:48 AM

does the 80 have any advantage over the 72?

Yes, it has 8 more buttons


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: treewind
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 07:04 AM

Of course if you want to play in really obscure keys, you'll find the 80 bass layout a help, with 4 rows of overlap.

For folk music, if I had to choose, I'd pick the one that sounded or played better or was otherwise preferable - 72 vs. 80 basses would be a low priority in the decision making process.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 01:33 PM

I'd go for the 72, all other things being equal. The availability of dim chords make it a more versatile instrument.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: G-Force
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:43 AM

Acorn4 will know from his 120-bass endeavours whether he needs the diminished column. If so, go for the 72-bass.

He will also probably know whether he plays with guitarists in E, hardly an obscure key, for example 'Early Morning Rain' first two chords E major then G-sharp minor. With only twelve rows, that is an eight row jump and you will miss it as often as land it. On an 80-bass, with the overlap, it is only a four row jump.

The choice is yours.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:22 AM

What also struck me as rather odd, is that on the old Hohner 24 bass that is one of the instruments I bought to learn on, there is no E button but there is a Bb and an Eb -this seems rather odd -the Em is a bit of a necessity for joining in a session, the small portable nature of the instrument being ideal.

The only explanation I can think of is perhaps that the instruments developed in the brass band era when the flat keys were used a lot.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: SqueezeMe
Date: 02 May 09 - 04:20 AM

Not really odd, Acorn4. Worldwide, I would suggest that more use is made of flat keys than of sharp keys, and not just "in the brass band era", but today.

Are you sure you have no E buttons? A standard Hohner 24 bass has 3 rows (fundamental, major and minor) of 8, being Eb, Bb, F, C, G, D, A and E.

Perhaps it is the session-useful Bm you are missing???

It would be feasible for an accordion tech to shuffle your reeds around to produce a B row, as I have done many times on smaller accordions. A bit costly though as every reed in the bass will need moving, and a couple of reeds imported.

And once you have the B row, will you be back next week for a further rearrangement to allow for an F# row? You wouldn't be the first!

Far better to upgrade to an 80 or 72 bass, but even a 72 bass could give you a problem if, say, you were playing in E major and needed a C#m chord. Guess what? There isn't one. Only a Db at the other end of the keyboard which you have little chance of getting to and from.

So I would recommend an 80 bass as it has the overlap to allow for this eventuality. The lacking diminished chords can always be fudged by using the right hand to add the notes of the chord you need that are missing.

Good luck with your upgrade.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 May 09 - 04:40 AM

...it's actually a very old Hohner, pre-war I think with some fancy woodwork, so I'm probably going to hold onto it; it's got an Ab button rather than extending from the D down to an A.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: SqueezeMe
Date: 03 May 09 - 09:50 AM

Hmmm. Never seen one with that configuration, but now I understand your E problem :-)
My comments about moving left hand reeds around still apply though. In fact, I wonder whether a previous owner might have had something similar done to produce the non-standard buttons it now has? Or whether Hohner may have done a batch like that at a particular retailer's request?
Some of the pre-war Hohners are truly beautiful works of art. I currently have a 140 bass Hohner L'Organola from 1938 in pieces all over my workshop....in poor condition, but much too pretty to scrap!

MC


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordion: 72 or 80 bass.
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 03 May 09 - 10:43 AM

I learnt on a 80 bass Parrot (no jokes about Monty Python, please), then was given my 120 bass Hohner. I hardly use the diminished row at all, as if there is a need for these chords, then there is usually something you can out in quite easily on the right hand side. The counterbass row is of much more use, as it enables you to play bits of tunes on the left side.

Keep on with the playing - it's worth while in the end. I look forward to hearing your efforts (perhaps at the Britannia).

All the best

Peter


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