Converting from melodion to box playing

Converting from melodion to box playing

I have been a melodion player my whole life, and I was wondering how difficult it would be to learn to play a B/C or other system.

Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

Why would you want to play B/C? I have to admit to being biased against B/C, having tried it and failed lamentably - ok there are some fine players, Joe Burke to name but one, but if you wanted to move from melodion C#/D would seem a more obvious choice, you’re half way there already.

Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

What do you mean by melodian that is what tuning?

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Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

If you mean going from a D melodeon to B/C, I’d say it’s more difficult than you think. My advice would be: borrow one and experiment for a week or two before buying one. Internet forums including this one are littered with barely used B/C boxes for sale, mostly the result of the owner being defeated by the system.

If you do buy one, make a serious commitment to the system and stick with it for the first painful year or three - if for nothing else, so that we don’t have to read yet another ad from someone selling a B/C box they can’t get on with.

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Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

If the melodeon is in D, wouldn’t it make a little more sense to to pick up a C#/D box, rather than B/C? Assuming you play a melodeon in D, and the tunes are in the right keys (so to speak), the transition will be a lot smoother.

Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

Stiamh’s point has possibly just been proved, with another B/C box up for sale on here, and no replies!
I think converting from any of the "fourth apart" two-row systems must be very tricky. I came to B/C having not played any other type of melodeon or button accordion before, so it was "just" hard graft learning where all the notes are! Of course, a D/G player can pick up my box and play a tune on one row, probably the C row, in the key of C, but that doesn’t help if everyone else is playing in key of G or D!

Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

You can do it, but speaking as a B/C player trying to learn my way around single row style, most of the bellows movement is backwards. There are many good things about the B/C system though, if you put in the effort you have the key of F all the way around the circle of fifths to B pretty easily available. Also, there’s more of them around for cheap, so why not?

Re: Converting from melodion to box playing

If you are used to cross-fingering on G/D it helps.
If you can play by ear, it helps.
You just have to learn your scales - and they are often in the opposite direction to G/D