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Avshalom
Feb 14, 2012

by Lowtax


hey op i like klezmer and want simple chord accompaniment for voice and other instruments, should i get a 3 or 4 string bouzouki in your opinion

e: haha nvm i googled it, i'll get a 4 string

e2: good thread

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Sarrisan
Oct 9, 2012


Hey music thread. I really wanna learn to play Irish music on a 2-row button accordion, mostly inspired by listening to Beoga. Looking around, it's hard to find info on a good source for beginner accordions that don't cost $1000+. Does anyone have some brand/model recommendations for a budget of about $300?

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Grimey Drawer

Oh man that's a toughie. $300 is really not the sweet spot on squeezeboxes for Irish music. These guys are reliable: http://www.buttonbox.com/button-accordions-in-stock.html#irish

Figure out whether you like the wet tuned ones that are likely to show up in the used market - it's a pretty distinctive sound, don't get stuck with one that you find for cheap and then discover that you hate the way it sounds. Beoga (and a lot of other modern players) use a drier tuning.

Sarrisan
Oct 9, 2012


Was afraid of that. I can technically afford more but I have a hard time tossing serious money on an instrument I haven't played before and don't know if I will stick with. Is there a good guide out there for buying used accordions so I don't get a stinker? Irish style accordions seem to be pretty rare in my area so it's looking like Ebay if I don't want to break the budget too much.

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Grimey Drawer

Find somebody who plays and bring 'em along Sorry, I know that's not exactly helpful... If you do order from Button Box, they do deal in used instruments so they are likely to be willing to buy it back from you for about half what you paid if you find out after 6 months that you don't like it. For what that's worth.

Sarrisan
Oct 9, 2012


Thanks for the response. I guess I thought $300 would be enough since that seems to be the sweet spot for a lot of "cheap, but good enough to decide if you like it" instruments like guitar. Looks like I'm going to need a bigger commitment for this one. One of these days my bank account will be full and I'll be listening to Paddy O' Brian or something and whoops, I own an accordion now.

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Grimey Drawer

Maybe TTFA will come along after a while with a different perspective and suggestions, he's way less of a snob about instruments than me

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Avshalom posted:

hey op i like klezmer and want simple chord accompaniment for voice and other instruments, should i get a 3 or 4 string bouzouki in your opinion

e: haha nvm i googled it, i'll get a 4 string

e2: good thread

Bouzoukis are usually three or four *courses*, pairs of strings. Is that what you're talking about or did you mean a balalaika or similar?


Sarrisan posted:

Hey music thread. I really wanna learn to play Irish music on a 2-row button accordion, mostly inspired by listening to Beoga. Looking around, it's hard to find info on a good source for beginner accordions that don't cost $1000+. Does anyone have some brand/model recommendations for a budget of about $300?

I googled and it looks like Beoga does indeed use the common B/C box, so that'll be easier to find. Are you in the US or the UK, or elsewhere? That makes a difference; I'm assuming US since you say $.



Wherever you're at, posting a WTB ad at Melodeon Forums is probably a good idea; and/or at The Session, Chiff & Fipple, or any other Celtic forum. Just make it very clear in the title where you're posting from so people can figure out if your ad is applicable to them.

The cheapest you're likely to find is various older Italian or East German jobbies, or else newer Chinese (and the Chinese bought the name rights to a lot of older Italians that weren't amazing prior to that either). Hobgoblin in the US carries the same off-shore brands that Hobgoblin UK does, but even the cheap Chinese-made Scarlatti B/C is like $500. Chinese boxes aren't necessarily the kiss of death, but you're better of shopping used.

Buttonbox is a great shop but they're not a place to find really low prices; Liberty Bellows in Philly is worth contacting, as is Irish Dancemaster (just email Mike and ask if he has any budget beginner B/Cs in stock, he gets random stuff that's not on his site, and bear in mind he's an interesting fellow).

eBay is worth watching, but stick to buying from sellers who claim/exhibit actual accordion expertise, or even call them on the phone and ask them to play all the buttons, and/or post a YouTube clip. And that's still assuming some risk, like any used item.


My main bet would be to try to buy used from a US/Canadian musician, finding them by posting a WTB ad in the right forums. B/Cs are reasonably common, and as you can see from this thread a lot of instrument fans buy and sell stuff along frequently, so I think sourcing a decent player in the $400-500 range should be attainable. Big picture, you're going to be happier if you watch for a good deal on a Hohner, rather than go for an uber-cheapie, so it's worth it even if it means trimming the budget elsewhere or saving for a couple more months. For Irish, Hohner made a model called the Black Dot or Double Ray (Corso is the more general non-Irish-specific models but iirc you can find them in Irish keys, or converted). A decent axe will hold its value better and be much more pleasant to learn on, plus pride of ownership. If you play a dozen things already and just want to muck with one, roll the dice on whatever cheapie (and I have many times) but if you're serious about playing B/C box, bump your budget up slightly for a Hohner.


EDIT: I realize I must've sold like four different one-row melodeons to goons (and have a D I need to unload). Are any of my old squeezebox purchasers in this thread?

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 00:50 on Nov 1, 2016

Rhombic Drive
Apr 15, 2007



If there is an Irish music school in your area they might do rentals. Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann branches sometimes run music schools: https://comhaltas.ie/locations/detail/north_america

Meldonox
Jan 13, 2006

Hey, are you listening to a word I'm saying?


Hi guys. I'm so happy to see this thread is still around, even if it looks like it's been quiet lately.

I'm interested in getting another instrument. I have a plastic recorder from elementary school, a lovely toy tin whistle, a trombone from middle school band, a banjo and guitar I sadly never take out, a couple Mountain ocarinas I take everywhere with me and am actually pretty okay with, and I think my wife still has her saxophone somewhere in the house.

I'm totally open to any suggestions to fill any obvious holes in my disappointing collection, but bonus points would go to anything that fits any or all of these criteria:

1. A little lower pitch.
2. A decent range, or at least a wide one relative to the ocarinas I have.
3. Capable of being played softly.
4. Somewhat portable.

I love that I can carry the ocarinas everywhere and play a lot of stuff by ear, but I feel like they can be awfully loud and shrill depending on where I am. I feel like I'm lacking something I can use to play a mellow tune in my living room without driving my wife nuts. It also doesn't need to be something I can toss in a backpack, but it's a definite plus if it's not so big that I feel like I'm lugging it around if I take it someplace. Price isn't a concern, though I'd probably lean toward something that I could get in an inexpensive starting model until I reach a certain proficiency. Any ideas?

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




*in an extremely Carnac the Magnificent voice* the thread will say... Native American Flute

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

NAF meets *almost* all of your criteria except having a wider range than your ocarina. Honestly, at $50 there's not much reason not to get a polymer NAF from Northern Spirit; almost unbreakable, lightweight, not too loud, and *much* lower in pitch than your ocarinas.

If you want more range, my suggestion would be to branch out to one of the Low whistles. Do you play a particular genre of music, and how big are your paws? If you play Irish and have reasonably large hands, a Low D whistle is pretty cool since you can play a full octave below the tinwhistle, and you can teach yourself tunes using basically any Irish training materials for tin whistle or flute.

If you have medium or small hands, and/or Irish isn't as big a deal to you, I find the G or A flutes are pretty grippable, and are notably more mellow than the standard D whistle without being too far a stretch between finger holes.

EDIT: if you're more into classical music or soundtracks, look into either a tenor or bass recorder; you can often find decent brands used on eBay and clean them up.


You already have some familiarity with wind instruments, and those are generally available in durable versions, there are several lower-pitched options available, and they're pretty affordable and packable.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 06:10 on Nov 30, 2016

Sarrisan
Oct 9, 2012



I forgot about this thread for a while; just wanted to say thanks for all the great tips! I'll have to see what I can do.

Meldonox
Jan 13, 2006

Hey, are you listening to a word I'm saying?


Thanks for the response! I'm awfully tempted to pick up that polymer NAF whether I get anything else or not. I watched a few videos using one and it's got a great sound. I could get behind that. I watched a few low whistle videos too and I MIGHT be able to manage, but I'm not a super huge dude. I like the sound though, just wish I had some way to tell how easily I'd be able to play it. As for genre, I don't have a strong bias toward anything. I'm pretty fond of Irish, but I'm not fond enough of any one thing for it to be a dealbreaker if something is meant for a different style.

Recorder's not a bad idea either, plus I forgot I could fix up my wife's old saxophone and try to learn that, which I'd also love to do since I haven't properly tried a reed instrument.

Earlier criteria aside, I'm tempted to put a bunch of less expensive (and a few more expensive) options on my wish lists so family who don't know what to get me for gift-giving occasions have some low-hanging fruit. Instruments are a fun thing to collect. If there are any specific makes/models of whistles and flutes I should put on there I'd love the input because I'm horrible at shopping for this sort of thing.

I did come up with a general question though: are there any plucked string instruments that are particularly well-suited for a learner? I suppose guitar has a huge amount of material, and the right answer is probably "whatever you'll stick with," but I remember being told ages ago that it's best to start with the biggest and most unwieldy thing you can physically manage because it's always easier to go from bigger and with more strings to smaller and with fewer. I'm guessing that's true on some level, but I'm sure that's oversimplifying things a hell of a lot. I'd imagine some instruments are better than others for forming good habits that transfer well to others.

Korwen
Feb 26, 2003

don't mind me, I'm just out hunting.



I know I'm way overdue for an update on my highland bagpiping (I had my first solo competition in November) and my flute and whistle playing. I also bought a cheapo C/F two row melodeon because it was cheap (literally for no other reason) but I'm so excited I've gotta post

I just bought a Gold Tone Cripple Creek tenor. They're gonna string it for me in GDAE at the Gold Tone factory, hopefully it'll ship out tomorrow. The shipment tracking obsession begins.

edit: Also I've got a Dixon TB022 Low Whistle/Flute combo that I'm not using any more if any goon is interested I'd probably part with it for a reasonable price.

Korwen fucked around with this message at 01:01 on Dec 22, 2016

Canadian Bakin
Nov 6, 2011

Retaliate first.


I bought my husband a Seagull Merlin for Christmas and after listening to him noodle around on it for the last hour or so I remembered that my father has an Appalachian dulcimer out at his house. So... I called dibs.
Any good beginners guides the thread recommends? I went looking through the thread but I feel like I've probably glossed over them in my enthusiastic initial search.

Planet X
Dec 10, 2003

GOOD MORNING

My buddy found a pollina accordion in his moms attic. I don't play accordion but can't pass up something unique. It's in good shape. Any intel on this brand?.

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


I'm thinking of getting a kalimba, and I heard these are good. Any thoughts?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Hiro Protagonist posted:

I'm thinking of getting a kalimba, and I heard these are good. Any thoughts?

It won't give you cancer or anything, but Mid-East Mfg is a Pakistani hack-shop that makes really meh stuff overall. If a difference of $10-20 won't hurt you, buying something from Meinl, Goshen, or prettty much any kalimba maker would be a better deal. I wouldn't buy a completely random unlabeled kalimba off eBay or anything since I've had really mixed luck with those, stick to buying from someone who actually QCs and tunes their instruments.

But a kalimba is an awesome instrument to try out, good call there. Reminds me that I have an electric kalimba and flanger pedal I haven't used since I left the country, that are severely awesome.

dupersaurus
Aug 1, 2012

Futurism was an art movement where dudes were all 'CARS ARE COOL AND THE PAST IS FOR CHUMPS. LET'S DRAW SOME CARS.'

Since the ukulele thread is archived, are the learn to play sites in the OP still the best? Any particular favorite beginner-friendly songs?

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Keeping this thread out of the archives with a song by one of my favorites, Stan Rogers, which includes significant Northumbrian Smallpipes starting, oh, 1/3 of the way in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQSEn-SZzpM

quote:

In his songbook, Songs from Fogarty’s Cove (1982), Rogers writes, “Grit Laskin plays Northumbrian Smallpipes, see, and I thought it would be nice to have him play them on the album. But the pipes only play in the keys of F and E-flat, and I had not songs in these keys, so I had to write one.” From such humble beginnings…

(https://singout.org/2012/04/09/harris-and-the-mare/)

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

I've been woefully lax on this thread for a while, but I just got an electric mandola and moved to Montreal. So soon I'll buy another banner-ad and get back to advice.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Any good piano accordion primers? Just ordered a cheapie 17 treble, 8 bass key D'Luca on sale.

Not a D'Luca but close enough.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



D-d-double post:



Improvisation on the treble keys is easy but I'm a fumblefuck who can't manage the bass keys at the same time. In a few minutes of dickeryy, I'd say this little bugger is easy to just pick up and make something resembling music but a concertina is going to have a shallower learning curve.

As for quality, the keys aren't the most responsive, the bellows have little volume so require constant work, and the tone is fine. I'm pretty happy with the warehouse pricing from Amazon and look forward to seeing how much drunken horsing around it will survive. The bellows don't seem to be made of a particularly quality material. And I need to learn to get along with a keyboard since I've never spent time with one, before.

E: Well drat, that guy I linked playing a toy accordion is from the Granite State.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 17:59 on May 17, 2017

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

After a long hiatus for all kinds of personal weirdness, I'm back in the swing of things! I moved to Montreal, applying for Permanent Residency, and collecting instruments to create a non-profit musical lending library here. And I'm also buying a banner ad and bumping the thread.

for fucks sake
Jan 23, 2016



Is melodica weird enough for this thread?

I've just got one and I love being able to control the volume of a note with my breath. The only thing is it sounds like poo poo, especially when recorded. Anyone got any tips for post processing, past the obvious EQ-ing to make it sound less shrill?

Tan Dumplord
Mar 9, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Thanks to this thread, I now own the following: recorders (Alto and Soprano), a tin whistle, a kazoo, a slide whistle, a set of harmonicas and a chromatic, a melodica, a piano, an electric guitar and bass, a drum kit, a Suzuki Qchord, and dozens of synthesizers including a $6000 modular.

Thanks, TTFA.

Exploding Barrel
Jun 17, 2005

Lights out!
Guerilla puppet show!


I log on for the first time in a couple years and this thread is still alive. Wonder how many from the start six years ago have kept up with it?

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Does anyone know where you can pick up a Mandolin for 20 -> 40 bucks?

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Turtlicious posted:

Does anyone know where you can pick up a Mandolin for 20 -> 40 bucks?

I think I got one on Craigslist for about $40 but that was 7 years ago and it needed strings.

Korwen
Feb 26, 2003

don't mind me, I'm just out hunting.



Turtlicious posted:

Does anyone know where you can pick up a Mandolin for 20 -> 40 bucks?

Yeah at this price range you're looking for a used Rogue or something like that, likely to find it on Craigslist. No guarantee that it'll be well set up or playable, but if $40 or so is your budget then it doesn't leave a ton of options. For what it's worth, I've seen success stories over on MandolinCafe about people who buy cheapie Rogue mandolins and give them a good once over themselves using a setup guide and get a pretty playable instrument out of it.

Outside of those, you're looking at stepping up to a Kentucky or Eastman, and you'd do well to find a used KM-150 for $200-250 or so.

Opal
May 10, 2005

some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil.


Cool, this thread encouraged me to buy an ocarina like five years ago which ended up buried in a drawer. Time to try again!

ishikabibble
Jan 21, 2012



Korwen posted:

Yeah at this price range you're looking for a used Rogue or something like that, likely to find it on Craigslist. No guarantee that it'll be well set up or playable, but if $40 or so is your budget then it doesn't leave a ton of options. For what it's worth, I've seen success stories over on MandolinCafe about people who buy cheapie Rogue mandolins and give them a good once over themselves using a setup guide and get a pretty playable instrument out of it.

Outside of those, you're looking at stepping up to a Kentucky or Eastman, and you'd do well to find a used KM-150 for $200-250 or so.

I have a Rogue. I'm no mandolin player, but it's a functional instrument that doesn't sound too bad. Doesn't like to stay in tune though, but I haven't fiddled with the bridge at all so that might just be my fault.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Rogue is perfectly serviceable as a mandolin you occasionally take off the wall and noodle on. It'll need tuning every time and feels chintzy but sounds fine.

Paladin
Nov 26, 2004
You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it.




Anyone ever play a phin from the Isan area of Thailand? The tuning is similar to an Okinawan sanshin (E-A-E in this case), but it's fretted along a minor (pentatonic?) scale only, so it looks a bit like dulcimer fretting but minor.

The cool part though is that electric ones are super popular, and traditional Isan music played on one sounds a lot like psychedelic rock. They make double neck ones, too!

Anyway, wondering if anyone here has purchased one and what company they used.

Power Walrus
Dec 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

Thanks to this thread, I just bought my first toy accordion! I figure it's a good intro to the squeezebox before I drop $400 on a duet concertina. Thanks to everyone in this thread for introducing me to so many cool new musical toys!

Big Bug Hug
Nov 19, 2002
I'm with stupid*

Hello weird instrument thread! I have been reading the thread for a couple of weeks, enjoying clicking all the links and learning a lot about instruments I never knew existed. So thank you so much for all the info.

I ordered a couple of things already. A Native American style flute from Wind elf flutes - as I'm an Australian and I like to order local, even if it's weird to buy a NAF from an old Australian hippie. It's a simple bamboo flute in a low key. I want to play for relaxation and meditation. And I have little musical talent.

I have, and play, a ukulele but I have chronic pain issues which make it hard to play too much. I was super excited to discover the mountain dulcimer - a cool stringed instrument you rest on your lap! I'm in love! I've ordered a cardboard one from Backyardmusic, and if I take to it, I'll get a wooden box made or something. I love the idea of making (sort of) your own instrument.

My partner plays a didgeridoo. I just showed him the didgeribone videos and he got a good chuckle out of it. You mentioned it has been a controversial instrument. For the record he's Aboriginal and he thinks it's pretty cool, especially the young bloke who goes around to schools demonstrating the instrument and makes modern music with it. Why not? Maybe I'll get him one, one day.

Did you know in Aboriginal culture women aren't supposed to play the didgeridoo(sorry if this has already been mentioned)? And if you do, you might get pregnant? How? Don't ask me, but I haven't been game to try.

Big Bug Hug fucked around with this message at 14:12 on Jul 3, 2017

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


Hey, I found this 10-string Lyre Harp on eBay for pretty cheap, and it looked interesting. This said, looking through the thread, I didn't find anything exactly like it. Is it a King David's lyre? Why do people claim it's Celtic? If this is a legit thing, can anyone point me to a place I could learn it? I was thinking of getting a simple string instrument like this. If it's not legit or worth getting, any suggestions of things like it? The kantele is the only thing I can think of.

On the other side, I was also considering something percussion. I find myself naturally tapping out tunes on any surface I could find, and thought it may be fun to find a hand percussion instrument. I would likely want something portable and cheap, so I was looking at some sort of steel tongue drum or the the CajonTab. This said, I am open to suggestions. Any ideas?

nerd plus rage
May 12, 2014

It's a metaphor for something, probably


I used to play Appalachian dulcimer when I was way younger. I've been thinking of getting back into it. Does anyone know where I can get one in New Orleans? Craigslist doesn't have any. (Preferably less than $150 or so). Thanks!

e: Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, I don't follow any other music threads.

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Rime
Nov 2, 2011



Bought myself a Seagull M4 (merlin) dulcitar thingmajiggy. We'll see if it works out better than guitar.

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