Hello from California
#1
Hello folks,

I've been reading this forum for a while now. Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.

I've been meddling with different instruments since my early 20s but never pursued anything seriously. I picked up the accordion at the ripe old age of 29. It has been about two and a half years and this instrument has become an integral part of my life. I started taking lessons from David McAfee through Skype. David encouraged me to busk in the streets. I hit the streets when I could barely play 3 songs. Two years later I have about 30 songs in my set list. I've played a few gigs. I'm also taking lessons from the amazing Mike Zampiceni who lives close by. 

Currently I play out two days a week. I mostly play French and Italian. I have bought a few accordions (way more than what's required for my playing level). Currently I use the following boxes regularly.

1) Beltuna 3 reed 72 bass 41 full size keys (a gamble from ebay that worked out)
2) Dino Baffetti 3 reed 72 bass 37 compact keys (strong musette and pretty loud for the compact size)
3) Giulietti 3 reed 96 bass 37 full size keys

I also have the following that I don't use that often:
1) Exelsior  Art Van Damme  - 3 reed (2 bassons) 120 bass 41 keys
2) Brandoni - 3 reed 120 bass 41 keys
3) Fisitalia - 4 reed 120 bass 41 keys


I've ordered for a pre-owned Roland FR-4X that will be delivered on Monday. Smile
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#2
Welcome Breezy!
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#3
Welcome!

Small world for I also take lesson from David McAfee but I’m fortunate to live close to his studio and take them there.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English
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#4
Always good to hear about what’s going on around The Bay. Sounds like you’re doing your part to keep the accordion vibe rolling! If six accordions is “a few”, how many is too many? Ha!
Keep it coming, Breezy.
And , GO DUBS!!
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordeon, Iorio Concert Accorgan G Series (electronics removed)
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#5
(30-05-2019, 12:37 PM)Eddy Yates Wrote: Always good to hear about what’s going on around The Bay. Sounds like you’re doing your part to keep the accordion vibe rolling! If six accordions is “a few”, how many is too many? Ha!
Keep it coming, Breezy.
And , GO DUBS!!

One can never have to many accordions. Of course, one has to develop a certain deafness to ones spouse.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English
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#6
Hi Breezy,

Welcome to the forum, where I am sure you will feel at home.

I look forward to reading your future contributions. Please keep us up to date with your progress.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#7
(29-05-2019, 11:46 PM)breezybellows Wrote: Hello folks,

I've been reading this forum for a while now. Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.

Welcome, Breezy!

I'd be interested in hearing more about your busking experience. What was your first attempt like? What songs go over well? What tricks have you picked up (or things you've learned not to do!) along the way?

 - Jeff
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#8
(30-05-2019, 03:46 AM)StargazerTony Wrote: Welcome!

Small world for I also take lesson from David McAfee but I’m fortunate to live close to his studio and take them there.


Tony,

That is great to hear. How long have you been taking lessons from David? Did you play before you started lessons from him?

I was doing some research on how to buy a used accordion and I found David's video. A 20 minute phone call with David McAfee provided me all the information I wanted and he gave me the confidence to take the plunge.

Cheers,
Joseph

(30-05-2019, 12:37 PM)Eddy Yates Wrote: Always good to hear about what’s going on around The Bay. Sounds like you’re doing your part to keep the accordion vibe rolling! If six accordions is “a few”, how many is too many? Ha!
Keep it coming, Breezy.
And , GO DUBS!!

Its definitely more than what I need. But its hard to resist when I see one that's up for sale.

Cheers,
Joseph

(30-05-2019, 03:42 PM)StargazerTony Wrote:
(30-05-2019, 12:37 PM)Eddy Yates Wrote: Always good to hear about what’s going on around The Bay. Sounds like you’re doing your part to keep the accordion vibe rolling! If six accordions is “a few”, how many is too many? Ha!
Keep it coming, Breezy.
And , GO DUBS!!

One can never have to many accordions. Of course, one has to develop a certain deafness to ones spouse.

Other than the occasional "Don't come back home and go live with your accordions", my wife has been pretty cool about it. Smile

Cheers,
Joseph

(31-05-2019, 06:27 PM)JeffJetton Wrote:
(29-05-2019, 11:46 PM)breezybellows Wrote: Hello folks,

I've been reading this forum for a while now. Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.

Welcome, Breezy!

I'd be interested in hearing more about your busking experience. What was your first attempt like? What songs go over well? What tricks have you picked up (or things you've learned not to do!) along the way?

 - Jeff

Jeff,

Do you busk as well? If yes, can you share your experience as well? I see that I've typed a rather long response. I hope you don't get bored.


2 biggest takeaways from my busking experience:

1) Busking is a great way to practice songs that you've already learned. Keeps you always ready to go. 
2) Provides motivation to practice new songs and expand the repertoire. 

My first busking attempt was in front of a pizza place in Fremont. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. It helped that people were just walking by and were not paying that much attention. I had 3 songs including 2 Yann Tiersen songs. I played for about 10 minutes and I got my first tip. I made 6 bucks in half an hour.

Then I started playing in a bunch of random places (some of which I got kicked out of). It took me a while to figure out some good spots. But good spots are very competitive. 

Overall I've received positive feedback which is very encouraging (maybe people have been nice enough to keep negative feedback to themselves Smile ).

These are the songs in my set list that get the best reception:
La Valse d'Amelie
Hallelujah
Que Sera Sera
Game of Thrones


Things I've picked up:
1) Shuffle songs to make sure that you save the good songs for a time that has audience.
2) Have a business card handy. Its not great when someone asks if you have a card and you say "Can you write down my number?"
3) If a spot is competitive, get to know the other musicians that play there. Helps you to find good times to play. This is the best way to find other good busking spots. 
4) You want to find a spot that has foot traffic. But too many people isn't good either. It gets noisy and trying to play through the noise doesn't sound very pleasant. I like it when people keep walking by and there's not more than 10 people around you at any time.
5) Buy a case that has wheels. Or get a wagon or a table with wheels. Makes things so much easier.

Things I've learned not to do:
1) Tone chambers don't work out to me as well when I busk. They sound good when I play in a small room at home. But I've always felt that they were too mellow to play anywhere else. Maybe I don't know how to do it, but that's how I feel about it now.
2) Don't play when its too noisy. Take a break until things get calmer. 
3) Playing in Fisherman's Wharf has never worked out for me (not sure why).

Cheers,
Joseph
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