LOL dam! Well it looks like you two guys nailed wet and dry tuning down pretty well. But then there's that other factor. Which tuning and choice of song and style (Cajun) will produce the most nostalgic effect? Which song and sound will bring people back to the times of the Grandfathers, or to a reflective moment that brings joy or even sadness? I mean, isn't that the whole point of pursuing the Cajun genre of accordion play? To reproduce some aspects and events of the past?
So we have this technical factor of tuning Cajun (which does not sound too exact by any means) and then we have this (dream and seek) factor, and it's slightly different for each accordion builder, and each Cajun accordion player. How do we begin to nail that down? How do we establish a constant that will bring us more onto "Center"? Closer to the correct path? Do we go back to the "Jam Sessions" and address differences of accordions openly and without guard and shame of who thinks what? We have to do something, because we still have Cajun accordion players out there that don't know and can't find out which brand accordion and what tuning they need to produce the best results of and for their own efforts. We still have guarded information and tuning and building technique. We still have prejudice and clique behavior. But the one thing we do have right for the lone accordion player is this Cajun Accordion Discussion. If you come here and truly study all the subjects and comments, you will be light years ahead of any beginner and intermediate accordion player who doesn't come here.
Learning Cajun accordion is a series of climbs and plateaus. Until you reach the highest peak. And then nature and the universe take over and destroy every skill and song you've learned and earned. At some point you can't even teach it to another. You don't know the words to speak and when to speak them, and they couldn't understand them even if you did. Your hands, arms, and mind begin to fail and you can't play the song correctly enough to show them how its done. And yet they will start at the bottom just like you did, and climb toward that peak and......fall off just like you did. LOL, sounds like the fate of lemmings doesn't it?
Oddly enough, the nostalgic sound I like most, is the sound of the big single plate chord reeds on the base side of the old German accordions.
Some HOHNERS come close.
I like the Hohners too. And I also know the the base side reeds do bring a certain resonance factor to Cajun accordion play. Wrongly tuned or the wrong type of base side reeds can be your Akilleez Heel, no doubt.
For beginner accordion players and your first accordion. Listen to recordings of Amedee Ardoin or Angelas Lejeune, Iry Lejeune, Austin Pitre, Aldus Roger, Nathan Abshire, Lawrence Walker, and Alphee Bergeron (Shirley Bergeron's daddy), Leo Soileau, etc. As many of the old players that you can. Figure out which sound and style you like the best of these men. Tell your accordion maker, or bring a recording so he can hear. Then discuss it and hope for the best possible outcome.
Maybe have one reed row tuned wet that you can close the stop and play dry with the other 3 reed banks when you were tired of wet tuning. Or, play on other people's accordions if they let, and if you find one that grabs you, go to where it was made and ask for the exact same thing. Bring it with you if possible. Or.....refuse to purchase before you actually play on the accordion whether new or used. Do Your Homework for god sakes, or you'll be like all these other lost souls that have bought and sold 20 freakin accordions and they still don't know what they want. Good Luck, because luck is the big factor with Cajun accordions in my experience. It would be a whole lot easier to accept the lucky or unlucky factor if the got dam things weren't so expensive.
Don't forget! double thick felt under them sheep skins on the fingers over the sound holes, and have that button spring pressure adjusted to make your playing easy, but not too easy. Too light of a button press will betray you in ways you cannot imagine, in both leaks and bad habit forming.
Oh, one more factor is choosing the correct Cajun accordion. Know how to play. I mean, really know how to play. Learn those combination keys and patterns for all 3 positions of play (playing in the Primary 3rd="C", the 4th="F", and the 5th="G" for a "C" accordion, buttons 3push,4pull,and 5push respectfully)(Forget about calling them the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions)that brings bad juju or is it jewjew?. Oh, I forgot, you have to buy an accordion before you learn how to play. LOL. What a conundrum!
Judging by the lack of comments to my last post, I CAN SEE NONE OF YOU CAUGHT THE VERY LAST PART ABOUT THE 1st,2nd,3rd or the 3rd,4th,5th, or the "other" 1st,2nd, and 3rd positions? LOL, I'll have to break it down for you all one day.
To give you a small hint...."ALL OF YOU WITH "C" ACCORDIONS, with my new and less confusing system, you would now magically all have "G" accordions. Oh oh, what the f*** did he just say?!
I'm here to tell you folks, you were purposely given the run around. "Come, let us go and confuse their language." Yes, that's right, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions of the accordion that you all think you know is horse sh**. You have been fooled into not knowing by an old "jewjew" trick. No worries, I will straighten up this matter in due time. No, it won't be that long. I'm figuring out a way to tell you without video, and that, my friends takes cunning and a little time. Me,I got both. LOL
Not baffled by the info baffled by the lack of follow up on your part.
Theoretically you could play in 5 keys on a one row diatonic.
A follow up to me saying I don't care for wet accordions. I like slightly damp ones. Just finished my first E, and after installing the pretuned reeds, which had a slightly wet sound before final tuning, I determined I really like the higher keys slightly damp. Gives it a very old timey sound and take some of the piercing away.
Oh, hell no Hildreth, don't tell me that! 5 keys? As if it wasn't difficult enough! I'll have to increase my meds because of this new information. Got Dammit! LOL
Bryan, an "E" accordion? Let's see...an "E" can be played in the primary push which is "E". And then on the pull it would be "B", and on the third position it would be the key of "A".
Who ordered such an accordion? How does it smoke? LOL. I mean, how goes the singing with that accordion? Is it easy to sing along with.
About how damp are we talking here? 7(seven)cents? Lucky ole #7?
Castagnari's one row tuning is usually
Dry.. unison tuned or
"swing" tuning at about 5 cents.
Not so common is "Americano" at about 10.
They do another tuning about 15 but this is often on 3 reed instruments used for French Traditional music or Italian.
Castagnari's "swing" is dryer than Saltarelle or other Italian makers.
Swing at about 7-10
Americano at about 10-15 and
sloppy stuff above that.
Hildreth you are one technical son of a gun! Obviously, you know more about accordion than the average Joe. I see what you're saying. So where does "Cajun" wet tuning fall within all them numbers? I mean, it's not Americano. Its not swing? Oh, wait, I see....its French! 15cent wet'll do! Or is it the way the accordion is played that can make a Mexican accordion almost sound Cajun if done right? I've heard a Cajun player not long ago whose accordion sounded like it was stuffed with tacos. ahahahah. But the guy is most definitely a Cajun and plays Cajun music. I wonder if his accordion builder messed up and put him a Mexican tuning? Hilarious!
The Tex Mex guys have some interesting tuning..
I'm going to go back and refresh my memory banks...
Keep in mind the majority of the Tex Mex/Norteno players use
Hohner Corona 2 reed boxes as their primary weapon or:
The grossly overpriced, substandard quality Gabbanellis. Here they are 2 reed or 3 reed.
They are some fantastic players of what was originally German and Czech (think Polka) music.
Here's a youtube channel showing the various tunings:
Link 3 https://www.youtube.com/user/esTUNINGandREPAIR/videos?disable_polymer=1
I've tuned some 5 cents that I thought sounded pretty good. I don't like them much wetter than that. But just personal preference.
I also decided I really like the key of E. Uses almost no air and is easy to play. I don't really understand why I like some keys better than others, but the more it goes, the less I like C.
Bryan, were those "E" reeds smaller than normal? Is that the reason they don't take much air? I don't know.
First time I picked up an "E" accordion, if I remember correctly...I was able to easily play Wayne Toup's version of "La Barg Qui Brille" (The Ring That Shines). I could not play it before that moment, but the second my ears heard the match to the accordion Wayne was playing when he recorded this song, presto, the song came to me as easy as a Bourbon Street hooker.
Go try to play that song just for sh*** and grins, I think it'll work for you too. Good luck. If I remember correctly, the singing went real easy for me with that "E" accordion. That "E" accordion was a "TECHE" accordion. The maker Elton Quibodeaux, now deceased. I was surprised that an old fashioned type guy like him had made an "E" accordion. If I would have had the money, I would have gotten an "E" me too, but alas, I didn't. So I made do with my only accordion at the time...that dam "C". But hey, you had to have a "C" to be able to play along with so many recordings and at the jam sessions. Around that time, the sheep were all in an uproar about Bflat accordions. Had to have a Bflat accordion! It makes me sick to think about it. If I could erase those times, I would wipe them away never to be heard of again. Got dam a Bflat. Got dam them!
Let me know what key the song is in.
I don't understand an "E" accordeon, but I do understand "Eb"
Savoy made a couple.
I'll give it a shot, but never really listen to Wayne much. It's gonna be real hard to give this box to its owner. I love the sound of it, and I always scrunched up my face at the thought of a key that high.
Yes, the reeds get bigger and smaller as you go up the key scale. That's why a G seems to use more air than a C, and a high key like E or F seems to use less. Almost feels like the bellows are hardly moving.
I still do not understand "E". Except A blues.
All quiet on the "Louisiana" Front.
OK.. Louisiana was named after which French King ?
Hey Jeff, that King would be which ever Louis was married to Anna at the time. I only ever heard of 14 Louis's, So it must have been one of them 14 uppity rich silver spoon fed sons a ****** Louises that they named Louis e Anna after.
Hey Jeff, most Cajuns don't understand "E" accordions eeeeeither. But we sure can play the living hell out of them if one gets put into our hands. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's the new and seldom heard sound and feel that comes out of an "E" accordion.
"Am I right that the accordions of Jo-el Sonnier and Bruce Daigrepoint(both very good accordion players) are wet-tuned."
Anything/everything not unison tuned is "wet" tuned.