Welcome to old and new friends who are interested in discussing Cajun and other diatonic accordions, along with some occasional lagniappe....



General Forum
Start a New Topic 
I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

I am new here, but I am very glad to have found a forum like this.
I am a professional bluesharp player from Munich, Germany and would like to learn Cajun/Zydeco accordion as second instrument.
(The tone layout is so similar, I might really check it, and of course I like the sound of reeds!)
Has anyone a decent beginner's instrument for sale? And would ship to Germany?
I would spent up 500 Dollars and pay via Paypal!
On this forum I read NOT to buy Ariettes or Scarlattis and look for older Hohner 114s or Gabbanelli Cajun Kings. Am I right?
Thanks for your answers.

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

Hi Didi, and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that your arrival finds the board in such disarray, but the drug hackers have made a mess of things.

I, too, migrated from blues harp, and started with a Hohner HA-114. The transition isn't as easy as I had imagined, but the logical foundation of the diatonic 7-tone scale is a plus.

If you can find a Gabbanelli, that would be my first choice, given the similarity to the Louisiana accordions based upon the old Monarch model. They run from $500 to $800 (used) in the U.S. The HA-114 is a little clumsy for me with the spoons, and often a bit short of wind. Hohners run from $300 to $500 (used) in the U.S.

Yes - Avoid the Chinese-made Ariettes and similar boxes.

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

Thanks for your answer.
There is a new Cajun King for EUR 703,45 on US Ebay, but with shipping and taxes it gets over EUR 1000 , which is too expensive at the moment. (If i manage to play, I might buy a really good one in some years....)
I even find a new Hohner 114 on German Ebay, but it seems to be the Wiener Modell, with has a terrible sounding tremolo, as far as I remember.
There must have been too models, Wiener and Cajun tuning, and there are models built in Germany and in China, what makes it difficult for me.
On this forum I read, that many players retuned the Hohner 114 before using. I can tune harmonicas but have never touched an accordion reed.
Especially the "inside" reeds seem to be difficult to reach.
I would be very pleased, if you have some more information for me.
Ciao, didi

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

Marc Savoy, Steve Riley, and Jese Lege, among others, all learned on wet-tuned Hohners. If you want a dry sound, simply close the 3rd stop. This is the "off-tuned" bank.

back of box -> L M M* H <- front of box (L=low, M=mid, H=high)

* 2nd M is +15 cents sharp

Life is too short to be spent tuning. Let's play!

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

The Cajun King is built NOTHING like a "Cajun" accordeon. And they are NOT made by Gabbanelli

They do not sound anything like a Cajun accordion as they have stacked reed blocks and not correctly tuned.

Get a German Made HA114 (older is better) and have someone tune it to "just" tuning which the Cajuns use.

Find Len Killick or Stofreggen (spelling is wrong) and get one tuned correctly.

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

Thanks a lot for your answers!
As a start, I got me a very cheap Hohner 1040 on Ebay. (40€, about 45 $)
But it works, the sound is not what I want, but at least I can start to practice.
I will look to find a Hohner HA 114, built before 2000, and at least worked over by a professional technician. I got offers for 700 € but I hope to get one for less, if I wait and search some time.
I will come back with questions if I find some problems.
Anyway, thanks again for your help!
Cuai, didi

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

A 1040 is a very specialized instrument.

I have owned them and they have no relevant application to any western music.

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion

I agree!
But I just got started. So the sound doesn't matter that much.
I have to try out, if my finger could do the job (i‘m 69) and how to mange to play bass and melody at the same time.
I am looking for a better instrument on eBay.

How would you do it, learn the melody first and add the bass and chord later, or start with the first to bar, for example, playing left and right hand together?

Thanks for your help!

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion- there is a Hohner 114 on Ebay, what do you think?

Hello everybody.
I need some help rather soon!

As I learned from you, I have to look for a Hohner HA-114, built in Germany as a good beginner instrument.
Now there is one on Ebay/Germany

As I learned from you, I have to look on the fingerboard, if it is made from wood, the accordion was built in Germany, if it was plastic, it was built in China. Is that correct?
The seller tells me, the whole instrument is built in wood, including the fingerboard.

On the side there his written: "Made by Hohner Germany"
There is another HA-114 on Ebay/Germany

and there is only written "M.Hohner".
Might this be the difference, and the second HA-114 is built in China?

I know Hohner says "Made in Germany" on their harmonicas of the MS series, where the reed plates are made in China, but the instruments are assembled in Germany.

Is there any other difference, maybe one I can see on the photos?
What do you think? He wants 490 €, and the accordion seems to be rather new?
Shall I buy it?
Please give me some help!

Thanks a lot!

Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion- there is a Hohner 114 on Ebay, what do you think?


The first one appears to be in excellent condition and 185 Euros less. I would be inclined to go with the lower priced instrument.

German-made is better, but the later Chinese-made boxes are not too bad, just not as good.

I suggest that you quit shopping and start playing!



Re: I want to buy a beginner cajun accordion- there is a Hohner 114 on Ebay, what do you think?

Thanks for your answer!
I already started playing in July, BTW, I got my awful 40 €-Hohner 1040 and I bought a (rather cheap) Hohner Club IIIm, to play without tremolo, with all the chromatic notes, to play jazz standards as well, but the thing is a bit to heavy for me, as I am coming from the harmonica....
Now I try to get the Hohner 114.....
Thanks again.

Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

Brett's all new Cajun Accordion Music Theory for all keys!

LFR1.gif - 1092 Bytes The April 2011 Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week

augusta.gif - 6841 Bytes

Listen to Some GREAT Music While You Surf the Net!!
The BEST Radio Station on the Planet!