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Seriously -- why do you or I own a home organ?

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  • #16
    I needed a home instrument because I like to practice at 5am. In June going to the church was lovely but I knew I'd hate it in Feb. By the time March rolled around and the church locked down I was set up.
    I wanted an organ-shaped practice instrument because I need to learn do use the swell pedals and pistons during play, which a regular keyboard stack wouldn't get me
    Home Organ: VPO Home-Brewed from a former Klann pipe organ console

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    • #17
      Well, as you all know, I went over to the Dark Side many years ago. "You'll never make a living playing classical organ." one of my mentors told me. So for the past 51 years I've been playing organs with all the fun bits added! :)

      In all that time, there haven't been many years when there hasn't been an organ (or two) at home, and in those times there has been a piano and at least a couple of keyboards. My signature has the details, of course!

      So why do I have one at home? Practice for recordings and videos, teaching (I've now started teaching organ by Zoom as well as keyboard and piano) but primarily for relaxation and enjoyment, which is the prime reason why hundreds of thousands of people bought home organs (using the Forum's definition of that term as entertainment instruments) from the late 1940s (when the Hammond model M kick started the business) to the present day. Late 1960s to mid 1980s being the 'heyday' of the instrument.

      I just love to sit down and play. After a literally agonising period of back trouble, in January I promised myself that I would play for at least an hour every day. I've kept to that apart from three days when I haven't felt well or have been dog tired after a long day. And I've always made up for that lost time the next day! Some days have gone to well over two hours and I've been lost in the music. Not always an hour's practice, though I'll always work on something, but sometimes just the sheer fun of digging out an old favourite from years ago, or perhaps learning something new (a friend sent me a brilliant quirky piece yesterday and it was a hoot to learn and arrange) or perhaps exploring what my instrument can do.
      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

      New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

      Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
      Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
      Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
      Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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      • #18
        Originally posted by andyg View Post
        My signature has the details, of course!
        I'm not seeing signatures these days. Perhaps it's a setting?


        -------

        Hammond M-102 #21000.
        Leslie 147 #F7453.
        Hammond S-6 #72421

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        • Philip Powell
          Philip Powell commented
          Editing a comment
          I can see them. Guess it's just you :(

        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          It was attacked by Covid!;-)

          Michael

          P.S. I can see them too (not in comments, though).

      • #19
        Originally posted by gtc View Post
        I'm not seeing signatures these days. Perhaps it's a setting?
        Yep, it's setting and apparently the default is OFF. Must have changed some time ago and I didn't notice it. (Either that or maybe I got tired of some very long signatures making me scroll too much, and have forgotten that I switched them off.)

        Click image for larger version  Name:	jkl.jpg Views:	0 Size:	18.7 KB ID:	769437


        -------

        Hammond M-102 #21000.
        Leslie 147 #F7453.
        Hammond S-6 #72421

        Comment


        • #20
          Hello all! I have been lurking on the forums for a while and decided to register and write my first post here. Why do I own a home organ?

          First of all, I have been trained and studied music as a pianist. When I was a child, however, I was fascinated by the organ at our church. I probably annoyed the organist with a lot of questions. Slightly later on, I remember seeing a Lowrey MX1 at one of the music stores in a mall when they were brand new devices. Again, I was in awe of the possibilities! (Not to mention the lights, sounds, buttons, etc.). Fast forward to today, I always wanted to learn to play one, but never did, so, after much searching through various sites, classifieds, and so forth, I became the proud owner of a Technics FA1. I am currently renovating my music studio, but after that is done, I will be connecting it up to a PC for virtual organ as well.

          I have been teaching myself to play classical organ, although, I now realize just how much I’ve let my chops go over the years, let alone the challenge of learning pedal technique.

          Needless to say, I’m hooked. I will definitely be adding a Hammond to my “collection” in the near future. I’ve been a jazz/blues player for a long time and the real thing is just far and above better than the virtual instruments. Which Hammond? Well, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

          I will probably find myself some sort of vintage theatre-style organ as well. I love the horseshoe shape and the tab stop rails. What to pick up though? That is also a mystery!

          Long story short, as someone else stated, for the pure enjoyment of it. I’m not making a living with music at this point in my life. I have a completely different career, but music is as much a part of my life as it always has been. I simply make music because it brings me joy. Just sitting down at a piano, organ, picking up a guitar and improvising a bit. It doesn’t matter. Just the joy of creating something musical is the reason I do it.

          Comment


          • jbird604
            jbird604 commented
            Editing a comment
            Great story and welcome to the forum! Hope to hear more from you.

        • #21
          Originally posted by sweet melody 79 View Post
          Also, another big WHY for me is relaxation... I have suffered many emotional turmoils since a young child and music is the only thing that takes away those feelings.
          It's interesting you bring that up, Sweet Melody 79. I have a similar motivation, yet differing from yours.

          I learned to walk again after an accident resulting in a burst fractured spine (over 35 years ago now). For decades, I have had to practice at a church where I play (including heat in winter & avoiding other groups meeting). About 10 years ago, I began obtaining organs with the intent of keeping my back in shape, but never had a space to put them for practice.

          Finally, I now have a garage I can practice in (once it's finished), and while painful, it has the effect of retaining/regaining the severed muscles in my lower back, as well as weight maintenance. Playing the organ burns lots of calories!😎 My cardiac rehab people don't think so, but I do! I just play as long as I can stand it (ca. 2-3 hours), then quit for the night.

          Michael
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • sweet melody 79
            sweet melody 79 commented
            Editing a comment
            What an inspirational story Michael, I sincerely hope you fully recover and can play the organ pain-free. I had a long bout of very bad sciatica about a year or so ago and it became very painful to play the organ. I actually got to the point where I thought I would never be able to play the organ again and actually sold my organ off as a result of it.

            Thanks to God I have recovered from that and now play almost pain-free. It's a shame I don't like Lowrey organs... I really dislike the sound but their stools/seats look to be the most luxurious around... although seeing some of the top-of-the-range Lowrey's cost 10's of thousands new you would expect them to be quality.

          • andyg
            andyg commented
            Editing a comment
            I also feel your pain, quite literally. Moving a heavy Lowrey organ off stage following a concert in 1994, the lift went wrong and I injured my back, though not to the degree that you did. A long time on pain killers, physio, time spent in the gym strengthening the lower back muscles so they could give more support. (Too much time spent there - I almost became a 'gym junkie')

            And even now, after all these years, it still comes back to haunt me at times. Towards the of last year, I couldn't even sit at the organ for more than a few minutes without great discomfort. Most disheartening to sit on the couch and look at the organ on the other side of the lounge. And I also have sciatica from time to time.

            In mid January the pain went just as suddenly as it had started, and I set myself a goal of at least an hour's practice each day on keyboard, organ or both. Apart from a few days where I've been under the weather I've done so - and have always made up for lost time. I now have trigger finger in the 3rd finger of my right hand. Stops me from playing anything flashy, but that's never been me anyway! But it's manageable and is OK during most of the day.

            So I thank the Good Lord for the times that he lets me sit down and make music without pain. I have pieces on the desk that I will record to video so I can share them - everything from Grieg to Hank Marvin and the Shadows! And I'm enjoying revisiting old favourites from years ago, just for fun!

          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Andy,

            It's surprising how playing the organ also helps mitigate pain. The principle is the same as the soldiers of wars having burns treated. It was discovered if they were given other things to keep their mind busy, the pain was mitigated because the brain couldn't process both at once.

            For me, playing the organ keeps my mind occupied so it can't process pain as severely–at least until I've been practicing for a while. It'll be nice to be able to do it regularly!

            Michael

        • #22
          For practice and my own enjoyment. Even though I no longer have a church position, I still have to practice when learning a new piece for my own enjoyment!

          George
          My instrument: Allen MDS-65 with a New Century Zimbelstern
          Former instruments (RIP): Allen ADC 420; Conn Minuet

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          • #23
            Why would someone NOT want to have their own organ in their home??? LOL....

            WHY:
            -the sheer joy of having a wonderful quality instrument in my home that I can go to at any given time without having to step out of my home
            -because it's the right thing to do :-)
            Craig

            Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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            • #24
              Since a teenager, I have been fascinated by electronics, sound, and music. I also loved organs for the incomparable sound and the sheer wow factor. I'm talking Pipe organs now. I got deeply involved in theater pipe organs and also helped work on classical organs. I decided to learn to play organ and bought a Hammond Spinet. To be blunt, I never really learned, but was fascinated by the electronics and eventually replaced it with a Hammond H100 that I tinkered a lot with - extra speakers, sound effects, etc. I married a pianist who got pressed into playing the organ when our church organist left, and she learned to practice on the Hammond. That got replaced with a Baldwin PR200, then after a number of years and other electronics we got a Rodgers 755? It got replaced with an Allen 603 after too many Rodgers headaches. But that one turned out to be too big in the house, so we sold it to a church where I installed it. Meanwhile I found an Allen ADC3160 sans pedals, bench or speakers. Scrounging the Internet, I located all those - even the right finish! But the console was covered in paint spray, and the insides need help, yet it was a labor of love and became a pretty instrument. An Allen friend helped to voice it so now it sounds great too. Therefore, this is now my wife's practice organ. Of course I tinkered with it as well, like adding a subwoofer channel and plan to add an antiphonal soon - we have a 2 story music room. So that's why we have an organ at home.
              Of course this hobby morphed into much more that have room or time to tell here. Suffice it to say, I currently have four Allens in a shop that will get homes soon. I just can't stop working on them! ;-)
              John
              Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.

              Comment


              • myorgan
                myorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                John,

                I appreciate what you do to support educational interest in the organ–even though it is a theatre organ. ;-) You do good work!

                Michael
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