Even More Interesting Playing Hints for Accordion here on VIDEO EXAMPLES 4

Developing a more interesting arrangement on your accordion

Bringing a couple of old tunes like new using 5 or 6 different methods introduced to you one at a time. Trying to get into the art of playing musically rather than repeating the tune accurately but thoughtlessly.


You might want to try adding these details one at a time as there is rather a lot here, despite some of these having been mentioned before in earlier videos.


Oh except (wait for it!) the boom chick a boom which probably deserves its own video



A Mixed Chat and Demo

I really don’t know how to paraphrase what today’s video is about except it does contain some interesting ways of playing which sound complicated but are slowed down for you. Anyway quite a lot here for you on Video 100



Why is this potentially boring tune so popular, and how to make it more interesting and musical

This is both about a tune which is strangely popular amongst accordion players that I know and working out why it is. Then of course I play it so that it works in the opposite direction from the way that they like it. I just like doing that!


This links in with a previous point I made about making music more meaningful by playing more chord changes in it but you should find these fairly easy to find. The accordion stradella bass layout makes most close chord moves very logical so these are often the ones that work best.


At the end I also point out that when moving up a chord button in the bass you will get a nice downward chromatic movement of the notes by going over to the alternative bass note row on the new chord



Trying out and practicing various bass button runs

This is either some in depth analysis of some common useful fast bass runs played in triplets or a nice little practice session for you .


The new method I use here of playing the right hand first and then trying the same thing on the bass buttons could be a good practice method for you also.


It could even be extended to playing bits of tune on right hand and then as a challenge to yourself in the bass


And of course watch out for the hand signals in this video about where the counterbass row is being used!




How to Enrich the Tone by playing in thirds and Sixths

This is more about playing in thirds and even including some sixths. What are thirds? They are simply alternate notes below the melody G below B, A below C etc.


What are sixths? Simply thirds upside down or inverted. A below C is the distance of a third but A with C below it is obviously a greater distance apart so is a sixth


But I will add one need to know item here. How do you know if the new note added below is to be flattened or sharpened? Well it should normally follow the normal version for the key you are playing in.


It Takes a little extra thought if you are playing in a minor key. Particularly whether to follow the harmonic or melodic scale. The melodic minor is probably best. I will put that into English for you!


In E minor, which has the F sharp belonging to the key of G, for example the D will be sharpened if going upwards but left alone to the basic key signature if going downwards.


if you need to go down from the sharpened version of the D the C will also need to be sharpened. Otherwise it will no longer sound like you are moving to a next door note and will sound kind of bumpy. A bit like an oriental or possibly Eastern European effect


If the top note moves chromatically outside the normal key with a semitone move the lower note will probably do the same movement, also moving jsut a semitone.



Playing a basic rock beat - simple but effective

Apologies for a fair wait for the tunes in order to give you a clear idea of the rhythm, they do come in eventually honestly! It will work when they come in I promise, a bit difficult to do a rhythm without a melody to help direct it.

This is an unusual rhythm for accordionists and a style of music which can either sound forced and unnatural or even totally irrelevant when attempted on accordion.

In retrospect I might have relaxed back into a straight four renditions more or even ordinary note chord note chord to make for more flowing relaxed tunes.

This is a possible solution. It may be the starring point hopefully for your own possibly different ideas!



The rich interesting sounds of sliding chords

Today’s post is particularly about making interesting sounds on the accordion and of course about how to do it.

The chord sweeping technique as I’ve just decided to call it is one which allows you to connect even quite far apart chords and should as I point out be used in conjunction with all the other ways of playing that you know.



After all the chord you are gliding up to may use different fingers and/or be a different shape than the starting chord. It may have rasied black notes in different areas of the two chords, which will also vary the finger spacing.


The best I can tell you that I think that I visualise the new chord happening in my hand so that my fingers adapt to it as soon as I leave the first chord.

It is still effective to carefully put gaps for accenting into your phrase and indeed to mix it with playing in carefully presented individual notes as I show at the end



Allocating Bass Patterns in 4 to a Bar, an easy bass riff, a beguine pattern and more

Today’s video for accordionwise.com is mainly about bass playing on the accordion of course.


First there is an easy bass note riff for you to practice then I go through different ways of dividing up four beats in a bar and try it out on a little tune I’m sure you’re familiar with.


Almost accidentally on the way we discover a nice way of doing a beguine or rhumba bass pattern with a good amount of movement in it.


My philosophy is that it doesn’t matter how long you have been playing a tune you can always find a better way to do it and of course in my view that means a more musical way.



Using the special Arpeggio Fingering plus running 3rds

A nice sunny sound this morning combining what can be done with my extended arpeggio fingering system which uses no thumb crossings and the use of thirds which are hidden in the arpeggio that can also be used running between next door notes.


This arpeggio system can be used to join up the notes in a widely spaced arpeggio which will include both thirds and fourths, or it can be used to geive a secure base for separate notes in your tune 


There is quite a lot of music here to listen to but for some reason after a fair bit of it my camera cut cut off. Sorry about that but it was too successful a video I think to do again



Handy Bass Riffs for the Pennsylvania Polka

This one is a little bit accordionish compared to my usual stuff. But I think it will be popular particularly to anybody who liked the film Groundhog Day. Some thoughts and demonstrations on the Pennsylvania polka particularly with regard to the bass button bits.


The video may have squeezed together slightly a couple of times, and missed a note or two, or else I did! It is quite a long video. Mainly so I can go over the items sevral times to try to make them clear for you


The bass riffs featured are F C D A C, C D E F, C D D# E, and Bb B C. The last one plays a third below the melody for quite a nice effect, simultaneously of course with the tune whereas the others play solo to join up bits of the tune. And it is simply three notes of the chromatic scale.


C D D# E is almost all just the chromatic scale (except for the move between the tirst two notes) and Bb B C is just three notes of the chromatic scale.

I am afraid I was talking rather fast again but I hope this explanation helps make up for that!



This Tune has a very lively Latin style Beat

But I wonder if you can work out where this tune came from. Nto the usual sources.


Note that it is the accenting and precise rhythm of the accompaniment that makes it sound so different from "normal" accordion music, yet it is not otherwise that different.


It suits my Victoria accordion with its strong tones so well and this time I selected the L M+ H register to play it on, similar to the full master register but a little sharper with no intune middle pitch reed.


I let myself play this more continuously than I would an ordinary waltz or straight 4 beat.



A Full or Sparkling Playing Sound As Needed

Today I am highlighting three subjects, connected because all about playing the right hand keyboard and all this time on a sound combination you will almost all have, even on an accordion with only three bass reeds namely L M M+


These can be found on most instruments even those having only three treble sets of reeds. On my Victoria which as an octave tuned one it is of course there amongst the 15 different registers and also on the Piermaria musette styled accordion.


This covers the use of chords always sounding good on the upper sections of the treble keyboard though sometimes a little bit thick on the lowest octave, and variations of tone from touch for a different more sparkling sound even on the same register. Also a reminder of the need to prepare your fingers over the notes for the phrases to ensure your extra decorations come out easily and efficiently.


As I have mentioned before even if playing slowly you should always be covering the keys of your next phrase with your fingers already in place.



Invigorating an old tune on accordion

This is a bonus video which I felt compelled to add. If there are some songs you know so well that you are totally fed up with them you might gain some inspiration from this.


What happened was this. I found myself playing a tune which sounded nice and it took me a moment or two to realise that it was a tune which I used to play at least three times a week over many decades.


I would not have wanted to hear it again, and yet this time the accordion version came out, with extra care, sounding really nice and I like it again.


Here is another well-known song, Satin Doll with what seems to be a very boring unmelodic melody line at the beginning. Suddenly I realised that the unique sound of the accordion can make it very meaningful again.


See if you have some songs of your own that fall into this category and see what happens when you revisit them with the special emotion that only the accordion can add



Treating Bass Parts with expression with phrasing and from the bellows 

Just when you thought it was safe to pick up your accordion here is another angle to think about.

While pursuing a beautiful sound which I hope you are after from your instrument you may discover that as well as controlling phrasing and bellows movement for the right hand it’s maybe even more important to cover for the left hand


This is about varying the attack and duration of the chords especially in the most common bass patterns plus bellows control to make them sound more pleasant.


And also with the tunes applying phrasing to make them as distinctive as if they were on the treble and of course adding bellows expression with the same care as if they were on the treble keyboard (or possibly even more care!)