VIDEO ACCORDION PLAYING EXAMPLES

PAGE 5 

Continued from Playing Examples Page 4

 

Music is a Language and Matching your Left and Right Registers 

Two nice and actually quite easy ideas today to improve your accordion sounds. It’s mainly about thinking just how you play or course isn’t it?

 

First about the connection between language and how you speak and how you play. Remember that music is also a language.

 

Secondly how if you are lucky enough to have a wide range of registers in treble and bass it is worth while experimenting with using them.

 

And don’t be too worried about finding your way back to the right place in the bass buttons! You can probably feel your way across the marked buttons ok as you go back there.

 

By the way those more mobile drones tried at the very end, being just adjoining regular bass row notes are pretty much as easy to move up and down to infer chord changes as with normal stradella bass usage

 

 


A descending bass line enhances your harmony

Here I show you how to make the most of a tune that I actually usually find pretty boring by making a meaningful bass line.

In this case it is F E D C Bb A G basically part of a descending F scale but it pulls in different chords sometimes turned into first inversions from the third of the chord being played on counterbass.

The chords with those notes by the way are F C Dm (or possibly Bb) C Bb F Gm ( or Gm7 using Bb counterbass with Bb chord)

In fact this is the clue as to when you are using counterbass here and pretty well always!

 

Special tip: - - the parts of this which sounds best and most meaningful will always be those in contrary motion to the tune, i.e. the tune goes up in pitch  and the bass line goes down one!

 

 


Speaking and Playing, Using Left and Right Hand Sounds,  and Moving Drones

Two nice and actually quite easy ideas today to improve your accordion sounds. It’s mainly about thinking just how you play or course isn’t it?

 

First about the connection between language and how you speak and how you play. Remember that music is also a language. This is to do with putting in accents in a meaningful manner and general phrasing.

 

Secondly how if you are lucky enough to have a wide range of registers in treble and bass it is worth while experiencing with using them. And don’t be too worried about finding your way back to the right place in the bass buttons! You can probably feel your way across the marked buttons ok as you go back there.

 

By the way those more mobile drones tried at the very end, being just adjoining regular bass row notes are pretty much as easy to move up and down to infer chord changes as with normal stradella bass usage

 

 


Easy Rhumba, Beguine or Latin Variations 

This is about putting more life in your playing in a Latin beguine or fast rhumba tune by varying your left hand.


You wil probably think you are locked into a fixed sequence of buttons for this and other rhythms but if you can tap out a varying rhythm on a tabletop you can do the same when your fingers are on the bass buttons!

When I mention syncopated (held) chords by the way, this can be done by simply holding on to a chord you would otherwise release! Particularly there is a lot of choice to do this in this rhythm.

Video 141

 

 


Some more about Playing Paso Doble, Alternate Chords and More

A return to the paso doble and making the impossible movements in the bass chords in SPanish Gypsy Dance easy. I introduced a great bass part for it (C D C A F Eb) at the beginning and then never got around to the bit where it fitted in!

 

Sorry about that but maybe you can work that out for yourself. I blanked off for part of the tune from my mind as I was not playing from music.

 

All these videos and the website are designed for non music readers to understand as well as the musical elite but maybe you might find learning to read useful after all even if only to assist your memory?

 

If you would like a section about playing from music please let me know. I can always put barbed wire and a public health warning by it for those worried it will remove their ability to play by ear. It won’t of course but we are all entitled to keep our own irrational fears.

 

The last part was of course about finding the move from C to B etc in the bass without using the counterbass. You would want this only when it was leading you to a new key in that area of bass buttons

 

 


More Interesting Sound from More Chord Changes - Just from the Right Hand

One way to make a richer more meaningful sound for your listeners is of course to incorporate more chord changes than the expected change every bar or two.

 

This video however points out how it can be done with the right hand either with or without the cooperation of the left hand bass buttons.

 

If you have tried augmenting the tune with thirds below your melody this is a limited way of doing this, but obviously gives you a richer sound

 

 


Two Distinct Sounds from one Register

Going back to the days when I was young and had an accordion with only two sounds on it. I used that to try to imitate several different instrument sounds and here I explain how and try to recreate that.

 

This is how I would do the two different sounds now on Mantovani's famous arrangemenet of Charmaine, yet still only using one register.

 

I expect you worked out how I produced the cascading strings in an echoing hall Mantovani effect. However unfortunately most of this was at the top of the keyboard out of sight as framed in the video.

 

So for the sake of completeness I will tell you that they were not merely played smoothly. but actually deliberately "smudged" with a tail of one or two notes which were still held down behind the tune.

 

This can be achieved by sort of rocking down onto the new note of the tune, perhaps relying more on a change of wrist angle than the usual finger hammering in order to depress the new note.

 

 


Bonus Video, Playing a Tune I just felt like doing

Just to prove there is some life in the old guy yet and not demonstrating any individual technique. But perhaps you will notice the way I play when I just play because I feel like it.

 

 


Playing a Scottish Song - or inventing one

Just a little detailing an easy arrangement of a beautiful Scottish song for which I hope my friends from North of the border will forgive me.

Even more restraint may be needed for my instructions for how to make a tune that sounds Scottish.

 

 


When to use the hands together or separately

There are so many interesting ways of deciding whether you should be playing both hands together or not.

 

By comparing the right hand in solo mode as a saxophone and the left as the accompanying band I suggest ways of combining and isolating the two sections.

 

Plus when either might be nudging the other sound to come in and even finally the effect of phrasing both exactly together for emphasis of phrasing. In most cases this will be for a maximum of one to two bars.

 

Also to make a complete arrangement you will at some point want to introduce a more continuous accompaniment for a while for moving steadily through the tune

 

 


Playing Simply effectively can be difficult

it is the simple things that are often the most difficult to make sound convincing.Thinking about dealing with a very simple idea - a slow four with a little kick in it.

 

This will vary widely with what particular tune you are playing.

 

A couple of clarifications here. When I get into chord to chord stuff I am referring to the note you hear above or below which is spaced one button between.

 

And when I talk about using either the 3rd or 4th finger I am talking about the finger playing a note not the chord. A quick fix for not being able to reach the chord above is of course to play the chord below instead!

 


Simple swingy playing and Repertoire

Advice for where to look for tunes you can usefully play on accordion. Two I have just found which are both in a slow 4 tempo. The first I found fitted a modification of the do-wacka-do pattern which is of course can be done in at least two forms. And as always it should not be continuous to give the listeners’ ears relief. Of course here I encourage you to look among your musical memories for your own promising future accordion arrangements

 

Additional note, you may notice in the second sound for the second tune I discovered I had not hit the register I expected and was unsure of the sound's suitability. Rather than interrupt the flow of music and also risk hitting another wrong register I moved to a different octave and included playing in chords.

 

The register in question incidentally was Low (cassotto) with High reeds.

 

 


The Rock Beguine Tempo from the Fifties

A useful Rock variation that started in the 50s but carried on through the 60s and beyond

 

Here I have demonstrated a couple of tunes using it and demonstrating the pattern on the accordion. Note that I initially confuse the tempo of the Paul Anka tune Diana with a triplet variation, hence the odd join up from the 6/8 intro!

 

The 6/8 version with the extra 16th notes included is of course useful in its own right when applied to the right tune!

 

Both of course though are rocok beguine style backings, a nice bouncy style of rhythm and will give way to the tune to simplify as the tune provides the necessary impetus, stopping, restarting, simplifying or even phrasing with the melody or reverting to basic note chord note chord formula to avoid tiring the ear too insistently.

 

Believe it or not, by the way this is Video 150 on this website. I only thought that would stretch to about 7 or 8 originally!

 

 


A More Relaxed Approach to 6/8 or 12/8

Mathematically of course those time signatures are mathematically perfect, each beat differently subdivided and capable of being divided into three exact portions.

 

In practice this may not be the most musical approach and here I suggest a more relaxed version and try to demonstrate it.

 

 


Approaching Music from Two Very Different Musical Eras

A couple of very different tunes highlighting making the most of the nuances of the bellows and finger action to play effectively and expressively on your musical instrument.

And it is a very expressive musical instrument if it is played with thought and heart, and feeling for what exactly your bellows is doing to affect your notes

 

 


Chooosing your Playing Options - Decisions Decisions Decisions...

Music is about the sound you make and with the accordion there are so many wonderful different sounds you can make even while staying on the same register.

 

Here I explore and illustrate that and point out that if your playing is not full of decisions as to which way to play you are not even trying!

 

And of course a short popular accordion tune is used to go through a few options for myself

 

All this of course does not even mention choosing your treble and bass register

 

 

 


Can you manage bigger stretches in the right hand than you imagined?

A full size right hand accordion keyboard may not be as big as you think.

 

I know you probably think you have smallish hands, as I do myself, but you may be able to cover chords encompassing a ninth a tenth and here I even try an eleventh.

 

Follow this and experiment with me here. You will be able to make new sounds by doing this.

 

A special note and challenge to chromatic players here. You already know your buttons give you access to really wide spaced notes but are you actually exploring this ability to the full?

 

 


 

Using the big hand stretches with arpeggios

Some ways of using that extended hand stretch that you will probably find possible. In Video 156

 

And further demonstrations you can try copying of large arpeggios without hand positions moving, just the hand stretching in different ways up the keyboard.

 

Demonstrations show up to 11ths which I called a 4th in the commentary because it started from G and finished on C. SORRY

 

Ninths are easy and add an extra flow to a mere octave arpeggio but I believe I might have even got away with a twelfth with F C F A C for example

 

In case you did not see the previous info on this by the way Lizst fingerings is where you cross over AFTER the 5th finger, normally frowned upon probably because it is inadvisable if you have to do more thumb crossings afterwards. It will put you out of sequence for when you should cross if needing to do any more in that direction. Otherwise one of my favourite moves!