Your Third Page of Original Accordion Video Hints, Tutorials and Explanations

There are of course six other video pages here on this website.

 

They are divided up in order not to overload your web browser too badly

 

Video Examples Page One - Video Examples Page Two - Video Examples Page Three

Video Examples Page Four - Video Examples Page Five - 

Video Examples Page Six - Video Examples Page Seven

 

This is Video Examples Page Three


Let us get you going playing right hand chords in arrangements

I have finally taken the bull by the horns to try to show you easily what is quite a difficult concept, unless you have been doing this already on other keyboard instruments, such as piano, organ, synth or keyboard.

 

 


Why Music Academies Hate the Accordion Stradella Bass

Well quite simply because it is far too easy. It should take at least two years of training and musical theory to get that far! So let us really annoy them by really using it and letting the bass section tell us about theory.

 

Most eventualities for playing of course are covered by just three note rows, the key note in the middle, the subdominant (built on the fourth note of the chord) below as you would expect and the dominant built on the fifth note of the scale immediately above.

 

he dominant 7th These are in fact the only times we would use the major chords when in a major key. If you play a chord from any other note it will be minor. There are three major chords and three minor chords in each major key. Yes, technically there is also a different 7th note which would be a diminished chord to match the key signature, but the dominant 7th includes the same notes and has a stronger bass note which completes it.

 

The Dominant is also often played as a 7th and provides a strong pull down to the chord below it, the key note or tonic. You can in fact use this to change to (modulate) a new key. Just pick any seventh chord and you can use it to justify the sound of the key of the row below. Play A7 to pull you into key D etc. F7 would lead you to Bb etc.

 

Using key changes in a practical way. Assume you are leading singers and want to make the arrangement less boring with a few key changes from verse to verse. Moving to the button below ot above will produce too big a movement and leave the singers with strangulated larynxes while moving to the semitone above or below is impractical because of extreme bass button moves. So a tone above or below is better and here is how to modulate to a key just a tone above.

 

 


What makes music sound beautiful may be the opposite of what you assume!

 

Obviously having a perfectly matching right hand and left hand chord will produce the nicest results. But sometimes the opposite technique will produce shifting chords between dissonance and harmony which sounds really beautiful

 

Listen to what is happening in this video.

 

Lesson to be learned, stop being ashamed of your left hand chords and let them do their work.

 

Just to teach me a lesson by the way, when I did a demonstration of the "normal" method, designed to show how dull it was, it actually sounded rather jolly! Teaches me eh?  Do your own thing but think about what you are doing is the principle.

 


The ultimate problem - how to play pop music on accordion

Do you ever get that sinking feeling when an accordionist friend announces “I am now going to do this pop tune “ knowing that do is going to be the operative word!

 

This is my explanation of how to ease the pain by not only adapting to the rhythm patterns but still let the song control the arrangement. Without this I think you end up with something that is neither music nor accordion music. It is a contradiction not easy to reconcile and I did not totally manage it here

 

But at least there are six little tunes to sample from

 

 


Violin Sound or Full Musette Sound for your French Tunes?

See if you can tell the difference amd work out which you prefer

 

 

 


Can you play by ear? Let's Check

Perhaps dealt with better by a live feed but this I think will help you test your tune following ability. Maybe you are not in the category you thought?

 

 


Some Useful Approaches to a Well known 12/8 Tune

I think you will like this one. Here are four useful ideas incorporated into one tune.

 

I go through it a bit at a time, and repeat so you can remember what was already in the video.

 

 


An Easy Bass movement That Transforms your Style

Simply using the counterbass when moving to the chord button above gives an extra depth to your arrangement by moving chromatically one note down, eg from G to D, the countrerbass moves from G to D#, from F to C you get F moving to E and so on.

 

 


Just How many beats do you need covered in bass accompaniment?

Although there are some fuller linking bars with extra bass movements where the tune is carrying it in the right hand the laft hand is moving mostly only about twice in a bar, or fewer times than that

 

 


 

Depth of keys, variation in sound, and clarity in fast playing

A very strong connection shown here between physical action and sound variation

 

Another way of varying your tone is with the depth of touch you applyto the keyboard, as well of course as controlling the bellows on the notes. In this case I might have added a warning not to increase bellows pressure too much at the same time with deeper played keys.

 

This post was the result of inspiration from my Victoria accordion with its depth of tone and medium depth keybed which offers good control possibilities.

 

 


How to Do two different versions of a boogie style bass

Exact instructions for both the common accordion boogie style bass based on the sixth chord and the full version which includes the seventh. In the latter case use of the fifth finger is recommended and explained.

 

A little like the Chatanooga Choo Choo riff explained earlier but more notes.

 

Plus letting rip a little at the end with both hands!

 

 


A relaxing version of Island of Dreams in 3 to the bar

But this is very relaxed so it does not scream this is a waltz at you!

 

 


Another relaxed style - Superstar (Carpenters)

Featuring Major 7ths (with sharpened 7th) played with for exampleC MAJ7 produced from C chord bass E minor spelt out in the treble. Also Minor 7ths such as Dm7 wpelt with Dm bass chord plus F chord spelt out in the treble

 


Using even more sparse bass arrangements

I have already highlighted trying your bass to chord movement happening on just beats 1 to 3 for a relaxing change, and now I extend it to just on the first beat of the bar. Works especially well in three time which cannot be divided exactly in half, but also in four beats to the bar. In four to the bar reverting where needed to fill the gap against a long treble note actually sounds as though you are doing something so totally right that it is especially clever!

 

Note however that I am just half in demonstration mode, so not doing these things all the way through! You will need to watch carefully!

 


Making Finding useful alternative bass notes Easy

Find your way easily around the bass notes in your stradella bass buttons easier than you ever thought possible.

 


Unusual but useful fingering methods - No Thumb and the Lizst Fingering

In general I believe that fingering is mainly about having the fingers already deployed on the notes to play the parts of the melody easily and effortlessly. As such it is a factor of looking ahead while you are playing so that you are not caught out.

 

However, this video is about playing without using the thumb by moving the hand to cover several notes, and changing the fingering of the same note where the new phrase begins so that you hardly ever reach the thumb. Or not until the very end anyway. (Or of course you could be saving the thumb just for some very fat five note chords)

 

Then there is the other disallowed version of crossing over the little finger. This also is totally possible, either when you are holding the hand at right angles to the keyboard or moving the wrist along so that lower numbered fingers take over

 

 


Playing part of the tune on bass buttons

You will need to look back at some of the bass instruction for the exact movements this time, this is about what you are free to do with the right hand to add an accompaniment impossible to do with the left.

 

 


Get a different balance between bass and treble without changing registers

Even during the course of playing a piece you can accent or understate the bass part by the way that you play, and I do not mean by playing staccato chords which I regard as being insufficient to show the chord sound, certainly unless supported by the chord being played in the treble simultaneously.

 

This method also makes for a pleasanter right hand sound when used to lower the bass apparent volume.

 


Make those arpeggios sound out - also on varying volume for musical expression

Sometimes the cause of your arpeggios not sounding good is because of what else you are doing. It is the final sound that counts.

 

Not sure how well I got my points across this time as there was a bit going on around me but this is about making arpeggios et cetera effective and also a couple of reminders about putting expression into melodies complete with warnings about it.

 

I intended to say that in a tune the apparent volume rises with the pitch and although this is often regarded as being right as the melody is straining to get to its climax hitting the higher note, sometimes the effect can be too much and may even need to be compensated for by reducing the bellows action there.

 

Indeed sometimes making it work in the opposite direction can be very meaningfull.

 

 


A Descending Bass Scale Leads to a Rock Beat

 

 

Here is a little something about playing a basic slowish rock tempo and a bass only descending scale with chords as an intro and then a tune you will recognise when I play just one note in the right hand!

I do repeat this rather a lot to give you a chance to follow what is going on and tended to stick mainly to one part of the tune as it happens!

 


How many times can you play that variation?

How not to be a wallpaper demonstrator. When should you play exactly the same and when vary it. Playing music should be about telling an interesting story not just pushing the notes out in the right order.

 

Mostly this is a pretty plain demonstration but notice in the last piece how once you hear that fast arpeggio based riff you wonder when it is going to appear again and try to outguess the player.

 

This is referred to on this website as The rule of three

 

Also some practical use of crotchet /quarter-note triplets

 

ERRATA - there was one occasion where I went inti four in a bar in my enthusiasm to show you how many different ways you can divide up three! Nobody is perfect especially not me when trying to put YOU right!

 

Also talking about crotchet triplets I should have said they are being spread across two of the beats of the bar instead of the whole bar. The right and left hand will coincide again on the third beat of the bar.

 

 


An Ultra full bodied Russian styling using Right and Left Hand Chords

Usually my emphasis is on getting away from the usual uses of the accordion but this morning I am revisiting a very accordionish style, an embellishment of the very full bodied style for what we perceive as Russian music.

 

With the use of both right hand and left hand chords over a slightly adapted fairly conventional bass part - but often not together!

 

For the extra technically minded the sound selected on my extremely well equipped Victoria accordion was originally going to be the full works all reed Treble Master coupler sound, but I adapted it to use the three reeds L - M+ H.

 

Either would have worked but this version is extra sharp and clean. I rarely use all reeds together



 

 


How to keep the second part heard apart from the melody line

The subtleties of ensuring that the additional decorations in a second right hand part still allow the melody line to predominate. Also even more interesting how to use the lighter effect of not going down onto the treble keybed to produce a lovely more subtle staccato seamlessly in your phrasing. Improves the tone too when needed I think.

note that in the earlier part I was referring to decreasing bellows pressure AFTER the long main note has started!

 

 


A Two Bar Waltz pattern to try - Jazz Waltz or 12/8 component

Here is a little two bar pattern you might use as a jazz waltz or even as a part of a 12/8 song like it’s a Wonderful World. Notice that the quickly repeated notes are between note and chord, not repeated chord.

 

To my mind a much smoother sound than repeated chords, though perhaps I might have let the effect through better by playing the melody less legato against them.

 

 


Filling in a 12/8 triplet tune between the hands and a triplet break

You will like this tune (To Each His Own) and a special little bass run I use at the end which is based on just five notes from the major scale.

 

It is in that smooth flowing version of 12/8 (4 beats in the bar each divisible by 3) and the aim is to keep the movement going without turning it into endless mini fast waltzes which would make it kind of bumpy.

 

So other patterns are used mostly alternating with an extra right hand part under the tune when the tune itself is not supplying that triplet movement. Passing the action between hands happens so frequently you may have to watch and listen very carefully to see what is happening.

 

It is a matter of regarding your accordion as one glorious instrument at the centre of your music rather than two separate parts being fed in from two separate hands

 

 


Use that Major Scale knowledge with these modes

 

Well as I had time here is an extra video for those who like to have a directed practice session.

This interesting exercise is for those who can play a bass major scale key note to keynote and who may get more confused selecting individual note runs from it.

In key C we try C to C, D to D, and so on and then apply a shifting bass line with added chords to a well known little tune.

If this is too easy for you then try it downwards or in other keys WITHOUT changing the accidentals ie you do not change to the key of the starting note!

All these practice sessions will help your confidence in ordinary pllayiy even if you do not manage to incorporate them in your normal playing.

Though of course I hope you will do!

 

 

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