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

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 amjust half in demonstration mode, so not doing these things all the way through! You will need to watch carefully!