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 Seven


The Ease and Liveliness of Playing smaller Accordions 

This morning I discuss the advantages of small accordions, small nuances from the bellows in playing, reducing the impact of going to a higher note and even trying to make the most of even the most jaded tune by lightening up on its treatment.

In other words playing it like it was an amazing tune you had only just discovered instead of enthusiastically ramming your way through it at top volume plus an even louder exaggerated first beat in the bar.

With regard to simplicity the first tune I play is on just one reed. I always think you can tell if it is a good instrument by trying this rather than where several are playing together covering up for each other.

And also being especially careful in your treatment of tremolo and musette tunings. It can be done by playing tastefully even on extreme detuned instrumentss.




Distribute your left hand finger weight differently

Going back to the wonderful deep tones of my Victoria accordion today brought out a beautiful Sinatra song and a mix of different ways of playing the bass and of combining it with the treble part(s).


Everything from only using one part at a time in fact toplaying right hand chord with bass note and bass chord strenghening a short phrase. Also a reminder about using a continuous bass chord as a background to bass notes instead of relying as the note rows always taking precedence.


This merely means putting the weight of your fingers on the chords and dabbing lightly onto the notes as required



Practice Super smooth and fast Bass Runs

Guiding you through more effective sounding bass runs to help your music. About how to think about them if you have an awkward gap in the middle of a fast eighth note run.


And once you have done that making them sound more natural with your touch and bellows. I believe that if attempting anything like a walking bass effect on accordion it needs to be very legato, smooth and bellows controlled.


The note next to it as it occurs in the run may be a long way away. But keep your attention on the feeling of going between those close notes. Particularly when they are separated in the run it will help if you hold the feeling of the first one for placing its neighbour when the time comes.





It is Easy to have a special sound like this

I believe this very simple exercise will transform your accordion sound.

Take 5 minutes to try it!



Legato Repeated Notes or chords

Impossible right? No gap between repeated notes, note lifted and kept down at the same time perhaps? Schrodinger's repeats!


I think we all understand smooth transitions in the form of legato playing between DIFFERENT notes of your melody.

But what about repeating the SAME note smoothly and perfectly legato? That would be a unique sound were it not so obviously impossible, right?

Indeed it is a nice effect and here is how to add it to your repertoire of techniques to make your accordion sound more interesting to listen to and play!



Immediately Break  Free of Repetitive Bass

This is just a very short video which I think will release you quickly and easily from being a slave to relying on constant left hand patterns. Particularly if you have been playing too long doing the repetitive patterns of first ever accordion tutor.


Also sounds nice as a light variation to your playing even for non-slaves!


The downside of what makes starting to learn the accordion so easy is that the left hand becomes unable to break free of extremely repetitive bass, which is annoying distraction for the general listener.


In my view playing so lightly on the bass that you cannot hear it generally just covers up the problem and you should not be ashamed of the sound you are making there!


For those who have been unable to break free I think this will be a very very quick start to break freee.


Just start a waltz tune with no bass note, only chord chord on beats two and three and you can do this anywhere in the tune except possibly where there is no new note on the first beat of the bar in the tune.



Very effective Extreme minimalism in bass work

I do not think you would realise how little bass work is being done here to very good effect if you did not watch very very closely.


So a closeup view here so you can see how few notes are being played by the left hand this time. Even though it sounds differently and sounds like typical accordion music.


Some extreme minimalism on the left hand works well when it is backed up by complementary work in the right hand on a similar sound.


On a couple of popular waltzes of disttinctive character I demonstrate playing very effectively with just beats 2-3-1 in the bass or even just 2 and creating a very full bodied lively sound.


I suggest thinking of the music happening in the middle of the accordion so that both treble and bass work independently yet together and so you will also get the feeling of the bellows creating each note.



Minimalist Bass on livelier 4/4

Applying the principle of frequently leaving out the bass note particularly at the beginning of phrases to two or three tunes in 4/4. In other words not waltzes.

As always, I take time to warm up and the last one is the best. But that is why we practice isn’t it

The word I was searching for three quarters of the way through of course was syncopating, not synchronising!



Generating Staccato Sounds with Fingers or Bellows

It’s Accordion Awareness day exercises this weekend to give you automatically greater control of your sound.


Staccato or legato and whether the staccato is produced by the fingers not trying too hard to get to the bottom of possible travel to the Keybed or by the bellows. Or by both.


Even holding down the note and producing staccato just by the bellows is easy if you play slow enough but practice to find out how fast you can play only using bellows to separate the notes.


Like bellows shake this is of course easier to do with bellows nearly closed.


This should improve your awareness while playing and improve musicality and hence make it nicer to listen to




A different sound or key gives you a new song version

A very simple message today of how you can instantly freshen up your favourite tunes by merely trying another register or tab for the song.

Whether or not you detect the feeling of difference in the video, it will become clear to you when you try the method yourself.



New Sounds from Changing Octaves Demo

A very simple message today of how you can instantly freshen up your favourite tunes by merely trying another register or tab for the song.

Whether or not you detect the feeling of difference in the video, it will become clear to you when you try the method yourself.




Some interesting Detail in this lovely Tune

Mainly reminders about things we should be thinking about while playing and there are quite a few of them of course. And a nice tune of course to show them on.


There is contrast in music even in the middle of one song. There is trying to maintain contact with the keys even when playing staccato.


Also the nice smooth bass sound you can get by legato playing and releasing the bellows during the long note.


But mainly getting the feeling of playing all the notes in your right hand tune with the left-hand as it operates the bellows. That’s producing a well modulated and distinct control of the melody



Pauses or links between phrases

Discussing the appearances of pauses and links and demonstrations in this tune which epitomises the very idea - Until it's Time For You To Go.



An Individual Approach Tune by Tune

Accordion playing is taught to you as a One Size Fits All thing where if you play a waltz it is oompahpah or if playing in four beat bars oompahoompah and you know what I think of that one!

There are others of course for rhumba, tango etc but sometimes an individual one can be invented for a particular tune.

This example is for a lovely tune which is so slow and simple that it cries out to have a contrasting bass accompaniment.

Try this if you like it but remember it is mainly a reminder of different attitudes and techniques you can apply to your music. Not merely something to be copied but an invitation to look inside your own mind and make discoveries that will make your accordion sound uniique.


And remember that this pattern can be varied and simplified or even ceased at various points to allow the tune full impact




Is the Bass Volume Relative to the chord Constant?

This is an odd idea which occurred to me this morning and may, like many of my ideas be total rubbish.


That it seems to me that when you play loud and add the bass chord to the bass note it is not very strong and in contrast playing quietly the volumes seem to match better.

I amy be crazy but if you try and see if it works for you it will definitely increase your awareness of exactly how your bass sounds. Listening harder to your sound always results in making better music.

And that has to be a good thing for your music.




Some Bluesey Techniques for Bass and for Treble 

Bluesy accordion playing, not the first thing you think about with the accordion but definitely possible

Two tunes included I can’t stop loving you and My Cherie Amour at the end which I particularly like

Apologies where the sun sometimes washes out the right hand keyboard detail but there is much about how to get that feel in both bass and treble including a very awkward but effective bass variation you can try.

Clue on that blues feel it is often based on attacking a note from a semitone below making that note bending effect. Also up to two notes played together (making up interval called a third).

I also like to hold the top note and play a fast short chromatic run under it.




Really Minimal Bass Use But not an Apology

You can make special use of your accordion bass section by playing it less!


Extreme minimalism in the use of your bass buttons illustrated in two tunes





How to Start Harmonising your Right Hand Tune

This is quite literally an angle on how to harmonise your tune in the right hand. While harmony books tell you how to make chords they mostly do not tell you how to add them to a tune.


Starting by knowing what key you are playing in and piling thirds (alternate notes) under. You then can find other matching chords by moving either the bottom note or the bottom two notes down.


Whether the chords you find are major or minor will be automatic and also automatically correct for the key you are playing in. So you can learn harmony with simple finger movements.


I also show making suspended 2nds and 4ths by moving the middle note of your root position chord to either side. Again of course matching the sharps or flats of the key you are playing in.


A diagram is shown below this video



A Diagram which goes with yesterday's post about adding chords below your right hand melody. I also added right hand dots to add for additional shapes which will make up 6th and 7th four note chords.


The spacing shows the gaps between letter name notes (for example F to A leaving a one note gap between). The exact notes you play whether black or white notes depends on what sharps and flats belong to the key you are playing in.


These are of course only the beginning and some more subtle tunes or harmonies may vary which sharps and flats are used. For example if a part of the tune temporarily moves to another key.


These Hand shapes can get you adding right hand harmony enrichment to your tune.









What Makes a Good Tango Pattern

Get the passion into tango accordion with these easy to follow basic hints.


Easy bass patterns, remembering the accented fourth beat in the bar and or the syncopation at the beginning of the bar and taking the tune firmly in hand avoiding soggy half hearted playing even when giving the bass a rest.


This is done of course by defining the right hand notes with the left hand on bellows.



Increasing Bellows Control of Individual Notes

I think this will make a lot of difference to your playing even if you think you have not quite managed it.


Let’s try improving our sound from bellows control and synchronisation with the tune in various modes and increase the speed at which we can do it.


This will help you define your melodies better too and you will even be able to do cleaner or lighter chord glissandos



Get Musical Clarity by Letting each part be Heard

In order to communicate with your listeners and get an appreciative audience you need to play with musical clarity.


And after listening to some playbacks of my own videos it occurred to me that if you do something important to the music in the left hand buttons you should make sure it can be heard.


It is fairly well known that while fast more complex right hand parts are being played it is usually good to stop playing the left hand for clarity and freedom of phrasing in the right hand.


But linking left hand parts can also be obscured by right hand notes hanging on at the end of a phrase. These might be a special bit of melodic bass you have worked on but two or three simple notes and/or chords can be equally important if they link to push the music along.


It all goes back to really listening to your own playing and making these videos gives me a chance to go back to watch and listen to my playing more closely



Four Beats In a Bar Does not have to be so Boring

Playing four in a bar can be one of the most boring things ever but here is how to make it interesting again with a touch of swing derived from a typical drum part.


Note that this does not stop it being a smooth rich and full sound however



Creating a Smooth Rich Bass


Creating a new gloriously full sound on your accordion by reversing the system and having a lovely sustained bass with a livelier more pointed right hand chorded sounded.

The art is both to overlap the bass notes even though the bass chord is being played between the start of them and to ease off in the bellows after the first and third beats of the bar

Apologies for occasions where I was so anxious to continue that special bass mode that I forgot to stop bass or treble when needed to let the other part be heard as explained in the previous video!

The trouble with one subject videos! Be sure to mix in all the techniques as you need them when you play.


Different sounds and how to do Sliding Chords

The very common tune I play at the beginning is there so you can watch out for special accordion techniques to produce special sounds.


All about once again exploring the control we have over our instruments in ways unique to the accordion.


From producing each note separately with the left hand arm movement on the bellows to using the same reduction of the movement to introduce an extra part under a long note of the melody which does not distract too much of the tune.


And how do you execute chorded glissandos and land up on the note and the chord you intended? This happens so fast it is difficult for me to know how it happens but it has to relate to anything which is common to both chords. Notice the difference between a palm resting against the edge of the keyboard which is smoother but more blurred and dragging the fingers over the black notes which will give you amazing chord changes instantly on the way up or down.


Incidentally the way to have a clear idea of the relative positions you are moving between (on treble or bass for that matter) is to concentrate on the initial position when you are there. In this way you may even be able to come back to it securely three or four movements later!


ERRATA includes I said sliding between first and second beats of the bar when I meant first to third!



Roy Orbison and a Lively Apparently Incomplete Bass

I think you will enjoy this. A nice lively tune from the Roy Orbison catalogue which I think demonstrates that rhythm comes from a combination of bass and treble and that not every bar needs a bass note on the first beat.



A Simple and Seemingly Stupid Idea

A very simple and seemingly stupid idea can transform your playing and free up your playing into a much livelier style.


Remember when your first teachers stressed you had to play the left and right hands together? Well stop it!


In particular you can swing easily by playing lots of notes of the tune after the beat and a good start is with the first beat of the bar on an opening phrase. Sometimes further into the phrase it could be early instead of course.


Additionally the more phrases that start without a bass part the better as long as you leave enough “connected” ones with bass along the way to give continuity.





An Old Style of 6/8 Playing Enhanced

This is about the type of 6/8 that a friend thought my post was about a week or two ago and suggested an old old solution for a 6/8 March or Tarantella.


Not wrong but I think I have improved on it here by not always doubling the third note of the triplet with a chord in the bass. Instead I sometimes use the second and demonstrate it going from the obvious at a very slow speed right up to the sprightly almost Neapolitan effect when fast.


Try it yourself working up to speed It almost sounds like an impossible bellows shake but rest assured that it is not.


You will also probably enjoy the couple of old favourite 6/8 tunes I try at the end




To play bass or not with a fast tune section

I think we already know about leaving the bass well alone when a fast phrase is a lead in to part of the tune.

However this may occur repeatedly later on in the tune so you have to decide whether to disrupt the continuity by stopping bass again or stomp all the way through continuing your very standard bass pattern.

There is a third way which you could even employ on the first instance and that is to highlight isolated notes of the tune with a chord. And not the same one each time the faster flurry of notes comes around.

I note that watching it the part before it is annoying because it stops dead before the new part starts. I think maybe I should have made the last note a double one. Not dedum de de de Dee but dedum de fed de dedum might have helped perhaps

Apart from that effective and professional sounding I think. This is not lesson on playing sambas by the way. The main beat is kept simple for clarity of instruction




Music is like conversation including awkward Gaps

Pauses in conversation or in music can either be useful or embarrassing.


Every accordionist I think knows how to play when the tune is just rolling happily along but for the times when it pauses you need to decide whether to cover it with a bass run or make use of it by resting on a significant 7th chord or even repeating the last two or three notes in the bass in agreement or as a question.


You can also easily almost play continuously and just alter it immediately before the melody resumes with what I call a roll. That is an easy quick movement of three notes inside one beat NKN and going straight on.


There is also the possibility of course of pretending there is no problem by just carrying babbling on through in the melody with extra notes as if there were no pauses ! The jazz man’s solution!





Simplifying your Bass Pattern

More about simplifying and varying the bass as a method to improve your accordion music.


Apologies for the briefness and sudden cutoff due to space issues on my 128gig phone.


I was going to point up how you can very selectively accent and support individual notes of a faster right hand riff with unapologetic left hand chords and/or bass


Also how making it a habit to be flexible on your bass buttons gives you a head start on playing those tunes which seem too irregular to suit the accordion




Rhythm in the right or left hand or both?

A short video about playing a rhythm pattern in the bass or sharing it between the hands.


Also how even a fairly complex rhythm can be represented by one bass note and one or two chords. Illustrated in a short tune.

Brevity was forced by a cutoff due to disc space shortage on my phone


Semi Rhythmic Bass and Extra Bass Chords Played

A quick demonstration of doing a semi rhythmic bass using mainly accents from the bass where needed in the melody line.

And as promised with the previous diagram a bit about playing minor 7ths with a little F Dm7 Gm7 C7 repeatable sequence (NOT Fm7 as I mis-said!)

Even there is a short demonstration of C+ or(aug) Dm7(or you could call it F6) to F.

As I have mentioned before on most modern accordions you can instantly get a pretty clean augmented chord instantly just by having a melody note for the fifth of the chord sharpened.

Put in English just PRETEND your 7th chord is an augmented chord by for example playing C7 chord but G# in the melody (or C E G# and its inversions) instead of the expected G.

OR play a D# instead of D with a G7 chord
Play an A# instead of A with a D7 chord
Play a C# instead of a C with an F chord
Play a F# instead of an F with a Bb chord
and so on.

You will still hear the 7th of the chords but this is not too distracting, but the note you are replacing is not usually included in the chord in modern accordions. All chords are done with just three different reeds, including the diminished 7ths which also ignore the fifth of the note

Quite a lot briefly presented there even though cut before the next subject



Easy Intros from making more complex chords Exercise



Building up to more complex chords is actually pretty easy This is also a way you can make an intro or short addition to your arrangements.

Another way to build up 9ths, 11ths, 13ths building one third higher up each time on the basic chord maintained in the bass chord.

It does not have to be played continuously and the accidentals are most safely taken from the subdominant key below eg sharps or flats for F taken from Bb.

The final sentence should conclude about the original chord being played or repeated at intervals in the bass even though you may not be able to cover all the notes in the right hand




How to Make a Very "Country" Accordion Sound

A special way of making a very “country” sound on the accordion!

Today I return to a very effective if offbeat way of playing a nice basic country tune substituting for the steel guitar slide. After a reminder that making the reeds speak individually with bellows pressure is not an exercise of power but needs to be done subtly and withdrawing the pressure after the start of the note.

This example includes going between the inversions of D major and makes it sound more interesting. You can try it easier from C of course but need to make sure you slide over the black notes well into the keyboard for the most interesting intermediate chord changing effect.

To try this find a nice comfortable warm place to play so your fingertips are comfortably dry and warm and the key surfaces also totally dry and not marginally sticky and damp from the cold.




Play Misty for Me - Okay Then

Play Misty for me. Learning about how to create a gentle swing rhythm and then ignore it sufficiently to make a nice arrangement.


As I always say this is not the only way to do it even for me. Listen hard and respond with instant adjustments to what you are doing in your own arrangement, and with your fingers and left arm on the bellows to ensure making a nice meaningful carefully controlled sound.



Placing Accents to Change the Music's Meaning

This is something you can easily try for yourself and I think will awaken an instinct in your future playing if you do.

Making sense of your music is similar to making sense of your lines when you are an actor in a play.


This simple exercise I think may be useful in realising how this should happen in your music too, especially as the instrument is ideally suited to subtle variations of musical meaning.




The Power of Putting Accents in the "Wrong" Place

How the emotional impact of a piece of music is affected by emphasis being placed on different perhaps unexpected notes of the musical phrases.


It can for .example even be put halfway through a beat (on the second of two quavers or eighth notes) and is particularly noticeable when avoiding emphasis (or even reducing the volume) of the first beat of a bar.


Even more so if that first beat of the bar is the last note of a phrase or tune. I feel it is more pleasant if you regard any emphasised note as being the normal volume and strive to lighten everything else when playing fo listening.


That way the sound is more engaging to the listener rather than aggressive.



Interesting New Chords From Two more methods

Some interesting yet easy to find sounds plus a little blues for a change of style.

In actual fact these sound extra interesting and are made by moving to major chords two three four or if you can stretch that far even five keys below your held bass note. With regard to the use of different chords in the right hand to those on bass buttons these may be discordant initially but can resolve onto more conventional ones.

Not necessarily instantly to the right chord. it is interesting to hold the suspense over three or four moves sometimes.

THe final chords at the end of the tune were done with C in treble and
C dim

It would have been more logical to have played an E minor in the right hand with the C chord in the left hand as this would have made up a CMajor7th a really nice chord (Not with the normal Bb in it of course but with a semi clashing B natural instead)

Another nice chord could have been F9, just F in the bass and C minor in the treble - Eb G C makes for nice spacing. And I did use that at the end also, with the addition of a Bb for extra spice.




You Can Use Sliding Chords Like This Too

Sliding chords can come in handy for join ups between phrases also.


Should I say more?

Well, no, this is a very short video demonstration!



The Art of NOT synchronising your right and left hands

You have got your left hand and right hand synchronised perfectly and want to make a better more musical sound right?


So STOP IT. well sometimes anyway and for free melody playing most of the time.


You might like to watch the finger movements if you play this a second time to see that the right and left finger movements are not happening simultaneously.




Making Your Bass Sweeter and Less Awkward

Do you ever feel slightly embarrassed after playing some lovely unsupported melody notes when the bass splutters in?!!!


Make sure of a nice musical bass sound particularly where repeated chords and going between notes and chord are concerned. This is an easy but effective little pattern about this matched to a couple of sample tunes.


The idea is repeated chords which each have their own musical identity for duration (how staccato or nearly joined they are) and bellows pressure for volume and emphasis. And how they link up from note to chord or vice versa.


To join or even overlap notes and chords get the feeling of finger weight on the first played whether note or chord. Obviously you must be able to adjust this constantly.


You can also have these make the subtle tone of fading as if played on a piano or guitar, the instruments which would normally play these parts in a trio or quartet arrangement




How to Play alongside other Musicians (1)

How to play when you are with a band. And in this case the band was also me which I recorded with some new technology and I was trying to fit in with the bits I had recorded previously.


All the parts were played in manually without automatics possibly making it more difficult to match up to with the live accordion part but not over predictable to listen to



Playing with a band, and making them swing

More about playing with a band. In this case in swing with the song All of Me which the band is possibly playing a little slower than usual.


Hang on to the end for the final repeat which is for you to try to play along with.


Putting the liveliness back in with a mixture of notes played early in syncopation and extra notes and decorations to the melody. When you play ahead of the beat this does not of course give you licence to increase the speed, you need to feel and work within the main pulse


Also pointing out that you do not have to be bullied by your band into playing treble only, just not using it the same way as if you had the job of keeping the rhythm going.


A brief demonstration of adding an extra part when the band has the tune in the intro and ending, the rest is accordion only.




Some varied arrangements with several tunes

Two or three tunes today are given continuously varying treatments to make a beautiful sound and an interesting arrangement to listen to.


This might include a small amount of rhythm bass (sometimes with a bouncy dotted beat), solo treble or augmented by bass phrasing with it or chorded fingered with bellows synchronised or occasional sliding, parts to push the tune along or held notes as a cliff hanger to make you listen for when the tune starts again.


Also the extra right hand part which sounds lighter than the melody because the long melody note has the bellows reduced after the initial impact.


This always makes for a sweeter sound anyway but in this case gives the illusion that the extra part is playing quieter and giving way to the tune even though the same reeds are being used for both.




Bel Canto (beautiful singing) for bass too

Continuing investigation and examples of trying to apply bel canto for accordion to bass as well as treble.


This time I also theorise that smoothing out and making more pleasant the bass side is varied by how fast we are playing.


The principle you may recall being aimed for is to avoid unwanted explosive splutters bass sounds intruding when aiming for a more mellow sound




And it works out on digital too

As you know this channel is related to acoustic accordion but I think it worthwhile to point out how techniques concentrated on with acoustic can be used very effectively on such instruments as my Roland FR-8x.


In this case where by using a preset with piano and bass instrumental notes and chords working on keyboard touch only and accordion and string section being only affected by bellows movement you can vary the instrumental mix just by the way you play and use the bellows.


By stopping the bellows in this case you are on piano only. I also show that you can still provide a gentler sound on solo accordion in the Roland by relaxing the bellows after the note is played, just as on an acoustic.


All sounds were just done with one preset (upg) towards the end I did add the accordion to the general mix and I used the palm switch to go between orchestral and accordion sounds on other occasions.


I love that palm switch! Practice on acoustic accordion is not wasted and makes you a better digital player too.



Relaxing rhythmic bass

A bass styling taken from a piano version of this tune which I was just developing for a nice rhythmic but relaxed tempo


The dotted rhythm goes in both direction between bass and chord and easily converts to a triplet for occasional fills between phrases.


I am not sure if I remembered to do this properly but it will also be good to imitate the way an acoustic bass and guitar accompaniment fades after the initial impact by relaxing the bellows after the start of the bass notes and chords.





Today here is a live demonstration (first take) of playing a duet where to give clarity point and tidyness only one player plays the tune, the other player (me) supports by adding strength in some places, extra rhythm in others, background sustained sound, or embellishments where it seems appropriate




It will make your song more meaningful if you differentiate with the bellows between different notes of the tune.



A reminder and an exercise to get playing even a single note melody with your left arm controlling the bellows.

Taking charge of this helps you really interpret the music as compared to just playing the notes and chords in the right order.

It makes a special sound even on the most ordinary accordion.

And as a side effect you will be able to stay on that bellows direction much longer by not wasting air.





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


Examples are not in the order of dificulty so for example the first video in Page one may give you as much to think about as those on page seven. 


This is Video Examples Page Seven