There are of course seven other pages of accordion playing video examples 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 Eight




Even if you do the opposite of everything you have been taught with regard to left hand styling you may sound more interesting. Even including what I have been suggesting previously with regard to not doubling up with the same rhythm stressed in tight and left hand etc


As long as you have firm hold of the feel of the rhythm the places where you put your left hand notes and chords can be almost completely free. Just keep the harmony believable of course! Right down to playing chord note chord note in that order in 4 beats to the bar instead of starting conventionally with the bass note.


And instead of leaving alone fast runs, feel free to add a bass note or chord to any melody notes you want to.


Warning: This will expose your reliance on a regular bass pattern to keep the feel of a tune if that is what you have been doing! You need to feel that rhythm deep inside you, not just at the tips of your fingers when played in a regular order!





Playing a favourite tune can teach you something new or remind you of special techniques you already knew.


Today Come Back to Sorrento reminded me about applying different emphasis in repeated similar phrases, playing in thirds keeping to the sharps and flats of the key signature and how playing in thirds in the right hand releases you from having to cover every note in the bass part.


And finally a reminder that just because a tune is in three it does not have to be an oompah pah bass all through or at all.



Easy bass movements which sound great

I often pontificate about getting away from those accordion book 1 and 2 bass movements in the name of variety, musicality and your listeners’ ears and peace of mind.


But where else can you go? Here I make some easy suggestions and demonstrations for you to try particularly when you are based around a minor chord.


With major chords you always have the easy counterbass note chord which is in a straight line across for you to find but minor chords (aside from going the full double jumping below min 3rd) is not so easy


So there are two versions of the note below you can use one by stepping over one button below and the other a really close transverse movement above to the counter bass row. You will for maximum comfort unless happy with going onto the fifth need to start from the 2nd finger for the first and 3rd finger to use the other transverse to counterbass move.


When putting in the chord move the major chord to alternate minor chord a tone below is not only the most effective musically but fits best where your fingers will want to be positioned.


Going from either major or minor chord to a note below as in D major or minor to note C is also fine. It is only adding a 6th to the chord which is fairly neutral sound variation will not lead you in the wrong direction in the harmony.




A Smoother 12/8 or Bolero Sound

How you can do a smoother version of the 12/8 bolero style rhythm which still makes it very clear and effective


Although you can divide it either obviously or subtly inside the bass part, the ultimate smoothness to my mind is being able to play it with both hands or rather between both hands.


In other words to play as one person rather than as a right hand melody and a left hand accompaniment



Different Degrees of smooth or detached notes


Different kinds of staccato and legato playing and how they can add such amazing character to your accordion sound.


How you can produce a unique sound on the accordion by a combination of right hand and left hand movements, the left hand of course working the belllows.


Including different sounds you make as you repeat notes or chords or even go from note to note in a melody.


You have a choice of whether to use the right hand or the left or many different balances of both together.


Really noticing how you produce the sounds in this way not only brings your music to life as only the accordion can do but makes the most of your instrument and gives you a uniquely identifiable sound for your listeners




Playing Notes in the Right Order is Not Enough

There are many ways if playing single note melodies way beyond the boringly predictable method of just playing them in the right order.


The same applies to right hand chords. Where they are close together you can use correct fingers to join them smoothly.


If you have to plonk them down separately, because they are far apart, you can give due attention to each new chord with a deliberate bellows movement.


But sometimes sliding up to the new right hand chord is nice and gives a totally new sound to an instrument usually assumed to only play exact separate notes.


This can be absorbed into practically any tune if you have the option to use a lighter version which only accents the end of the glissando when it has almost reached the note of the tune you are aiming at.


To do this you need a temporary cessation of bellows movement probably best accomplished by deliberately letting your left arm lag behind.


And finally remember that a mix of techniques is more interesting to listen to. That is why I like to leave behind straight single line melodies with oompah bass as the only option. But even that can be musical and effective when used as contrast.



It Is Easy To Escape Oompah Pah Bass

Some very easy strategies to escape the endless alternate note to chord sequence. This helps you avoid monotonous too predictable sound for your listeners.


Also how reducing the number of times you use the left hand in a bar releases your right hand to play in a more relaxed swingy way.


I think you already know how you can stop altogether usually until the first beat of the next bar, or indeed join the right hand at seemingly random points instead which creates interesting varying emphasis in the phrase.


I also mention how you can revert to playing only on beats one and three in a busy melody or drop out the left hand chord when the right hand is already doing it as in the well known polka example shown



Different ways to layer the sounds on Accordion?

An endless subject really which I try to apply in a few different tunes. How many different ways you can build up textures while playing accordion rather than always just playing a single note right hand with a repetitive bass accompaniment.


As always it may not always show what I intended. See what you think. And this is not intended to show the definitive way to play that tune of course.


Next time I play it will probably be treated entirely differently! It is a matter of reminding you to use all your choices when you play. Yours not mine!



12/8 in a very popular accordion tune


I know you will like the eventual demo tune No Regrets but it is there for a purpose.


Break loose from over repetitive bass movements which are annoying to listen to.

And also applying the musical principles behind 6/8 or 12/8 time where the beats are divided Into 3 instead of 2 but should be defined as other than endless waltz bars


I hope I have managed to demonstrate that fairly clearly so you can try the different moves including even dividing between the hands.


Here I generally played the second part of the triplet and left the right hand to fill in the third so it was actually the opposite if the more rumpty tumpty alternative way


I noticed that for your practice session I was only showing adding the full 3 parts of the beat only on the fourth beat of the 12/8 bar but you can of course put it anywhere and particularly on a beat which may require filling out



Reverse Advice - Play right hand with one finger

I usually recommend for secure fluid safe playing you should hold as many notes of your tune under your fingers at the same time as possible.

Here is a technique you can try for yourself which gives more point and poignancy to your sound. Playing with one finger which forces a different timing on the note and also helps you if so define it separately with the bellows if you are having difficulty with that.

Listen, watch, see if you can tell the difference of sound then if so try it yourself of course!




More Less Conventional Waltz accompaniments

How many ways can you play or use a waltz accompaniment with your left hand?

This time I explore some various patterns and how you can let the melody work with help from it .

Conventional wisdom is to stop playing with the left hand in order to let the tune be heard.

But in some cases I show here that you can do the exact opposite and play extra left hand buttons so that you do not miss the faster notes in the tune



Easy Bass Exercises to Free Your Left Hand


A couple of interesting little bass exercises to try which will help you free up your left hand patterns.


Additionally they are based on the lilting sound of the 12/8 time signature, a compound time where there are four beats in a bar, each capable of being divided into 3.


This of course also allows you to play either just the four main slow beats, or add all the triplet notes, or indeed any of them.


The first one counts as
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 & - 1 - 2 - 3&a - 4&a - 1 etc.


Another practice idea is to divide them freely between left and right hands as I do in triplets as an easy starter at the end


Here I was simply doing
LRR - LRR - LRR - LRR etc with what might have been the bass chords in a standard waltz pattern played by the right hand instead





The Danger of Bass Gaps Breaking Up Tunes

Conventional wisdom of leaving a nice free flowing phrase at the beginning does leave a danger of spoiling continuity by chopping up the tune if you do the same to a similar phrase later on.


The nature of tune construction suggests that phrase will be used later and quite a lot.


Let’s look at three tunes and try to deal with this problem.


An Easy two bar pattern to learm

An easy but effective 2 bar bass pattern extension and a combined chord and note linking section.

I think you will find this direct demonstration of slightly modified rhythms in a very popular easy tune very useful and interesting to try and listen to

Also it should give you added confidence when departing from set patterns if you have felt tied down to them before




Easily Find and Plqy Special Accordion Harmonies

Your accordion although seemingly prejudiced to produce the most boringly obvious “correct” harmonies can in fact produce chords you cannot even name without going deep into musical theory books!


There are probably all kinds of 9ths, 11ths, 13ths or whatever with all kinds of modified 3rds. 5ths or 7ths involved!


However, this video is about just happily and fearlessly playing them, without even realising what is happening!



Use bellows note by note for Musical Effect

In my view music should be meaningful or it is not worth either playing or listening to. Nd there goes your audience.

But how to achieve control over your notes so that they are so.

The answer i believe is largely in making the bellows synchronise with the notes you are playing.

When you have been brought up in the principle that the bellows is only there so you do not run out of air this is not an easy adjustment.

But fortunately I can demonstrate an easy way to do it!




A Short Example of non repetitive Bass

Just a short example of how it is unnecessary to keep to a constant repetitive bass button pattern to maintain a rhythm.


And that it is much more interesting for your listeners if you do not


See how many changes you detect here. They are not all obvious but all are making a difference




New Rhythm from Easy Old Number 1


How applying a touch of syncopation and accenting different beats or in this case chord buttons can give you a new fresh musical feel.


A couple of extremely familiar tunes are used for demonstration here



New Rhythm from Easy Old Number 2


How modifying this most mundane of accompaniment patterns gives you a lively very different style. What different sharp syncopation and different emphasis can do is illustrated in two well known easy calypso tunes



New Rhythm Easily Found - Calypso Latin

How modifying this most mundane of accompaniment patterns gives you a lively very different style. What different sharp syncopation and different emphasis can do is illustrated in two well known easy calypso tunes




New Rhythm Easily Found - The Lambada

Turning a boring basic pattern into an interesting snappy Latin style one for this example The Lambada.


Mainly just get that feeling inside you to do it. Illustrated in a version of The Lambada



The Least Used Sound on Octave Tuned Accordion


This applies to octave tuned (not musette formation) accordions and is about experimenting in using probably the least used sound on it


Reeds which are two octaves apart do not always blend very well but this can lead to some subtle interesting musical effects.


Incidentally you may find it best to breathe your bellows a number of times first to get your reeds awake to experience this best.




An Easy Tango Bass with Easy Embellishments

One of the simplest possible tango accompaniments. Then we add depth to it by adding quick alternative movements.


Knowledge of these intervals on your stradella bass is very useful for easily varying your sound and adding musical depth.


In this example they show going to the notes a tone or a semitone below AND above.


So from C we can move upwards to either Db or D. The movement below to Bb on alternate button or to B natural with a very close movement to the counterbass up.


Making these movements instinctive can give you amazing control over your bass and make you appear to be making much deeper musical statements by fitting them in to your tunes



Celebrating our Italian Accordion Friends


Today here is a nice celebratory couple of tunes recorded to support my Italian friends and particularly those at Victoria Accordions in Castelfidardo who made my magnificent and inspirational accordion




Lightening the tune up A Little

How to keep the sound and feel of a tune light by not always doubling up with the bass and treble, particularly on the first beat of the bar.


This can be done from either the bass or the treble side of course as in these examples



Escaping the constant repeating bass habit - Easily

A nice easy exercise here to help you escape from a habit. The note to chord to chord constant bass which keeps you going.


And yes I know this is the habit that may have enabled you to start playing in the first place, but is not necessary and can be annoying to listen to, unless you deliberately try to ignore it.


Are You Playing Accents or Smooth join ups?


Interesting sounds easily created for you to try here. And a new angle on accenting or smoother playing. Lots of thoughts to help you get involved in more creative interesting playing.


Spice up your waltzes with half beats

How to spice up your bass waltz beat using half beats. This can be even more necessary on really slow waltz tunes of course



How to do this chord linking Riff


A practical demonstration of a riff joining up a very easy and common chord change.


I have added a diagram here


Briefly the example shown is downwards in pitch E D# B A which runs in quavers (eighth notes) and starts on the third beat of a four beat bar. It lands up on the first beat of the next bar and the movements are to semitone semitone minor 3rd tone. The minor 3rd movement takes you up to the far side of your starting note.



Easy Swing Style Stradella Bass Playing

Some ideas for achieving a slow lilting swing feel either from the left hand or both the latter case a slight overlap of left and right hand chords will make it particularly smooth




Set the beats of the bar free to go anywhere!

Tapping your foot in every beat of the bar is a trap and leads to heavy stodgy playing. At the very least you should be able to divide one foot tap into two notes.        

And I actually think your feel for the beat should be across your whole body and not confined to one leg or the left or the right hand. Once inside your heart it can be assigned to any part of you.


Try both varying how often you play the beat in the left hand and also dividing between the hands in different ways.


You can even get a nice swingy syncopation from starting a long right hand note on the second beat of the bar, as you will hear.








Adding some walking bass to your arrangements is easier than you think.

You can do it using your most basic stradella buttons





Making Georgia and Sunny Side More Interesting

Using two tunes Georgia and Sunny Side of the Street let’s look at making our tunes more interesting to pull your listeners in



Practice This - Riff returning to the same chord

Something you may find interesting to practice - maintaining the position of a chord while moving the single notes around it in your left hand. I refer to it here as keeping your key centre.Being able to do this at Will can definitely improve your arrangements



Two Easy parts make One Interesting Sound

I was very excited this morning to be going through the fantastic accordion sounds you can get just by connecting your left and right hand parts in different ways.


Very easy parts in each hand can sound wonderful when used thoughtfully together.


Also a reminder of how to do the most convincing two parts in the treble. So they even sound like two DIFFERENT accordion sounds playing in duet!



A Few Different Ways of Playing a Short Tune

Just a short tune I tried to interpret with different playing approaches. I hope you can see some of them. I could have included a lot more of course



Easy Ways of Using Syncopation

Syncopation is an element of swing of course but it is also something that can give point and meaning to your music when inserted with intention.


A little bit helps you swing and stops your accordion playing being too stodgy and square.


Here are three ways it occurs and of course starting points for learning it naturally



A Probably Controversial Guide to Bass Button Fingering

Bass button fingering. What I hope is a clear and open reply on a very basic though controversial question for a follower of this page


Probably I have messed it up at some point






Unless you see yourself as both player and conductor you will not be bringing out the story and making music.


I try to explain and demonstrate here Unless you see yourself as both player and conductor you will not be bringing out the story and making music. I try to explain and demonstrate here





There are of course seven other pages of accordion playing video examples 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