VIDEO EXAMPLES 8

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

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This is Video Examples Page Eight

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PLAYING AN IRREGULAR BASS PATTERN

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!

 

 


PLAY YOUR OLD FAVOURITE TUNES BUT WITH NEW LIFE

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

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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!

 

 

 


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