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 Six

Please note these accordion ideas are inserted as the ideas come to me. Examples are not less interesting or original because they occur in earlier versions of this page (e.g. VIDEO EXAMPLES 1)


Shuffle Beat or the original?

Today I reminded myself about going back to the original version of a song which temporarily took me away from the original idea of showing the shuffle beat.

The shuffle beat can be mixed in with the most basic alternate note chord bass playing at slow to medium tempo for contrast and can work with either the most modern or the most old world style songs. Notice that the dotted (jagged to non readers!) most usually means a higher proportion of bass notes to chords. The same note can be repeated and does not always have to mean going to the dominant note (the button above remember?) it does not have to alternate C and G or Bb and F etc

It can also decorate the effect with an extra note between making a quick triplet lead in to the next bar for instance. Probably easiest to make this an extra chord between two dotted bass notes




Scale Riff with chords, also expression in repeated chords 

Starting with a slightly extended scale riff to practice and trying to add chords to it I go on to how you can use repeated chords very musically on the accordion.

The clue is to use the bellows thoughtfully which can give almost infinite different treatments. How you can even do exactly the same chord in an individual way to make the accordion sing instead of just making your tunes recognisable!



Make the Most of your miracle Accordion

The miracle that is the accordion - ANY accordion - and a reminder to appreciate it. No never denigrate it from a superior point of view as a mere squeeze box or even box. It is a miraculous musical instrument provided you play it as a thinking feeling musician.

Probably the least technical of my videos but I think the most important of my video thoughts. Some ideas that will affect your playing and appreciation of your humblest and smallest instrument.

And introducing my smallest oldest accordion which in many ways lets me get closest to the music.


It does not matter how basic your accordion is, you cn still play it to maximum advantage to sound at its most beautiful and most worth listening to.




More about compound Key Signatures

A favourite tune of course and Going over more ways of playing 6/8 or 12/8. To summarise what these compound time signatures are about they are 2 beats or 4 beats to the bar but each beat is divided by 3 instead of subdivided into 2 or 4 with quavers and semiquavers (8th and 16th notes).


The problem then becomes not to turn what should be a smooth lilting musical section into a series of far too many insanely fast waltzes. So the bass accompaniment needs to be drastically modified. It can even be slightly fewer movements at times.


An easier way to count this might be One and a Two and a Three and a Four and a. Etc


I might have also included the full octave arpeggio illusion pattern which fits this tempo pefectly on bass notes only. Such as CEGCGE or GBDGDB which is done by playing upwards normally then retracing back down with the second half being the first half played in the opposite direction.


It gives the illusion of there being two versions of the starting note, a high and a low one. You will find more about this on other videos and notes on other pages of this website




Playing a couple of non standard accordion tunes

Back to my wonderful Victoria accordion for this exposition of a couple of tunes not associated with the instrument normally.

I think the best results here will happen when you are playing the tunes almost without remembering what they are.

You are then not trying to force the tune either into a special accordion mode nor into a pop style. Just playing it in fact



How many parts are you playing on your accordion?

Are you creating a sound unique to you with your accordion. Would a friend walking by on the other side of the road recognise you from your playing style? There are so many possibilities and this is just one aspect of them


I think you will enjoy this one.


How you can vary the beautiful sounds you are making on your accordion with how many parts, between one and five, that you play.


The lovely sounds are from my smallest oldest accordion so don’t be discouraged if you do not have a top model such as my Victoria. Only three treble reeds but this can be enough to cover all styles, more about that later perhaps



This should have been the first ever Video!

This should probably have been the first ever video. How to be a confident player (not a bombastic one however!)


You will produce music that is relaxing for your audience because they will listen not worrying about whether you will finish the tune successfully!


This could have been explained with a lot of difficult to read numbers, representing fingering, but I think that this rxplains it a lot easier, and is emphasing organising your playing, which is what it is all about and will give you total confidence in your ability to play the music.



Bass Fingering as I regard it

This is not the prime purpose of this website, normally I try to leave your basic instruction alone as I am not a totally conventional player. Do not take this as gospel, use it if you need it or don’t understand what I was doing with some bass runs.


I was recently asked if I would include some more basic accordion playing hints a contentious subject where I usually leave some subjects well alone. My ideas are normally designed to take over with additional ideas AFTER your basic instruction.

So do as I do with this only if you NEED to!


Towards the end I mis-said that I like to have my second finger on the bass row. SORRY I meant my THIRD of course as you can see by watching.


RE my remarks on the 5th finger I was trying to point out that because it is shorter it naturally likes to move back a row if pointing down into the flat keys or more easily aligns whern in the sharp keys.


An accordion playing friend also claimed she was unable to use her 5th finger separately. If you have difficulty moving your 5th finger, just try squeezing that end of the hand together and it will have the samne result as using the muscles separately


With regard to the triangle position of the basic pattern I have always considered them not to be very good for your hand sustainability, as the third finger is longer than the ones either side, so has to be pulled back very tight to get to the row behind. It would be more comfortable in the reverse triangle with the point at the top, in the row above.


In the opposite manner to the preparedness that I would usually recommend I have since accepted playing with the bad triangle as long as you do not HOLD that position. Fingers need to be preserved to play for years ahead and you do have to be careful not to cause cramp or finger locking in later years.



Transform your Sound with Musical Expression from Bellows and Phrasing


Please try this out after watching. It will transform your accordion sound


This is how to add musical expression to your accordion to make beautiful music and not just music to impress fellow accordion players with your speed!


Done with sensitive variations from the bellows and by varying the phrasing of where breaks are in the tune.


As usual there is one occasion where I say the exact opposite of what I mean. Towards the end I was pointing out that the left hand chords can also be treated with care


Notice that I choose a fairly solid fairly pure sound for this not a single octave tremolo or musette sound, at least while you are starting to study this angle of playing your accordion



One Surprising Obstacle to Really Musical Playing

There are many things which can stop you playing your best music to reach your audience. And here is probably the most surprising one!



Three Different Sounds and Methods of Right Hand Chords

Three ways of managing to play successive right hand chords. Successfully fingered correctly, slid from one to the other, or simply plonked down into position.


The last often sounds like a bit of an accident but the separation can actually add its own kind of meaning to the music by taking control with the bellows to make each one a distinct type of sound.


You should always be feeling this kind of control and close connection with your instrument.


I try to demonstrate this in one tune at the end.



A New Technique, the moving bass chord illusion and videos which are simply named after a tune

This includes a new technique and demonstration of apparent moving bass chords.


But mainly why I cringe at the idea of accordion videos which are simply titled by the song title (however good they are) and my (today’s) cure and attitude instead! And how this relates to enjoying playing your most jaded songs again



The right hand growing from the left hand part

Thinking about how the right hand part can kind of grow out of the left hand accompaniment and of course vice versa.


And of course what seems to be a nice use of it, this time on the distinctive sound of the song South of the Border



Helping you switch chords to either right hand or left hand

I have previously suggested getting a different sound by playing some of the chords with the right hand alternating in various ways with the normal left hand chord button.

This I realise requires a certain kind of independence of the hands so here are some basic exercises on that with this effect.

SUPERTIP PRIZE for those who have read this far - for a more spectacular effect try using a DIFFERENT chord in the right hand!


A very conventional repeating bass, or is it?

You may think at first I am just playing a continuous standard bass pattern but if you watch and listen carefully not exactly!

And by the way this tune should clear from your mind by about next Thursday!


You have been warned!




Improvising in a 12 bar blues style

I cannot believe I have not used this little demo of a 12 bar lively style of playing.


But as I cannot yet find it on the website (I am adding it right away!) I assume that this is the case.


In fact it does not rely on the bass so much as you would expect but main beats and offbeats are sometimes accented. Furthermore for emphasis left and right hands are often phrased together. Also single notes are sometimes picked out at variious strong accents, almost in the nature of a stop chorus.


It adds up, I think you will agree, to a lively presentation



How to play right hand chords and thirds correctly

Many accordionists go on for years just playing single line melodies with the bass part providing the harmony from the pre made chords on the buttons.


This is a great pity as playing in full chords, or even just in thirds (alternate notes on the keyboard which have alternate note names, B to D for instance) really enriches the sound.


The problem of which notes to sharpen or flatten or leave natural is just best left to following the key signature, which sharps or flats should you find in the key you are playing in.


So making a major chord on any note is just a matter of usiing alternate notes with the sharps or flats you would find in that major scale.


So root position chords (building up the chord from the name note with two sets of alternate notes) is easy. But what about first inversion and even the dreaded second inversion and finding those easily with your hands?


So you just start with the root position and move the bottom (chord name) note to the top. Then you have to repet the process to find out what the second inversion is like.


Well actually it turns out NO NOT NECESSARILY, You can go straight to the second inversion by moving the top note of the root position to the botom! Much quicker.


Helpful note, root positions in the right hand are all closely spaced, first inversions still have the close alternate note thirds on the bottom, while in second inversion the thirds are close together at the top.


Finally with so many chords to learn, where on earth do you start? Well with your three closely grouped major chords you find on the bass buttons I suggest. And you might even find this a good place to start misxing inversions as well as notes.



Feeling at one with your accordion will affect your listeners

Sometimes the most effect from your playing is not from your speed but your awareness of your instrument and in the case of accordion this can be from exactly how the bellows and your phrasing are affecting every note.


If you are on direct communication with your accordion then you are in direct communication with your listeners also


Really try to feel what is happening and consider what the effect of every note and every phrase is. Probably easiest to do with a smaller instrument like this rather than the expensive giant wardrobe we are most proud of!


By the way when I do add some little scurries between notes my fingers are moving very little and particularly so when they are designed to play fast but staccato for a very clear outline of that phrase. Do this by trying to avoid going all the way down to the stopping place on the keybed. In fact you will hit it anyway but it will separate the notes.



How to Balance your Sound with only One Bass Register

So you have no bass registers - just that big sound you think obliterates the melody line?



Balance your left hand accompaniment just with the way you play!



So Many Ways to Play Four notes - Nevertheless

Interpreting your tune makes all the difference between just running through it and inserting meaning into it to connect with your audience,


This time I try lots of varying lots of different ways of phrasing and applying note values to just four notes and what is little more than half a bar in the old standard Nevertheless to make it meaningful.



Making the Bellows Last Out

Rather a mundane subject today and one that while embroiled in other parts of musical arrangement I am often guilty of neglecting.


When you start learning the accordion you are taught four bars in on bellows and four bars out. So when you discover that doesn’t work you try two bars and that doesn’t work either!


This is made worse because the amount of air you are using varies with how many reeds are used in the register, how many simultaneous notes you are play and even how loud!


I am in no state to lecture you on this but I would suggest that you put the clear break needed in the middle of a phrase if possible, not too near the end where it will definitely be noticed and between two different notes or chords.


If it was on repeated notes we would be doing a possibly unsuccessful bellows shake of course!


The little exercise at the end may be useful practice



Adding Bellows Shakes for Variety

A subject I did not mean to cover but I have done because it just occurred to me that it can be nice added in very small doses to some tunes.

That is about bellows shakes and the subtly different slightly more joined up separation they create between repeated chords.

The main difficulties are ensuring that your bellows are in a fairly closed but still playable position and that you can stop them where you intended!

If you cannot stop them, just remove both hands from the keys and it will stop the bellows.

I would say be careful not to use them too much. Not just for musical reasons but to stop if you feel any strain on your heart. It is a very physical method.

Not essential in my view but another tool you can use to add variety to your playing and to make it more worth listening to..



Trying out a less commonly used Accordion Register

Exploring one of the more unusual sounds found on octave tuned 4 voice accordions. To be exact the one with just LH reeds (2 octaves apart)


Also a discussion of simultaneous chords played in the bass as against having for example C on bass chords and G B D chord of G much higher up on the treble keyboard




A popular song in compound time

You don't have to say you love me as sung by Dusty Springfield is in compound time.


Note how the extra notes in between beats are introduced or ignor3ed depending on the amount of work being put in by the right hand melody.


The left hand accompaniment is very similar to a drum part in keeping the rhythm going or not when not needed.



A Basis for improvising an accompaniment

Here I just muck about keeping some possible riffs going as I might do to accompany a band or other musicians. As I incorporate quite a lot of syncopations and cross beat notes it has a rather Latin feel.


I also point out the possibility of using varying inversions of your basic chords to produce a pattern in the right hand.


The right hand needs to hold the chords in this case and also leave a finger spare to go up to the other inversion. Remember you can get to the second inversion if you just go down adding a note instead of up, and this is what I do here.


The right hand needs to hold the chords in this case and also leave a finger spare to go up to the other inversion.


Remember you can get to the second inversion inone go if you just go down adding a note at the bottom instead of going up, and this is what I do here. You can simply start with the easy to find and understand basic root position chord and work outwards from it as it were.




Putting in extra RH chords Also Safer Extra Bass Moves

So many subjects at least three or more this morning on extra right hand and left hand movements for extra interest and even stability.

The examples are chosen not to say you should always play these tunes like this but they serve as a good example for the arrangement styles and techniques I am highlighting. Extra chord moves can be done in the right hand without disturbing a basic and safe left hand accompaniment.

A good whoops in this video is that on watching it I discovered that in concentrating on showing you that interesting bass move I had initially got stuck in fast waltz time for Bye Bye Blues, definitely not what I intended!



A Rock Pattern in various note values 

I could have chosen better sounds on the accordion to illustrate this but it is the movements that I am trying to explain here.


Playing a slow rock ballad style which is divided into 8s or 4 or even 2. In the middle section later on I also play bass note on 1, chord on 3 and note on 4 as a kind of slow push towards the next bar.


Sometimes I say I am going to do something and do it later or my mind goes off at a tangent and decided to do something else which seems better at the time.


So mainly watch what I do particularly after I have settled in to that bit



Easy Additional Useful Stradella Bass Moves

Quite a simple video I hope for you to expand on how you use the stradella bass in your accordion.


Without extreme movements, just a bit of flexibility of approach and rhythm you can break free of that incessant oompah boring and unmusical sound that has given the accordion a bad name for listeners.


Covered is adding the occasional dotted note or dividing a beat into triplets to join up to the next beat and the number of different ways you can order your straightforward bass notes.



How to Add Syncopation

IMPORTANT When I am talking about chords in this most of the time I am talking about playing RIGHT HAND chords. Two subjects today which are closely connected

the importance of interpretation in music and the part syncopation can play.


And misconceptions about the latter and most important how to do it and incorporate it into your music.


Of course syncopation can and should occur in interpreting single note melodies too, as I always say, playing like Sinatra sings.


And here is how to do it very simply



Techniques still possible on a 72 bass accordion

Musical Interpretation and how any accordion can be an expressive musical instrument. A selection of techniques in three tunes shown on my smallest accordion.


Just because it is not an imposing looking intstrument but a 72 bass with no bass couplers like I am using here does not mean you can only play in a basic manner or stick to folk tunes.


I go through a lot of interesting variations of technique to add interest to the music and keep the listeners engaged, er well yes, keep the listeners listening!


A lot of this is that I am taking special care with voicing the sound, even individual notes, with the bellows. When playing right hand chords that are too far apart to play with a fingering you can either deliberately play them separately, voicing each one separately with varyiong bellows pressure, or slide between them.


And these methods should not be used for too long continuously so that they remain fresh and not annoying. Keep your listeners on tenterhooks as to what exactly the sound is going to be. If your sound is too predictable, the same phrasing or bass patterns or thythm feel all the way through there is no need for them to listen.


Although I am just mixing techniques we have looked at before I think you will like this.



Making Richer Harmonies on the Accordion


Today I am trying to guide you towards making richer harmonies on your accordion. Hoping I have made it as simple to understand as possible


While swapping over between accordions I may not have chosen the best register for this in retrospect. As the musette tuned Piermaria is very bright toned the lower reed might have been better included.


With the Victoria it is already very deep toned so I have to remember to allow for that. See which register suits these examples on your particular instrument.




Playing Better than an electronic keyboard

The accordion is capable of playing soo much better and more musically than we usually do, certainly if we just follow what we learned in those old far away accordion tutors


Until I start using the method explained you will probably not even recognise what song I am playing. When I watched the playback I didn’t myself!


An accordion in my view can if it is played the right way play and interpret the song better than a highly advanced electronic keyboard.


That is because the keyboard just plays it’s accompaniment part automatically with no regard for what is happening in the song.


Even when he player hits a button on the hi tech keyboard to try to insert a linking bit it will not sound absolutely right but with an accordion you have absolute continuous control of the music as you add your own bass accompaniment with discretion.



About two kinds of 12/8 or 6/8.


The one accordion players think of first probably is the march or tarantella type and they usually treat it with a very basic pattern which is a bit ungainly I think, certainly if relied on totally.


Therefore I show you how to do an improved version which sounds very slick indeed. And slow it right down so you can see exactly what is happening.


This is mostly bass note plays first segment of the subdivision into three which is the compound time signature. Then the chord takes the second segment. This leaves the third segment to be played by the right hand where the rumpty tumpty kind of tune goes.


The original kind of old school rumpty tumpty simply duplicates the tune of course.

I also show you the other kind of 12/8 and how to simplify it to the extreme. And how to do dotted bass notes, which is a very easy way to create a link or a more rhythmic accompaniment


MIS-SPEAK ALERT When I am talking about not being too heavy on the fourth note I should have said the third. For this kind of beat by the way I might have referred to it as bouncing lightly between the repeated dotted bass notes




An Alternative Look at Accordion

WARNING: This is an entirely new view of the accordion! Definitely not accordion music you may say.


In fact possibly mainly useful for doing strange intros or fade-outs to your tune on rare occasions.

But perhaps useful to go and look and of course listen to your own instrument that gives you such full control of the sound. To get the same flash of insight you may want to go to a new demo video of the Roland Fantom 6 synth keyboard then come away grateful that you have an instrument already that is so easily controlled



Ideas for making your very own Accordion sound

More thoughts and techniques which may help you create your own recognisable accordion sound and connect better with your audience.


Really exploit the sounds you can get out of your instrument



Finding a New Way of Playing a Waltz

Adding interest to the most boring tempo to play - the slow waltz. A reminder of how many ways you can bring the song together with just a few more additional movements.

Another tip here: to begin playing a song differently despite long established habit just try it in a different key. You will probably be surprised what can happen



Breathing Exercises for cleaner better accordion sounds plus 12/8 bass riffs

Starting out with your breathing exercises that can really enhance your sound. We could call that bellows awareness. Then a reminder about integrating bass patterns in 12/8 and a couple of useful rock and roll type one with the easiest place to find an extra bass note for it


Two or three points to clear up of what I intended to say.


First the breathing exercises consists mainly of playing the notes with the left arm as well as the right hand fingers. Not too much of course, a slight movement from the elbow, so that it does not turn into a power complex. You are indeed in charge but do not demolish your listeners ears suddenly with your accented notes.


Second I speak of "doubling". by which here I mean playing the phrase on left hand and right hand simultaneously for emphasis occasionally. Sometimes even bass note bass chord and right hand note or chord.


Thirdly I often speak of "fading" the sound. I mean by this that once you have the reed vibrating you almost stop moving the bellows for the rest of that note or chord, producing a less agressive sweeter sound on your accordion.


This can actually make almost a bell-like sound, such as you would get on piano. Trying to do this with your bass notes to create a sustained acoustic bass sound is interesting too



A Polka, Two, Four or Eight in a Bar?

Often playing less particularly in the bass makes your sound more lively! Demonstrated on a couple of very common polkas, (and I rarely play polkas unless pressed)

My opinion and demonstration on playing two in a bar or four or even sometimes eights (quavers) where needed or even not playing bass or even doubling thirds under the tune as needed.




Playing C System chromatic

Now for something completely different. I did this mainly to add to the chromatic page of An attempt to explain the basic moves of chromatic button accordion C system which is the system where c is in the outer row of the treble keyboard.


With B system B is in the outer row and the diagonal rows which represent semitone or full tone moves are in the opposite direction. The first three outside rows because each contains a different diminished 7th series give you all the notes. Only three diminished 7th chords are possible if you recall.


The 4th row is the same series as the 1st and the 5th like the 2nd. The third row is the only one to contain B D F# A and the first and second rows have C D#/Eb F# A and C#/Db E G Bb/A# As the diminished 7th is a series of minor 3rds these will be between the first and second notes and in the same row in a minor chord which has the minor 3rd underneath or on the 2nd and 3rd notes up a row in a major chord.


In a normal 7th chord you have three buttons together on the upper row in a minor 7th two of each paired together.


It takes some working out how to describe which is which of the diagonal movements for moving a while tone eg C to D or a semitone like C to Db. I think wrist over the fingers for tones and wrist under for semitones might work. You can use the 4th and 5th rows to use the same moves while playing a tune in a different key or use them where it is convenient to carry on with notes in that direction for a nicer fingering


I have not picked up my chromatic accordion for six months or more but some of the basics stay in your hands. Riding a bike comes to mind without quite the same bruises



Playing a smoother style of accordion bass

Being confident with your bass sound being nice should I think not be based on pretending it is not there. That staccato bass sound is the reverse of what I suggest here


This is based more on the pedal sustain sound that was popular on organ sounds with a diminishing almost bell like bass sound merging into a lighter chord sound.


You can add a dotted bass note occasionally where helpful but still retain a nice smooth sound to blend either with a smooth or a more detached or phrases right hand




Getting comfortable with right hand chords

Demystifying playing right hand chords even for 7ths and 9ths and did you know how to instantly identify the extra 7th and 9ths you are adding. Well a 7th is adding the name note below but in a higher octave and a 9th add the note above ditto


Of course when you are creating a chord you build up with alternate notes you have to choose whether to use a white or a black note.


Well in order for this rule to work even right up to 13ths take the sharps or flats that belong to the key below (or anti clockwise in the circle of fifths).


My original rule, but only for the basic chord, was to take the exact notes from the scale of THAT key but in fact taking them from the subdominant key works here too if you don’t wish to change the rule from the 7ths etc. This is because your basic chord only uses notes common to both


This is easier to work out for accordion players than for any other instruments. You simply take the notes that belong to the major scale of the bass chord below!

If you wish to work with standard unmodified 7ths 9ths 11ths and even 13ths you can still take the accidentals from the scale of the chord below


If defining a minor chord that middle note of the root position of course must NOT Be the same but is flattened. Likewise with the minor 7th obviously


Also a reminder how to easily use and get into your right hand shapes different versions of these chords.


Major tip start with the basic root position chord that you can easily work out and swop up the bottom note higher for first position and swop down lower the top note for second position. Same result but less chance of getting lost than going up to the second position in stages



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.



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 Six