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.