learning to play the accordion by ear



Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby smdc66 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:12 am

BobM wrote:If you compare your Silent Night to Amazing Grace, on SN you've played it in a slow 3 in a bar, but AG has a different "stretched out" time and some (sorry) misplaced chords. You could try as an exercise play SN and AG back to back at the same tempo and rhythm.
I think the "playing by ear" answer for you is to get a good lead sheet of AG, learn it from sight, and memorise it, then re-learn it by ear in different keys.

BobM.


appreciate any constructive criticism as that's what this thread is about

playing silent night was tricky to learn on treble even though simple tune as kept making silly mistakes but i did keep getting my fingers knotted up more to start with

then the bass was a challenge as was difficult to play slowly

maybe this AM would be a similar learning curve as would need similar technique

think maybe making schoolboy errors with chords as the chords dont come automatic and have to think hard about them and whilst thinking about them my treble goes wrong a bit and then its a vicious circle or trying to not make errors with bass or treble

think my memory skills are being used with treble but with bass need more by ear skills and dont think could translate chord memory to bass with my skill set
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:14 pm

I like the tone of this instrument, is it the Concerto - good tone for a little box.
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby smdc66 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:37 pm

Soulsaver wrote:I like the tone of this instrument, is it the Concerto - good tone for a little box.


yes 111s, 72 bass tho !

glad you said that i have settled with the tone being what it is as for a long while did beat myself with the thoughts of the tone being a little harsh without many options and unsure if to my liking, especially the basses which seem quite harsh

however have always been happy with build quality
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby BakersfieldAccordion » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:59 am

I am quite interested in the topic of playing by ear. I don't often learn songs by ear, but I do play "by ear" in the sense of not using music when I play. I don't like to think of the process as memorizing a song, in the sense of only repeating what is written, but rather it's a process of understanding the song at a deeper level, and being able to play it in a way that I enjoy even if it may not always be what someone else (including the composer) might have envisioned.
At any rate, I thought I would respond to the request to play "Amazing Grace" starting on G, and play it "by ear" in the sense I'm using that term. I have just opened a soundcloud account where I posted "Amazing Grace." I'm hoping the following will lead you to that site, but I'm not certain that I properly inserted the link.
[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/richard-noel-7/amazing-grace-g-experimental[/soundcloud]
If that doesn't work, this might. https://soundcloud.com/richard-noel-7/a ... perimental
I probably know something like 800 to 1000 songs that I can play without music. Once I properly learn a song I can usually play it without music and in various styles. In order to "own" the song, I typically remove the music immediately, which I find changes my orientation from that of a visual learner to a focus on the sound and the structure of what I am playing. I have no doubt that I think differently and play differently once the music is removed, and I equally have no doubt that this is a more effective way for me to learn songs than what I used to do, which was mostly to memorize notes and fingering. In fact, it was only when I was pushed to get away from the lead sheets I was using that I discovered a whole new world of music experiences when I focus on hearing rather than just reading the notes in front of me.
Anyway, here is an example of what works for me, and that is to play a song I'm learning in a variety of ways. I may change the rhythm, tempo, improvisations, chords, key, and voicings (I play v-accordions). The example is not meant to be a finished performance, just a demonstration of how I learn songs. I don't even like some of the versions I created, but even "bad" versions help me to learn the song and to decide how I like to play it. On a gig, I will often vary my approach to songs depending on the audience, and it also keeps my interest up so that I usually do not tire of playing a song.
I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone else, and I realize there are many different approaches, but that is what works for me.
In the song I posted, I am playing all versions using an accordion bass and musette treble. I would not use just these options on a gig, but it made the process simpler.
I begin with a 3/4 beat, playing a typical accordion bass. Then I add some chords, change the bass slightly. Then move to a more gospel style. Try the song in 4/4 rather than 3/4, with traditional accordion bass followed by a walking bass. I return to 3/4 at a slower speed, with chords and sustained bass, then finish with single notes in the treble, sustained basses, and more feeling.
Richard
Last edited by BakersfieldAccordion on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby smdc66 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:52 am

BakersfieldAccordion wrote:I am quite interested in the topic of playing by ear.
I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone else, and I realize there are many different approaches, but that is what works for me.



the soundcloud link works fine for me and i am glad you posted :D

i think the accordion world you describe is what i am striving to be part of but have a lot of work to do to get to your level

i'd like to know more about this world over time :ugeek:
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby dunlustin » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:02 am

Lights and Bushels:

http://noelaccordion.com/

I hope we'll hear lots more from you.
I really admire what you are doing/have done with the Rolands
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby george garside » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:15 pm

A great example of what an be done with a simple tune when free of the dots. It also highlights the need to develop good instrumental technique as without such skills this example could not have been played.

Brilliant!

george :tup:
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:03 pm

Richard: Gets a 'Wow!' from me too. That was on a Roland?
Last edited by Soulsaver on Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:08 pm

smdc66 wrote:
Soulsaver wrote:I like the tone of this instrument, is it the Concerto - good tone for a little box.


yes 111s, 72 bass tho !

glad you said that i have settled with the tone being what it is as for a long while did beat myself with the thoughts of the tone being a little harsh without many options and unsure if to my liking, especially the basses which seem quite harsh

however have always been happy with build quality

It's probably different when you're close to it (playing). Did you still find it harsh in the recording? I think its pretty typical Hohner Germanic tone - which I like.
[b]Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584

b]
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby goldtopia » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:57 pm

I'm impressed. What accordion do you have. Nice sound. Very good musical expression.
Bill.O (Bournemouth)
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