learning to play the accordion by ear

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bocsa
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by bocsa » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:29 pm

Some clubs are about performances other are about playing together neither may be suitable for learners.
It's never easy to cater for all levels of playing and let people feel included.

I went to a group about an hours drive away, lovely people and most welcoming but I had some difficulty hearing meself* plus I'm unlikely to live long enough to catch up! They had a good repertoire but mostly not to my taste.

*I'm used to playing along with other instruments but a wall of accordion sound takes a bit of getting used to ;)

Stephen, If you're starting a group remember you can only please some of the people, some of the time! Give some thought to opening up a new topic to pursue your interest in Accordion Clubs/Groups


And now...... back to the topic "learning to play the accordion by ear" :)

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by hais1273 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:34 am

Personally, I'd recommend going along to an accordion club. We go to one in Sussex, generally it's very enjoyable, the other people are friendly, theres no pressure to play any of the tunes. If you want to, you can do a solo spot, or not. My last one went horribly wrong at one point. As a relative beginner, I find it's very useful to play in the company of some very strong musicians, who can carry the peice along. There aren't any members of the picky brigade being sniffy about perceived errors either, the nearest anybody has got to being critical was when on of the leaders had to say "Unison chaps, not harmony".

The accoustics of the room can be harsh at times, I sometimes think Dante must have imagined a simialar sound when he wrote "inferno", and some of the tunes really aren't to my taste, but it's good experience to play out of your comfort zone.

A good way to build confidence. Either by ear or reading the notes.

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:05 am

Dear Bosca & Hais,

I don't think I'm a million miles off topic with my posts, as they do relate to the subject of learning to play an instrument.

As for attending a local Accordion Club, I may well have done so had they not totally ignored every attempt of mine to contact them. Since bumping into this wall of complacent indifference, I have met two other chaps who have had exactly the same experience. One of these blokes is still awaiting a response to an email he sent in December 2014. My own 'phone calls and emails have led to the same unsatisfactory outcome.

As to whether or not this is bumbling incompetence or complete disregard, I cannot say. I guess you can take your pick between systemic failure or very bad manners. Either way, it is no help to me.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Hawkins.

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by bocsa » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 am

learning to play the accordion by ear

In my view Accordion Clubs is a separate subject but rather than flog a dead horse, 'I'm out'

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:15 am

Dear Bosca,

I unreservedly apologise for causing you to flagellate a deceased horse, though expanding the words "by ear" was as unnecessary as it was insulting. I assure you that I am not stupid and, with corrected vision, I am able to read words in normal typeface.
As I am learning by ear, I thought it entirely appropriate to mention a few of the barriers I have encountered. I also thought it would be a good idea to bring other novices together in a spirit of mutual assistance. Though this may not seem relevant to you, perhaps others will more forgiving of my motives.
I am, admittedly, a novice accordion player, but please do not underestimate my other abilities.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Hawkins.

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by bocsa » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:45 am

Stephen Hawkins wrote:Dear Bosca,

I unreservedly apologise for causing you to flagellate a deceased horse, though expanding the words "by ear" was as unnecessary as it was insulting.
Apology, albeit given in poor grace, accepted
I assure you that I am not stupid (never occurred to me until you mentioned it) and, with corrected vision, I am able to read words in normal typeface.
As I am learning by ear, I thought it entirely appropriate to mention a few of the barriers I have encountered. I also thought it would be a good idea to bring other novices together in a spirit of mutual assistance. Though this may not seem relevant to you, (errant assumption) perhaps others will more forgiving of my motives.
I am, admittedly, a novice accordion player, but please do not underestimate my other abilities. (didn't and wouldn't dream of it!) Your condescending attitude (yet another errant assumption visible only to the eye of the beholder!) discredits you in my eyes, though that is a matter for your own conscience.

Kind Regards, (just a little trite given the foregoing)

Stephen Hawkins.
If you wish to establish a dialogue Stephen please do so via the pm system and enable this thread to get back on topic.

Admin May I suggest a little housekeeping and removal of some of the 'off' topic stuff

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by george garside » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:02 pm

I have not posted for some time as I managed to get myself locked out of the forum having cocked up my password and despite numerous attemts to get back in have only just succeeded!! ( I am a complete luddite when it comes to computors)

However and to get this much used bit of the forum baack on track I would like to draw attention to the several youtube vids of Brandon Mcphee the 18 year old Scottish Champion accordionist. He plays a 3 row Shand Morino and fended off many first class piano box players with his diabolical push / pull contraption ( as some would see it!)

He is now making a name for himself throughout Britain and Ireland with his band and the interesting thing is that he does not read the dots at all, playing really complicated stuff entirely by ear!

This should be of considerable comfort for those who prefer to play by ear and provide a goal that probably few of us will be able to achieve - but keep trying chaps!


george :ch

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by JerryPH » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:58 pm

Only thing that I can say is that if all one does is play by ear, you can only play what you hear, whereas someone that can read, will be able to learn songs that they've never heard and play the songs properly from a technical standpoint. The few people that I have heard that were excellent musicians on the accordion and played by ear were technical messes... lol.

In the end, I doubt there is a bad or a good way, but there is an individual preference way and that's the one that each person needs to follow themselves.
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by dchurch » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:59 am

JerryPH,
Good point. The down side of strictly playing by ear is not being able to play written music which can certainly lead to being a technical mess, especially if a goal or necessity is to play in sync with other musicians who are adhering to a written form of music.

It would seem best to do both, if you have the desire.

But a major plus for playing by ear is not just playing what I have heard. As a reader I was never able to invent on the fly or play music that was mearly in my head. Now I can.

In my personal situation I no longer had a need or desire to play from notation. I quit cold turkey and never looked back.

George, after about 2 years of strictly playing by ear I played faster and more complex music than I could ever site read. I guess that's to be expected, site reading complex music is not a easy level to reach. *Naturally after reading and enough rehearsal I could play error free, or memorize the music given enough time.

I believe playing by ear uses a different combination of thought and muscle memory than playing by notation. Most folks seem to have a gift for one methoud or the other, and some master both (or at least try).

Disclaimer: I've played multiple instuments but the accordion is not one of them. I simply stumbled into this friendly forum while doing some "by ear" research.

High regards and respect to musicians alike,
Dave

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JerryPH
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Post by JerryPH » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:04 am

Oh, that does bring up another point... If you have a group of musicians that all play by ear, all you get is a group of improvisations to your music that they heard. If you have a group that reads, it can be led as a single entity to one final musical goal that is written down and guided by one person's intent. This performance can then also be shared and played in the same manner by others.

Another advantage... the vast majority of people that play by ear never play a song EXACTLY as they heard it and over time that music changes. That music that you created on the fly has very little chance of surviving integral for more than 1-2 "generations" before changes are introduced... unless written down. Kind of like having 10 people in a room and each person whispers a phrase to the ear of the person next go them. By the 10th person, that original phrase has changed entirely, possibly several times over, losing all the intent and meaning that the first person originally "created".

One may create something new but there is no way to preserve it or assure consistency without being able to write it down. I also don't believe that any system is so restrictive that someone could create any form of music that could not be preserved via notation.

All original work starts out as thought, but if none of it is saved unless recorded in one form or another, via notation or a less accurate manner, listening to a recording done by the original artist and accepting the variations that the listening artist will invariably introduce over time.

The value of being able to read and write music can be answered by asking one simple question;

Of all the great artists that ever lived, how many original works that were ever created and not placed in notation due to the inability to read or write music, have survived the test of time in their original form? The answer is... unless this task was passed to someone else that could read and write music... none survived. :)
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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