The First Ever Southern England Chromatic Button Accordion Rally
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country music

To discuss / ask questions about learning methods/styles/teachers/techniques etc.
henrikhank
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country music

Post by henrikhank » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:23 pm

Anyone here who play country music on the accordion?
This one of my favourite kind of music and I would like to know where you should start if you would like to play this inda music. I hear piano in country but not much accordion. Should one begin with simple tunes like On top of smokey? Is that where you'd start? I' not saying that this tune has to be simple (a realy great player can play advanced version of everything) but it seems like it is a part of som of the beginner's accordion books.

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JerryPH
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Re: country music

Post by JerryPH » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:49 pm

Well, I actually do play a couple country pieces but it's not where my heart is.

To learn this, in my head is no different than learning anything else. You learn the basics of playing the accordion, and yes that includes scales, arpeggios, and so on. After that it's not much harder than finding sheet music for near anything and reading it, if you can read... or listen to your music and playing it by ear if that is your thing.

Like any house, without a good foundation it all crumples down pretty easily.
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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Re: country music

Post by AccordionUprising » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:29 am

I've come across more than a hundred country and western accordion players while writing a "Country" chapter for my accordion book in-progrss, mostly from pre-1960 because the Nashville Sound folks didn't like the instrument.

The really good players were in Western bands from the 40's or so. Bud Sievert, Pedro DePaul, George Bamby, Frank Buckley, Billy Liebert, Eddie Carver, Vince Caruso. They were basically mainstream swing/jazz players who happened to be in western bands.

Groups to look for might be Foy Willing's Riders of the Purple Sage (mellow western harmonies), The Swift Jewel Cowboys (wild horn-led cowboy jazz) Cliffie Stone, Hank Penny, Spade Cooley (western swing) and most famously Pee Wee King, whose accordion is in the Country Music Hall of Fame (though he wasn't the best player.)

Nowadays the Time Jumpers are a hot group of Nashville session musicians doing western swing with Jeff Taylor on accordion.


Some more Youtubes: one thing is that in the swing groups the solos are so short!









I'm not sure who the guy is on this Riders of the Purple Sage clip with Roy Rodgers. It's funny because they throw in a concertina, which is obviously not playing the accordion part.
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Re: country music

Post by JIM D. » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:40 am

How can you forget the current group ---
Owner & Operator "THE FISARMONICA SHOP" Chicopee, MA (USA)

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Re: country music

Post by AccordionUprising » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:47 am

I'd add, if you're looking for sheet-music you might search for "Cowboy accordion songbook" and you'll hit that 1940's era style of western tunes where most of the accordion was.

(random images from search)
Image

Image
https://www.tredwellsmusic.com/palmer-h ... ollectible

Image

And foolishly I forgot Joey Miskulin from the modern Riders in the Sky who've kept the western harmonies from fading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riders_in_the_Sky_(band)
Image
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Re: country music

Post by JIM D. » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:12 am

Maybe most of you are to young, but Pat Buttram played accordion on many old Gene Autry Movies --
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CH ... NM8By2ulrM: --
https://www.google.com/search?q=pat+but ... 0jtyZH5ZlM:
Owner & Operator "THE FISARMONICA SHOP" Chicopee, MA (USA)

george garside
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Re: country music

Post by george garside » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:54 am

some may be surprised that Sir Jimmy Shand recorded several ' country' tunes for dances like the Virginia reel and some waltzes. eg come to mind. Hand me down my walking cane, coming round the mountains, home on the range, can I sleep in your barn,turkey in the straw, chicken reel,empty saddles, sunset trail, Wyoming lullaby,

george

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Re: country music

Post by JeffJetton » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:31 pm

I actually first started playing accordion when I was a keyboard player in a country band. I wanted something to play during an acoustic, "unplugged" segment of the show, and, well, that was that.

Anyway, I think accordion works really well if you want to play traditional country (think Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Loretta Lynn, etc.), western swing (Bob Wills, etc.), or bluegrass (Bill Monroe, etc.). A big reason for this is that the sort of accompaniment used on much of that music is the bass playing a root-fifth pattern with chordal instruments accentuating the upbeats. In other words, the standard accordion "oom-pah" pattern.

Of course, in a band situation, where there's an actual bass player doing the "oom" and guitar/piano/fiddle/whatever doing the "pah", refraining from playing the left hand would typically be the musically tasteful choice. You'd normally want to just stick to pads and fills in the right hand only.

Now despite the accordion being able to play those styles, note that it in actual practice, accordion is only commonly used in western swing. It's rare in traditional country music. And if you show up at most bluegrass jams with an accordion you may not make it out alive! (Despite the little-known fact that Bill Monroe once had an accordionist in his band...)

When it comes to modern "country" music--most of which we all would've just called "rock" or "Top 40" if it came out 30-40 years ago--it's more hit-and-miss as to how well suited the accordion is.

Some basic country tunes to start with, off the top of my head:
  • Hey Good Lookin'
  • Jambalya
  • The Tennessee Waltz
  • Ring of Fire
  • Mountain Music
  • Country Roads (which is, inexplicably, also a popular Oktoberfest tune!)
Other simple-ish tunes that are technically more "folk" music, but will occur in country/bluegrass contexts:
  • Angeline the Baker
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Old Joe Clark
And here's a great list of popular folk/bluegrass/gospel "jam" songs: http://www.drbanjo.com/instructional-bl ... orites.php
Last edited by JeffJetton on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: country music

Post by JeffJetton » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:48 pm

P.S.:

Q: How many country bass players does it take to screw in a light blub?

A: 1... 5... 1... 5... 1... 5...

:D

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losthobos
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Re: country music

Post by losthobos » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:42 am

Thanks for western swing links....cool stuff
And sadly doesn't the 1....5...1....5...1...5..joke apply to too many accordionists too ;)
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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