The First Ever Southern England Chromatic Button Accordion Rally
Saturday 7th October 2017 near Didcot Oxfordshire
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country music

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

Post by henrikhank » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:32 pm

JeffJetton wrote:
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
So you went from piano to the accordion?
If so, how did you deal with the fact that you already knew country music? What did you have to practice? I'm asking as I am learning country piano (I am a country music nerd) and would like to learn more about this. To me the boom-chuck sounds so different on the accordion. On the other hand you can do the boom-chuck with just your left hand on the accordion. On the piano you need both hands or maybe doing some stride or moon mullican thing.
What are your experiences with this?

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losthobos
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Re: country music

Post by losthobos » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:01 pm

I wouldn't worry about being a 'country nerd' i'm probably seen as a 'swing nerd' ... anyways as to Boom Chuk most of the players i know play the Boom lightly on the root note beats 1 and 3 and beats 3 and 4 are played harder/louder root/chord together.... so 4 to the floor accent 2 and 4...pause a tad to add desired amount of swing...hope thats of help....obviously swing as much as desired on right with the melody...
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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JeffJetton
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Re: country music

Post by JeffJetton » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:36 pm

henrikhank wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:32 pm
So you went from piano to the accordion?
If so, how did you deal with the fact that you already knew country music? What did you have to practice?
One tip is that just because the accordion has a piano-style keyboard on one side, that doesn't necessarily mean you should always try to play country music on it like you'd play country music on a piano. Try taking some cues from fiddle players, for example. Jay Ungar has a nice DVD out where he teaches a bunch of traditional/folk fiddle waltzes--you don't have to be a fiddler to learn a lot from it. And I often recommend fiddle songbooks (such as the Fiddler's Fake Book) to my accordion students.

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Re: country music

Post by henrikhank » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:05 am

JeffJetton wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:36 pm
henrikhank wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:32 pm
So you went from piano to the accordion?
If so, how did you deal with the fact that you already knew country music? What did you have to practice?
One tip is that just because the accordion has a piano-style keyboard on one side, that doesn't necessarily mean you should always try to play country music on it like you'd play country music on a piano. Try taking some cues from fiddle players, for example. Jay Ungar has a nice DVD out where he teaches a bunch of traditional/folk fiddle waltzes--you don't have to be a fiddler to learn a lot from it. And I often recommend fiddle songbooks (such as the Fiddler's Fake Book) to my accordion students.
What???

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Re: country music

Post by TomBR » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:52 am

henrikhank wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:05 am
JeffJetton wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:36 pm
henrikhank wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:32 pm
So you went from piano to the accordion?
If so, how did you deal with the fact that you already knew country music? What did you have to practice?
One tip is that just because the accordion has a piano-style keyboard on one side, that doesn't necessarily mean you should always try to play country music on it like you'd play country music on a piano. Try taking some cues from fiddle players, for example. Jay Ungar has a nice DVD out where he teaches a bunch of traditional/folk fiddle waltzes--you don't have to be a fiddler to learn a lot from it. And I often recommend fiddle songbooks (such as the Fiddler's Fake Book) to my accordion students.
What???
Why What???
??? :?
Tom

george garside
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Re: country music

Post by george garside » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:06 pm

coming from a piano to an accordion the important thing is not to worry about how you play country or any other sort of music on the box as opposed to the piano!

The key to success is to first learn to play the accordion properly ( whether by ear or from the dots and with or without in septh knowledge of musical theory.) Once you have done that you will be able to play any tunes you already know or have the dots for and adjust the dynamics and phrasing to suite any particular kind of music

As to playing country music on the box the single most important thing is to be able to highlight individual notes by quick variations in bellows pressure and to keep the melody 'crisp' by knowing how quickly to release a key - bearing in mind that unlike a piano the note will carry on full blast until you release the key which operates just like an on off switch and has no bearing on volume .

george

henrikhank
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Re: country music

Post by henrikhank » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:47 pm

TomBR wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:52 am
henrikhank wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:05 am
JeffJetton wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:36 pm


One tip is that just because the accordion has a piano-style keyboard on one side, that doesn't necessarily mean you should always try to play country music on it like you'd play country music on a piano. Try taking some cues from fiddle players, for example. Jay Ungar has a nice DVD out where he teaches a bunch of traditional/folk fiddle waltzes--you don't have to be a fiddler to learn a lot from it. And I often recommend fiddle songbooks (such as the Fiddler's Fake Book) to my accordion students.
What???
Why What???
??? :?
Tom
I didn't understand why I should imitate a fiddle player when playing accordion.

TomBR
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Re: country music

Post by TomBR » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:07 pm

henrikhank wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:47 pm
TomBR wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:52 am
henrikhank wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:05 am


What???
Why What???
??? :?
Tom
I didn't understand why I should imitate a fiddle player when playing accordion.
OK, thanks for the clarification.
Seems a reasonable thing to do given that fiddle is a deeply established country instrument with a continuous sound that plays both (two note) chords and single lines whereas the accordion can do that but is not a mainstream instrument in most country genres. I guess harmonica and pedal steel would be two other reference points for continuous sound.

As I understand it, when Floyd Cramer and others were developing a country style for piano they adopted the "slip-note" style of pressing two adjacent keys, the lower one being released almost immediately, as an imitation of a guitar hammer-on. Country styles have often spread from one instrument to another. Cross picking mandolin as banjo imitation comes immediately to mind.

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JerryPH
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Re: country music

Post by JerryPH » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:16 pm

I'd like to suggest that instead of talking country music on an accordion, how about a couple YouTube videos from our talented members here demonstrating country music on an accordion! :D
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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losthobos
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Re: country music

Post by losthobos » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:34 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dG-a8fIIch0
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