SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#236148 - 06/20/08 09:32 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 13047
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Interesting.... the first "Cordovox" was a 'side-by-side' unit with the treble (piano keys) on the right side and the bass (buttons) on the left side ...
This is the cordovox accordion model I still have: http://www.twiggy.com/A19.JPG


t.

[This message has been edited by tony mads usa (edited 06-20-2008).]
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#236149 - 06/20/08 10:40 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
I first played accordion at age 12 after my family moved into temporary housing while our new home was being built that was too small for a piano (which I had just started lessons on at 11). I got a small 48 bass piano accordion, and suddenly music seemed a much less mysterious thing...

Having the buttons and chords laid out in that cycle of fifths suddenly made me realize the spacial relationships between chords, long before I had enough technique on a piano to comprehend it. Almost instantly I started to hear the chord relationships in everything I was listening to, and had an instrument that could make playing those relationships independent of scale technique. Play a song in a different key, and at least your left hand still plays usually the exact same thing, merely moved up or down a little...

This is a huge improvement, especially for a beginner, over the piano keyboard, where every different key needs a different fingering, and looks different on the keyboard... I really think it was the one thing that opened my mind and ears to pop song chord construction, and the mysteries of modulation and transposition, before some classical piano teacher knocked the enthusiasm out of me with boring exercises and Hanon.

It really is a wonderful instrument for a youngster to teach themselves about music, rather than having it spoon-fed by a teacher. I still have an accordion or two (depending on the state of repair!) and have played them on many sessions, and at least once a year (at Christmas) I play it out for caroling. It always brings back great memories!

Squeeze on...!

Top
#236150 - 06/20/08 11:12 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
BTW, for those of you interested in getting a good bellows 'bounce' and a lively 'chank-a-chank' zydeco and cajun style (amongst many other styles) out of your keyboards, here's a little tip (sorry if this is obvious to some of you )...

This doesn't work too well in style mode, because it's a two-handed technique, but give it a whirl anyway, you might like it!

First things first... You can either practice this over a basic beat from the drums only, or if you want to try on a real tune, try using your built-in sequencer to record just the accompaniment to a favorite tune. Jambalaya has always been a standard of mine for this technique. If you can set it up so the sequencer repeats itself over and over (for practicing!), so much the better...

Now, there's an easy way to do this and a hard one. We are going to do the hard one first You'll see why in a minute.

The trick is to get your hands together, playing the same chord or two note sixth or third, on top of each other. You then play an alternating hand in a fast, simple sixteenth or eighth note pattern... 'chank-a-chank-a-chank-a'! Once you get this smooth, tight and rhythmical (that's the most important quality, it MUST be rhythmic), you can start to change the occasional note in one hand or the other (rarely both) to drop a third to a second or raise it to the fourth, to give some internal motion to the pulse, and you can also try using a three note chord in the RH and a two note chord in the left, to give the downbeats a bit more push... OK, you getting it now?

It's a bit difficult, isn't it?! Getting your hands in that close make things very tight and cramped... But here's where the magic of keyboards comes into play. Split your keyboard. Put the same accordion patch on both halves. Transpose the bottom part until it is in the same range as the upper. OK, now you can play exactly what you just did, but without your hands being on top of each other! This allows you to be a lot more inventive without your fingers getting tangled

It also allows you to try things like editing the patches to be slightly different to each other to emphasize that 'in/out' difference you always hear in the real thing. Mess with the tuning tables if your arranger has them. Make each one slightly out of tune on certain (different) notes to imitate the reed banks differences. Make the LH very slightly duller than the RH, to emphasize the effect you get when the in stroke is stronger than the out pull... And work that volume pedal a bit on the long notes!

With practice, you can get a VERY infectious accordion 'bounce' and 'chank-a-chank' going on all your favorite Louisiana musics, and many, many other styles too.

It's also a great technique for many other sounds, too, like guitar cross-picking, banjo picking, mandolin and many others, whenever a lot of rhythmical notes are being played in a small section of the keyboard...

Give it a try, and 'laissez le bon temps roullez!'

Top
#236151 - 06/20/08 12:01 PM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Lucky2Bhere Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 533
Diki,

I think I understood everything you said except for...what does chank mean (as in "chank-a-chank-a-chank-a")? Is it a Chinese delicacy?

Aside from that, it's about time somebody broke ranks and wrote about "making music!"

Lucky

Top
#236152 - 06/20/08 12:51 PM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
It's just a Louisiana term for that rhythmical way of using the accordion in uptempo zydeco and cajun country musics, rather than as a lead line or counterpoint...

Sounds pretty much like it reads!

Top
#236153 - 06/20/08 03:12 PM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Oh, and while chas and Russ recover from their heart attacks let me be the first to be astounded at the suggestion that jazz can be played by buffoons, and 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon' is really the zenith of popular music

There is a reason that American music is listened to around the world. And it has little to do with marketing. This country is the birthplace, nursery and university of musics that go beyond the simple diatonic melodies of the rest of the world. This country is the birthplace of worldwide musical sensations like the blues, jazz, rock and roll, disco, hiphop, rap, bluegrass, jump jive, doo-wop... the list is endless.

And, lest we forget, 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon' was American, too! As were many, many hits from that era that are STILL being performed on a daily basis in Europe. But perhaps they are STILL playing them over there, while the US has moved on, is perhaps also the reason why many of us on arranger forums still play these tunes, too...

BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY TO PLAY...!

There's an awful lot of popular American music that is next to impossible to pull off well on arrangers, with melodies and chord progressions FAR more complex than we can usually manage. And emotion and intensity in the singing that is hard to copy. Without these elements, they sound appalling on the arranger...

But, as far as I am concerned, the harder something is to do well on an arranger, the better the music intrinsically is. Anything that lends itself to sterile, repeated four bar chunks of simple styles with less than cutting edge sounds and drums can hardly be called inventive.

The rest of the world is still happy with mindless repetition of hoary chestnuts from the seventies and MUCH earlier, with nary a change out of the ordinary, which definitely works with their 'happy to be drinking and singing' mindsets (nothing wrong with that, mind you!), relentlessly diatonic melodies for the inebriated singer to slosh through, cameradie flowing like pilsner. Whereas the US is trying to come up with the NEXT worldwide sensation, by trying to be different, NOT the same.

This IS a two way street, BTW. Reggae music and ska has been adopted by Americans with enthusiasm, Bossa and Latin music is loved and admired here. Dancehall makes the charts (Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks). It's not JUST us exporting the stuff, you know. But it has to come with inventiveness, with freshness, with a rhythmical and lyrical complexity not found in most European bierkellars...

Yes, that's certainly HAPPY music over there, Lucky, played to happy people having happy times. Sadly, that doesn't always equate to music that is anything more than adult nursery rhymes! Music at it's most complex, especially jazz (I'd like to meet the buffoon that can race through Giant Steps ) is America's speciality, and deservedly influentioal around the world. BTW, I'm English, so please don't accuse me of partisanship!

Top
#236154 - 06/20/08 09:07 PM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Lucky2Bhere Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 533
Wow! Dickie is back with a venegence!

Some meandering thoughts as follows…

Dickie, I’m talking about music as an entertainment medium not as a platform to show off your chops nor as a product to mold into something ultimately unrecognizable from it‘s original form. It’s all about entertainment and what folks want to hear. There’s a huge difference and I’m presenting my case accordingly.

No, Tie A Yellow Ribbon is NOT the zenith of popular music. I should have said Che Sera, Sera the Doris Day song from the 50’s is.

I played in Europe almost every night for many years…and….played in the streets for just as many years. So I’m playing the accordion (busking) and egotistically doing things like Dizzy Fingers, Tico Tico, and French Musette to show people how good I was. They didn’t care…..and…..I didn’t make any money. One day I asked the guitarist, who was sharing my busking spot with me, why he played the same four songs over and over again. His reply was he could “play many songs, but they’re the only songs that make me money.” With that in mind, I looked at my own repertoire. I noticed that whenever I played Che Sera Sera, while busking, my accordion case would begin to fill up with money and when I DIDN’T play it, I’d go through a dry spell. I also remember the day I “worked” the tourist queue at one of the historic sites with a tin cup attached to my accordion. I played nothing but the Blue Danube Waltz up and down the line for hours and made a small fortune by the end of the day.

About the same time, I was working with a German guitar player at night in the Hilton in London. We had been doing German music together for about a year at that point. One night he asked me to stop playing my Stauss waltzes and German beer-drinking stuff with sixths and major sevenths. In fact, he asked me to play with “one finger” from then on…another way of saying people want to hear “simple” music and not to make everything so “rich” in chord structure.

He was right. What I learned is to “play a European format and play it simple, with emotion, and to concentrate on playing the melody! NOT like this “dressed up” garbage music of today that America also invented.

Smart musicians know what an audience wants. If arranger keyboardists are not learning anything beyond the 70’s it’s because the people they’re playing to don’t want to hear it. They want to hear pre-70‘s songs that still have melodies.

Modern music is completely devoid of melody…it’s felt rather than heard (boom boom as the dance floor goes up and down at 140 BPM at 120 db).

Americans crave this discombobulated music as it is today, because they need to get their minds off of their problems. The more aggressive it is, the less are the chances of sinking into a reflective state of mind where they would have to address anything going on inside of them. Easier to distract themselves with music they can’t figure out!

My opinion of the difference between European music and American music is this: American music, from the 80’s to the present, is aggressive and is served up with gimmicks to dress up an empty dish, African rhythms to give it “movement,” painful volumes that cause your ears to bleed, and dedicated song stylists to cover up the fact that there is actually no melody line. European music is just plain raw fun, happy, and “feel-good.” I won’t deny that America has been the birth of many musical forms and has produced an incredible amount of wonderfully imaginative songs over the years. But the old saying applies here: “If it don’t need fixin,’ don’t repair it!” America should have left well enough alone before it proceeded to deflower it’s great American musical heritage.

You wrote: “Whereas the US is trying to come up with the NEXT worldwide sensation, by trying to be different, NOT the same.”

Who cares if the US comes up with some worldwide sensation. That’s like politics. Every time a new politician gets voted into office, he has to make changes. Doesn’t matter if the old procedures work just fine….got to make changes!

When I say jazz can be played by any musical buffoon on a tin piano, I meant simple jazz lines like scale runs and common chord substitutions, etc. I’m NOT talking jazz greats who really know their stuff. I’m talking average lounge musicians who can’t play melody lines effectively so they play syncopated “scale runs” that are interpreted as “cool” and everyone goes “Wow…can he play!” Sure he can play…..scale runs and broken chords that any “musical buffoon” can play!

My disclaimer here is this is all opinion based on experience since I haven’t played in Europe for 20 years now and I’m really not conversant with what it’s like there nowadays. But I know when I play an event here and Europeans are part of the crowd, I can tell immediately as they are the first ones on the dance floor to do a waltz (what I consider to be the world‘s first contact sport). This is unheard of with an American audience! You’d think they were still wearing their car seat belts!

Dickie...are you by any chance an orator? How long does it take you to write something like what you wrote above me here?

Lucky

Top
#236155 - 06/21/08 12:23 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Sorry, Lucky... It all comes out as one long stream of consciousness (probably why I get in so much trouble! )

I have to admit, I am torn between European sensibilities towards music, and American ones. Been here for over 25 years, and yes, there are many things about Europeans, and their zest for life and participatory attitudes towards music that I miss over here greatly. Going to a football game is not the musical experience it is in England, that's for sure!

But, in fairness, I still have to disagree with your assessment of how people respond to more advanced playing over there to here. Sure, busking involves the lowest common denominator in most parts of the world, but you'll also have to face that jazz, as practiced by it's best (and what point is there in discussing any less? ANY form of music played by lesser mortals is a diminution of the real thing, whether jazz or anything else) is probably more respected, admired, and practiced by Europeans (or Americans in Europe) than it is over here, nowadays. So much for European sensibility!

Of course, I miss the Old World's joy of participation in music... Try to start a sing-along over here is the FASTEST way to kill a room , but on the other hand, play something they really like, and you get a level of sheer LISTENING that I didn't see in England that much. They (the English) want to join in, NOT listen, in many bars...

And also I'm sorry, but tailoring my repertoire for the audience I have is just as important here as anywhere else. Sure, I've got to trot out Margaritaville once a night, even Brown Eyed Girl, but if I play Baker Street, or some obscure UB40 thing, even if it isn't their first choice, do it justice and they still go crazy! I think that is the determining factor... In Europe, no matter how bad (or good!) you are, play the old chestnuts and you are in business. Over here, not even that can save you if you suck... Which way is better? Depends on how good you are, I guess!

In Europe, most music made in the last 50 years or more has either been heavily influenced by local folk musics, or heavily influenced by American music. Heck, even the Beatles started out as little more than a Chuck Berry influenced rock and roll band.

And while modern American music may not be to all us older types' taste, there is no doubt it is having the same influence on the world's music as anything from the sixties and seventies (or earlier!). From Bollywood to Latin, hiphop is making it's presence felt. Whether you like this is up to you, but let's face it... the influence is in that direction, not the other way around. To blame this on marketing is to ignore the basic principle... You can't make people like something if they DON'T. You can do a good job of selling them it when they DO, but you can't MAKE them like something (try it if you don't believe me!)...

I made a good living playing La Paloma Blanca and Tie a Yellow Ribbon back in the day in England. To be honest, the fact that I CAN'T over here is, IMO, a sign that things over here are quite healthy, as far as music and the public goes Sure, I may not be very good at playing the latest Snoop Dog or Timbalake cut, but at least, whether we like it or not, people over here are listening to something NEW, not mired in singing the same old forty or fifty year old hits their parents used to dance to!

Top
#236156 - 06/21/08 04:13 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4865
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Can we get back to the Accordion
_________________________
English Riviera:
Live entertainment, Real Ale, Great Scenery, Great Beaches, why would anyone want to live anywhere else (I�m definitely staying put).

Top
#236157 - 06/21/08 04:15 AM Re: Wow! Now this is accordion playing!
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 39967
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
as far as music and the public goes Sure, I may not be very good at playing the latest Snoop Dog or Timbalake cut, but at least, whether we like it or not, people over here are listening to something NEW, not mired in singing the same old forty or fifty year old hits their parents used to dance to!


Better look again....those 60+yr old hits are Bigger then ever before with Millions of people STILL enjoying, listening & dancing too vs most of today's crap that will never be remembered years from now.
Now where's my new Sinatra CD "Nothing But The Best" I have to sit back & relax with some headphones on by the pool....
http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-But-Best-Frank-Sinatra/dp/B0013L5M08



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 06-21-2008).]

Top
Page 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Admin 



Help keep Synth Zone Online