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Single row button accordion. any tips?

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Rick Fielding 31 Oct 00 - 09:13 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Oct 00 - 09:27 PM
Rick Fielding 31 Oct 00 - 09:39 PM
little john cameron 31 Oct 00 - 09:40 PM
CarolC 31 Oct 00 - 09:45 PM
CarolC 31 Oct 00 - 09:49 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Oct 00 - 09:50 PM
little john cameron 31 Oct 00 - 09:59 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Oct 00 - 11:01 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Nov 00 - 12:19 PM
little john cameron 01 Nov 00 - 12:27 PM
little john cameron 01 Nov 00 - 12:39 PM
John J 01 Nov 00 - 12:58 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Nov 00 - 06:51 PM
Cobble 01 Nov 00 - 08:13 PM
harpgirl 01 Nov 00 - 08:16 PM
Bob Bolton 01 Nov 00 - 09:35 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Nov 00 - 12:06 AM
harpgirl 03 Nov 00 - 07:51 AM
harpgirl 03 Nov 00 - 07:55 AM
Rick Fielding 03 Nov 00 - 11:24 AM
John J 03 Nov 00 - 01:05 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Nov 00 - 11:03 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Nov 00 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,julie u 05 Nov 00 - 10:00 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Nov 00 - 11:18 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Nov 00 - 11:02 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Nov 00 - 11:05 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Nov 00 - 10:09 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Nov 00 - 11:48 AM
Bob Bolton 08 Nov 00 - 09:59 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Nov 00 - 10:06 PM
Dale Rose 10 Nov 00 - 02:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Nov 00 - 08:49 AM
Rick Fielding 10 Nov 00 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Sluefoot Sue 24 Nov 00 - 08:48 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Dec 01 - 11:29 PM
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Subject: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:13 PM

Hi. Like I need to learn one more instrument, right? But hey, I LOVE the process!

A few weeks ago I liberated a single row Hohner "Cajun style" melodeon from a pawn shop at a very low price. The thing simply wouldn't play, and the owner said "It's broken, don't come cryin' to me a week from now wantin' your money back"! Even though I can't really play accordion of any kind, I've taken a few apart so I knew that the problem was leaks in the bellows. I've fixed it up and it's tight as a drum (so to speak) so now comes the hard part. It's one of those things with four "stoppers" (what's the actual name?) to change the number of reeds used.

Has anybody got any tips on fingering? Tunes? Tricks? I really appreciate some help.

I'm sure heather wonders why with about 50 instruments in the basement already, I'm tackling this...but I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:27 PM

G'day Rick,

It's tuned like a mouthorgan (sort of). There's no choice of basses - just tonic bass and chord in and dominant out, so just beat out good time (or not at all). It can play its dominant key (mostly pushes - especially at start and finish - key notes button #4 or #7) or it related Dorian (mostly outs, key note button #4 outwards) or the related minor on the higher end (more outs again - key note #6 outwards) or the mixolydian ... or blues ... (starts on the #3 button out and has a fairly even mix).

Or you could shell out for a good instruction book in the style you like!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:39 PM

Thanks Bob. Strictly through perversity, I'll probably want to play several styles rather than concentrating on one. At the moment I've been programming simple chord patterns into my keyboard synth and just playing along. Completely improvising, and hopefully learning the push pull scales in the process. Just discovered the minor key a couple of hours ago. It's a good 'un. I'm playing along with "Minor Swing" on the synth, trying to avoid the bum notes.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: little john cameron
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:40 PM

Bob is richt Rick,the problem wi me is ah can play the moothie grand but when ah try tae play the squeeze box ah breathe in an oot as if ah'm on the moothie.This beats me oot an ah stert tae hyperventilate.If ye can manage tae tae it an breathe normally ye shouldnae hae much bother tae knock a tune oot o it.Watch oot for Heather tho as she micht get her female pairts caught in the bellows. ljc


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:45 PM

Hi Rick,

Here are some other threads that might have some helpful information, including links to other sites.

Accordion sites for beginners squeezebox instruction

Also, you might want to come to my accordion workshops in May. Bill Sables has agreed to teach the melodeon.

US Workshops: Bill Sables & Skipjack K8

Good luck, and best wishes. (And enjoy your squeezebox. They're a lot of fun!)

Carol


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:49 PM

"Accordion sites for beginners", and "squeezebox instruction" are two separate links. I neglected to separate their clickies with something else.

Carol


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:50 PM

G'day Rick and little john cameron,

Rick: I forgot to say ... don't pull up too many stops while you are learning. You'll run out of wind too soon and sound too loud. They are bloody good fun when you know what you are doing and really want to be heard!

little john cameron: What is even worse, especially when you played mouth organ for years, is what happens when you try to sing ... and play the squeezebox at the same time. Your mouth keeps puffing like there was a mouthorgan in front of it ... does nothing good for the singing, believe me!

I have taken decades to get to the point where I can sing intelligibly while playing button accordion - and that needed a really good song that went to a tune I did not know. When I know the tune well (ie - have played it many times on the mouth organ) there is no hope ... yet I can sight read a tune and sight read the words at the same time ... as long as they are unfamiliar! It all has to do with worn-in paths in the neurons (or maybe worn-out ...).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: little john cameron
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 09:59 PM

Geez Bob,ah never thocht aboot mah neurons.Dae ye think it wid be better ifah stood up tae play?? ljc


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Oct 00 - 11:01 PM

G'day yet again Rick,

I'm glad that you seem to picking up the box by ear. My potted explanation is not something that I would ever try on a beginner musician, but I figured that you have the ear to sort it out. I am reminded of something that happened at a music marathon I ended up coordinating at this year's Australian National Folk Festival (playing right through all 39 dance sets in the Bush Dance tune book). A friend was playing a newly acquired 2-row accordion in D and G and she realised we were heading for a tune in A.

I told her that she COULD play in A (more or less) by starting on the draw A notes from the G row while chording the D row's draw A7 … and playing the D chord material entirely on the D row (and needing the occasional G# on the accidental buttons … somewhere …). She poked away for a minute or two – then said "Hey that works!" Of course, she had played another instrument, the piano accordion for years and she could HEAR what she was doing so, although the fingers and arms had to learn a new pattern, she knew what it should sound like.

It is amazing just what different cultures and groups can do with a simple button accordion. There are lots of different styles you can play. Presumably, being a Cajun model, it has voicing to suit Cajun but there should be nothing to stop you playing many other styles.

little john cameron: I wouldn't risk straining MY neurons any further by asking them to multi-task!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 12:19 PM

This is great! Thanks.

I've dug out my Leadbelly records where he plays wonderful and bizarre versions of "John Hardy". Never knew how he did it....now I'm startin' to get a clue.

So here's the big question. Who's the best single row player to get a CD of and listen to?

I'm pretty well ignoring the two "chord" buttons at the moment, but I'm trying to see how many keys I can at least back someone up with using the "one...five" (or even "one..three" if neccessary) of the scale.

By the way, the model I liberated from the pawn shop is a black "Arietta". Think it's a Chinese Hohner.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: little john cameron
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 12:27 PM

SHARON SHANNON !! WITHOOT A DOOT. LJC


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: little john cameron
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 12:39 PM

Here ye go Rick,
http://www.rootsworld.com/celtic/


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: John J
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 12:58 PM

As you've got a melodeon (a diatonic accordion) as opposed to an ordinary accordion, you would be better off with a specific melodeon book. 'Mally's Melodeon Methods' is particularly good; he produces tapes which help with exercises ie they give you some idea of what you should sound like! The book / tapes are available from 'The Music Box' Cleckheaton, W Yorkshire. I don't have further details to hand, perhaps a search on www may help, also try looking for Dave Mallinson on www. If you're still stuck, pm me and I'll search out details for you. Good luck with an instrument that really can sound good. John


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 06:51 PM

I suppose as someone has to say it, it might as well be me....

Accordions, good tips? How about a bucket of paraffin and some fire lighters?

*BG* LTS


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Cobble
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 08:13 PM

Rick welcome to the wonderful world of real music played on a real instrument THE MELODEON. ENJOY!!! Liz TS Cant find Bucket of paraffin and Fire lighters in the DT !!!!!!!!!! any ideas.

Ho HO HO Cobble


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 08:16 PM

oh....I love Leadbelly playing the windjammer!!! Is it a diatonic instrument? A melodeon??? Go for it Rick!!!!


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 01 Nov 00 - 09:35 PM

G'day Harpgirl,

I don't know anything about the situation of Leadbelly taking up the button accordion, but I suspect it was quite like the old days here in Australia: every kid got of a mouth organ of some sort, at some time, and that gave the basic layout of the notes on the button accordion, so they could play it in their style almost immediately.

In his rendition of John Henry, Leadbelly seems to be using the accordion in much the same way as he might play a 'bluesy' style of cross harp for the same tune.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 12:06 AM

I'm in fucking heaven!! Thanks to Bob Bolton's breakdown of the various modes, I've finally deciphered Leadbelly's "Windjammer" style!!!

Played "John Hardy", "Laya" and "Sukey Jump" for a couple of hours. It's gonna take a while to get his timing (if ever) but just to know how the finest and most inventive folk musician of all time "got his" sound is apocalyptic to me. Bet it's the same feeling those who finally "find god" have! Listening to Huddie play "Packin' Trunk" (on Bess Lomax's six tring) as I type.

Also working on a more sedate minor key tune. "Mist Covered Mountains". They played a version of that in The wonderful little film "Local Hero".

This is fun!

Thanks so much for the response.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 07:51 AM

OH JOY!!!! Rick!!!! I worked on his timing last night playing "Don't ya Love Yo Daddy No Mo". I wish I could see his feet! Anyone know of some video? On that tune he speeds it up from beginning to end. It is quirky but that's one of the reasons I love Leadbelly. What an improviser!

Hi Bob! I got an accordion when I was a wee girl and I didn't master it and then bought a concertina and couldn't figure that out. I'm not giving up! I'll keep you posted. Leadbelly is just the person to help me! I channel him you know! hahahaha


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 07:55 AM

looky looky yonder, whamp! Looky looky yonder whamp! Looky looky where the sun dun gone!!


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 11:24 AM

Peter T asked an interesting (to me at least) question last night. Is a two row melodeon tuned the same as a single row "cajun" accordion? I'd like to know that if I put all this work into my single row sucker, I'll be able to use the same fingering if I eventually get a two row one.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: John J
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 01:05 PM

The fingering technique is the same; you have more versatility to do other things with a two row. If you master a single row four stop, apart from the four stops, the two row can be played on either row. John


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 11:03 PM

Thanks John.

Managed to get a couple of hours in today DESPITE domestic crapola chores.

Worked on bluesy scales in G (cross-melodeon!!?) and "off to Sea Once More" (minor) as well as an attempt at ragtime (Sadie Greene The Vamp of New Orleans)

Starting to learn which notes AIN'T there and have to be compensated for.

Thanks again folks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 05:01 AM

G'day Rick,

What John J is essentially correct - two-row accordions can be just 2 one-rowers squeezed together, but there are variations:

The Irish (and other European groups) style two-row is chromatic - with two rows set a semitone apart ... B/C, C/C#, D/D#. The classic old Hohners were Double Ray models.

The 'standard' two-row has an inner row a fourth above the outer one - D/G is the 'standard British melodeon', G/C is common here in Australia (I had to persuade the Hohner concessionaires to import me a batch of the English D/G specials when they ran a batch at Trossingen). A/D seems to have a lot of Scottish adherents and C/F was common here between the wars - when old bush (country) fiddlers preferred to keep their fiddles pitched a tone low to reduce the strain in hot weather, so they fiddled like in D and G today but the pitch was C and F.

Another difference is whether the lowest notes are part of the chord series - like on a mouth organ. The commonly imported Hohner models here have those keys tuned as semitones from the middle scale. I was told by the retired importer that this was because Australia always got an offload of the models bound for Argentina ... for tangoists ... and they needed the semitones.

I ended up with a three-row (C/C/F) with the straight-through (no semitones) tuning - and sort of explored it and the advantages of having 2 more melody notes per row ... then found I had got used to the semitone tuning and had these reeds retuned, so I only have to think about one arrangement.

Keep at it - look at all the cultures that have made virtues out of what button accordions lack! (Including the Cajuns, who play a repertoire inherited from chromatic fiddles on one-row melodeons.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,julie u
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 10:00 AM

re 1 row versus 2 row. its the same pattern on a 1 row, 2 row, 3 row, anglo concertina, chemnitz and bandoneon, the difference is 1. the the more buttons the more notes 2. there are occasional pattern changes ie same note on the push/draw--the difference is style. with your current instrument i suggest: 1. learn the scale. the buttons have a sequence, familearize yourself with it and play up/down. 2. learn the key you are in then you know which notes you have. also 1. congratulations on fixing the bellows they can be a source of great grief. 2. the stops open up the available reed banks-they are tuned slightly off from each other ("wet") but that is part of the package. 4. as the others have said look for a book on the one row melodeon, get the basics, and then listen, listen listen to alot of recordings and play along. its a style - double noteing, using the available note instead of what the fiddle (who has all the notes) will use. 5.. Listen to Bob B- he is the most accordion savy person i have run across in this column.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Nov 00 - 11:18 AM

Thanks Julie. Boy am I EVER listening to Bob! (and the rest of the folks here

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Nov 00 - 11:02 PM

G'day Rick and JulieU,

As far as playing the one row at a time goes, all three "Richter" systems play much the same and, while Rick is learning on a single-row box, that is pretty well all that he needs to know. (Especially while he hangs in there with Cajun, because it is a one-row style.)

The reasons for picking up a two-row (or three- ... or four-...) get a lot more complex. You don't just carry that extra weight to save switching boxes to change key - the range of chords becomes more interesting and the modal possibilities increase. Just how you want to partake of all these extras explains (almost) all the weird variants around.

Local tradition also confuses the issue - the inside row on a non-chromatic two-row accordion is a fifth higher (eg - G/c) but the insde row of a two-row Anglo concertina is a fourth lower (eg - g/C). Why the difference ... ask some long dead London concertina manufacturer ... probably that was the range of reeds he had lying around when he made the first one (or maybe that just happened when the first German concertina was made in Chemnitz, East Saxony).

Anyway, it does make a difference to the way you play extended tunes ... or make use of the other row to shift into a different octave ... or play traditional techniques like "doubling" - playing in octave (or fifth, or third parallels). It doesn't have a much effect as long as you are still working out the single-rower's virtues (andd they are many!).

Regards,

Bob Bolton (whose wife Patricia says he "knows more about some of these instruments than anyone else wishes to know!".


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Nov 00 - 11:05 PM

Did a bit of modification on the strap today (want to get used to being able to play standing up)

What's double noting?

I find that the best way I learn any instrument is strictly by ear, so I'll give the manuals a pass for a bit. Seem to be making some progress. I went through (now don't shoot me...it was handy) about thirty tunes from the Clancy Bros. Songbook, and can pretty well play all the major key ones with minimal mistakes. Not smoothe yet of course, but it'll come.

Oh another question. What's the best way to accompany your singing? Let's say I'm singing "Liverpool Lou"...do I play the melody along with the singing or imply the chords with the right hand. I'm not messing with the left hand "1-5" chords yet.

Thanks again.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 10:09 PM

G'day Rick,

Doubling is a traditional technique of augmenting the right hand sound by playing 2 (or more) notes together. Old time button accordion players used it extensively for dances ... they had no PA and they needed to be heard over hundreds of dancing feet. It was also common on concertina. I will often play that way for traditional effect - but not necessity any longer.

Accompanying singing gets to be an interesting thing - depending on your past musical history. If, like me, you spent a long time as a specialised mouth organ player ... it is very difficult because your mouth wants to puff and suck along with the bellows movement! This does nothing for the song. I can only play accordion to accompany a song I never learned on mouth organ. (Fortunately, I prefer unaccompanied singing.)

The best singer / Button accordion player I have ever encountered has been sighted in Mudcat waters - Brian Peters. (I saw and heard him about 10 years back a little folk club in Sydney, then he was at our National Folk Festival, in Canberra, a few years back. I did not go down for the music classes in the week before the festival, and have regretted it ever since. If they book Brian again, I'll be first in line for the classes.

I gather he brings a really good combination of skills to folk music and accordion - with a background of guitar in a rock group, he has a great appreciation of the performance values of driving rhythm and he has the best technical grasp of accordion (especially ways to get chords that were not designes in) that I have ever encountered. Of course, he is doing all this on 3-row (or 2-row European "Club" system) boxes, so it is not relevant to you - yet.

Listen to his stuff if you come across it - I am plugged into his CD Squeezing out Sparks (Pugwash Music: PUGCD001, 1994) on my CD WalkThing today. He does his own rather different take on Leadbelly's John Hardy on this CD.It is mostly songs and a few dance tracks - including a few of my favourite Australian collected waltzes. One more comment; he is also the hardest working box player I have ever seen ... might have something to do with it!

(The thread I last remember seeing his name in was a while back and started as a request for The Oyster Girl. I might have been the person who mentioned his version (different from the one I know - as well as the version in DigiTrad ... and very nice) in the thread.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 11:48 AM

Thanks again Bob. I've had very little time for Mudcat the last few days, but I've looked forward to this thread and the great tips. Once again Mudcat comes through with the goods when ya need it!

One more question though...and it seems to be a crucial one for me at this point.

I've think I've nailed the scale and the push-pull variations but I'm CONSTANTLY on the wrong finger! Sometimes I'm grapping a note to the left of my index finger by having to roll the side of the finger quickly to pick it up. Is there a specific way of using the fingers (I'm employing 1st,2nd,3rd,and 4th) where you "cross over" like on piano?

Accompanying the singing is starting to come along just by learning to play quieter and using one or two notes to imply the chord.

Thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 09:59 PM

G'day Rick,

I guess that somewhere back in the process there was a theoretical "right" finger for a note ... or a 'right' placement for a particular passage. I seem to remember, in the early '80s when I started playing a lot more written arrangements of dance music for the Bush Music Club's Colonial heritage Balls, that I spent a lot of time annotating sheet music for the best moment and direction to shift ... then I stopped looking at it.

I guess it got internalised and now I don't think about it! It really is the sum total of your experience that plays any instrument and, as long as you have to think about it, you aren't quite there, yet. I find thinking positively dangerous on the button accordion. Performance seems to keep it at bay, but practicing is always very hazardous for me.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 10:06 PM

Thanks again Bob. I can truly say because of the help I've received here, I've learned more in a week than I would have in two months on my own. T'is a grand instrument, and I'm glad I rescued it from the pawn shop.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Dale Rose
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 02:06 AM

Here ya go, Rick. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Accordions (actually a short explanation of the origins of the accordion in South Louisiana ~~ not what you are asking for, but an interesting side trip ~~ even further aside, I wasn't looking for it, just ran across it while searching for info on young accordion player Kristi Guillory)


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 08:49 AM

I would certainly agree with Bob about Brian Peters being one of the best singer/button box players around.

Brian Plays multiple melodeons and anglo concertina (as well as guitar - but not all at the same time you understand;-)) to accompany songs as well as playing the boxes by themselves for tunes. I have a vinyl album of Brians called "Persistance of Memory" which I can record onto MC and send you if you like - provided that my son gets round to fixing my turntable which he borrowed and then broke!!!

He also features on a number of other albums by various artists - notably "The Widows Uniform", a recording of a stage show done using Peter Bellamys adaptations of Rudyard Kipling poems/songs. Speaking of Peter (rest his soul) he is always worth a listen - OK it is anglo concertina rather than melodeon but the principle is still the same (or certainly very similar!)

PM me if you want me to record the stuff as I am not on here every day and the thread may be gone next time.

Come to think of it I will PM this to you, Rick, just in case.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:49 PM

Thanks Dale and Dave.

As much as I love (and will play) the traditional repertoire from this instrument, I found myself straying FAR afield last night. Programmed several musical loops into my keyboard and played along with

Bo Jangles, Georgia On My Mind, Lotsa uptempo Blues and Pachelbel's Canon!!!

Back to cajun and British Isles tomorrow!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,Sluefoot Sue
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 08:48 PM


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 11:29 PM

Found it! Here ya go Charcloth.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Frank Maher
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 12:16 PM

The best 4 Stop Single Row Accordion Player I've come across was John J Kimmel who made Records in the First Half of the 1900s...There's some Information on Him in GOOGLE...I have Collected a Lot of His Music and will Gladly Share It with anybody!!


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,Guest--NobleSavage
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 02:33 PM

Howdy, all--I play both one and two-row boxes. I've been exploring the uncertanties of both for a number of years. For those interested in these instruments, I recommend John Kirkpatricks videos on the subject. There are three to date; I have the first two. The first one is devoted to the one-row 4 stop. The attentive participant in this experience will receive a thorough grounding in playing this deceptivly simple instrument. This most excellent instruction continues for the first half of the second video and covers virtually everything that can be accomplished on the instrument. After working with these products, I find my ability to play both the instrument itself and tunes on the instrument markedly expanded.

They may be purchased through Mrs. Casey Music. Please forgive my ignorance as I do not possess the skill to create the incredibly friendly and useful link to take you there.(alas) Fortunately, any number of search engines stand ready to take up the slack.

I hope this information is useful, and I wish to thank all who keep this site going.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,Bluebeard at work
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 03:50 PM

I play a two row C/G and worked out chords using both rows. Singing is fine playing chords but I'll be damned if I can play melody and sing at the same time !


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Miken
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 06:52 PM

I am tickled to see this thread pop up. I've spent the last eight months listening to all the button box music I could find after hearing Sharon Shannon here in Seattle in May. Decided life won't be complete till I learn to play one. I've yet to find an instructor locally, so am looking for as much "how to" stuff as I can while waiting for my box to arrive in February. John Williams video was recommended, and seems a good start; especially since he's scheduled to teach box at the Friday Harbor Irish Music camp (1st Annual) in march. Thanks, folks, for the info. Glad I found the Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 01 - 11:09 PM

Tips....hmmmmmmm......

First one that comes to mind is, burn it. ;D


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Charcloth
Date: 31 Dec 01 - 12:11 AM

Alot of good info here but even so I am haveing trouble with the basic stuff like where should my hands be & how is the best way to shift positions. how far do I need to pull the thing out, more or less the mechanics of the little box. I don't know the difference between one style box from the other. not even sure it matters with this little junior jobby. Can any one recomend a book or video. I don't plan on making the accordion a primary instrument but want to approach it as more than just a novelty. Mostly I just want to have fun with it.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 09:44 PM


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,noble savage
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 01:33 PM

Charcloth--that depends--is the box in question 1 or 2 row? That can influence hand position, shifts, the ongoing controversy regarding thumb-strap, etc. What species is your box?


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,flora
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 07:44 PM

Have you heard of Oscar Woods? Brilliant traditional English melodeon player - one-row four-stop box, and stepdancer, sadly dead now but fortunately there are recordings.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Feb 02 - 02:50 AM

G'day Charcloth, Most of those questions bothered me ... about 30 years ago ... now I can't remember resolving them! The Button Boxes are all designed to play from memory and experience - and that's how you get to be good at them. Sorry I can't remember anything more specific!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,noble savage
Date: 25 Feb 02 - 06:38 PM

Oscar Woods--Ahh, yes, elegant simplicity, nicely crafted phrasing, insistant, get-under-your-feet pulse--I could go on, but you get the idea...hearing him made me really want to explore the sounds the instrument makes as well as playing the tunes themselves. Also, listening to a musican who grew up playing for dancing as part of everyday life gave me fresh insight into playing for dancers, too.

Recordings--on the "Voice of the People" series on the "Topic" label--the one entitled "Rig-a-jig-jig--music of Southern England" or something like that (exact title escapes me at present) also on a 2 cassette tape series on the Veteran label entitled "Pigeon on the Gate" Melodeon Playing in East Anglia. They gave him a goodish portion of one side. (I'm still trying to sort out the crooked version of "Pidgeon" recorded thereon) I can also recommend a waltz entitled "The Italian Waltz" Don't know if it is, in fact Italian, but it's a good natured tune and fun to play.

Who else, (other than the estimable Mr. Bolton) plays these type of instruments? Let us bring them from the shadows...


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,kwcouch
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 05:38 PM

I inherited a vintage 1904 Hohner single row 2 stop. Is it realistic to expect it to sound right or to learn on it? It was my grandfather's so I would never sell it. He played by ear which I struggle at.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: terrier
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:14 PM

Guest kwcouch, try going HERE   and asking the same question, they just love talking about Hohners.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:30 PM

We do indeed! (or any other button boxes too)


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 12:08 AM

buy a real accordion...


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,Mike Kaelin
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 12:19 AM

With a 1-row diatonic accordion, you have the same notes as a harmonica. With 2 rows (some older Hohner club models, for example), you have enough to play simple songs, with a few chords. If you find a 3-row chromatic (some austrian or slavic button boxes), you'll essentially have all the notes, and it gets easier to play complete songs except you're pretty stuck in a couple of keys. Some Swiss diatonics have 2 or 3 rows, plus an extra row with some sharps and flats that are not in the same key. Still pretty hard to get modern tunes out of it.

To me, a diatonic is best used as accompaniment. If all you need is a couple of chords, it's very simple. If you really want to play accordion, get a chromatic. It's a little harder to get started because it looks like a lot of buttons, but ultimately you'll be able to change keys and make 4 or 5 note chords much easier than on a piano accordion. Also, the buttons are close together and much faster than a piano keyboard.


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: PHJim
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 01:02 AM

Nathan Abshire - Joli Blonde


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 06:43 AM

I have a one row C Honer and I really like it for accompanying sea shanties - it has a really gutsy base. I think it must be 100 years old.
advice?
Check the tuning before playing in sessions - it might be a bit out. I went to a workshop on tuning which convinced me that I will continue to just get my boxes done by someone who knows what he is doing.
To start with pick tunes that don't have accidentals and are a lot of arpeggio notes - like Soldiers Joy.
When singing with it take care not to drown yourself out. They can be louder than you think. Ask a friend standing in front you to check it out.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Single row button accordion. any tips?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 08:36 AM

from the point of view of ornamentation i might suggest using button above to melody note in same direction for twiddles.


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