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Help with diminished chord, accordion.

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GUEST,DaisyA 07 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM
Sorcha 07 Aug 01 - 11:00 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Aug 01 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,John in Brisbane 08 Aug 01 - 01:56 AM
Skipjack K8 08 Aug 01 - 09:44 AM
M.Ted 08 Aug 01 - 06:49 PM
CraigS 08 Aug 01 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,DaisyA 10 Aug 01 - 09:34 PM
Bernard 11 Aug 01 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,SharonA at the library 11 Aug 01 - 04:09 PM
MAV 11 Aug 01 - 11:24 PM
Crowhugger 12 Aug 01 - 12:36 AM
Anglo 12 Aug 01 - 11:16 PM
Cappuccino 13 Aug 01 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Brendan 05 Jan 12 - 07:58 AM
Peter C 05 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jan 12 - 12:32 PM
Stringsinger 05 Jan 12 - 07:15 PM
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Subject: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,DaisyA
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM

Hi, I have just purchased a clapped out old 120 bass accordion, and as my old one was 96 bass, I am new to the diminished chords row - how do I stick them into my existing repertoire? Where do they sound good: before returning to the dominant? before transposing to minor chords?

Your thoughts please.... Thanks, Daisy


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM

Try using your ears - they sound good where you think they sound good


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 11:00 PM

Not quite sure what you mean here, since I don't play accordian, but a Diminished chord means take the top note of the major and move it up a half step, and the bottom note of the major chord down a half step. It requires spreading your hand out......

If an accordian has "button functions" for Dim, I have no clue.


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 01:18 AM

Advice from Guest above - play them where they sound good - is fairly sound advice, but you need to find some music to practice on to work up an "ear" for them.

I haven't run into much Folk/Filk music notated with many dim chords, but I've noted that they show up fairly often in some of the newer "Country" stuff. Haven't looked at it very much, but they seem to be used as a transition, much like the 7 chord, but where a more minor "feeling" is wanted.

Would suggest working with a few songs where somebody you like (or can stand long enough to practice a little) has showed you (in notation - tab or dots) where they fit, just to get the feel. Perhaps try the Cowpie site for some fairly simple stuff to practice.

If you really want to do the heavy duty work on them, look for older jazz & swing stuff - in notation, so that you can see where the good guys have used them.

John


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,John in Brisbane
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 01:56 AM

Hi Daisy, I'm just passing through so this advise will be quick. You'll find squillions in music collections from before WWII where the piano arrangements are really rich with lots of jazz chords for quite familiar songs. They'll be listed above the treble clef in plain text such as "Eb dim". You should find enough at your local library to get you started - the buskers' Fake Books often have good chord arrangements.

Try a few of these out to complement your ear training. You'll also see lots of augmented chords in these songs. Is this part of the standard 120 bass configuration? Well done with your pursuits - it's a joy to hear good/alternative chords played on a box.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 09:44 AM

John, it is standard configuration, i.e. 6 rows, the diminished being the outer row, or the one with dust on. I would happily have mine surgically removed, as they add weight to an already spine de-forming colossus.

Daisy, I agree with John that it's commendable to make a different, richer sound than 'standard' accordion. I can't help yopu, as I've never knowingly pressed one, but that is because of ignorance rather than arrogance. I just swell with pride if I make a successful landing on a major 7th!

The demon of the basses, Sir Samuel Pirt, might give you a pointer, but I don't think I've even seen him venture into that zip code on his box.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 06:49 PM

Daisy,

The short answer is that you can't stick diminished chords into your old repertoire.

The chords to the arrangements to your tunes don't change because you've got new buttons one your accordion. What you have to do is learn some songs that include diminished chords in the arrangement--someone mentioned, above, that many popular songs written in the last part of the last century and the first six or so decades of this one feature diminshed chords. Check out a songbook that features materials from this time period and you will come across some.

Of course, it is possible to write completely new arrangements to the songs you know, and to include the diminished chord sound, but that takes a bit of music theory--

Here is something you can try, just to give you as taste:

Take a song that you know, in say, the key of C--replace all the G7's with a Bdim

(note: Bdim is the same chord as Ddim,Fdim, and Abdim, so you can interchange them, or play them in scale order--Bdim-Ddim-Fdim-Abdim-Bdim, to get the "Young-girl-tied-to-the-railroad-tracks" effect. Your friends and family will get sick of this trick a lot sooner than you will, though, so be warned.)


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: CraigS
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 08:10 PM

The diminished chord row is not superfluous - the fact is that in four-note terms the diminished chord is one semitone off a standard seventh chord, and many players use the seventh as a substitute for the diminished chord because it is immediately available. To really hear the use of the diminished row, it is necessary to listen to French exponents of the accordeon - mainly in expression of passing chords in Tango mode (you don't get Argentinian equivalents because they are playing bandoneons). You may not know this, but the bandoneon is a truly evil free reed instrument which is the ultimate vehicle for the expression of Tango, and is also as easy to play as the average alligator.


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,DaisyA
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 09:34 PM

Thanks for the advice guys, I'll get practicing. The idea of Cole Porter, Gerschwin or Berlin on the accordion is pretty cool!

However I'm now confused as to what notes exactly comprise a diminished chord... I always thought that (eg in C) you drop the 3rd and the 5th, giving you C, Eb, Gb. But Sorcha says (above) that you _raise_ the top note (the 5th?) and drop the bottom note, presumably giving you C, E(flat?), Ab, B ????, then M.Ted (also above) describes the dim. chord as a series of minor thirds, so it would be C, Eb, Gb, A.

So my understanding is - you drop the 3rd and the 5th and then add a 6th. Is this right? I'm a piano player too, you think that I would know this stuff by now!

Thanks for clarifying! Daisy


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 03:08 PM

Technically the diminished chord is exactly as you describe, Daisy - a minor chord with a flattened fifth. That is, in effect, two minor thirds put together. The augmented chord is a major chord with the fifth sharpened, but totally irrelevant to this thread!

In common usage the 'other' minor third is often added to a diminished - as in J.S, Bach's famous Toccata in D minor for organ - so both explanations are valid.

Dunno what Sorcha meant, though! Care to elaborate, chuck?!

Diminished chords are rarely used in folk music, probably because chords are chosen to accompany the tune. In 'pop' music, though, the tune is often written to fit a chord progression.

My brain hurts!


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,SharonA at the library
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 04:09 PM

You're not going to believe this, but just a few minutes before I opened this thread, the librarian brought me a polka songbook (containing a song I'd been searching for)! It's a Hal Leonard book called "Polka Time!", copyright 1988. Leafing through this book, I find notations for diminished chords in the following polkas:
The Beer Barrel Polka
The Helena Polka
Hop-Scotch Polka
Hoop-Dee-Doo
Jolly Peter
Liechtensteiner Polka
The Merry Christmas Polka
Music! Music! Music! (Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon)
My Melody of Love (Moja droga jacle kocham)
The Pennsylvania Polka
Red Raven Polka
Too Fat Polka (She's too fat for me)
Vict'ry Polka [words by Sammy Cahn, copyright 1943]

Hope this helps... and my apologies for wasting your thread space if you're not "into" polkas!

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: MAV
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 11:24 PM

Dear Daisy,

You are correct in your description of the diminished chord's properties (one/minor third/flatted fifth/double flat seventh or sixth).

When you both diminish (shrink) and augment (stretch) a chord, it's called a "demented" chord. (Just kidding)

I have also found a use for diminished chords as substitute chords (in blues/swing).

On the full sized keyboard, if you were playing in the key of "C" and at the end of a blues progression in the "turnaround" you may encounter what I call a "3-6, 2-5, 1" (Em-A, Dm-G, C).

If you play the proper bass notes (or walk them) with the left hand(E, A, D, G, C) you can substitute some of the chords (R.H.) which finger nicely. (Em-Edim (instead of A), Dm-Ddim (instead of G), C79).

Obviously this doesn't work in all styles of music, but it does have occasional applications as the earlier posters stated.

Perhaps you can come up with a relationship formula which will tell you where to substitute and then let the ear be the final judge.

By the way, they say you can't invert a diminished chord. Who the hey do they think they are. If you do consider them invertable, that means there are only 4 or 5 of them.

Happy diminshing!

mav out


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Crowhugger
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 12:36 AM

Mav, they say you can't invert the diminished chord because of the equal distance between all the component notes. No matter how you re-stack them, you still get the identical chord structure, just at a different pitch.


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Anglo
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 11:16 PM

Consider a C major 7th chord - C, E, G, Bb. Use all the notes of the chord except the root and you have an E dim chord (in sheet music the dim is sometimes indicated with a little circle, like a degree symbol). In practice however most diminished chords have a diminished 7 as well as a diminished 5. So from your original C7 chord, move your C up to a C# and you have a diminished chord which could be described as C# dim, E dim, G dim, or Bb dim depending on its function. If you're going from, say a C to a D minor, you could put a C# dim in between and give yourself a moving bass line off the C chord.

My own feeling is that in Stephen Foster's "Hard Times" (in the key of C, say) there should be a dim chord on the "wea-" as in "song, a sigh of the WEA-ry." Folkies usually simplify to an F chord, try a C dim (or F# dim) and see whether you like the sound. If you do, dust off the row.


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Cappuccino
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:39 AM

I think it's no accident that our band has always referred to them as 'demented' chords....

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,Brendan
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 07:58 AM

So since the Diminished Chord Button on your accordion produces 3 notes when pushed you can use this to create other chords.
http://www.accordionpage.com/chcomb.html
Also some accordions do not have a Dim button. To achieve a Dim chord on an 80 bass box try to use C note button and F7 chord button to get one. This sometimes works if the 7th chord is also a 3 note chord. Sometime the 7th button produces a 4 note chord and it would not sound correct. You will know right away. Also one accordion I have has a 3 note 7th chord and its rootless. so C7 has no C in it! Then you can use the E counter bass button and the C7 chord button to create an E Dim(ish).


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Peter C
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM

John Sheahan of the Dubliners always refers to them as 'demented'and wrote 'The Impish Hornpipe' to take advantage of them!


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 12:32 PM

I decided to check into diminished chords to see if I've been missing something good. (I don't think I have been.)

My dictionary says that a diminished triad has a minor third and a diminshed fifth. It gives the example E G B-flat.

In other words, to get a diminshed chord, finger a minor chord in the root position, then slip your top finger down one-half step, and you've got it. Something tells me that most musicians don't use the root position. (They probably spread it out and make it seem more sophisticated.)

I've played it, and to me it sounds like the scary chord that the violins make just as the pretty girl in the horror movie opens the forbidden door and sees...(gasp!!)

No doubt, if you do it right, it can be made to sound good in jazz, swing, modern classical, or Tin Pan alley music. If I wanted to play those, I would get the appropriate fake books from the library, then play the chords till they became second nature.

But I don't think I will.


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Subject: RE: Help with diminished chord, accordion.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 07:15 PM

The chord that is used most is a diminished seventh chord, not a three note chord.
Here's how is has to be used. 1,3,b5,bb7. For example, key of C: C,Eb,Gb,Bbb (A)
It is built on minor 3rds. There are two practical ways of using it. One is to play it the way you would play a major chord, (the same name). C diminished seventh for example.
The other would be to play it a half step higher, C# diminished seventh for example.
The best approach is when you are learning a song, the sheet music in early pop music will contain the name of the diminished seventh that you need.

It gets complicated theoretically because a diminished seventh chord is built upon a dominant seventh flat nine chord. If a dominant seventh flat nine is spelled out, 1,3,5,b7,b9 as a five note chord, the top four notes of that chord will become a diminished seventh chord.
Example: C,E,G,Bb,Db is the C7b9 chord. E,G,Bb,Db becomes the diminished seventh and takes the name E diminished seventh. (The C is called the "generator" of the diminished seventh chord.

The most practical way to use it is to just take the name of the chord given to you in the sheet music.

Now on the accordion, you only have the three note triad in the bass. You have to add the other note with the right hand on the piano side or suggest it with the playing of a scale or arpeggio.


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