CBA Tutor
#1
I stumbled across this Duo's website the otherday.

www.diouflo.com

These two ladies are based in the far west of Brittany, as well as a  selection of excellent video's, information, free scores and shopping opportunities,  I found that they had published a Tutor for Chromatic Button Accordions. It's in French but an on line translation is availble. If anyone wants to check it out you'll need to register on their website.  It might be a handy introduction for a new CBA player.

They also run courses and teach privately.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KtTbHIIJFM.  This should be Schottishe du Retz and I think it is excellent.
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#2
Diouflo are brilliant.  They teach both CBA and diatonic and have created a method for each type of accordion that's really easy to follow and very progressive.  I did a diato assessment (1 hour a day for 3 days) and felt even in that short time that I progressed.
I have the diato method and understand that the CBA method works in pretty much the same way. With the videos and the explanation videos which are accessible if you have the tutorial, you can learn a lot by yourself.  It's enabled me to progress much faster than if I just played what I wanted.

People who have done their courses (CBA and diato) and often go back for more.  It's a fun way to learn and if you don't speak French, the Flos speak some English (as do some of the people who do their courses). 

Sorry, this sounds like an ad for them but I can't speak highly enough of their professionalism and excellent, well-thought out method.

On the diato side, I was lucky to find an excellent secondhand Castagniari Dony, 2 1/2 row G/C which is ideal for the music I play now.
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#3
Corsaire,

What do you mean you did an assessment? Is there a free lesson sample somewhere on the site?
I haven't found anything there yet.
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#4
Mitchnc 

I wanted to be corrected on any bad habits I'd picked up learning on my own and to see if I was getting the hang of playing the diato.  Diouflo offer a "suivi personnalisé" and suggested having one hour a day for 3 days.  I was corrected on a couple points which made a difference to my playing :  the way I held the box, used the bellows/air button and the straps.  I was given a piece to learn by ear for the following day (I'd taken a little recorder with me, as requested) and was also given some music to sight read.  I was shown some techniques which were very useful.  This would have been exactly the same whichever type of accordion I was playing.  It's different having to think about push-pull but I guess being a chromatic player already does help.

There aren't any free lessons on line.  I think they try to guard their method carefully to avoid being copied or pirated.  I hesitated for a while before going there as I'd had a bad experience locally with someone who "animated" a group of accordionists but was not actually a teacher and he certainly lacked pedagogie skills ! 

I picked up more in those 3 hours than I ever imagined and as a result bought a copy of "The Method".  The idea is to take you through different ways of playing, rhythms, ornaments, timing etc etc. all in a step by step progression.  Like any good tutor, it's necessary to avoid going onto a stage before completing properly the one before.
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#5
Oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying.

Edit: I've been thinking more about what you said about them being protective of the method.
Is it really revolutionary? Can you share any details?

It's a pretty expensive book, especially to have it shipped to the USA.
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#6
(03-01-2020, 07:56 PM)Corsaire Wrote: Mitchnc 

I wanted to be corrected on any bad habits I'd picked up learning on my own and to see if I was getting the hang of playing the diato.  Diouflo offer a "suivi personnalisé" and suggested having one hour a day for 3 days.  I was corrected on a couple points which made a difference to my playing :  the way I held the box, used the bellows/air button and the straps.  I was given a piece to learn by ear for the following day (I'd taken a little recorder with me, as requested) and was also given some music to sight read.  I was shown some techniques which were very useful.  This would have been exactly the same whichever type of accordion I was playing.  It's different having to think about push-pull but I guess being a chromatic player already does help.

There aren't any free lessons on line.  I think they try to guard their method carefully to avoid being copied or pirated.  I hesitated for a while before going there as I'd had a bad experience locally with someone who "animated" a group of accordionists but was not actually a teacher and he certainly lacked pedagogie skills ! 

I picked up more in those 3 hours than I ever imagined and as a result bought a copy of "The Method".  The idea is to take you through different ways of playing, rhythms, ornaments, timing etc etc. all in a step by step progression.  Like any good tutor, it's necessary to avoid going onto a stage before completing properly the one before.

Sally,

Wish something like this had been available when I started out, and I like their approach of allowing students with 4 row CBAs to use row 4 if it feels more comfortable. 

The French right hand finger notation of P,1,2,3,4 is what I'm used to, and it appears to be the case from the examples on their website that they adhere to the French logic of at least trying to achieve equal strength in all right hand fingers. 

That very aspect will probably be off-putting to non-French students and/or converts from PA, where to use the thumb only occasionally could be construed as a self imposed handicap. 
   
The best bit of all is the Flos' advice that we should remember that it is music we are playing and not numbers!


The type of music they play is perhaps not for me, but they have to be admired for introducing what appears to be one of the most straightforward CBA tutors available. Guitar tabs on a CBA accordion (or diatonic)!  I obviously haven't seen the whole method, but for anybody who doesn't mind learning CBA the French way I don't think there will currently be anything better available. 

Well, it seems that whilst most of France has forgotten what an accordion was, things are still rosy in the region of the tasty Keravel onion (just ordered my sets for this year). I suppose there will always be an interest in Breton folk music, whether played on CBA or diatonic. 

Funnily enough I also have some pepper seeds from the Basque region, another folk accordion stronghold. If I can't play the music very well I may as well try and grow their produce!

We met some Basque kids from Espelette when we were in Greece last year, and when I told them I played French accordion they were not impressed at all. They said that Santa Claus didn't play the accordion in any books they had ever read. The girl in the clip was the double of one of them, so maybe she just didn't want to admit she played in front of her friends? Who knows! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df6EDZDIcTE
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#7
John

Funnily enough, some kids are nervous about telling others they play the accordion as they are afraid of being teased or bullied.  A great shame.  I've come across a 15 year old player on a French diatonic group who's really talented but feels he has to keep quiet.  Perhaps it's just a confidence thing.

If Diouflo's CBA method is as good as the diatonic one, then it must be pretty good.  The pieces have been composed as exercises with progression in mind.  It's really tempting to go CBA from PA but with my PA commitments and learning the diato, it's just one thing too many.

Breton music is still popular .... in Brittany and there are loads of get-togethers, dancing, etc.  It's not just oldies either, but all ages.  My aim is to get into the performing group of a club I belong to but there's a lot of hard work to do to get up to the level.  Will still keep the PA going - the Brandoni was the perfect choice for me.
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#8
(07-01-2020, 06:08 PM)Corsaire Wrote: John

Funnily enough, some kids are nervous about telling others they play the accordion as they are afraid of being teased or bullied.  A great shame.  I've come across a 15 year old player on a French diatonic group who's really talented but feels he has to keep quiet.  Perhaps it's just a confidence thing.

If Diouflo's CBA method is as good as the diatonic one, then it must be pretty good.  The pieces have been composed as exercises with progression in mind.  It's really tempting to go CBA from PA but with my PA commitments and learning the diato, it's just one thing too many.

Breton music is still popular .... in Brittany and there are loads of get-togethers, dancing, etc.  It's not just oldies either, but all ages.  My aim is to get into the performing group of a club I belong to but there's a lot of hard work to do to get up to the level.  Will still keep the PA going - the Brandoni was the perfect choice for me.

Hi Sally,

Most French people under about 50 whom I've spoken to with regard to the accordion cringe when the word is mentioned. One old dear from Bailleul (Hawick's twin town) summed it up. She said that foreigners were in love with the notion that everybody in France still wore striped jerseys, berets, and played accordions. She said she had enjoyed the music in its day, and felt sorry for the young kids who still try and play to please their grandparents. There wasn't much I could say in answer to that, even if she was technically Flemish rather than French. She further qualified her knowledge of world traditions when she expressed surprise that people in Scotland still wore kilts. She had just seen the local pipe band winding down in one of the local pubs, and thought she had arrived in a time capsule.

It's good that you still have the zest and willingness to learn. Perhaps if I lived in an area where I could put my accordion "skills" to good use I could be the same. I decided to go for lessons before I left Scotland with a view to trying to improve my left hand, but it turned out the left hand was only part of other issues that I had failed to pay enough attention to during my years of self tuition. 

Considering I only play at home it isn't that much of a deal, and none of my new neighbours has smashed my windows yet! 

If I was able to acquire a little CBA "senza bassi", like they use to play Bolognese Filuzzi then I reckon I'd be quid's in, but I'm led to believe they are only available to special order in Italy from Stocco, and they won't be cheap.

I'm glad I still have 5 guitars and various other stringed instruments so that I can keep the music thing going when the accordions are silent. My audiences have dwindled dramatically recently, as one of the cats died, and my wife cannot hear me playing in the new house. 

Keep playing away on the buttons, the keys, or whatever else. You are obviously enjoying what you do.
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#9
(07-01-2020, 08:07 PM)maugein96 Wrote: If I was able to acquire a little CBA "senza bassi", like they use to play Bolognese Filuzzi then I reckon I'd be quid's in, but I'm led to believe they are only available to special order in Italy from Stocco, and they won't be cheap.
Have you ever considered the accordina? Lightweight, portable.
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#10
John,
Thanks for the clip of the two Basque girls playing traditional music: always expanding my musical horizons, as ever! Smile
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#11
(07-01-2020, 08:20 PM)Jim2010 Wrote:
(07-01-2020, 08:07 PM)maugein96 Wrote: If I was able to acquire a little CBA "senza bassi", like they use to play Bolognese Filuzzi then I reckon I'd be quid's in, but I'm led to believe they are only available to special order in Italy from Stocco, and they won't be cheap.
Have you ever considered the accordina? Lightweight, portable.

Jim,

The weight isn't the issue, it's the Stradella bass. I regularly play a big 92 treble button Cavagnolo with a tone chamber and it doesn't cause any issues. 

I find that when playing single note bass runs I often cannot relate to where a given note is on the bass inner rows. What I end up doing is just working out how to play the runs by ear and memorising how to play them (or not, as the case may be). 

A lot of Italian players leave out the basses when playing with a backing band, but getting a band together for a 30 minute practice session could cause domestic grief!

Had I paid more attention to the vagaries of Stradella bass when I was teaching myself then I would have probably gained greater coordination between hands than I ended up with. The lessons I took did teach me to get the left hand moving a bit more away from the "oompah", but moving is one thing, accuracy is another. 

Don't know if I've go the "puff" these days for playing a wind instrument.
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#12
Quote:A lot of Italian players leave out the basses when playing with a backing band, but getting a band together for a 30 minute practice session could cause domestic grief!
John

Yes, I've noticed that and I've done it myself when playing with other rhythmic instruments.  A lot of Irish melodeon players only play the right hand when they've got other backing instruments too.

The CBA Flo from Diouflo has a Salterelle 4 row, 60 bass and its bass buttons are the "mushroom" type, much like melodeon buttons.  They are a heck of a lot easier to play than the "ordinary" buttons.  I guess any more bass button would take up too much room ...  I didn't know that mushroom buttons were possible on a chromatic, but it's possible she had it specially made.
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#13
(07-01-2020, 11:14 PM)Corsaire Wrote:
Quote:A lot of Italian players leave out the basses when playing with a backing band, but getting a band together for a 30 minute practice session could cause domestic grief!
John

Yes, I've noticed that and I've done it myself when playing with other rhythmic instruments.  A lot of Irish melodeon players only play the right hand when they've got other backing instruments too.

The CBA Flo from Diouflo has a Salterelle 4 row, 60 bass and its bass buttons are the "mushroom" type, much like melodeon buttons.  They are a heck of a lot easier to play than the "ordinary" buttons.  I guess any more bass button would take up too much room ...  I didn't know that mushroom buttons were possible on a chromatic, but it's possible she had it specially made.

Sally,

Very few CBAs made for the French market don't have mushroom bass buttons. They are pretty much de rigeur in Northern Italy too. Most people never really notice unless they see the stepped button rows. 

I've only ever played one CBA with "Internazionale" peg bass buttons, and find the stepped mushroom buttons preferable, as they are easier to play. Downside is they do tend to get very rattly after a few years, and on smaller boxes like the Hohner Nova they are actually harder to manage than the "Internazionale" bass buttons. 

A lot of Italian makers still make two types of CBA. They offer both "sistema francese" (small treble buttons, rear mounted treble couplers, and stepped mushroom bass buttons), and "internazionale" (usually but not always with larger treble buttons, grille mounted treble couplers, and peg bass buttons on a flat keyboard).

The irony is that "sistema francese" relates to an Italian built style of accordion that became standard in France when Cavagnolo moved to Lyon from Vercelli. They are quite common in the north of Italy in general, and in some areas are more popular than the "internazionale". 

If proof were needed here it is:-

   

More trivia from the depths of a rapidly deteriorating memory.
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#14
Interesting about the mushroom buttons.  I just daren't think about CBA, it would be too easy to change from PA but with current commitments, I can't do it.  Playing the diatonic has made me realise that the CBA would be a lot easier for me than I ever thought. If one day I do change over, I'd not hesitate to use the Diouflo Méthode.
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#15
(08-01-2020, 09:53 AM)Corsaire Wrote: Interesting about the mushroom buttons.  I just daren't think about CBA, it would be too easy to change from PA but with current commitments, I can't do it.  Playing the diatonic has made me realise that the CBA would be a lot easier for me than I ever thought.  If one day I do change over, I'd not hesitate to use the Diouflo Méthode.

I suppose for many of us what keeps us going is the thought of maybe trying out something new, and I'm no different from anybody else in that respect.

You'll know I concentrated on French musette, but an afternoon's window shopping on You Tube can often inspire you to try out other styles, other types of accordion etc. 

I had about 6 or 7 different things I wanted to try, but none of them ever got off the ground. These days whenever I get such notions I try and find the Captain Sensible button before I get carried away.
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