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Accordion technique notebook by Gorka Hermosa (translated in English)

Stephen Selby

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That looks a very comprehensive and original approach. It's not really like a beginners' book, though.
 
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And of course thanks to all those professional accordion teachers like Gorka Hermosa and others who make public these online documents and tutorials on the internet. Available to all of us in an online pdf.

Some things in it are essential help for beginners. One example is the photo showing the extra horizontal backstrap connecting the two vertical shoulder straps.
Very important If you want to avoid shoulder and backpain troubles!

The entire document is definitely worth reading and studying in my humble opinion.

Of course, don't limit yourself to one source. A comparative and international approach and pick up best practices.
 

Chrisrayner

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It’s interesting that he starts with bellows shakes and note bending. Fairly advanced if covered at all in other tutorials.
 
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For beginners who are discovering this document, the remarks in the beginning are essential:
- seating position on a chair
- the shoulder straps + horizontal connecting backstrap
- the legs in a 90Β° angle
- both feet flat on the ground
etc

There is however, one element I personally would also note down in the text. It's clear from the pictures, but perhaps a written statement would make it clear:
The total weight of the accordion should always rest on the upper left thigh and knee.
If your accordion (heavyweight or lightweight) is hanging and your back is carrying the weight of the accordion (even when firmly attached with vertial shoulder straps + horizontal backstrap), you're in for big trouble sooner or later.

The back should never ever carry the weight of the instrument. The entire weight should be on the legs and knees.

This is THE most common mistake beginners make: they make their back carry all the weight. In music school, accordion teachers immediately correct this from the very moment they observe this behaviour.

Obviously I'm talking about playing in a seated position on a chair.

When you're playing in standing position, the horizontal backstrap is very important to avoid shoulder issues. The shoulder straps could tend to slip from your shoulders.
 

losthobos

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Great find.... Appreciated... Thank you...
And YES that initial section on posture is so important... The accordion is difficult enough to master so best not be "shooting at a moving target"
 

Pipemajor

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For beginners who are discovering this document, the remarks in the beginning are essential:
- seating position on a chair
- the shoulder straps + horizontal connecting backstrap
- the legs in a 90Β° angle
- both feet flat on the ground
etc

There is however, one element I personally would also note down in the text. It's clear from the pictures, but perhaps a written statement would make it clear:
The total weight of the accordion should always rest on the upper left thigh and knee.
If your accordion (heavyweight or lightweight) is hanging and your back is carrying the weight of the accordion (even when firmly attached with vertial shoulder straps + horizontal backstrap), you're in for big trouble sooner or later.

The back should never ever carry the weight of the instrument. The entire weight should be on the legs and knees.

This is THE most common mistake beginners make: they make their back carry all the weight. In music school, accordion teachers immediately correct this from the very moment they observe this behaviour.

Obviously I'm talking about playing in a seated position on a chair.

When you're playing in standing position, the horizontal backstrap is very important to avoid shoulder issues. The shoulder straps could tend to slip from your shoulders.
I have always had problems with shoulder straps.
Some say to keep the left hand strap tight to put the keyboard under your chin, but, if I do that, then it lifts the accordion off of my legs and flaps about when changing bellows direction.
I think my problem is my build. I have a long back but short legs and am of the racing snake persuasion.
If I let the box rest on my knees, it's difficult to get the keyboard under my chin.
Don't get this problem with the bagpipes:cry:
 
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Some things are different between CBAs and PAs.
I have watched the 7th july 2020 YT video by Martin Heght (Moshe Zuchter) about avoiding backpain for piano accordion.
Great video, good demonstration.
 

Pipemajor

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Thanks, losthobos. I'll give that a try. I did get one of those waistcoat type harnesses which looks like a kevlar bullet proof vest.
It was OK but it wouldn't fit in the accordion box so it got confined to the wardrobe.
 

Dingo40

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"I put a two inch block under my left foot... Much like classical guitar players do.."

I too have always found it helpful to raise my left foot about 2". Currently, I rest it on part of my vintage piano stool: it works very well!πŸ™‚πŸ‘
 

Dingo40

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That's funny πŸ€”
I tried to attach a photo (which I'd done before on this new iteration of the forum) only to be told (unlike before) that the file is too large!😲
Ahh well, back to the future?πŸ˜•
 

dunlustin

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Dingo40

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OK, I used a free online downsizing service: let's see if I got it right?πŸ€”
(Picture of my accordion playing stoolπŸ™‚)
 

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Dingo40

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When playing, I find it comfortable to rest my left foot on top of the lower part of one of the stool's legs.πŸ™‚
 

Dingo40

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I do have one similar to these, but I find resting my foot on the lower part of my playing stool more convenient and comfortable πŸ™‚
 

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