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Chris's Learning Thread

Cheshire Chris

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Thought I'd create a thread to record my learning progress in one place...

I'm currently struggling with the tune "Skating" from Palmer-Hughes book 1, page 17. I can play the melody fine and I can play the accompaniment fine, but when I put the two together it all goes to pieces 🙁. I know it's just a matter of practice, practice, practice to develop hand independence and muscle memory, because I went through exactly the same struggles with the piano, too. At the moment fluency in playing even this simple tune seems like an impossible task, but I'll stick at it! At least I can get through the tune (very slowly) now, which I couldn't do yesterday, so there is slow progress.

I'm doing two half-hour practice sessions a day. Any longer than that and I start to lose concentration and then my playing REALLY goes to pot.
 

Glenn

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Chris. Slow is the correct approach. If it gets a bit boring then switch to another tune before you return to it. Good luck with the practice.
 

dunlustin

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Some people say it's also worth trying to learn very short sections with both hands together.
Memorising a tune can help.
The Bassland book should help too - it makes you think about the LH differently.
I don't think many find it easy - I didn't
You seem to be enjoying your discoveries - and 4 whole weeks when being indoors = being a good citizen.
 

JeffJetton

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Thought I'd create a thread to record my learning progress in one place...

I'm currently struggling with the tune "Skating" from Palmer-Hughes book 1, page 17.
Nice! Looking forward to following along with how you're doing.

PH Book 1 really excels at gradually introducing right-hand/left-hand rhythm combinations, IMO. I've never seen another accordion method do it as well.

Notice how the first two tunes have you holding the melody note for the entire measure. That is, you change melody notes when your LH pattern "restarts" with the bass button on beat one. That's literally the only bit of coordination you have to learn.

Then you get to "Skating" which introduces just one single, new rhythmic concept: Changing melody notes with each LH button press. (Don't skip the "Warm -Up Time" drills, and feel free to revisit them.)

The next song introduces tied notes across measure lines, and that's it! Other than that, it's the same two coordination patterns you already know. You might want to jump ahead and start playing that one, in fact, just to give you something other than "Skating" to work on.

This sort of thing goes on for the rest of the book--one small, obtainable new trick added to the bag-of-tricks with each new tune. (Contrast this to, say, the Galliano book, which--when it finally gets to putting the two hands together--starts throwing stuff at you much more quickly.) The PH series is not without its flaws, but I really like the pace at the beginning.
 

saundersbp

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Hi Chris,

I've looked at most of the books mentioned however this is the best by a long way I've found. Its written for C system+stradella which I think is the style of accordion you are learning.

PXL_20201101_214102930 (1).jpg
 

Cheshire Chris

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I'm going to stick with the PH series, I think, with Maugain for the CBA treble fingering. It's a combination that I'm finding effective so far and I really like both books.
 

saundersbp

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Whatever works for you. I have both those books too but found them a bit old fashioned/clunky but we all have different brains and ways of learning!
 

Tom

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Thanks and keep us updated Chris, and good luck!
 

Alans

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Saunderspb,where did you find your method book?
 

Cheshire Chris

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My first ever attempt at recording myself. This is “Skating” from book 1 of the Palmer-Hughes accordion course. It’s very, very far from perfect, but I am quite pleased with my progress after having been playing for a week. I know the pace is somewhat funereal and there's no attempt at dynamics, but I'm still at the stage where trying to get the notes right requires my full concentration.

Please excuse the odd camera angle - my iPad was rather precariously balanced on my electronic keyboard.


All criticism welcome (of the constructive variety 😀).

Chris
 
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Cheshire Chris

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Well played Chris, nice even tempo and musical phrasing.
Well done man!

Thanks, Tom. Only a couple of days ago I was thinking that I'd never be able to play both hands together. Practice really does work wonders!

The Maugain book, which I'm using alongside PH for the CBA fingering, doesn't have any proper tunes at this stage, but it has lots of really useful fingering exercises which I'm finding extremely helpful. It's nice because it shows you in a sidebar at the top of each page what's new on that page.
 
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JIM D.

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Congratulations on your success in combining both hands. Using the same tune you've learned try learning a bellows technique.
It's quite easy - play the tune with 2 measures bellows out, then 2 measures bellows in. Learning a proper bellows technique
is important at this point as improper bellows technique learned early will result in bad habits hard to break in the future.

You've now seemed to realize that persistence and a bit of practice will have rewarding results.
By all means keep us informed of your progress.
 

Cheshire Chris

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Congratulations on your success in combining both hands. Using the same tune you've learned try learning a bellows technique.
It's quite easy - play the tune with 2 measures bellows out, then 2 measures bellows in. Learning a proper bellows technique
is important at this point as improper bellows technique learned early will result in bad habits hard to break in the future.

You've now seemed to realize that persistence and a bit of practice will have rewarding results.
By all means keep us informed of your progress.

Thanks, Jim - that's very helpful. I know my current bellows technique is rather haphazard!
 

JIM D.

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No Chris -- not haphazard, as most self learning & beginning accordionists tend to use the same bellows action as yourself.
There are some accordion method books that don't address bellows use for a beginning student and is left to an instructor.
You're fortunate as there are many accomplished accordionist's here to assist you.
 

Cheshire Chris

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On to the next tune in PH. This one's called "Go 'Way", and introduces the F bass. Seems to be reasonably straightforward. I'm trying to follow the advice about bellows technique: out for two bars, in for two bars!

I'm enjoying the PH tunes. Although they're very simple (so far), they're nice tunes.

Chris
 
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