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going out and play

andrewjohnsson40

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Howdy fellows musicians!
I have seen a lot of simple versions of tunes in books for beginner piano or accordion (not so much in books on singing since they don't feature LH comping and so on).
This I assume would be cute if you were a little kid or just playing for your family and teacher.
Sometimes the books features a simple comping pattern for comping a fiddler or a singer (or another accordinist).

I'm not sure rhis kinda playing it would work if one were to play at a dance, jam session or wherever you play.
People might use other comping patterns than you. I remember one time when I played simple chord (and verry little bass line) and other accordionist used a descending or ascending bass line. It clashed a bit. Maybe I was the only dude who heard a problem.
At least we knew the key (it was a fiddle tune and mostly played in Am). I was lucky he didnt start with Dm. I just dont transpose that well right now. I am not that of an amazing pianist or accordionist.

But playing simple is the only advice I have gotten so far by experienced musicians.
I am not sure what this actually refers to.
This midsummer I played Dansen går på Svinsta Skär with only bass-chord-chords and melody (but it doesm't have beginner chords) and people were very satisfied.
So it might work this sinplicity thing if you are lucky.


What are your expert thougths on this and what are your expert tips?
And how and where does one practice this (by just going out and jam with the guys?)?
Or practice at home? Is this just like learning how social sotuations work?


I will have an accordion lesson next week. What would be the teachets role if we hace a private lesson)? I often ask thing on the internet forums when I realky just wanna ask people irl. I guess it could be due to teacher's don't have time or me not beibg good at social situations (due to real psychological issues with places where there are too much people). I have an asd diagnos but normal IQ. Some say too many pianists have it. Still they are good at the social kam situations.
I just need advice on where in the "irl" I can learn all of this.
 

JeffJetton

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You've stumbled upon a truth that many music teachers and method books ignore: Instruments that can be a "full band" on their own (accordion, piano, organ, even guitar to an extent) must often be played differently in a group/band/jam situation that they typically would in a solo situation.

The standard education for accordion tends to be getting the student to play increasingly more sophisticated solo pieces. There's nothing wrong with that, but solo pieces tend to have the accordionist taking on many roles: You've got your LH bass buttons taking the role of the bass player, the LH chord buttons taking the place of a strumming guitarist or comping piano player, and you have the RH playing the melody and maybe even some harmony parts.

But what if you're playing with other people? What if one of those people is already playing bass, or guitar, or singing/playing fiddle, etc.? Why should you try to fill roles that are already being perfectly well-filled by someone else?

Answer: Many times, you shouldn't!

What should you do instead? Well that's a matter of musical taste and of the various idioms inherent in the style of music you're playing. Listening to other people who are successfully navigating these waters, then trying to figure out how to do what they're doing, is is really the best way to go.

If I found myself plopped in a random "jam" with many musicians involved, I would most likely not even touch the LH buttons at all. I'd probably just play chords and fills with the RH. A song can support lots of people playing the chords, and in different ways. A song usually can't support more than one bass part or lead vocal part. It might support multiple instrumental melody parts if everyone plays mostly the exact same melody.
 

andrewjohnsson40

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JeffJetton post_id=60559 time=1530032478 user_id=1774 said:
Youve stumbled upon a truth that many music teachers and method books ignore: Instruments that can be a full band on their own (accordion, piano, organ, even guitar to an extent) must often be played differently in a group/band/jam situation that they typically would in a solo situation.

The standard education for accordion tends to be getting the student to play increasingly more sophisticated solo pieces. Theres nothing wrong with that, but solo pieces tend to have the accordionist taking on many roles: Youve got your LH bass buttons taking the role of the bass player, the LH chord buttons taking the place of a strumming guitarist or comping piano player, and you have the RH playing the melody and maybe even some harmony parts.

But what if youre playing with other people? What if one of those people is already playing bass, or guitar, or singing/playing fiddle, etc.? Why should you try to fill roles that are already being perfectly well-filled by someone else?

Answer: Many times, you shouldnt!

What should you do instead? Well thats a matter of musical taste and of the various idioms inherent in the style of music youre playing. Listening to other people who are successfully navigating these waters, then trying to figure out how to do what theyre doing, is is really the best way to go.

If I found myself plopped in a random jam with many musicians involved, I would most likely not even touch the LH buttons at all. Id probably just play chords and fills with the RH. A song can support lots of people playing the chords, and in different ways. A song usually cant support more than one bass part or lead vocal part. It might support multiple instrumental melody parts if everyone plays mostly the exact same melody.
Yeah books are not enough. Too much solo thinking. Real teachers are way better as you can ask them about how to comp a singer.
Is this the role of the teacher, ie not just following a book but rather asking what the person needs to learn? Some teachers just give solo materials and etudes but this cant be the correct way of dealing with a student. Or maybe you learn this on your own (becoming autodidact like many accardion masters although many took piano and organ lesons at school)
Maybe comping is better learnt at an ensemble course?!?
Maybe the same goes with vocal teacher ie only teaching a melody without second lines/melody/voice or singing acapella.

I also stumbled upon another thing. The simple version (easy piano) arrangement you find in books are often not what the pros would even dare advice any student to play (I hope). Those often sound weird.
 

jozz

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less = more

accordion in a jam situation...meh....keep to your melody hand mostly, play fills and solos. How to learn this at home? You could get something like Band in a box and try to fill in the blanks. exceptions: certain folk/dance music can make the accordion shine so you use both hands and get the rest to fill you in.

A book will only take you so far and you seem to have a good idea about where you want to go... So I would just hand a couple of youtube examples to a teacher of some performance that you want to master, let him/her sort it out and arrange it, and take it from there. Rince and repeat, with other examples until you have it in you and carry it as a bag of tricks. Later on, you go to other genres and get those tricks. In between practice with some real people to see how it works out
 

andrewjohnsson40

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jozz post_id=60585 time=1530091758 user_id=2600 said:
less = more

accordion in a jam situation...meh....keep to your melody hand mostly, play fills and solos. How to learn this at home? You could get something like Band in a box and try to fill in the blanks. exceptions: certain folk/dance music can make the accordion shine so you use both hands and get the rest to fill you in.

A book will only take you so far and you seem to have a good idea about where you want to go... So I would just hand a couple of youtube examples to a teacher of some performance that you want to master, let him/her sort it out and arrange it, and take it from there. Rince and repeat, with other examples until you have it in you and carry it as a bag of tricks. Later on, you go to other genres and get those tricks. In between practice with some real people to see how it works out
One should avoid the LH when jamming with others?
Why are we to avoid the LH? I often see accordionists using the LH when jamming along and it sound good so what are you talking about?

Rince and repeat? What does that mean?

I am sure that some teacher would say that the youtube examples is something you transcribe alone without a teacher. It is kinda like what the autodidact people do but I guess they have better ears than me.
 

jozz

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henrikhank post_id=60589 time=1530094309 user_id=2321 said:
One should avoid the LH when jamming with others?
Why are we to avoid the LH? I often see accordionists using the LH when jamming along and it sound good so what are you talking about?

Rince and repeat? What does that mean?

I am sure that some teacher would say that the youtube examples is something you transcribe alone without a teacher. It is kinda like what the autodidact people do but I guess they have better ears than me.

I think we have a mis-understanding about jamming then. I mean if there is a bass player (at most jams present) you stay of your basses. Also makes it easier for you. What kind of jams do you have then?

I would use the teacher as a transcriber if I could not do it myself, only for the time-saving. The bonus is they can give you a ready made sheet to learn as difficult or ornamented as youd like (or need) it. This is hard to do yourself objectively.
 

andrewjohnsson40

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jozz post_id=60592 time=1530095154 user_id=2600 said:
henrikhank post_id=60589 time=1530094309 user_id=2321 said:
One should avoid the LH when jamming with others?
Why are we to avoid the LH? I often see accordionists using the LH when jamming along and it sound good so what are you talking about?

Rince and repeat? What does that mean?

I am sure that some teacher would say that the youtube examples is something you transcribe alone without a teacher. It is kinda like what the autodidact people do but I guess they have better ears than me.

I think we have a mis-understanding about jamming then. I mean if there is a bass player (at most jams present) you stay of your basses. Also makes it easier for you. What kind of jams do you have then?

I would use the teacher as a transcriber if I could not do it myself, only for the time-saving. The bonus is they can give you a ready made sheet to learn as difficult or ornamented as youd like (or need) it. This is hard to do yourself objectively.
I have seen people using the LH even if a bass player is there. I myself would not drop the the LH even if there was a bass player involved. Most country pianists would choose to not drop the bass notes. For Jazz it is another issue. Polkas, waltzes or country are often bassed on 1-5 so I do not see any problems with plsying the bass note.
For jazz the LH could be used for chords only.
I guess the thing to do is to find out if doubling the bass is cool or not. The bass player I play with said that on some recording ot can be two basses recorded seperatly but mixed together. I have never seen or heard that as a big problem at all.
 

TomBR

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Henrikhank
You said
henrikhank post_id=60555 time=1530019852 user_id=2321 said:
Im not sure rhis kinda playing it would work if one were to play at a dance, jam session or wherever you play.
People might use other comping patterns than you. I remember one time when I played simple chord (and verry little bass line) and other accordionist used a descending or ascending bass line. It clashed a bit. Maybe I was the only dude who heard a problem.

Then you said
henrikhank post_id=60589 time=1530094309 user_id=2321 said:
One should avoid the LH when jamming with others?
Why are we to avoid the LH? I often see accordionists using the LH when jamming along and it sound good so what are you talking about?
 

JeffJetton

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henrikhank post_id=60600 time=1530109203 user_id=2321 said:
Most country pianists would choose to not drop the bass notes.

As an erstwhile professional country pianist myself, if I did play play bass notes it would only be if I were playing pretty much the exact same thing the bass player was playing (i.e., if I were doubling the bass).

Of course, in country music, the bass parts are fairly predictable, so its usually not much of a mental feat to double them.

Like the old Nashville joke: How many country bass players does it take to change a light bulb? One... Five... One... Five...

Anyway, often, (say, on a fast tune) I might just comp the chords on the upbeats. Maybe with just my left hand, freeing up the right for fills and such.

A vast portion of good musicianship is merely staying out of other peoples way. :D
 

jozz

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henrikhank post_id=60600 time=1530109203 user_id=2321 said:
I have seen people using the LH even if a bass player is there. I myself would not drop the the LH even if there was a bass player involved.

yeah...but like others pointed out, you told us this clashed sometimes... :mrgreen:

well whatever sounds good to you

I would indeed stay out of eachothers way...also goes for RH, you dont play different timed melodies over vocals
 

andrewjohnsson40

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JeffJetton post_id=60618 time=1530136939 user_id=1774 said:
henrikhank post_id=60600 time=1530109203 user_id=2321 said:
Most country pianists would choose to not drop the bass notes.

As an erstwhile professional country pianist myself, if I did play play bass notes it would only be if I were playing pretty much the exact same thing the bass player was playing (i.e., if I were doubling the bass).

Of course, in country music, the bass parts are fairly predictable, so its usually not much of a mental feat to double them.

Like the old Nashville joke: How many country bass players does it take to change a light bulb? One... Five... One... Five...

Anyway, often, (say, on a fast tune) I might just comp the chords on the upbeats. Maybe with just my left hand, freeing up the right for fills and such.

A vast portion of good musicianship is merely staying out of other peoples way. :D

Any examples of fast tunes?
And maybe you could give sime tips on what to do with the LH if playing I walk the line as a solo piece.
And how you would comp this tune on accordion.
 

Keymn

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When you perform live, you begin to improve your technique. Plan an accordion concert with your friends or family. Have a couple brewskis...but do not over do it! Maybe 10/15 minutes... :ch
 

JeffJetton

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henrikhank post_id=60633 time=1530180672 user_id=2321 said:
Any examples of fast tunes?
Well youve got your really fast tunes (fast bluegrass, train beat songs, etc.). But I guess any non-ballad country tune would be fast enough to make playing chords on the upbeats a reasonable choice.

And maybe you could give sime tips on what to do with the LH if playing I walk the line as a solo piece.

I think the standard polka pattern actually works pretty well for I Walk the Line.

And how you would comp this tune on accordion.

Lots of possibilities! Ive notated a few idea in the attached PDF for you.

- Jeff
 

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andrewjohnsson40

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JeffJetton post_id=60681 time=1530286145 user_id=1774 said:
henrikhank post_id=60633 time=1530180672 user_id=2321 said:
Any examples of fast tunes?
Well youve got your really fast tunes (fast bluegrass, train beat songs, etc.). But I guess any non-ballad country tune would be fast enough to make playing chords on the upbeats a reasonable choice.

And maybe you could give sime tips on what to do with the LH if playing I walk the line as a solo piece.

I think the standard polka pattern actually works pretty well for I Walk the Line.

And how you would comp this tune on accordion.

Lots of possibilities! Ive notated a few idea in the attached PDF for you.

- Jeff
With polka pattern you refer to some kind of stride piano? Am I understanding you correctly?
 

Eddy Yates

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HenrikHank said:”But playing simple is the only advice I have gotten so far by experienced musicians. ”

I started playing accordion as a pianist in a bluegrass/Chamber jazz group. It all started because I don’t play any of those little plucky twangy plinky instruments and got tired of sitting around just listening. So I got an accordion.
Accordion is such a versatile instrument. You can play long chords, single long notes, melody lines, counterpoint, rhythm, bass doubling, on and on. I think by “simple”, these players might mean that you don’t need to play a lot of notes. Even with piano, I find myself just doing a line of single notes, especially in bluegrass, where you may have 6 people in the band and they’re all doing their best to find a slot and stay out of each other’s way...until it’s time to solo....
Just LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.
 

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