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rock songs on accordion

Alan Sharkis

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Just goes to show -- if you have the talent, inclination and training, any genre of music is possible on an accordion. I've been listening to Bruce Gassman for many years, and Accordion Rock Orchestrion for a couple of years. Nothing surprises me about this instrument and the people who play it any more, but I'm very pleased to hear whatever comes my way.

Alan Sharkis
 

Mr Mark

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Whatever works. I do lots of covers; rock, reggae, countrified, old school, classical. Not saying I'm great at them or existentially they are easy for me, but that's probably the vocalist coming through on the latter (I sing the vocal parts).

Basically; whatever makes you happy.
 

Keymn

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Mr Mark post_id=57019 time=1523410750 user_id=1991 said:
Whatever works. I do lots of covers; rock, reggae, countrified, old school, classical. Not saying Im great at them or existentially they are easy for me, but thats probably the vocalist coming through on the latter (I sing the vocal parts).

Basically; whatever makes you happy.

To keep the accordion alive, we need more publications of accordion doing pop and rock classics. I think it was mentioned before, much talent out there, but very few you see on You Tube doing rock classics.
I grew up playing the accordion in the,60s. Learning Beatles, Dave Clark Five, etc. have an interest in the Rockabilly sound too. Which I saw many bands like Bill Haley and the Comets (rock around the clock), Gary Lewis and the Playboys, all had an accordion.
 
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Geronimo

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Keymn post_id=57020 time=1523418485 user_id=2502 said:
To keep the accordion alive, we need more publications of accordion doing pop and rock classics. I think it was mentioned before, much talent out there, but very few you see on You Tube doing rock classics.
I grew up playing the accordion in the,60s. Learning Beatles, Dave Clark Five, etc. have an interest in the Rockabilly sound too. Which I saw many bands like Bill Haley and the Comets (rock around the clock), Gary Lewis and the Playboys, all had an accordion.
Accordion is an acoustic band/orchestra/combo with a single player. You dont see a lot of one-person entertainment videos (accordion or otherwise) on Youtube since an actual band/orchestra/combo can cover quite more ground regarding sound and feeling and orchestration and thus tends to be better at entertaining if not impressing.

Basically, the accordion is to band/orchestra/combo what the ukulele is to the guitar: mostly something covering the spine of the functionality of the big thing, with rather little perception of its own intrinsic value.

With regard to rock covers, the really good ones are more often than not, like This version by StevenSeagulls of ACDCs Thunderstruck, seriously tongue-in-cheek.

Funny thing, I find this actually better than the original which gets quite more tedious over its duration. Of course, here the accordion plays just one part in a group and is not used in its one-player entertainment function. Thats easier in countries where the accordion is an accepted part of living musical culture, like in this case in Finland. In Germany where I live, thats trickier since it is associated strongly with ossified commercialized offspins of folk music for older audience (I cannot get used to increasingly becoming the oldest in any company), like what they call here shanties or mountain music.
 
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Geronimo

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Dingo40 post_id=57030 time=1523441909 user_id=2622 said:
Now THIS is an accordionist!



<EMOJI seq=1f642>?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq=1f44d>?</EMOJI>
Frankly, he likely should play with others more often. For highly rhythmical dance music such as Boogie, I find the lack of a dependable meter (and the variations dont appear to be part of a coherent plan) distracting. To be fair, I have the same should play with others more often experience not infrequently when listening to organ music, again a single-person orchestral setup.

I suspect that actual Charles Magnante renditions would be better in that regard.
 

dan

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I agree with Geronimo, rock covers with the accordion as a one man band makes it little more than a novelty--fun to watch once but not worth listening to twice.

If you want the accordion to be more widely appreciated, follow the mantra of Accordion Noir radio show: "ruthlessly pursuing the idea that the accordion is just another instrument"
 

Alan Sharkis

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Geronimo post_id=57024 time=1523432717 user_id=2623 said:
Keymn post_id=57020 time=1523418485 user_id=2502 said:
To keep the accordion alive, we need more publications of accordion doing pop and rock classics. I think it was mentioned before, much talent out there, but very few you see on You Tube doing rock classics.
I grew up playing the accordion in the,60s. Learning Beatles, Dave Clark Five, etc. have an interest in the Rockabilly sound too. Which I saw many bands like Bill Haley and the Comets (rock around the clock), Gary Lewis and the Playboys, all had an accordion.
Accordion is an acoustic band/orchestra/combo with a single player. You dont see a lot of one-person entertainment videos (accordion or otherwise) on Youtube since an actual band/orchestra/combo can cover quite more ground regarding sound and feeling and orchestration and thus tends to be better at entertaining if not impressing.

Basically, the accordion is to band/orchestra/combo what the ukulele is to the guitar: mostly something covering the spine of the functionality of the big thing, with rather little perception of its own intrinsic value.

With regard to rock covers, the really good ones are more often than not, like This version by StevenSeagulls of ACDCs Thunderstruck, seriously tongue-in-cheek.

Funny thing, I find this actually better than the original which gets quite more tedious over its duration. Of course, here the accordion plays just one part in a group and is not used in its one-player entertainment function. Thats easier in countries where the accordion is an accepted part of living musical culture, like in this case in Finland. In Germany where I live, thats trickier since it is associated strongly with ossified commercialized offspins of folk music for older audience (I cannot get used to increasingly becoming the oldest in any company), like what they call here shanties or mountain music.

Lets say that we didnt see the accordionist ride in on a mower, and that we didnt see him until a minute or two into the tune. The tip off comes when the bassist picks up a bow. When was the last time you saw a bassist in a mountain group use a bow? :D

But seriously, folks, theres more than enough of this kind of thing on Youtube and I can almost guarantee that the only people watching that material are already accordionists, accordion students, or accordion fans.

I discussed the idea of getting the publics image of the accordion to change with my teacher this very day, after he described a disaster he experienced at a so-called accordion club (a whole story in itself, but not for now,) His response was to hold an event, maybe in a park, where something new and flashy like a Roland V-accordion is used to play some of the music wed like to associate with accordions, and then somebody playing an acoustic accordion does the same thing. The Roland catches the audiences attention, and the acoustic matches it note for note. It could change some folks minds about our instruments. I do realize, for those who play V-Accordions, that they are worth a lot more than using them in this manner, but if it gets the job done ...

Alan
 

Alan Sharkis

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Geronimo post_id=57024 time=1523432717 user_id=2623 said:
Keymn post_id=57020 time=1523418485 user_id=2502 said:
To keep the accordion alive, we need more publications of accordion doing pop and rock classics. I think it was mentioned before, much talent out there, but very few you see on You Tube doing rock classics.
I grew up playing the accordion in the,60s. Learning Beatles, Dave Clark Five, etc. have an interest in the Rockabilly sound too. Which I saw many bands like Bill Haley and the Comets (rock around the clock), Gary Lewis and the Playboys, all had an accordion.
Accordion is an acoustic band/orchestra/combo with a single player. You dont see a lot of one-person entertainment videos (accordion or otherwise) on Youtube since an actual band/orchestra/combo can cover quite more ground regarding sound and feeling and orchestration and thus tends to be better at entertaining if not impressing.

Basically, the accordion is to band/orchestra/combo what the ukulele is to the guitar: mostly something covering the spine of the functionality of the big thing, with rather little perception of its own intrinsic value.

With regard to rock covers, the really good ones are more often than not, like This version by StevenSeagulls of ACDCs Thunderstruck, seriously tongue-in-cheek.

Funny thing, I find this actually better than the original which gets quite more tedious over its duration. Of course, here the accordion plays just one part in a group and is not used in its one-player entertainment function. Thats easier in countries where the accordion is an accepted part of living musical culture, like in this case in Finland. In Germany where I live, thats trickier since it is associated strongly with ossified commercialized offspins of folk music for older audience (I cannot get used to increasingly becoming the oldest in any company), like what they call here shanties or mountain music.

Lets say that we didnt see the accordionist ride in on a mower, and that we didnt see him until a minute or two into the tune. The tip off comes when the bassist picks up a bow. When was the last time you saw a bassist in a mountain group use a bow? :D

But seriously, folks, theres more than enough of this kind of thing on Youtube and I can almost guarantee that the only people watching that material are already accordionists, accordion students, or accordion fans.

I discussed the idea of getting the publics image of the accordion to change with my teacher this very day, after he described a disaster he experienced at a so-called accordion club (a whole story in itself, but not for now,) His response was to hold an event, maybe in a park, where something new and flashy like a Roland V-accordion is used to play some of the music wed like to associate with accordions, and then somebody playing an acoustic accordion does the same thing. The Roland catches the audiences attention, and the acoustic matches it note for note. It could change some folks minds about our instruments. I do realize, for those who play V-Accordions, that they are worth a lot more than using them in this manner, but if it gets the job done ...

Alan
 
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Geronimo

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Alan Sharkis post_id=57057 time=1523475814 user_id=1714 said:
I discussed the idea of getting the publics image of the accordion to change with my teacher this very day, after he described a disaster he experienced at a so-called accordion club (a whole story in itself, but not for now,) His response was to hold an event, maybe in a park, where something new and flashy like a Roland V-accordion is used to play some of the music wed like to associate with accordions, and then somebody playing an acoustic accordion does the same thing. The Roland catches the audiences attention, and the acoustic matches it note for note. It could change some folks minds about our instruments. I do realize, for those who play V-Accordions, that they are worth a lot more than using them in this manner, but if it gets the job done ...
I dont see the point since a V-accordion and an acoustic have different strengths. You dont get to beat the V-accordion playing a Ländler with an alpine set, a bowed bass, steel guitar chords and a drum set, assuming a reasonably good amp. Then play something like the Bach Air slowly and expressively, and the V-accordion sucks pretty much using any registration. For Take 5 its a tossup given a good accordion. Overall, the V-accordion sound differentiation is nicer but its sax sounds are not differentiated finely enough to work well expressively.

Now either of course improve with a player well versed in its respective weaknesses. And then the sound of an acoustic accordion just isnt differentiated as much as orchestral sets on the V-accordion can be.

And why would you start comparisons with a V-accordion only playing acoustic accordion sounds? Thats not really catering to its crowd-pleasing potential.

I do the overwhelming majority of my own play/practice with the acoustic accordion. It just speaks more to me. But that doesnt mean that it speaks more to the average audience. I have to work, like, really hard to find ways to even approximate what a V-accordion using orchestral voices can deliver in voice separation. And I like the results of that work. But that doesnt mean that the audience will appreciate it over what the V-accordion does out of the box. For select music, the V-accordion sucks obviously, but that is not typical accordion music: in accordion music genres, it fares reasonably well.
 

Mr Mark

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Geronimo post_id=57024 time=1523432717 user_id=2623 said:
Keymn post_id=57020 time=1523418485 user_id=2502 said:
To keep the accordion alive, we need more publications of accordion doing pop and rock classics. I think it was mentioned before, much talent out there, but very few you see on You Tube doing rock classics.
I grew up playing the accordion in the,60s. Learning Beatles, Dave Clark Five, etc. have an interest in the Rockabilly sound too. Which I saw many bands like Bill Haley and the Comets (rock around the clock), Gary Lewis and the Playboys, all had an accordion.
Accordion is an acoustic band/orchestra/combo with a single player. You dont see a lot of one-person entertainment videos (accordion or otherwise) on Youtube since an actual band/orchestra/combo can cover quite more ground regarding sound and feeling and orchestration and thus tends to be better at entertaining if not impressing.

Basically, the accordion is to band/orchestra/combo what the ukulele is to the guitar: mostly something covering the spine of the functionality of the big thing, with rather little perception of its own intrinsic value.

With regard to rock covers, the really good ones are more often than not, like This version by StevenSeagulls of ACDCs Thunderstruck, seriously tongue-in-cheek.

Funny thing, I find this actually better than the original which gets quite more tedious over its duration. Of course, here the accordion plays just one part in a group and is not used in its one-player entertainment function. Thats easier in countries where the accordion is an accepted part of living musical culture, like in this case in Finland. In Germany where I live, thats trickier since it is associated strongly with ossified commercialized offspins of folk music for older audience (I cannot get used to increasingly becoming the oldest in any company), like what they call here shanties or mountain music.

Lots of good points.

On a personal level it all comes down to playing in the Key of Happy, or whatever works for you. If this means playing gigs however, chances are the one-player entertainment function covering rock and pop stuff isnt going to work. If this means playing you stuff for Youtube - that is a different matter. Busking is another thing altogether, and perhaps the best venue for doing the rock/pop covers in terms of success, but I do agree there is a limited audience for this. It also depends on your location as alluded to in terms of the instruments acceptance in musical culture...in this part of Canada you can probably get away with a lot more than in most of Europe because the cultural associations are only prevalent in minority groups - it is far less mainstream.

This isnt an issue with you playing what you want, rather it is an issue of being an entertainer for the masses. This actually relates less to the instrument than playing covers themselves, Im not disagreeing with how the accordion can only cover so much ground as opposed to a full band though, absolutely.

For me personally playing covers was an excellent way to quickly familiarize myself with the instrument and incorporate vocals as they are familiar songs without requiring an excellent sight reading ability to quickly master. However there comes a point where it is time to move on and I am there, although there are a few I will definitely keep at because they really work for me. The next thing and forever forward is original composition, although not in the rock/pop vein. So; the covers have been a really great learning tool :).

Having said all of that, I think there is room for the one-player entertainment function doing covers as an accordionist, but not solely with the accordion...as demonstrated here .
 

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Mr Mark post_id=57071 time=1523497415 user_id=1991 said:
I think there is room for the one-player entertainment function doing covers as an accordionist, but not solely with the accordion...as demonstrated here .

I agree with that, but I wouldnt necessarily stay and listen till the end in this particular example :mrgreen:
 
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Geronimo

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jozz post_id=57079 time=1523527722 user_id=2600 said:
Mr Mark post_id=57071 time=1523497415 user_id=1991 said:
I think there is room for the one-player entertainment function doing covers as an accordionist, but not solely with the accordion...as demonstrated here .

I agree with that, but I wouldnt necessarily stay and listen till the end in this particular example :mrgreen:
Well, thats more like the minimalist approach again. There is a market for one-person entertainers, and there is a market for accordionists. The main market driver for the former is just cost: a band is more expensive, and the market is almost exclusively for live acts (for recordings, the cost of distribution govern the production, so the one-person act just is not worth covering). V-accordion plus arranger may well work for the former job description and involve a lot of rock/pop.

With regard to one-person entertainers (not accordion but rather electronic keyboard and voice/other instruments), Ive seen both extremes: one guy who was really great. And some guys who were a disgrace.

Now if the job description is explicitly for just an accordionist, you likely dont get to say but I wont play polka or waltz, like somebody hiring a bandonionist does not expect to hear but I am not playing tango.
 

Mr Mark

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jozz post_id=57079 time=1523527722 user_id=2600 said:
Mr Mark post_id=57071 time=1523497415 user_id=1991 said:
I think there is room for the one-player entertainment function doing covers as an accordionist, but not solely with the accordion...as demonstrated here .

I agree with that, but I wouldnt necessarily stay and listen till the end in this particular example :mrgreen:

Fair, he does a number of very good renditions of other peoples work but his original compositions are best - covers probably helped to get the ball rolling to where he is now - which is far from this example imo.

Covers are very good for drawing in the rock/pop crowd who have no inclination towards the accordion whatsoever, so there is that.

For the most part I am not into covers at all, even if they are bastardized. This might explain my aversion to Weird Al. Perhaps aversion is too strong a word, as I cannot knock someone for doing something they like and are good at - they just might not get my attention and/or money. For example there was this band I saw covering AC/DC last year featuring a bagpipe lead - and while they were very good at what they did, I had to leave almost as quickly as I had arrived...there were definitely a lot of people who stayed though. StevenSeagulls on the other hand I would stick around for...at least the first time.

I think there are markets for pretty much anything but you do have to flush them out. However, markets for things already done are definitely limited so you might be better pursuing your own thing :!: .

Geronimo post_id=57080 time=1523529026 user_id=2623 said:
With regard to one-person entertainers (not accordion but rather electronic keyboard and voice/other instruments), Ive seen both extremes: one guy who was really great. And some guys who were a disgrace.

Definitely concur - I spent a lot of time and energy working on the one man band thing but gave that up because I knew it wasnt going to cut the mustard. Really hard to do and you have to nail it or it just comes across terrible. Lots of youtube examples out there also.
 

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Mr Mark post_id=57088 time=1523583733 user_id=1991 said:
Covers are very good for drawing in the rock/pop crowd who have no inclination towards the accordion whatsoever, so there is that.

For the most part I am not into covers at all, even if they are bastardized. This might explain my aversion to Weird Al. Perhaps aversion is too strong a word, as I cannot knock someone for doing something they like and are good at - they just might not get my attention and/or money. For example there was this band I saw covering AC/DC last year featuring a bagpipe lead - and while they were very good at what they did, I had to leave almost as quickly as I had arrived...there were definitely a lot of people who stayed though. StevenSeagulls on the other hand I would stick around for...at least the first time.

I think when you are performing you always have to have a couple of golden oldie covers in your rep. so that normal people can relate. If you are playing for musicians or real music lovers, they tend to get more of the unique things you do.

Besides that: for me, porting hits to a quirky instrument in 2018 falls into the category been-there-heard-that.
 
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Geronimo

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Mr Mark post_id=57088 time=1523583733 user_id=1991 said:
For example there was this band I saw covering AC/DC last year featuring a bagpipe lead - and while they were very good at what they did, I had to leave almost as quickly as I had arrived...there were definitely a lot of people who stayed though.
They probably were AC/DC.
 

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