• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Thinking and playing the LH

Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Sweden
When I play the LH I sometimes start to think and it messes things up. An example could be: I have a tune with C-Am. The thought in my head could be something like "that's a short interval". Today I said that to myself and play C-Dm instead. It's like we just have yo do it. Singing is kind of simmilar but I don't really have the same issue with thinking so it must be an accordion issue. Is it?
The RH is a lot more visual than the LH so I go less on feeling as I can use the eyes a bit. Or perhaps trying to get a certain feeling is bad as C-Am fells different in different situations or days?
Do we play bader when we think?
Should we stop thinking when playing?
 
Last edited:

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,898
Reaction score
757
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Learning starts with thinking (and listening) while practicing. It is not visual in the sense of actually looking using your eyes, because with an accordion you should never look at the keyboard (and cannot look at the bass side). Thinking while practicing helps in developing muscle memory: you brain starts learning the exact distances it should make your hands and fingers move to hit the right notes.
So NO you should not stop thinking but you should STOP LOOKING if that is even possible.
 

JeffJetton

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
886
Reaction score
299
When I play the LH I sometimes start to think and it messes things up. An example could be: I have a tune with C-Am. The thought in my head could be something like "that's a short interval". Today I said that to myself and play C-Dm instead.

[...]

Should we stop thinking when playing?

I'd suggest that you keep thinking, but change what you're thinking about. Instead of judging the distance you have to move as being "short" or whatever, think about exactly how many LH button rows (I call them "floors") you have to skip over.

So, for example, if you're playing a C major bass pattern and there's an Am chord coming up, try thinking "I'm going to have to leap over two floors--G and D--in order to get where I want to go."

This won't instantly solve the problem, but I find that it helps. At the end of the day it's all about training your brain to judge those distances through lots of practice. We've all had to do it the same way.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Sweden
I'd suggest that you keep thinking, but change what you're thinking about. Instead of judging the distance you have to move as being "short" or whatever, think about exactly how many LH button rows (I call them "floors") you have to skip over.

So, for example, if you're playing a C major bass pattern and there's an Am chord coming up, try thinking "I'm going to have to leap over two floors--G and D--in order to get where I want to go."

This won't instantly solve the problem, but I find that it helps. At the end of the day it's all about training your brain to judge those distances through lots of practice. We've all had to do it the same way.
Cool!
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Sweden
Learning starts with thinking (and listening) while practicing. It is not visual in the sense of actually looking using your eyes, because with an accordion you should never look at the keyboard (and cannot look at the bass side). Thinking while practicing helps in developing muscle memory: you brain starts learning the exact distances it should make your hands and fingers move to hit the right notes.
So NO you should not stop thinking but you should STOP LOOKING if that is even possible.
Never look? I see many pros who use their eyes.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,898
Reaction score
757
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Never look? I see many pros who use their eyes.
I do look, at my sheet music, at the audience... but generally I do not look down at the keyboard. But I must admit that occasionally I will peek down when I have to jump more than 2 octaves, and I will also look when I need to change register (to one that's not available as chin switch).
The reason why generally it's never really necessary to look at the keyboard is that muscle memory will move the hand and fingers to the correct position every time, unless you change your posture or take a different accordion.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Sweden
I do look, at my sheet music, at the audience... but generally I do not look down at the keyboard. But I must admit that occasionally I will peek down when I have to jump more than 2 octaves, and I will also look when I need to change register (to one that's not available as chin switch).
The reason why generally it's never really necessary to look at the keyboard is that muscle memory will move the hand and fingers to the correct position every time, unless you change your posture or take a different accordion.
I watched some videos and it seems that not many pros look at the keys or the buttons when playing the RH. I find that when I look at my keys I have to change the position of the accordion a bit. It's much harder to look when I put it in the best position. It's kind of hard to see the RH.
It's much easier to loo at your hands when playing the piano. I think this is one of the biggest difference between the PA and the piano, ie the PA is vertical and the piano is horizontal. An organ would be much more simmilar to a piano.
I've read threads on how people overemphasize the simmilarites beween the PA and the piano. I always ask myself how they are similar and not so similar. PA is much easier for me as a piano player even though there are pianist who play the CBA (but they have to learn two systems and I only one).
 
Last edited:

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,234
Reaction score
272
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PA is much easier for me as a piano player even though there are pianist who play the CBA (but they have to learn two systems and I only one).
Without exception, any PA player that uses Free bass has to learn basically 3 systems... the RH Piano keyboard, the Stradella Bass and throw in a little CBA "stuff" on the left hand to boot... that will toss in a wrench or 2 in your practice sessions... lol
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Sweden
Without exception, any PA player that uses Free bass has to learn basically 3 systems... the RH Piano keyboard, the Stradella Bass and throw in a little CBA "stuff" on the left hand to boot... that will toss in a wrench or 2 in your practice sessions... lol
I only play accordion with standard bass
 

Glug

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
618
Reaction score
165
Location
London UK
I've taken to marking my scores with the LH button position relative to the chord row, so for example on alternating bass the second bass note could have "+1" marked under it. I'm good enough to know where most bass notes are but it helps for some of the odd bass sequences.
An example:

Munsters.png
So the "+2" is 2 rows (floors) up from the E and in this case counterbass.
I also mark bass jumps (currently of 4 or more).

(Munsters theme tune btw)
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,898
Reaction score
757
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
I've taken to marking my scores with the LH button position relative to the chord row, so for example on alternating bass the second bass note could have "+1" marked under it. I'm good enough to know where most bass notes are but it helps for some of the odd bass sequences.
An example:

...
Interesting that in the example small moves are marked with numbers but the large jump from Em to F and back is not marked at all...
 

Glug

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
618
Reaction score
165
Location
London UK
Sorry, the mark for the jump is above the treble clef, preceded with an arrow for the direction.
So above the F is (down arrow)5, I should have pointed that out.

Maybe I should put the mark below the bass clef.
 

Similar threads

Top