Lesson #18 - Rhythm Techniques

   

Pads/Rhythm techniques - punches, etc.

When first learning the Cajun accordion, you may be better off learning one hand at a time.

Get the 10-button side nailed first, then add the left hand rhythm.

The right hand left hand independence can be challenging!  Sometimes, you'll be switching bellows directions between left hand bass and chord to get the note you'll need on the right hand side.

Learn the passages verrry sloowwly at first.  Develop stability and the speed will come naturally. 

Here is an audio sample of the Walfus Two Step with accompaniment.  (You can also watch the video to the right.)

If you want to try it, I'm including the accompaniment, minus the accordion so that you can play along too!

Or, right click on the speaker icon, and select "Save Target As ..." to download to your computer.

Another thing that seems to be commonly absent from many training classes is the “pad” or rhythm technique for accompanying other musicians.

Actually, when one plays in a band, you may do this a lot, until you solo.  Of course, you can just drop out and not play at all while others are performing their parts.

The key is to support your team with out sticking-out and competing with their lines.  Generally, you’ll want to play a more subtle, simpler, and quieter line behind someone else.

Sometimes, you’ll just want to pump rhythm. 

One technique that I perceive pro-box players is the dynamic accenting of their rhythm part.  I hear accordion players following the snare drum (if it exists) accents.  It makes the rhythm a little more interesting to punch the bellows on the “two” or the “and” while playing.

Beware; this is a little like playing a Rubik’s Cube! 

Another thing that I see over and over again how the pro’s combine elegant performance precision with a laid back relaxed technique.  This is much more difficult than it seems! 

Stay conscious of relaxing.  Don’t tense up your arm or face muscles while you play.  Don’t inhale and clench you breath. 

Have fun and let it flow.  Remove yourself enough from your concentration as to be able to hear what you’re doing, if that makes sense.

And, a very helpful technique is to “play your foot”.  This really works!  This simply means, keep time with foot-tapping as you play.  It helps to regulate your speed and keep you in the pocket. 

The Cajun Box gods were known for their stable, steady technique.  Groove is essential and can be elusive!

 

Walfus Two Step With Accompaniment