Playing the button box involves much improvisation. The artists who
created much of the Cajun music learned to play it primarily by ear.
Learning to play a song on the Cajun accordion starts with the fundamental
memorizing of the song.
When the song is firmly committed to memory, we can start to add the
numerous layers of technique that make it sound like Cajun music.
To illustrate this method, I have chosen a Carter Family folk tune named
I know, I know .. Wildwood Flower ain't Cajun! But see how a
familiar melody can become "Cajun-ized" by adding various ingredients.
I'm starting out at the most basic level by playing one-note-at-a-time.
Also, this may be a good time to "learn-to-play-your-foot". This
really, really works, and all the good box players that I've studied with
Tap your toe in time as you play. It suggests the
powerful rhythm that you want to create .. and .. it helps keep you in the
pocket and not speeding up!
The "fingering" is intended to show where the notes are hiding. (You
will not want to perform in this fashion!)
To hear & see this lesson, click on the notes, commit to memory, and
have a go at it!
Try to pick out some familiar tunes just to get the hang
Y'know .. like, Happy Birthday, Three Blind Mice .. any
tunes at all to become comfortable with locating where the notes are hiding!
Also, feel free to email if you have questions about any of these
"lessons" and I'll try to get back to you!