Lesson #8 - Learn the Melody


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 "Wildwood Flower".
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 do this!

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 of it!

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!