June 2015 – Lesson #9 – Pull Dem’ Bellows

I have a lot of Bellow technique exercises on this site and “SNEAKY ME” I can tell that by the pages that are being hit – that you ARE NOT DOING YOUR BELLOW EXERCISES!

So – here is a quick review of the past months’ lessons – so you can do a quick review – if you have not been following the MONTHLY LESSON LINK!

  • Lesson #1 – Sept 2014 – Introduction to Play Chords ONLY!
  • Lesson #2 – Oct. 2014 – Chords – Modulating, & Progressions
  • Lesson #3 – Nov. 2014 – Intro to Ear Training – Chord Progressions Intro
  • Lesson #4 – Dec. 2014 – Dexterity & Finger Articulation (someone else)
  • Lesson #5 – Jan. 2015 – Dexterity & Finger Articulation (mine)
  • Lesson #6 – Feb. 2015 – Counting – 6/8 (Compound Meter)
  • Lesson #7 – March 2015 – Setting Benchmarks and Goals
  • Lesson #8 – April 2015 – Writing Assignment – Basic Music Theory
  • Lesson #9 – May 2015 – “It’s All About that Bass”
  • Lesson #10 – June 2015 – Pull Dem’ Bellows

Review these posted articles:

NOW – here is an additional Bellow Exercise for you to review and LEARN!

Bellow Technique: Accents

Until now, the bellow technique taught – has been designed to keep a smooth flow to your bellows – going at all times. Stopping them COMPLETELY at the end of phrases – to encourage the styling of Rubato and to increase the chance you will “Cresendo” into a phrase and “Diminuendo” out of a phrase.

NOW I am going to tell you to be JERKY!!!!

Accents are the hardest to pull off properly – especially on the IN BELLOWS!

There are more than one kind of Accent – Please see this link to HEAR the difference.


Accent Marks

In this diagram from their website – I DISAGREE!!!

They say SHORT – and that is the Heavier of the two Short and Long. The Long is the LIGHTER of the two accents. (Please reverse what they are showing!)

ALSO – the “detached” accent is notated as a staccato – AGAIN – the UNMARKED PHRASED notes is played Detached – which is longer than a staccato! Staccato is “light and crisp! The Legato Line – means to hold the note for it’s fullest value – then separate from the next note.

On the accordion – we do NOT NEED to STRIKE the key any harder to attain an accent like a piano does. We need to add a POP in the bellow flow. (I hate the word JERK!!) CORRECTIONMichael Bridge at the ATG July 2015 – said acoustically – the “hitting or heavier strike of the keys – DOES add to the POP of the Accent! – Somthing to do with the JARRING to LIFE of the REEDS! Try it – I now agree with him!

  1. Hold a C Major chord in the right hand and play a 4/4 pattern CM bass
  2. On the 1st and 3rd count (the bass) – add a “wrist down stroke” – just like you learned in the bellow shake example. THIS is OUT BELLOWS
  3. Do the Same for the IN BELLOWS – but add a “wrist UP STROKE”
  4. The flow of the bellows should NOT STOP – continue in or out.
  5. Use a SLIGHT down stroke or POP or up stroke POP – AGAIN UP OR DOWN –
  6. DO NOT ADD pressure on the bass strap with your wrist!!!
  7. Increase the intensity of the down or up stroke POP for the heavier accent.
  8. If you Strike the Right Hand NOTE at the same time as the accent – you can achieve a stronger accent.
  9. Then the RELEASE of the Right Hand Note dictates if it is a short or long accent!

Here are some more in the accent family.

Sfortzando sign SfP sign

BONUS – an article with an exercise – I wrote for an Accordion Club

Squeezin May 2015 – Bellow Phrasing