Over the past two weeks, I’ve been working on improving my ability to play some of the songs that I’ve already learned. I have also been playing some higher difficultly songs, which are played faster and include more notes. Several of the new songs that I have been learning have sections, where the keys played on the keyboard, don’t match up with the notes played on the bass buttons. This means that I have to switch between notes on one hand but make sure that I continue to play the same keys with the other hand. It has been a little bit of a struggle to get the hang of doing this but I’ve found that replaying the same part until I get the hang of it and taking it slow have been good techniques for helping me.
Before the next post, I want to continue to work on the four songs that I have been mainly practicing, as well as learn a new one. Recently I have not been practicing every single day, so in the future, I want to get back in the habit of practicing at least 20 minutes every day. Lastly, I want to look more into the possibility of purchasing a new accordion.
Below is a video of me practicing two of the songs that I’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks. These songs include some of the difficult sections that I mentioned earlier.
How to Have a Beautiful Mind:
“How to listen” and “How to ask questions”
As I’ve talked about in previous posts I’ve been having to learn how to slow down and make sure I spend enough time on each new skill that I am learning. I have noticed that as I’ve talked more with my mentor and learned from her, my views on learning how to play the accordion have changed. I am no longer focused on getting as far as I can as fast as I can, but rather making sure that I take my time and master the basics and then move up from there. This change in my views has made this project a lot easier for me and I’ve already learned a lot.
Since the start of the project, I have been able to progress a decent amount and I am now at the point where I’m learning more difficult songs. As I’ve mentioned before these songs involve sections where the notes being played on one part of the accordion are being played at different times or speeds than the notes being played on the other parts. Lately, I have been struggling to learn how to do this, so I asked my mentor for advice about it. She answered, “the best way to learn to play these songs is to constantly practice playing the bass notes on their own so your fingers get used to the movement of switching between notes and keeping the same speed. Once you’re able to play the bass notes really well, it will be easier to play both the keyboard and bass notes at the same time.” This new information has helped me get better at playing songs and keeping a consistent tempo all the way through.
I have also been looking at possibly purchasing another accordion from eBay or Craigslist, as the one that I am currently using is around 40 years old. Before looking online, I asked my mentor, “What are some specific elements that I should look for in an accordion?” My mentor replied, “the most important thing is that the accordion is in good, playable condition. You should also look at the size, the price, specifically what type of accordion it is, and possibly what brand the accordion is.” I think this was a good question to ask as it has multiple answers and allows me to hear the opinion of my mentor.
Overall, I have learned a lot over the past two weeks and hope to continue to improve.