Right you are David. "Having to do it all yourself." is a very important part of learning and mastering Cajun accordion. And funny you should mention the Messiah Complex, or the Guru or Sensei thing.
Could it be that too much information "waters down" any activity? Perhaps one needs to earn his right to play good Cajun accordion without being told the secrets and processes by others that have gone before them?
Do we allow the ignorance to continue? Is it the ignorance that is causing the Cajun music to be so unique? Maybe even uniquely frustrating and poor in quality?
Is this ignorance the cause of grandstanding amongst some Cajun accordionists? Is ignorance causing the price of a Cajun built accordion to go through the roof? Is it the ignorance that is causing fans to elevate their accordion heroes to king or god status, when such an honor may not really be deserved nor sought after? Is it this ignorance that makes an accordion player think that "he's good enough" and doesn't need to go any farther, nor help anyone become just as good. Some things for you and me to think about.
There is always someone out there willing to help. You just have to seek them out, or they have to make themselves and their willingness known. Sometimes, their help may not help you at all, but hinder you?
"Is this ignorance the cause of grandstanding amongst some Cajun accordionists? Is ignorance causing the price of a Cajun built accordion to go through the roof?"
"Is it the ignorance that is causing fans to elevate their accordion heroes to king or god status, when such an honor may not really be deserved nor sought after?"
Yes, and that can apply to other instruments as well.
There seems to be a need to grovel , rather than dig in and learn something..
Bowing down to a "god" excuses our own ( lack of ) abilities and hinders progress.
"What one man can do, another can do"
You just need to do it.
Awesome J. I'd like to submit the below video. I know, some people don't care for Walter Mouton. I think it has something to do with his demeanor on occasion. But watch his performance here. Maybe not impressive at first glance. Watch and listen to his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd accordion parts. He elevates from to simple play to different levels of difficulty as the song progresses. He wraps it up by jumping from "G" to "C" and even calls it by saying "C"! This video absolutely proves that he knows the positions (doesn't show "F" position) of the Cajun accordion, how and when to use them, but you don't ever hear Walter Mouton explain it. In fact, as a beginner accordion player, I was somewhat put back with Walter Mouton one day at Holly Beach Louisiana a long time ago. His attitude and guardedness about accordion play was to say the least....repulsive! ****** me off to the point of avoiding the man and his style of accordion playing from then until now. Maybe I need to start watching The Walter again. After all...Wayne Toups says he's the best! LOL, I think I'm hearing him criticize Wilson about not having enough rosin?? Remember, Walter was a fiddle player first and foremost!
Key change at 2:10.
Thanks for posting.
I could handle the attitude with that level of skill. !
Yes, it is a good video. Gives up lots of information. In fact, it made me realize how to jump to the "C" position from "G" easily. All you have to do is watch the area Mouton's fingers go, and go find it yourself. This song is "Flames D'enfer", but know this...."Flames D'enfer" was converted and made into "Petit O La Grosse" as in the "little or the big keys!" Or maybe vice versa. Crazy huh?
Oh, yall aint heard the half of it. I'm on to another fresh trail as of a few minutes ago. Or, maybe it's an old trail. It has to do with Joe and Cleoma's Allons a Lafayette again, and how Iry Lejeune and Marc Savoy came along and increased the confusion of Cleoma's got dam maelstrom! This realization through about an hour of looped accordion play of "allons a lafayette, don't get married, and jeune genres de la campaigne cleared up lots of confusion in my own mind. I'll have to tell all you guys about it soon! Life Changing!
Where and how did Walter Mouton end up playing the way he does. Any lineage to his learning ie other older players
Or is it possible that his style is of his own origination or.. he jumped backward to the earliest players ?
Oh, now that's my kinda question J J Hldreth. When I read it... it sparked a twinge of excitement in my stomach. Man...THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION!
And deserves "A MILLION DOLLAR ANSWER!"
I am all about history and social / musical evolution.
Be advised Hildreth. My method takes a little time. Oh, you will get an answer, but I have to "pay attention" to Walter for a short while. As I always say.."What you choose to pay attention to, you become aware of. Always, and in every way, more and more eeeeverrrrey day!"
Here, we can start with this video. Pay close attention to what he says after 3:20. He's admitting to ignorance. Or maybe he's just playing with our minds???
3:20 on.. At 3:20 he says he's an "idol" beyond that.. Ignorance?
Of Cajun and Zydeco ?
The part shortly after the idol worship part...."I can't teach music because I can't explain what I'm doing." Then why would the two top Cajun accordion players in Louisiana idolize him? That's another million dollar question.
I have come to realize that there are many Cajun accordion players from south Louisiana that have learned how to play all these Cajun songs via the parakeet technique. They learn them for the purpose of playing them to show others what they can do, or to contribute to the memory of our culture, or to earn money from doing it. But have they never learned a Cajun song on the accordion with intentions to teach anyone that would want to learn Cajun accordion?
We have a huge problem in Cajun land. The rapid loss of our culture and heritage because of ignorance and Americanism. And none of these accordion "Kings" and "Heroes" see the need to learn how to teach the patterns of their accordions in a manner that preserves the culture and heritage accurately? No, they're content to play a few songs for you on a DVD and charge you money for it, but never really teach a foundation or base on those DVD's. Patterns and techniques or how to recognize them and apply them are left out!
This goes back to the Greats. Aldus Roger, Nathan Abshire, Iry Lejeune. All of them! These men could make them accordions almost smoke as they played, but couldn't teach how it was done other than playing a song for you and wishing you good luck in trying to learn it. Amazing! NOW THAT, at least in my mind, is WILLFUL IGNORANCE! Something I cannot and will not tolerate! No, I think there's something else afoot here that we're not being let to know. I mean hey, all these lost souls are content to pay $3000 for a Cajun accordion that once sold for $50, or maybe even 10 of them, and do all this dreaming, research, hunting and pecking, etc. without there being a sound method of approach established. What is that but sheep following the lead sheep blindly? That to me is a crying got dam shame!
We might disagree that a player has a responsibility to teach others.
A good player is not a necessarily a good teacher, and the opposite is true.
Perhaps some pof these players feel as I do about my art work.. I spent years developing a technique and I am not giving away any "secrets"
The exception here is if anyone worked hard at learning and was on the verge of "getting it" but struggling.. perhaps I'd jump in.
Early on in another career I boot strapped myself from lot boy at a SAAB/Volvo
dealership to National Training Mgr for Management Training, USA and Canada.
Along the way I busted my axx and often freely shared info with others, to include bosses who stole my ideas and writings and presented them as their own. I learned to "keep it close to the vest"
As relates to MOUTON, and this goes for many musicians, you don't need to know the details fo what you are doing, such as the names of the notes, or what a triplet or rubato is if you can do it. It doesn't matter to the end product.
Concerning the cultural decline.. have a look at what the Tex/Mex, Norteno, Conjunto accordion players have done in Texas and the South West. Huge cultural change, not just in their own culture but spreading it to the Gringos.
And their music is completely based on music brought over by farmers from Germany, Czech And SLovenia,and Bohemia (the Polka was their invention).
One thing I have noted within the Mexican community is not only having a tradition of "family first" they view family in a broader sense... family can also be community. The most notable thing I see is the S H A R E freely with their skills.
So much so there are schools for Accordeon. And massive festivals, and annual events promoting the music. There is a universality to the music and though they are to some degree are and were discriminated against because of their heritage, instead of whining they motored on. (much like the Japanese who were incarcerated in camps in WW II and had their property and businesses stolen by the government)
I believe it is not the American people and government who are holding down any specific group, the groups have a mind set that needs to be altered if they truly want the culture to flourish. And that is up to them , not anyone else.. .
Yes, I realize the past, but that is past.
An illustration just came to mind.. Savoy.
Savoy has been know to say he would help anyone learn to build accordeons. This has proved not to be the case. Nice publicity but not an actuality.
He he was truly that interested in spreading the wealth, he could have easily set up a school to do it and put his money where his mouth is..
Or he could hire someone to do his work and keep it all to himself.
This is not speculation, it is simply a fact.
There is a player/builder from France.. Pariselle. He gives workshops on building accordeons. Accordeon is a big deal in France.. and the proof is the number of workshops and events devoted to playing it.
Maybe it has to do with how somebody is approached or maybe I've just been real fortunate. Step Rideau has always been real gracious. Brett Thibodeaux was helpful as was Bryan Lafleur with technical questions. Johnny LeBlanc was super nice with a sranding invitation. Of course everybody is different.
Marc Savoy’s instructional CD demonstrate how to play J’ai Passé in C, G and F. He doesn’t explain it. You still have to watch and listen and figure it out yourself.
There are a lot of people willing to teach now. I think in the old days that wasn't the case. Forced everyone to learn on their own by watching and listening and noodling. Frustrating to the learner, but it did serve some purpose. Notice how all the old players had very distinctive styles of playing. One can listen to old recordings and tell who the player is. With dvd's and lessons now, more people sound alike.
Playing in different keys is no secret. I like noodling around in different keys. Have to get creative because each key is missing a different note. When I started playing, I didn't know about keys or positions. I just pecked around to find notes that sound like the right sequence. In the process, I learned Jetais au Bal and Eunice Two Step in C.
This will always be my favorite modulation song. It took me a few years to play a passable Perrodin, but playing it in F still eludes me, even with videos of someone doing it. Eric Oblanc is as good a player to ever come from La but few outside the area have heard of him. And one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
Solid player.. thanks for the link.
HOHNER's production for the US market almost exclusively 3 rows for the TEX MEX market, this under the direction of Gilbert Reys.
Contrarily, HOHNER discontinued their previously most popular model the HA114.
In its place they have a cheap POS because they do not consider one row (CAJUN and QUEBEC) to be worthy.
Lots of great music has been made on the HOHNER HA114, I have owned at least a dozen and have one in "C" from the 50s as well as an HA 112 and an HA113 both in "A".
Additionally many HA114 models were cannibalized to make "CAJUN" accordeons, notably Shine Mouton. I believe that Jude Moreau, early on in his box making career, made an accordion with Hohner reeds.
Bottom line, the TEX MEX, Norteno, Conjunto world has risen to an all time high and changed the direction of what was once the largest accordeon making company in the world.
This may not be the goal of the CAJUN music world , but it is noteworthy.
Imagine a quality HA114 with at least CZECH reeds and a decent bellows. An affordable quality box. I believe there would be buyers.
(Not the wanna be HA114B for which Savoy has taken credit.. all it was .. Black and more bellows tape and slightly drier.. I bought one new. No character. Offed it)
I don't limit myself one bit by what others think a Cajun accordion should be, or have in it. Some of my favorite sounding accordions I've heard has had Hohner reeds in them. I have a Sterling that sounds like crap. I love the Czech reeds. I've got a love hate relationship with Italian reeds. I've very confused most days.
" I've got a love hate relationship with Italian reeds. I've very confused most days."
And this applies to their accordeons !!! : )
I am a huge fan of HOHNER accordeons pre Gilbert Reyes association with HOHNER.
I strongly believe he is Latino Centric at the expense of other music cultures.. and this resulted in the demise of many other models.
Which of the Czech reed quality levels have you found to be your choice ? By genre or over all..
Those of us who are of Czech descent would like to know.
MY GGF was born near Salnau (Zelnav) Bohemia, Austria which is now the south western most area of the Czech Republic. I play his accordeon daily.
Still tinkering with the Czech reeds. There's compromises with all reeds, which stays consistent with 10 rows...compromises.
The Czech Dix reeds, like they advertise, closely mimic the old Saxony reeds put in the old German boxes. Even come with zinc plates and an O stamp. But I consider them improved versions of the old reeds. They are punchier and more responsive than the old reeds, but not quite as responsive or loud as the new Italian reeds. They have a nice sharp punch in the higher notes. The reeds are hard to tune because they are very pitch sensitive to pressure. But that allows the player to make some nice affects like you may hear some of old players do.
Then I tried their Professional reeds, which is number 3 in their price scale. Much punchier and louder than the Dix reeds, and more stable in pitch. Still not as responsive as Binci or Ciccarelli, but maintain that "Germanic" sound I was looking for.
Then I got some Nastrino reeds, which are their #1 reeds. So far I'm a bit disappointed, they are nice sounding but very mellow, but that may very well be the accordion they are in. Will try another set in another accordion.
So, for people who crave that old German sound, the Czech reeds are what you want. But you have to understand they don't have quite the Italian performance. The Nastrinos are supposed to, and I need to try again to see for sure.
Which echos my definition of a "CAJUN" accordeon.. an accordeon made by a CAJUN.
Too bad his right hand is moving up (toward the chin) when the notes are high in pitch) and down when the notes are low in pitch.
Moronic. Obviously done by a non player.
Ahahahahahaha. Ok Larry C, I get it! You were trying to say that Cajun music is Monkey Music. You sir, may be on to something there, but since you cannot speak nor type anything more than the word Aieeeech or whatever that was, and only have the ability to post a video of a monkey playing accordion, then I have no other choice than to take your banana treat away. You get nothing for the rest of the month. We'll see if that don't smarten you up enough to elaborate on that suggestion of yers!
Greasey - By no means do I think Cajun music is Monkey Music. Cajun music is the most beautiful music in the world. I love the accordion & the fiddle (I can’t play fiddle worth beans, but I love it nevertheless). Just wanted to get a rise out of you guys with my suggestion that you all are a bit simian. Can any of you PLAY? You talk but you haven’t posted any examples of your playing to back it up. Just talk, blah, blah, blah. Who cares if your accordions have butt joints or mitered joints? It doesn’t fly, man. I read your accounts of all you know about Cajun music, but never does a single note of it impress me. So, I posted the monkey robot to elicit a meaningful conversation out you (& it did, but not what I expected). I expected the question you just asked me, elaborate. Well here it is, now PLAY. You may say “you first” but I’m not that good & certainly not as good as you & Jeff claim to be. All talk. Blah, blah. This site used to have people of all skill levels posting videos, trying to learn from each other. But they have all left. Maybe it was because of the nasty remarks certain people had for each other. I’m not sure. What do you think of the silence?
I call BS...
Per your quote:
...."not as good as you & Jeff claim to be."
I have N E V E R claimed any skill at playing accordeon, specifically Cajun style..
I detest misquotes with a serious passion.
Please do not misquote me or characterize me when you know absolutely dick-all about me.
I have, however, often posted I am a "perpetual beginner"
I do know a little bit about accordeons having played for some time and owning well over 50 and having designed and built box parts and began building about 8 years ago when an event took me in another direction.
Why don't I post clips of me playing.. ?
I am not an exhibitionist.
I have no interest in You Tube other than watching others.. because once in a while there is a gem. Most of it is self serving drivel.
I have very little time.
Even if I was a highly skilled player, .. much as with my art work:
I do not divulge what I know except in rare circumstances.
I never, ever, play music with anyone else.. never have since I began playing guitar in 1961. I have no interest in bands, or jamming, or sessions or any of that. It is all for personal pleasure and expanding my abilities, ie educational.
The silence is for a variety of reasons, namely drug ads and spam mail that results from signing on here.
Some seriously vicious posters and I do believe this.. xenophobia, jingoism and ethnic elitism.
I understand. Sorry to have made any assumptions about you.
No apology necessary, but, thanks.