Hey Boudreaux listen to this story...My old Grandma told me about how she would listen to my Grandpa play his accordion while she did housework. She told me that many times he would play "half hearted". She'd yell at him and say, "if you gonna play dat thing, PLAY IT!" She said it would fire him up and give him some pep. And he'd go all out for the next song and just blow the gaskets man! Then she'd clap for him and leave him alone. LOL
This is the approach I believe Aldus is taking for his recordings and even in the videos of him on the bandstand. His speed is uncanny and fast, yet solid as a rock and accurate for his two steps. Its almost as if they (the band) planned it to be fast and hard hitting like that. That steel player is going 90 to nothing in those two steps. I've sat and played within a chair or two from Aldus when he was an old man and he had slowed down a lot without that band to push him. Every now and again he'd pour on the pepper and smoke it, but not often. There are two levels of play..."half hearted" when you're by yourself at home learning, and then, there's ALL OUT (when you're playing for someone else to hear it.) Just don't start it too fast and mess it up! Be sure you can hang with yourself and the speed that you start the song with.
Remember everyone, push yourself and that accordion every now and then. Don't blow gaskets and break reeds, but at least blow the cobwebs out of the accordion and from that head of yern. LOL.
In the recording, the song is definitely played in the key of F, and it sure sounds to me like it was played in the 2nd position, which means it was on a Bb accordion.
This assumes that the tempo on the recording wasn't jacked up in some way. Theoretically, it could have been played in G on a C accordion and then slowed down, but that would would mean it was recorded at an unholy fast tempo!
Bb is my preferred key accordion. This is for purely practical reasons as it fits my voice better, as is the case for most male singers. Something like 90% or more of us are bass-baritones, which means that hitting a high F is a whole hell of lot easier than hitting a high G. In fact, for most men, that high G is **** near impossible to make it sound good. I can do it now, occasionally, if I am lucky and do everything just right - and that is only after years of effort.
Lately, I have been picking up my A accordion more, since my fav-O-rite Bb had a little flapper wire breakdown. That's been even better than Bb, and I have been getting lots-O favorable reviews on that. As in, peeps are saying my singing is better.
To the best of my knowledge, the heavy use of Bb started in the late 80's and early 90's among the Creole zydeco players. C almost disappeared for a while. Jeffrey Broussard even made a song about it. He took Boozoo's song Tee Black, and changed it to Oh B flat.
"Oh B flat, Oh B flat. Ain't gonna play my C no more"
BTW, re: my Bb with the busted flapper wire, anyone got any suggestions on who could fix it?
David: I agree with you about the B-flat. Sounds lovely indeed.
My Bb matches not really with the version Greezy sent and the version from the CD I sent matches exactly. Maybe NCIS can help us out :wink:
I'm pretty sure that is the same version used in the Courvelle Toyota "Happy Town, USA" commercials. On va soigner ton char, comme le char a nous autres! Oh, wait, that's J.P. Thibodeaux, lol!
Well now we're getting somewhere! Look at that team effort go!
Mel, fantastic video and or sound. Now that! Matches exactly to my "C" accordion key of "G". And since its on youtube now, I can add it to my song list and learn the song tit for tat. With your version, no need for me to listen to the "Bb" version I guess. Thank you very much!
I've been doing some study on singing in different keys that the "C" and "D" accordion can produce. Taped myself on cassette on and old cassette recorder and I instantly sounded like I was 70 -90 years old, LOL. I really think the sound of recordings varies according to the medium you use to play the recording. A record, an 8 trac tape, a cassette, and a CD can change the sound! Also, the key in which you play that accordion can also change the sound and age of the music you sing, LOL.
So many variations. Yall be careful out there. Watch not to taint your ears with too many bad old recordings.
Believe this, once you find an accurate recording that sounds like your accordion, there's no reason that you can't master any song.
Believe this also, the quality and the style you play your accordion stems directly from the versions of Cajun music you choose to listen to. The older the music, the older your playing style will sound, and you singing too.
I had a Bb flat also. I've talked about it some time ago. I had it built to be able to follow more closely, or parakeet the music of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. I had it made at about my 15th year of playing the Cajun accordion. I'm going to admit right here and now that I had it made *too soon*. All I was playing on that Bb flat was 2nd position "F" songs for the most part and not singing hardly at all.
For a Bb flat these are the 4 positions and their keys. For those that don't know, (This same counting system below can be applied to all Cajun accordions by using the key they were made in and count from there.)
1st position - Bb (always the same as the key the accordion was made in.)
2nd position - F (Count 4 letters past Bb: C,D,E,*F*)
3rd position - E (Count 3 letters past Bb: C,D,*E*)
4th position - C (Count 1 letter past Bb: *C*)
What I should have been doing with that Bb flat accordion was playing in it's 1st position and singing "somewhere's in the neighborhood of Bb flat fellers"! I played La Valse de Grand Bois once for some people using the key of Bb 1st position and it must have sounded old to their ears. Had a little boy playing triangle on the side. Not one single dry eye when we got done. LOL, even me and the little boy was crying. It set off some kind of reaction to the sound of that key, but I didn't realize it at the time. Shortly after, I sold the Bb flat out of ignorance, before I really got into learning it's 1st position.
As with my "C" and "D" accordions, often times I find my singing to sound older and better when I combine it with the 1st position of these 3 accordions, Bb,C,D. Its as if it gives you more range or tone or an old voice or something special. Like a link to the ancestors is the way I feel about it.
So in short, learn the 1st position of your Bb flat and sing your heart out. Sing from deep inside. Make them all cry (the accordion, your voice, the people, and even the lid triangle boy.
3rd position on Bb accordion = Eb, not E.
Thanks Bassman, now we know. "Eb" Got it, can't leave out them details. Thanks. How'd you figure that out? From memory, or you went and picked it out with a tuner?
Because its not common information. Thanks for the heads up.
Bassman, I'm starting to wonder how you know these "mynute" details you gave us. I wouldn't think that you're a base player stuck out in Oregon, California, or Washington learning all these small details about Cajun music on your own. Would you happen to be a bass player that belongs to a Cajun band from south Louisiana? Are you reaching out to try and save the music? Or....are you a bass fisherman that just knows his musical notes and keys?
You wouldn't have happened to been there that night at the "Whiskey River Landing" when the Mamou Playboys lost the Sunday gig permanently and every gig at the place from then on. Because if you were there, you and I looked eye to eye at one point in time while the band was on break by the boat dock. I was the guy that walked up on y'all and felt like I was interrupting something secret going on with the band. I wasn't walking by you guys to "groupie" the band. I just wanted a smoke outside away from the dancehall and y'all just happened to be there doing something on the sly it looked like to me. Like there was something to be hidden, or you guys were upset that a possible "fan" was coming by to bother the band. Any of this making sense to you Bassman?