Larry Miller's You Can Play Cajun Accordion
it's a must have for learning the basics. The CD has a wonderful collection of old tunes, mostly by Allie Young. Makes it worth it all by itself.
Big Nick has some really good starter info on his
Dirk's DVD's are great, I would highly recommend getting the second one, you can learn some really neat tricks from it. One DVD I wouldn't recommend is "The Gospel Accordion to Mark", the tuning info on the DVD is great, but for learning new tunes it's useless, he plays very complicated simple songs very complicated, and the slowing down feature makes it all the more confusing.
"he plays very complicated simple songs very complicated"
Meant to say, he plays simple songs, very complicated. Although, very complicated simple songs very complicated sounds kind of cool...
What kind of box are you learning on?
Sadly, I'm learning on a Hohner Ariette right now. In the C key and very wet.
But I'm having a dry-tuned C made by Junior Martin...I've just gotta wait a few months.
In the meantime, I'm busy learning all I can on the one I've got.
What level do you feel that you're playing at now?
That is, are you ready for another level of playing
beyond Dirk's first CD, or are you looking for more
variety of material similar to Dirk's first CD?
Or, maybe you just intersted in another perspective?
I'm still working my way through Dirk Powell's first DVD, but I want to have my next lessons ready and waiting before I finish with this one. (I hate having down time).
I like DP's approach a lot. More than anything, I was curious about what other people thought of the Steve Riley DVD or if anyone had tried Savoy's MP3 lesson.
Get all the videos you mentioned.
Everyone of them is good in its own way.
Practice a ton, in front of either a mirrow or somebody else; wife, girlfriend,children, grandkids.
Make up lots of little songs that only you know the words to. Try different rhythms. Be creative.
If you try to do an exact copy of existing music, you could get frustrated. Give it your best shot but don't linger too long.
Play a lot of single octave stuff. Get muscle memory in all those fingers.
Find a friendly guitar picker to practice with.
Take the Arrietta with you everywhere you travel and play it every chance you get.
Buy beaucoup CD's and listen to them as much as you can.
If the opportunity presents itself, go to a dance with music in the Cajun style and learn how to two-step! Your sense of rhythmic emphasis can only benefit.
Two-steppin's my best dancin'. I was born in Lafayette, after all!
Thanks for the advice, everyone!
To get to your question:
In my opinion, Steve's DVD is hard to learn from. The DVD is not broken up into segments as well as Dirk's is, meaning you cannot go from slow version of Jolie Blonde to fast version, etc. I love his style, but unless you are truly ready to LISTEN to the DVD, I would hold out on it. I cannot learn by watching and repeating step for step, but that is just me. If your ear isn't trained to pick up pretty quickly on tunes, you might have a hard time...I did. Same with Wilson's stuff. It's all by ear, so get ready and don't be disappointed. Good luck and hope this helps some.
Not too many Judes around.
But I do know of another Jude Moreau, from the Lafayette area ( more spicifically , Pecaniere ) , a distant cousin whom I've not met.
That wouldn't be you would it???
Jude Moreau from Texas
Nope, that's not me. I'm from Lafayette, but I'm a Meche, not a Moreau.
Since you're in Texas, I'm sure we could trade stories about how people outside of LA tend to butcher our name.
Know what you mean. I also live in Texas and its so nice to go back to Mamou and not have to spell my name to a person with a puzzled look when I say Lafleur.
Over time, I have purchased and experienced pretty much all Videos and DVD available:
- Marc Savoy Gospel according to Marc (and the other one)
- Dirk Powell Vol I & II
- Steve Riley
- Wilson Savoy
Like you, I started with the Dirk Powell. I would say get Vol II to continue building a solid foundation. From there, the Steve Riley or Wilson Savoy (which are both intermediary/advance) would be a natural segue in terms of style and complexity. The two Marc Savoy are not very good in terms of teaching methods, but amazing to watch.
You will find that learning on an Ariette (which is what I did too) si going the hard way, but once you graduate to a good quality box, you will be much faster and better. It's a little bit like the athletes who train with extra weights... I've attached a link to my interpretation of Valse de 99, the very first song I learned from the DP video a couple of years ago.
Lache pas la patate!
I agree that the 2 DP Vids are the way to start. Next Steve's Vid and Wilson's are terrific. There is a lot of material on both but I think Wilson's lesson on triplets is key to really opening up the fingerboard and helps get that cajun sound. It is also a favorite lick of the modern Zydeco players and gets a nice syncopation in there. Here is my 2 cents. Always play the scale over and over just like DP shows you in the beginning. This will train your ear so you will always get the octave without thinking about it. Then try to pick out tunes and you will automatically play them in octaves. Add the embellishments that you feel and voila, you have your own arrangement. I think it is helpful to learn the chords, 1, 4, 5 in both the push and pull keys and then in the F position and the D position. Play along with CD's and just chug some background using the bass buttons to get that chank a chank going. Also, a key move is to get the G going (on a C box) in both the push and pull. This will help you keep that box going in and out in that endless stream of notes that to my ear really define this music. Steve Riley's version of Flammes D'Enfer comes to mind. That lick that he does really opens the box to your own improvisation once you get it down.