In our country, playing the button accordion attracts many people who want to join the music. But one should not be surprised at this situation, since the sounds of this truly folk musical instrument with a beautiful timbre are very close to the emotional experiences – joyful or sad – of a person. And those who apply maximum attention, perseverance and perseverance to learning will certainly be able to master the button accordion on their own.
What needs to be considered?
It is easier for a beginner to start learning to play a ready-made (ordinary three-row) button accordion, which has three rows of buttons in the right keyboard. On this instrument, mastering the game will turn out much faster than on a five-row professional – ready-to-select – instrument.
In addition, the first in the accompanying (left) keyboard, certain chords sound when you press just one button with your finger. And with a ready-to-select model, any triad can be obtained in the same way as on the right keyboard – selectively (that is, by simultaneously pressing several buttons with different fingers). Each button here makes only one sound. True, the accompanying keyboard of a ready-to-select button accordion can be switched to the normal (ready) position using the register. But it is still a professional instrument with a large number of buttons in both the left and right keyboards, which will cause unnecessary anxiety for a beginner self-taught accordion player.
When choosing an instrument, it is also necessary to take into account the physical data of the student. Perhaps, for a start, it would be quite the right decision to purchase a semi-bayan, which has less weight, dimensions and the number of buttons on both keyboards.
Such an instrument can be chosen not only by children, but also by women, who at first will find it difficult to manage a rather bulky instrument with a full range of sounds.
Impatient people should take into account the following points of learning on the button accordion (so as not to be disappointed later):
- the instrument is quite complex in terms of technique, although the first lessons may seem unusually interesting and exciting;
- it is unlikely that you will be able to quickly learn how to play well, so you need to stock up on patience and perseverance;
- to facilitate and speed up learning, you will need to master musical notation and some knowledge of music theory.
In addition to all that has been said, before class it will be useful to remember a good saying about repetition, which is the “mother of learning”. In practical classes, it is necessary to repeat exercises as often and with better quality as possible, aimed at practicing various technical methods of playing the button accordion, developing independence and fluency of fingers, and sharpening the ear for music.
How to hold the tool?
The button accordion can be played both sitting and standing. But it is better to study in a sitting position – holding the instrument in the air is rather tiring even for an experienced accordionist. When playing standing up, the back and shoulders are especially tired.
It is strictly unacceptable for children to engage in a standing position.
The rules for landing with a tool are reduced to the following basic requirements.
- You need to sit on a chair or stool of such a height that, with the correct setting of the legs, the knees have a slight slope to the outside of the person sitting.
- Correct positioning of the legs: the left leg is slightly set aside and forward in relation to the location of the foot of the right leg, standing on the line of the right shoulder and forming an almost right angle both with the floor surface and with one’s own thigh. In this case, both legs rest on the floor with the entire area of \u200b\u200bthe feet.
- Sitting correctly on a chair means the following: landing on the seat should be shallow – a maximum of half it, ideally – 1/3. When playing, the musician must have 3 points of support: 2 feet on the floor and the seat of the chair. If you sit on a full seat, then the support on the legs weakens, which leads to an unstable landing of the accordionist.
- The accordion is located with fur on the thigh of the left leg, and the fingerboard of the right keyboard rests against the inside of the right thigh. This position ensures the stability of the instrument when the bellows are compressed during playing. When stretching the fur, the main means of fixing the instrument are shoulder straps (they play the same role, of course, when compressing the fur, in addition to resting the fingerboard of the right keyboard on the thigh of the right leg).
- You need to sit straight, not deviating either to the left or to the right on any one leg. But a slight tilt of the body forward makes it easier to play the instrument, but the angle of inclination depends on the size of the button accordion and the configuration of the musician. The main thing is that the weight of the tool mainly falls on the legs, and not on the back.
As a result of the described fit, the accordion player’s right hand gets freedom of action on the keyboard when squeezing the bellows. She does not have to hold the instrument in order to avoid its displacement to the right side (this role is played, as explained above, by the thigh of the right leg). The displacement of the accordion player to the left when the fur is stretched is prevented by the left leg slightly set aside in the same direction. In addition, the latter also provides additional stability for the musician with the instrument due to a slight protrusion forward in relation to the line of the foot of the right foot.
Stages of learning
For beginners to play the button accordion from scratch, it is important to organize their training so that there are no long breaks in the learning process. A day or two, if necessary, is a perfectly acceptable pause for adult students busy with work and caring for the family.
Children are advised not to take vacations even for one day.
True, parental control is needed here, especially at the initial stage of training, when fingers are being trained to develop their independence, stretching, and scales and musical notation are being studied. For many adults and almost all children, classes at the initial stage seem boring and uninteresting. Later, when the playing of well-known melodies with two hands begins, young accordionists no longer need strict control.
The technique of initial mastering the technique of playing the instrument includes two stages:
Both of these main stages are subdivided, in turn, into 2 more periods.
The pre-game stage is divided into the following moments:
- the period of development of musical abilities and hearing;
- the period of working out the landing and the formation of the musical tone of the student.
The period of development and identification of the performing abilities of a future musician is possible only in the case of classes with a teacher. It would hardly occur to a beginner (including an adult) to independently organize listening lessons for himself, and even more so to analyze it. This is what is primarily meant by the tasks of this period of the pre-game stage. This also includes singing and the formation of a sense of rhythm, which can also be realized only with a professional.
The period of landing and development of playing tone is a very important milestone in the pre-game stage of training for beginners. Here you need to learn how to sit with the instrument correctly, hold it, perform a set of exercises to develop independent finger movements and their sensitivity.
And also you need to train the muscles of the hands and perform exercises to develop coordination and touch. If the student is not prepared to play the button accordion, then later there may be major problems in the performing technique, which are very difficult to solve.
The game stage includes the following periods:
- studying the right and left keyboards of the instrument, mastering the principles of mechanical science;
- musical notation, playing by ear and notes.
The study of keyboards should begin with the buttons intended for playing with the fingers of the right hand, since beginners begin to act with the left hand much later (when they are fully familiar with the melodic keyboard, they will be able to confidently play not only scales, but also pieces, simple enumerations).
The basic principles of mechanical science for beginners can be expressed in the following rules:
- you need to calculate the bellows in one direction so that it is enough to play at least one phrase of a piece of music or, for example, to sound a two-octave scale in an upward direction (then its downward direction will fall on the movement of the bellows in the opposite direction);
- you can’t interrupt a long note, imprudently started when the fur moves in one direction, but due to a lack of reserve, continuing its sound by changing the direction of movement to the opposite (for beginners, such techniques are not yet available);
- when playing, you never need to stretch or compress the mech to the stop – be sure to keep a small margin of movement.
The student should understand that the dynamics (loudness) of the sound on the button accordion is regulated precisely by the intensity of the movement of the bellows: to increase the volume, the bellows need to be compressed or moved apart faster. In addition, other musical techniques and effects (staccato, vibrato, and so on) are performed with fur.
Playing on the right keyboard of the button accordion (and later on on the left) should begin with the study and playing of scales. First of all, of course, those scales are played whose sounds do not have sharps (flats) – that is, only the white keys of the keyboard are used. These scales are C major and A minor. Playing scales develops a musician’s ear, independence of fingers, teaches them to the correct order of fingers when playing long losses (forms the correct fingering), and contributes to the rapid memorization of notes on the keyboard.
Below are both mentioned scales.
Scales should be played in a variety of time signatures: 4/4, 3/4, 6/8 and 2/4.
In this case, it is necessary to emphasize strong beats (the first notes of all measures).
Playing by notes
With musical notation, you can start to “be friends” even from the pre-game stage:
- to understand that a musical sign in itself is a designation of the duration of some indefinite sound, and placed on a stave (staff) also indicates a specific sound in height (for example, “to” the second octave or “mi” of the first octaves);
- to begin with, remember the longest sounding notes: a whole for 4 counts, a half for 2 counts and a quarter for 1 count;
- learn how to write notes of passed durations on a regular sheet of paper, figure out what parts the notes consist of (the note itself is a colorless or black oval, calm);
- get acquainted with the musical staff and the treble clef, learn how to draw the treble clef and musical signs on the staff (you will need a musical notebook);
- a little later, when it comes time to play on the left keyboard, consider in the same way what the staff in the bass clef “F” is, what notes and in what order it contains.
Next, it’s worth learning which buttons on the right keyboard you need to press in sequence to play the C major scale from “do” of the first octave to the note “do” of the second octave. Record these sounds (notes) on the staff in quarter notes and sign the fingerings (fingers) of the right hand for each note, as described in the example above.
Take the instrument and play the scale, observing the fingering (fingering) and the duration of the sounds (by 1 count). You need to play the scale in an ascending movement, and then in a descending one, without stopping and without repeating the note “to” of the second octave.
Having learned the one-octave scale of C major by heart, in the same way you need to write down the one-octave scale of A minor (from “la” of the first octave to “la” of the second octave) with fingering in a music book. After that, play it until complete memorization.
But you shouldn’t stop there. You can always buy small collections of sheet music of your favorite songs or popular melodies of the world. Most often they are sold only in the form of monophonic melodies. For beginners, it will just be useful and interesting to disassemble them on a melodic keyboard. You can try to pick up familiar musical compositions by ear. Such classes are very useful for future musicians.
In order to improve their performing level later, as well as to pass the first stages of training, I would like to recommend beginner accordion players who decide to learn how to play on their own, nevertheless, periodically turn to professional accordion or accordion teachers for help.
Of course, you can study on your own, for example, using a self-instruction manual or a button accordion school, but such a process can drag on for a long time, if not forever. There are some nuances that only an experienced accordion player knows. Bayan is a rather difficult instrument to master independently. This must be remembered and be prepared for the mistakes that inevitably accompany the self-taught: incorrect seating, irrational fingering, poor hand placement, false notes and chords, nervous and uneven playing, inability to work the bellows correctly. It is better to avoid this with just a few lessons from a specialist, especially at first.
But if it is not possible to find a teacher, then you should definitely learn musical literacy from a self-instruction manual, and then consistently and very carefully go through the lessons proposed in the textbook.