Learn To Play Cajun Accordion - DVD 1

Dirk Powell

Lesson One: Starting Out

75-minute DVD with booklet. With Christine Balfa, Guitar.
  • Code:DVDPOWAC21
  • Skill Level:Novice (1)
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Dirk teaches in a step-by-step approach that makes it easy to start playing Cajun music immediately. He begins with the basics -- how to hold the instrument, use the bellows, place your fingers on the keys, find the notes, and the important technique of playing in octaves (playing "double"), the essence of the Cajun style.

Starting with the simplest of melodies, Dirk gradually adds the Cajun "feel" through a variety of rhythmic techniques, "squeezing" notes, triplets and other effects. Adding the left hand chords (there are only two) completes the familiar sound, and by the time you've completed the first lesson you'll be able to play some of the most popular Cajun dance tunes: La valse de quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ans (The 99 Year Waltz), The High Point Two Step  and Johnny Can't Dance. You will also get close-up footage of The Ossun Two-Step and The Creole Stomp.

About the Cajun accordion by Dirk Powell:

"My accordion is a single-row diatonic button accordion in the key of C. (Diatonic in this case means that each button gets a different note depending on whether the bellows are pushing air or drawing air.) There are ten melody buttons on the right-hand side and two buttons on the left-hand side, one for bass and one for chords. In some countries they differentiate between button accordion and piano accordion by calling button accordions like mine "melodeons." My instrument could also be called a single-row (or one-row) melodeon. People who have button accordions with more rows can also benefit from this lesson by focusing on a single row of their instruments, provided one of their rows is in C. (Of course, you can benefit even if you do not have a row in C if you don't mind transposing things when you play them.)"
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