jwgh: (bunny ears)
(First, a note about Wednesday: I do plan to go to the Tazza open mike Wednesday evening. I'm not sure if Chris will also be going or not. Anyway:)
Chris Monti and his band were playing at West Side Arts tonight and Chris asked me if I wanted to sit in on 'St. James Infirmary' on the accordion, so that's where I went tonight.

It turned out that I wasn't the only person sitting in that evening; percussionist Ed DeMille, who I had previously played with in the dance band (aka Third Story Congress) and the hiphop band (behind Mr. Bodega), was also there, which was a treat. They did a few original songs ('Country Boy in the City', 'Top of the Hill', and 'Long in the Tooth' by Chris, plus a song by Nick the bass player), then it was time for me to go on. It was quite fun!

It also woke me up, which was good, because the next song they did was 'King Solomon and Zen Master Nam Cheon', which is a good song to be able to pay attention to, especially when Ed's playing; there's a lot of neat rhythmic stuff going on in that song.

The last time I played accordion at West Side Arts was in January, about three weeks after I had acquired the thing; so afterwards I got a lot of a compliments of the 'you've really improved your accordion playing since the last time you were here!' variety, which I would certainly hope was the case.
jwgh: (accordion santa)
Tonight I had my third accordion lesson. The instructor predicted that we would finish the first accordion instruction book next lesson. He also suggested that I try leaving my accordion at home and using one of the accordions that they have at the store. This could revolutionize my accordion lessons forever!

It turns out that LJ's BBQ is a fairly easy drive from the place where I take my lessons. I will try not to make use of this knowledge too much.

Speaking of which, the LJ's brunch menu is kind of frightening. I would like to try the Butter Milk Bacon Crumble Corn Cakes sometime ('Like pancakes, only a thousand times better').

In completely unrelated news, I just recorded my 20th podcast, which will be released to the general public in the morning. It is a recording of Gram Parsons's "Hickory Wind".

Also, a reminder to a couple of people (who know who they are): [livejournal.com profile] overheardinri exists and can be joined using this link!
jwgh: (piano)
I went up to Boston last night to watch bad movies and decided to bring my accordion along. Here is [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort, who has her own accordion back in Indiana, playing it:

accordion! )
jwgh: (piano)
We talked about some random accordion stuff, then we went through the first three lessons of the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course book. His feeling was that I could use some attention to the fundamentals, which is to say: keeping my hands in the right places, attaining better bellows control, etc. This is not particularly exciting or fun or cool, but accordion players who have heard my recordings can probably confirm that I can use some work in these areas.

I did learn a few things which I will have fun fooling around with, I think.

So we'll see how it goes. I have my second free lesson next week. After that, we will see if I feel like I want to pay to continue the lessons or not.
jwgh: (Default)
When my mother got me my accordion the music store threw in two free lessons, lessons which as yet I have not taken. So when I went to the music store today I finally took advantage of this and signed up for my first lesson. It will be Tuesday at 6:30 pm. We'll see how it goes!

Also, I picked up a new microphone and a couple of cables and I think that my recordings will be the better for it and will not be plagued by some of the noise problems that have been a problem on a couple of the podcast recordings, so that is nice.

I had a nice lunch with [livejournal.com profile] christychristy at Olga's which was hipster central, and then had a nice walk around the East Side with [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me, and then I came home and made a new recording of "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth", so now I'm not sure if I should try recording some more stuff or if it's naptime. We will see.
jwgh: (content)
While playing the accordion, dancing around your apartment, and singing, remember to breathe.

gig bag

Jan. 24th, 2006 12:40 pm
jwgh: (bunny ears)
A couple of weeks ago I ordered a gig bag for my accordion (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] annarama for advising me to do this), and today it arrived.

pictures, etc. )

This is a nice improvement on the accordion case that my accordion came with, which is big, bulky, and very musty-smelling (although probably better protection in some situations).
jwgh: (piano)
Another They Might Be Giants song: She's An Angel

One thing I'm working on is my bellows technique. If you've a mind to, you will be able to hear my left wrist get progressively wearier as the recording goes on. (You'll also hear a blatant edit towards the end.)
jwgh: (Hat)
OK, so maybe I'm a little obsessed with accordions these days. (Then again, maybe not -- I hope this dream doesn't mean I'm obsessed with sniffing glue.)

Anyway, last night I had a dream that I was at a sort of thrift store with some people, and the store had this big selection of cheap, junky, or gimmicky accordions. Some of them had uncomfortable membrane buttons like you sometimes see on cheap toy pianos made for three-year-olds, others had keyboards on each end instead of buttons on the left-hand side (making it very difficult to play and pump the bellows at the same time).

My favorite was based on those cheap synths you can buy at Radio Shack that have a few built-in tunes and which have a special feature that when one of the built-in tunes plays the appropriate keys light up so you can play along! The accordion was like that, so that when you turned that feature on a little tinny electronic tune would play and the keys and buttons would light up appropriately. However, this feature was particularly ill-considered here, because one of the things about the accordion is you can't see the buttons while you play! In my dream I thought this was pretty funny.

In other accordion news, last night Chris Monti came over for practice and we tried playing a couple of songs together, which was the first time I played the accordion with another human being. We are working on a version of They Might Be Giant's She's An Angel, which we hope will be in some sort of shape in the next week or so. It is a little difficult to work out good arrangements, because the accordion is really loud (or maybe it just seems louder than other instruments I play because it is closer to my head). However, one way or another, we have agreed that we will set Thayer Street on its ear when we go out busking this summer.
jwgh: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] katylady74 asked when y'all'd get to hear the accordion, so during lunch break today I put together a recording of an obscure They Might Be Giants song ...

Despite various little Garage Band tricks, it demonstrates my limitations pretty well, but hey. Enjoy!
jwgh: (Default)


I hope you all had a good weekend! I will be home tomorrow sometime.
jwgh: (content)
I mentioned to my mother tonight that I wanted to buy an accordion next year, and she became very enthusiastic about buying me an accordion RIGHT NOW for Christmas, which is a pretty good deal!

So I told her I would do some research, and as there are a surprising number of accordion players on my 'friends' list, I thought I would ask your advice first. I haven't played one before (apart from fiddling around with [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort's a little in Boston once).

The one music store around that I know has some accordions is this place: http://www.lucamusic.com/accordions.htm so if those prices seem reasonable, and if any of those are accordions that I potentially should actually buy, then I might do that.

More generally, I'm wondering what I should look for in an accordion, if it's better to buy used or new, how much I should expect to pay to get a decent one, and, you know, questions like that.

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jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

October 2015

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