Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

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Kathleen
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Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Kathleen »

Hi All. I'm a new pandemic learner of the Accordion and have been enjoying trying the lessons here and encouragement from Ronen. I just want to reflect a little on the experience over the last year. While taking Ronen's guidance on spending time on basic right and left hand techniques in my practice, I have also really enjoyed learning some of my favourite songs - albeit managing only on the right hand side! I have spent quite some time trying to learn Halleluiah with both hands and while I have progressed a lot, it still a major work in progress. Lately I realised I probably tried to run before I could walk, so went back and attempted twinkle twinkle little star and then Levan Polka. Immediately I could see the massive progress I have made in the year. Last March, Twinkle would have melted my brain. This year, in one evening, I can play it, and Levan Polka I am learning section by section easily enough. I can really see in my hand movement what is easy e.g. going down from C to F on the bass when also going down on the right hand side is natural and easy. The stumble in my movement comes when the right side is going down but the left hand side is going up C to G. It is interesting to even feel this shock in my brain as I try to contend with this challenge! Encouragingly, I can see great progress in a couple of attempts at practice on these songs.

However when I go back to my waltz rhythm on Halleluiah, I still find it hard to fit my waltz rhythm on the left with the melody on the right. Ronen mentions in notes that Waltz rhythm is not a good rhythm for a beginner to start with and I have received video guidance from him (thanks Ronen), but just thought maybe you in the forum might like to give your experience and hints.
Ronen from Accordion Love
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Ronen from Accordion Love »

Welcome, Kathleen. GREAT question and great observation about the waltz being more difficult to learn than a polka/march.
I found the same to be true. I'd love to hear others' opinions about the subject, but here is a video I recorded a while ago about why your first songs shouldn't be a waltz:


It comes from this section, about learning songs: https://accordionlove.com/course/the-mo ... ing-songs/

Again, would love to hear some input from other learners :)
Thanks for starting the topic, Kathleen, and welcome to the forum.
Kathleen
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Kathleen »

Thanks Ronen....I had actually missed that lesson! I can confirm everything you say rings true.
CodyOutside
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by CodyOutside »

See this is what I found funny when I came on here. For me waltz are the easiest and I picked it up much faster than a polka. All the songs I know how to play are waltzes and now I'm struggling to learn a polka rhythm.

I think no matter what I have to buckle down and learn it the same way I learned waltzes initially. To go super slow and get the hang of which buttons are pressed when. Speed comes later.
Reeka
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Reeka »

Hello everybody,
for me it's like with Cody: a waltz wasn't difficult, and I asked myself why. The one thing is - Ronen will not like it ;) - that sheet music shows which tones from the left and the right hand are simultanous - as I am hopelessly a visual person I like to *see* something. But this might be very difficult, of course, and it doesn't work with playing by ear.
So, I looked up in my first accordeon-lesson-book and the very early waltzes there: And I found that at first the right hand plays only one long tone over the whole bar of three beats, while the left hand makes three (oom-pa-pa). The one tone may be repeated or climbing up and down a small step (a III or IV). One may vary it then by playing three identical tones in the right hand, while doing the oom-pa-pa left. A next step my be to play two tones with the right, one longer (2 beats) and one short (1 beat), emphasizing the first tone. And finally the other way round (a short tone followed by a longer tone on the right, while the three tones oom-pa-pa on the left). Last variation: both hands play simultanous three tones, the oom-pa-pa left and three Cs or Gs or what sounds good right. Don't know if this is clear enough - hope so! Ulrike (Reeka for those who want)
Kathleen
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Kathleen »

Thanks Reeka....yes I think a large part of my problem is not really having foundation basic lessons and the variations you describe to 'ingrain' the different approaches....I am now doing some exercises to do the variations you describe...at the start, my finger wanted to stay on say the 'G' on the right handside when I should be playing 3 'G's. Just doing different combinations is helping me. Learning a march rhythm is really helping also.
Reeka
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Reeka »

Fine, Kathleen, carry on! I am struggling with my right hand when using more than one finger, sometimes I'm desperate... ;)
Ronen from Accordion Love
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Re: Why is the Waltz hard for a new player...or is it just me?

Post by Ronen from Accordion Love »

Reeka wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:03 am The one thing is - Ronen will not like it ;) - that sheet music shows which tones from the left and the right hand are simultanous - as I am hopelessly a visual person I like to *see* something. But this might be very difficult, of course, and it doesn't work with playing by ear.
I totally get it! I played with other musicians for a long time, and one in particular (a very talented guitar played) HAD to have the notation for timing. He was a FANTASTIC musician, but without the written timing down - the tempo and how to count the beats - he couldn't play the music.

So I totally understand :) Written music is crucial in that regard, to make sense of how everything fits together :)
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