Thanks to Jennie Caldwell for this photo, and many others on this site. Find her on the links page.
George Whitfield Phone: 07814 439566
George Whitfield email: firstname.lastname@example.org
hello George , do you know of any good accordion tutors in Bristol
Sadly not….If you ever visit Pembrokeshire get in touch!
Hi George – great to meet you last week at the accordion workshop. Hope your reed tuning came out ok! Thanks for the Fidddlebox and Bluebox CDs. I liked them both, especially the number you played in the restaurant – Satnav, Leather and Cruise Control. I used to play guitar in a band for many years and particularly like the blues, although our stuff tended to be rock and roll a la Chuck Berry, Stones, Quo etc. Your recorded numbers have a good sound, with an interesting variety of instruments.
Cheers – it was a very useful workshop for me – I have already made a rig to do tuning on out of an old busilacchio organ! I intend to post a quick blog at some point!
Thanks for your kind words about my CDs.
good evening Mr. George,
do you remember me?
Of course Claudio! I still play your 2 wonderful accordions everyday!
I came across this website by accident in late July 2017. George’s advice and generosity have invigorated my playing. Thank you very much indeed.
Hi! I’m a singer and pianist in the U.S. who has recently been exploring accordion for the first time. Your tips and great short videos have answered so many of my questions. Thanks so much!
That’s great – I’m a big fan of the accordion as an accompaniment to singing!
I wish you success
Just been looking at your tips and great videos really good and informative
I live in Bristol and was taught for a while by a Mr Ron Willis but he has now moved to Australia!!!!!
When will you be doing another teaching day ? And how much ?
Where do you live or meet would love to come and meet up sometime
Thanks for the comment! I live near Haverfordwest in Wales – I teach mostly on weekday mornings but I am flexible! I do a half hour lesson for £16 though people coming from further afield normally go for an hour for £32. If you are ever coming this far west give me a ring and have a lesson! 07814 439566
Dear Mr Whitfield, I have the BCA Grade 6 in June, and self taught so far, but the chromatic and minor scales are worrying me sick, two octs bass and treble at speed together, I am 69 years of age so you may consider I am ” beyond help” if not, I feel certain with your kind nod prof’ guidance I could do well ( obtained merit in grade 5 last year). Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Well done on your self teaching! I’m also mostly self taught but have no proper qualifications! Really I’m impressed. I posted videos of chromatic, minor harmonic and minor melodic scales for the bass. They can all be found here if you haven’t seen them already. http://georgewhitfield.co.uk/category/learning-the-accordion/
A few tips that may help:
1) With the basses try to find a hand position where you can play the whole scale without having to slide your hand around – I make contact with the ball of my thumb and can reach all the notes without having to slide about.
2) If you practice bass only and right hand only before practicing together make sure you are changing the bellows in the same way for both hands – otherwise it feels different when you put them together. I would try to do an octave on the draw and the next on the close and so on.
3) Don’t worry about speed – better slow and accurate. (but steady tempo)
4) I used to let my shoulders tense up when I played something difficult – try to notice if you start to do this and let them relax again!
5) a trick for speeding up scales (and tunes) is to play them in a dotted rhythm so half the note changes are fast and half are slow:
CD, EF, GA, BC etc
and then the same thing with the other half fast:
C, DE, FG, AB etc.
Then when you play straight your fingers “know” how to move swiftly on every note change.
Hi there.Came across your site and its great. I am “very” slowly learning the accordian. i have a Chanson 48 bass. All of a sudden one of the keys is sticking. Any idea what the problem could be George. Do you know anywhere in Cardiff that can fix this please. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. Kind regards Nigel
Keys stick for a few reasons – friction somewhere: an adjacent key or at the pivot point, or a broken or compromised spring are the most common.
I wrote this article that might help:
I’m afraid I don’t know a repairer in Cardiff – I’m in Narberth, Pembrokeshire if you are ever passing. If all else fails you could send it to me.
Hello Mr. Whitfield,
unfortunately, the e-mail seems inactive … I wanted to contact you concerning the Hammond T-202 mods …
Sorry you had trouble with my email – you should find email@example.com works.
I don’t do so much with my Hammond at the moment but there are some useful links on my website.
Hello George, very useful site, many great tips.
I came across your site when looking for advice on how tight to have the left hand wrist strap of the Stradella bass.
I can’t make out from your videos if the wrist should be held reasonably tight to the side, with just enough movement to allow the hand to slide up or down, or if you should be able to bend the wrist slightly to form more of a gap between the forearm and the accordion.
Not sure I’ve got it right yet, as after a hour or so of practice, the wrist aches a little, which soon recovers on resting.
I think “reasonably tight” is better – your hand should not lose contact with the bass board when you draw out the bellows. There is a great demo by Cathie Travers here
Aloha George,My name is Simeon from the island of Oahu,Hawaii. I came across your website and I was amazed at your Jerry Gas Can Slide Guitar. Awesome creation. I have (2) Jerry cans that i’d like to make into slide guitars also, I’ve seen your step process in making them would that be all the info i need or Can you give me any more advice or detailed instructions ? Any advice would be appreciated. I’m planning on making it as a gift for a Fire Captain who’s Retiring soon, He was my Captain before I retired in 2017.Right on Braddah, Mahalo(Thank You)
That will be a great unique present!
I just made it up as I went along but here are a few things that might help you build one:
1) I used Epoxy Resin (or Araldite) to glue my bridge on but it is peeling off a bit and one day may break so maybe bolts are needed as well.
2) The neck has to withstand the tension of the strings which is why I put the metal bar at an angle behind. the bar was the truss rod from the neck I used.
3) I made the distance from the Bridge to the Nut (the string length) the same as on the original guitar so that the strings tune up to a nice tension.
Good luck and send some pictures and I’ll post them!
Mahalo! (I just learned a new word!)
Thanks for all your comments!
hanks George, so happy to find your youtube videos and your website, very helpful, and you get right to the point, without screwing around and wasting people’s time. I bought a 120 Bass ( Camillo 111) about 17 years ago, and started to learn… but it’s spent most of the time since in storage. Semi-retired now, I’ve gotten it out during this pandemic, and find I am really enjoying it. My main issue is I don’t have a studio to practice in as I am an apartment dweller, so trying to practice outside a couple of times a week for now,… was thinking about getting a 48 Bass with musette, as the 120 is not so portable, but I think I’ll hang on to it as it has a gorgeous sound. I realize with the Bass 48, there will be some musical compromises, but was wondering if you could perhaps steer me in the right direction as to what a good option might be, I was thinking of maybe something like the Weltmeister Stella, German made. If you have a moment to respond, I’d appreciate hearing from you. Not sure if you are in the UK or…. on Vancouver Island, BC Canada
I’m in Wales, UK. My compromise is to mostly play 72 bass which is not so limiting as 48, but not as light either! True musette tuning has 3 reeds playing the same note – I don’t think you will find that in 48 bass format. There are some 3 reed Weltmeister Stellas but one of their reeds is an octave down. Most 48 bass accordions only have 2 reeds. The Hohner Student s anonther nice German made 48 bass. I used to have one and it was loud and light – great for traveling, campfires, partys etc.
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