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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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