Playing jazz accordion with a bassist - what to do with left hand

in Accordion Posts: 1
I'm just looking for some general comments and approaches on how to use the left hand when a bass is in the group, so as to not muddy the water. Accent chords, nothing during soloing, etc? Any best practices?


  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922
    Most guys I've seen don't play much or if they do it's not much.
    always learning
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    play some good rhythm, but do not muddy the water. The style is somewhat like the guy in this video is playing. Listen to the rhythm guitarist(s). Don't make "more" than they do.
  • ZevyZevy
    Posts: 3
    See this post:
    I hope that will help you.
  • accent_musaccent_mus Philadelphia, PA✭✭ Siwa and Figli Super Cobra 18" Keyboard
    edited February 2016 Posts: 21
    For the Nick Ariendo video, his time and technique are great, but he isn't playing gypsy jazz. For someone who is a beginner to jazz or a beginner with their accordion technique I would suggest you copy Nick's 'polka style' accompaniment because it feels good and it is accessible. This approach, although not very jazzy, can work if you are playing and there isn't a bass player or guitarist.

    However, if you are in a situation where you have an instrument that is playing quarter notes constantly like a bass player or a guitar player, then DO NOT play like this. You are going to clash, and you will never get into a good swing rhythm. The much better to do is let the bass player or guitar player do their thing, in this music they are like the drummer, they keep the time. Then you can punctuate it and accentuate the swing with comping. For comping the most important thing to get into is the rhythm, listen to Marcel Loeffler's comping, he is the master. Your complex jazz chord voicings will come later.

    For what to do with the LH:
    If you have your LH comping together, then you can use it to punctuate your RH melodies. Another approach you should do is to add some bass notes or chords to your RH chords. For example, you can add just the root to your RH chord voicings. Or you could play a chord button in the LH and add color notes in the RH to it. ex,
    LH: A7 RH: FBD#
    Musette Band
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