During the time without concerts and balls, we will provide you with a new balfolk tune learning video every two weeks. As soon as sessions are possible again, we hope to be able to play those tunes together and make people dance to them.
#1 Hartwin Dhoore – Coastal Walks (Mazurka)
The series starts with the Belgian accordion player Hartwin Dhoore and his lovely mazurka „Coastal Walks“.
#2 Vivien Zeller – Traumeel (8er Walzer)
For the second edition of our series, Vivien Zeller from Berlin shares her brand new 8 time waltz „Traumeel“ with us. She composed it out of the joy to be able to be playing her violin again after a hand injury, as she tells us in the video. The video is in German this time, but the music is universal 🙂 Vivien starts playing the tune at 3:05 and decomposes it from 07:40 on.
#3 Pascale Rubens – Calimero (Hanter Dro / Scottish)
Pascale Rubens from Belgium teaches her Hander Dro „Calimero“. You can listen to the original version (in Eb major) on Naragonia‘s Album „Janneke Tarzan“. In her video, Pascale provides some extra advice for diatonic accordion players and in the end, she shows us a groovy chord accomagnement for the Hander Dro. Furthermore, she explains the quite uncommon 6/4 rhythm in more detail. Enjoy playing this beautiful session tune with Pascale!
#4 Camille Heim – Nettuno (Scottish)
Get ready to take off! Let yourself be taken away towards beautiful sound spheres with Camille Heim, her celtic harp and the Scottish „Nettuno“. The tune is a bit more difficult this time, but it‘s worth it to face this little challenge. Camille‘s explanations are in German, but you should easily be able to follow just listening to the music. She uses the French names for the notes, so we provide you a small „glossary“ (which is at the same time the scale the tune is based on“): Si – B; Do „scharf“ – C sharp; Ré – D; Mi – E; Fa „scharf“ – F sharp; Sol „scharf“ – G sharp; La – A
Have a good flight!
#5 Session Tunes – Lucas Thébaut – La Résonante
Lucas Thébaut, diatonic accordion player from France, shares his composition „La Résonante“ withus, a lively and joyful bourée in 3 in the style of the Berry region in central France. This comprehensive tutorial comes with chord accompagnement, harmonisation possibilities in different levels of complexity, rhythmical variations as well as phrasing and typical ornamentations for this kind of repertoire. Bonus: some deeply poetical lyrics to the tune Hang on if you don‘t get the entire harmony part, it‘s getting easier after that.
Have fun learning this feel-good tune!
#6 Josefine Schlät – Hundertwalzer (Walzer)
With this video, you can jam together with our Leipzig local star Josefine Schlät and her violin. She has prepared her 3 time waltz „Hundertwalzer“ for us, which many of you might already have heard during a gig of the awesome band Maracu. First, Josefine explains the melody in detail, then she shows a way to accompany the tune with the violin (but also with any other instrument, of course) in a groovy way.
#7 Session Tunes – Toon van Mierlo – Den Hemel In (Scottish)
Toon van Mierlo aus Belgien zeigt uns den dynamischen und fröhlichen Scottish „Den hemel in“. Das Stück ist in einer dudelsacklastigeren Version auf dem Album „Hot Griselda“ der gleichnamigen Band zu hören.Das Video gibt nicht nur die Möglichkeit zum Erlernen dieser schönen Melodie, sondern erlaubt es auch, in die besondere und feine Spielweise von Toon abzutauchen und sich von ihr inspirieren zu lassen. Für Akkordionist*innen lohnt es sich besonders, auf die groovige Balgführung und die Basskombinationen der linken Hand zu achten (letzteres wird im Video auch erklärt). Viel Spaß!
Toon van Mierlo from Belguium shares his dynamic and joyful Scottish „Den hemel in“ with us. In amore „bagpipey“ version, the tune can be found on the album „Hot Griselda“ by the band of the same name.In this video, you can not only learn a beautiful melody, but also dive into and let yourself inspire by Toon‘s sensitive and unique way of playing.For accordionists, it is particularly worth it to pay attention to the combined basses and the groovy way Toon guides his bellows (the basses are explained in the video). Enjoy!
[www.naragonia.com] [www.hotgriselda.eu] [www.novar.be]
#8 Session Tunes – Léo Danais – La Danse des Satyres (Chapelloise)
Léo Danais teaches us his Chapelloise „La danse des Satyres“ (F mixolydian, i.e. 2 b’s). In his bands Léo mostly play the drums, but for this video he uses the guitar and his voice. As always, the video comprises a rich content concerning melody, rhythm and harmony. The video is especially worth to watch for everyone interested in rhythm: From 15:35 on, Léo explains the afro-cuban Nanigo clave which is just great for accompanying tunes in 6/8. And there are many other rhythmical details to discover. Have fun!
#9.1 Session Tunes – Emily Bowden – The Grasscutter (2er Bourrée) | #9.2 Session Tunes - Emily Bowden - Russian Lullaby (Bonus)
Emily Bowden, fiddle player of the band „Emily and the Simons“, sends us a heartening musical greeting from Sheffield (England) this week. Her bourrée in 2 „The Grasscutter“ in D major was inspired by the smell of freshly cut grass and the joyful tune is a celebration of spring.Emily explains the melody step by step, then the chords and finally a second voice. For those among you who play bow instruments, she also provides some technical hints.As a bonus, we have something really special for you: A sung lullaby from Russia which also makesa lovely mazurka! So you don’t need an instrument to learn it and not even foreign language skills as there are no lyrics. It can be sung as a round (canon), which you can try directly with the video together with Emily. Brace yourselves for some goose bumps!Have fun with this two beautiful tunes!
#10 Session Tunes – Jo White – En panne again
In this new “Session Tunes” video, Jo White from England and her partner Mickey teach us the 8 time waltz “En Panne Again”. This time, the video starts with the harmony and the chord accompaniment, then the melody joins in. As a bonus, there is also a second tune coming with the video: David Shephard’s “Eight Step Waltz”. In the end, Jo and Mickey show us how the two tunes melt together in the arrangement of their band “Fell”.
#11 Session Tunes – Florian De Schepper – Impasse Paradis
Finally we have a tune in minor! Florian de Schepper from Belgien shows us his Chappelloise „Impasse Paradis“ (Gm) on the guitar. The groovy piece is based on the pentatonic scale and the rhythm is a bit challenging, but fortunately you can watch
the video as often as you need to 🙂 Once again, we don’t only get the melody but
also a nice rhythm accompaniment. Not for guitarists: Florians guitar is tuned in DADGAD. Enjoy!
#12 Session Tunes – Simone Bottasso – Giga di Sanfront
The exceptional musician Simone Bottasso shows us his favorite dance from his original region Piemonte (Italy) this week: The Giga de Sanfront (can also be danced as a Polka). After providing us some information about the geographic origin and showing us a video of the dance, we approach the melody step by step. Simone also provides many technical tipps for diatonicaccordian players and also indicates where you can skip to if you play another instrument. We finish off with a fine accompaniment/second voice for the left hand. Buona musica with Simone!
#13 Session Tunes – Simon Dumpleton – Easter Thursday
In a time that feels like ages ago, Simon learned this melody „Easter Thursday“ by John Playford in a Playford session in Sheffield and now he is passing it on to you. As our Session Tunes series ends, we present to you a Polska in D minor on a chromatic accordion with a very in-depth melody and exciting syncopations as well as a not entirely undemanding interval.
Among the melodies Playford wrote down and published are also dances. In this case, it is traditionally not a polska but a duple longway. You can find the dance description
here. Have fun!
The music sheets may be downloaded for private, noncommercial use only. The respective musicians hold the copyright for their compositions.
Photo Credits: (1) Tanzhaus*Folk e.V. , (2) Trio Dhoore, (3) Naragonia, (4) Klangrauschtreffen ft. Vivien Zeller, (5) Simone Bottasso, (6) De Schepper-Sanczuk (unknown/website).