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Learn to Play Tragos Amargos in the Key of C (Do) on GCF

Tragos Amargos – C / GCF (Do / Tono de Sol)

Learn how to play Tragos Amargos in the key of C on a GCF button accordion. This video is played at a slower than normal pace for easier learning.

Aprenda a tocar Tragos Amargos en el tono de Do en un acordeón de Sol. Este video esta hecho a tiempo despacio para que aprenda más facil.


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Helpful notes on this video for beginners:

1) Song Key

Originally this song was played on an F (Fa) accordion, in the key of C (Do). We can also play in the key of C (Do) on a G (Sol) accordion. However, we have to play different buttons in order to get the same notes. The 7 notes in the C major scale are: C, D, E, F, G, A and B.

2) Grace notes

There are grace notes in this song that do not fall within the scale of C major. This song uses Eb (Mi bemol) and F# (Fa sostenido) as grace notes or passing notes. Notice that the very first note played is an Eb (Mi bemol) on the push (bellow going inward). F# is used as passing note at about :18 of the video, between G+B and F+A. Then at about :25 seconds, you’ll notice Eb is used as grace note sliding into E+G and shortly after as a passing note between E+G and D+F. Lastly at about :35 seconds you’ll see the Eb used as a grace note again on the push.

3) Rhythm

The rhythm of this song is 3/4 (or a count of 3). You can count this as 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, etc. The count of 1 is the downbeat. The counts of 2 and 3 are the upbeats. You might also recognize the 1 as the bass note while 2 and 3 are played by the bajo sexto (or bajo quinto or guitar). In a full band, you’ll hear the kick drum on the count of 1 and the snare on 2 and 3. These are the basics.

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4) Subdivisions

There are points in the song where you play a series of notes in rapid succession. These are called subdivisions because you are dividing up the normal count of 1, 2, 3 into smaller parts. So, you’re not actually playing the notes faster, you are just playing beats in between the 1, 2 and 3 counts. The first example of this is at the beginning (at about 7 seconds in) where the notes played are triplets. Triplets are 3 notes played in succession for each count. Try saying the following in an even rhythm and you’ll get the triplet sound: “one-pi-zza, two-pi-zza, three-pi-zza, one-pi-zza, two-pi-zza, three-pi-zza…”

5) Tempo

As you practice, don’t worry so much about how fast you are playing. It is important is that you play to an even tempo (or speed), even if it is a slow tempo to start out with. This is necessary because the rhythm combined with the melody makes the song sound the way it is supposed to sound. Also, if you ever plan to play along with someone else, that rhythmic timing will be the glue that keeps you playing together.

6) Practice with a Metronome

After you learn the notes in sequence and understand where the notes land rhythmically, it’s a good practice to use a metronome to test how well you know the song and to refine your playing. Again, you should play no faster than the fastest speed that you can play the whole song to. We tend to slow down on the parts we’re less familiar with or are struggling with for some reason, and speed up during parts that come easier to us. The metronome provides a guide much like a road and helps us know when we are “off.”

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