Not many people are bold enough to play the accordion and pick styles not typical of it, such as disco. I am, and therefore I’d decided to record the popular hit Crazy Frog in a version for the accordion and percussion.
instructional recording (140 bpm)
Crazy frog – instructional recording
For all pop-culture buffs: yes, the original theme comes from the TV series Beverly Hills Cop, later remade by Axel F in the crazy-frog version.
Originally, I used to play this song merely as a joke, which people rather unexpectedly started to like. The theme itself isn’t too long, as it may appear from the scores, you can learn just the A1 and B1 part and that’s all.
Using the trial-and-error method, I found out some tricks that I’d like to share with you:
1. Length of tones – phrasing
To make an accordion sound at least a bit like a synth, an instrument typical of dance music, you need to play everything sharply and pay attention to the accurate rhythm, since the dance music is characteristically machine-like. The “synth character” is most prominent in the B part.
2. Latino part
To make the recording more lively and varied, I’ve also included the C part in latino style. This is intended for more advanced players; to those courageous enough to try and play it, I recommend exercising the right hand first, and only afterwards join in with the left. The best way would be to take the first two bars and play them slowly, either with a metronome, or count the beats aloud. The rhythmical model is the same all the time, however, two bars repeating, just the harmony changes. I’ve also included a second solo extra for the recording (part C2). I’ve included also the scores for the solo, which can be played by another melodic instrument (violin, flute, or another accordion).
3. Record yourself and listen
When playing music not typical of the accordion, it’s necessary to record yourself to be sure that it sounds exactly as you want it to sound. You can also compare your recording with the original, be it the theme from the Beverly Hills Cop or the Axel F version.
4. Play with a rhythmical instrument
The very best thing is to play with someone else, isn’t it? Ideal for this song would be some rhythmical instrument: guitar, bongos, cajon, double bass, bass guitar… Something that makes the rhythm more lively and you won’t be alone:-)
5. Chord symbols
I haven’t put the chord symbols in the scores on purpose. The basses are written out instead, because in this kind of music, the common accordion accompaniment traingular patterns are never used, but one would tend to use them, seeing the D minor written there. To make it easier, though, I’ll tell you that the B1 part consists of four chords only, namely D, G, C and B♭ minor – simple enough, isn’t it?
I’ve also made a slow instructional recording and here’s a link to a live performance of our group.
Good luck and a lot of patience!
instructional recording, scores, article by | Stanislav Samuel Raška
published on 14/05/2014