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Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for Accordion

Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for Accordion

Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for Accordion, 2nd Edition

by Ralph Stricker

Edited by Frank Marocco. Special arrangements by Frank Marocco and Eddie Monteiro
164 pages. Soft cover. Spiral Bound.

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Review by Henry Doktorski


Stricker's book, Jazz Theory and Improvisation Studies for Accordion, shows how to become a competent jazz accordionist and actually create beautiful and fascinating chord progressions to accompany a melody. He takes you through the basics, beginning with scales, modes, chord structure, altered chords, inversions, with an emphasis in the beginning on developing left hand technique through exercises. I consider the section on ear training especially important, and here Ralph's humor becomes apparent. He wrote, "The object of this exercise is to be able to have the chromatic scale sounding on the 12 water tumblers. This will take time and patience and you may eventually flood your kitchen, but it will be worth the time. I suggest you do this when no one else is around as they may call for the men in white coats to take you away."


Dispersed throughout the book are arrangements of standard jazz tunes such as My Funny Valentine, Just Friends, Emily, How About You, The Touch of Your Lips, Gershwin's Summertime, Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss, and others in accordion arrangements by the author, Frank Marocco and Eddie Monteiro. Of particular interest to me was an analysis of a Chopin Nocturne revealing the altered chords.

 Selected Table of Contents

Study Outline

Transposing by Numbers

Bass Chart

Developing the Ear

Left Hand Bass Exercises

My Country tis of Thee

Scales (Left Hand)

The Seventh Flat Nine Chord


Major Seventh and Minor Ninth

Major Scales

Two-Note Chords

Twelve Major Scales from One Position

How About You

Chord Structure

Turnarounds (Endings)

Altered Chords

All The Things You Are

Chord Inversions

How About You

Chord Chart

Time to Reflect

Relative Minor Chords

There are no New Chords (Nocturne)

Relationship of M7 and m9

Learning How to Write Bass Lines

Bass and Treble Independence

Super-Imposing Arpeggios

Chord And Bass Proximity

Scale Substitution (7th Chord)

Bass and Chord Combinations

Plethora of Ideas

Relative Minor Chords

Embraceable You

Resolving the IIm & V7

Embraceable You (Advanced ideas)

IIm7 and V7



Just Friends

Resolving IIm11 V7 IM7

Just Friends - Bass line

Chord Substitutions


Blue Bossa

Ballad For Anne


Touch of Your Lips

Progression using the 4th Interval

Touch of Your Lips - (Advanced Bass Line)

Examples of Playing on the IIm V7

Yours is My Heart Alone

My Funny Valentine

Prelude to a Kiss

Blues 12 Bar

Never Let Me Go

Blues Voicing (2 note)

Love is for the Very Young

Blues Voicing (3 note)


Scales for Blues in Key of F

Home Again

Alternate Blues Voicing

Easy to Love

Now is the Time


Blues in F

Remembering Michael

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