Lesson - Dog Hill - Boozoo Chavis


Clip 1

Video example of alternating octave notes up the scale


Hello all! 

I hope 2005 was as good to you as it could have been to me!  J
Anyway, for this session, I’ve decided to present a “Zydeco” tune by Boozoo Chavis called “Dog Hill”

Boozoo Chavis 1930-2001

I’ve sort of copped an arrangement of the California Cajun Orchestra recording because it was the first version of the song that I heard!

People frequently ask me “Cajun .. Zydeco .. What’s the difference anyway!” 
Well, at times, it can be hard to pin down because I don’t think that there really are any hard and fast rules.

But I do know that it is common for one to be able to play Cajun melody on the accordion without any accompaniment and the tune can be very recognizable.

Frequently, in Zydeco music, the accordion part is a repetitive riff that accompanies the vocal.  And it is frequently driven with a hard bass-drum line as well.  The accordion my take a very syncopated line.

This particular arrangement does not follow the recently popular “ska-esque” rhythm, but it does feel more Zydeco than Cajun to me.

A couple of noteworthy points here .. There are some right hand “tricks” of alternating between octaves.  And, if one keeps the left hand going on the familiar bass-chord-bass-chord pattern you’ll quickly discover that there are some very funky little rhythm patterns going on for the left hand.

Above are examples of bouncing up & down the scale, illustrated by the folk tune, "Flop Eared Mule", and no .. this is not Zydeco :-)

This can be quite a challenge, but I think it’s worth mastering.  It really sets one up to get that left-right hand independence too!


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Audio example of alternating notes up the scale.