Lesson - Dog Hill page 2 - Boozoo Chavis

 


Unfortunately, these video clips got fairly big. 

Be forewarned, if you are connecting with anything but a high speed connection, the video downloading will be excruciatingly slow.  Or, you can just right-click on the various icons, select "save target as", point to where you want to save the file(s), and go practice accordion for a while, while you're waiting :-)

Dog Hill can be fun to play at jams, featuring very few English lyrics and a one-chord accompaniment!  (Although, people will usually find all kinds of chords to throw in!)

You’ll note much position changing from the 5 8 push to the 3’ 7’ pull in this song.
This seems to be another fairly typical earmark of Zydeco verses Cajun style playing.

So, let's have at it!  Let me give you an overview of the tune.  Click one of the "Whole Tune" videos icons in the left or the audio on the right.  This gives you an idea of this arrangement. 

Now, let's take a look at that unusual 7-count intro riff played at normal speed named "Intro at full speed".  I'll break it down into two "Intro Phrase 1 Slow" and "Intro Phrase 2 Slow".  The 7 counts is just one of those things that one gets used to, as hopefully, the rest of your band will if you're performing with one.  The intro is fairly straight forward and is played with no left hand

Next let's look at "verse phrase 1".  You'll immediately see that infamous alternating octave notes.  I played it once slowly, then normal speed.

I wanted to show what the left hand is doing too.  The left hand gets interesting bellows-reversal-wise.  That clip is called left "verse phrase 1 (LH)".  You could just practice doing this left hand rhythm all by itself, but this rhythm is what has to happen if you keep playing bass-chord-bass-chord along with the right hand melody.

The verse continues with the next phrase "verse phrase 2".  I've included the left hand for this second phrase as well, because I think it's also interesting.  It's called "verse phrase 2 (LH)".  It's a bit different rhythm wise that the first phrase.

The third phrase "verse phrase 3" is sort of like the first phrase but with more notes.

The fourth phrase is the same as the second, so I didn't waste space recording it again.

Allow me to point out once again, that this is absolutely not the only way to play this tune!  I'd strongly encourage improvisation as you get comfortable with this style.

Ok, now for the "B-Part".

The California Cajun Orchestra played the B-Part with 6-phrases instead of 8 as you may expect!  Cool, no?  That's one of the things I love about Zydeco music.  Just when you think you know what's about to happen .. poof!  An unexpected twist.  (But, isn't that the earmark of all good writing?)

The "B" part has four phrases in succession that are all similar.  What makes them different is the number of notes that they contain.

The first phase is simple, the next a couple more beats, the third has even more notes, and the fourth kind of sums up the phase.  (Another nice composition technique.)

Since these phases are so similar, I've combined the first two and second two in just 2-video clips.

The fist phrase is called "phrase 1&2 B-part" and the second, "phrase 3&4 B-part".

Simple, eh?  It really is, but the rhythm can challenging ..

So, I hope it's something new for y'all to try and you have some fun with it at jam sessions.

Hope to post more soon .. when I can find the time!  (Time .. what's that!)

 Hope to see you at one of the jams is SW Louisiana!  Until then, keep squeezin'!