Author: Rocky Howard

What the Rocky Howard Music Blog Means to Me

What the Rocky Howard Music Blog Means to Me

I was listening to Seth Godin giving a talk about finding your purpose and he made a suggestion that has always stuck with me. He said to make a list of every single thing you might want to do, and then read the list to yourself–aloud. And when you get to the one that catches your voice a little bit or maybe even brings a tear to your eye, that is the one you do.

Well, That’s how I feel about my music and I feel certain you do too. Being an accordionist has its ups and downs in our culture but playing Rock Accordion is always an “up.” Audiences are always so pleasantly surprised to hear a Rock and Roll Tune springing out of the bellows! And the only thing better than listening to it is playing it.

You know, when it comes to Rock and Roll Music, we accordionists have been there from the beginning. If Rock and Roll is a social and cultural revolution, and it is, then “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley and His Comets” is the Declaration of Independence. And look who was in the starting lineup from the git go–Johnny Grande on ACCORDION!

The accordion is PERFECT for Rock Music! Certainly the portability of our instrument allows us to roam the stage and play amongst other band members a la Eddie Van Halen. And our instrument is extremely versatile, probably the most versatile in the world. You can solo, you can accompany, and if you are sitting in with a couple of other musicians you can morph into quite the horn section all on your own.

I guess what I am getting at is not only do I love playing Rock Accordion but there is so much more about it that I want to learn. There are so many songs to learn, true. I also want to learn more rock techniques, rehearsal strategies, and exercises to help all of us get to where we want to go.

So, the Rocky Howard Music Blog explores all these different areas of accordioning–including Rock and its sub-genres. And I want to start a conversation with you. I want to know what you think or might suggest. Your comments can leverage the world of Rock Accordion. Your ideas can bring new life to our music.

Excuse Me, While I Touch the Sky

Face it. If you play the accordion, you are not only a musician–you are also an athlete. If you were not one when you started playing, you became one with playing. I don’t know about you but I play best when I stand. The accordion I play weighs about 24 lbs. One of the most beneficial things you can do is S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Do it now, please. Any body part will do. Doesn’t that feel better?

The great thing is you can do it anywhere at just about any time. Think of yourself as a lion or lioness. You know how they stretch? Massively, and with complete abandon.

My “go-to” stretch is a super one and I call it Touch the Sky. I mean, we are still first and foremost musicians so I have dedicated this one’s name to the legendary guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.

Okay. Please stand and place your feet about one foot apart. Now, reach up with both hands and try to touch the sky. (If you are indoors, aim for the ceiling but know the sky is still up there on the other side of it.

Hold it for 12 to 15 seconds. Relax. Wait at least 30 seconds before you do another one. Make an effort to try to do at least 10 of these a day. (If you are stuck at a desk, it still works sitting down.)

I do this first thing in the morning and last thing before I hop in bed at night. Let me know how it goes.