Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 With Free Accordion Sheet Music!

Today marks the beginning of the 184th Oktoberfest in Munich!

If you’re heading there, or to any of the many local Oktoberfest celebrations in other cities throughout the world (such as here in Nashville), you might want to grab yourself a pair of limited-edition Oktoberfest sneakers that German sportswear company Adidas has recently introduced to honor the occasion.

Adidas Oktoberfest Shoes

In addition to the lederhosen-inspired coloring and the word “Prost!” (“Cheers!”) stitched onto the side, the shoes also feature a special “DBPR” coating, which Adidas claims stands for–and I am not making this up–”Durable Beer and Puke Repellent“.

Those Germans are nothing if not practical…

Of course, the other thing any respectable accordion player needs when heading to Oktoberfest is a solid repertoire of music to play. So here’s some accordion sheet music for “Drink, Drink, Brüderlein Drink!” (In English: “Drink, Drink, Little Brother Drink!”)

Once again, I have two versions, which you may choose from (or combine) to suit your playing ability. The basic version should be playable by anyone who has gotten through most of Palmer-Hughes Book 2. The other version has some tricky stuff more suited to graduates of Book 4 at least.

Viel Glück!

Trink Basic Thumb

Trink IntAdv Thumb

 

P.S. Here are my Oktoberfest posts from previous years:

Free Sheet Music: De Colores

One of the cool things about the accordion is that it spans so many cultures and languages. You can hear the instrument in Polish polkas, French bal musette, Irish jigs… the list goes on. (Literally:  There’s an actual list.) I’d guess that probably only the violin/fiddle is more ubiquitous in the traditional music of so many people.

Graphic of my Spanish progress so far on Duolingo

My Spanish progress so far on Duolingo. You gotta start somewhere…

When you play such a multicultural instrument, it can be handy to learn some of these spoken languages too. Knowing a few words of Italian, for example, makes playing all those Italian accordion standards that much more interesting.*

So far I’ve managed to learn a bit of what I call the “opera languages” (Italian, German, and French). Nothing fancy… mostly just enough to order something in a restaurant or bar while traveling. My German is even passable enough by now to have a rudimentary conversation, provided a few charades-style hand gestures are allowed.

But now I’ve decided to learn some Spanish. I really don’t know why I’ve put it off so long since, in this country, it’s so widely spoken and there are so many convenient opportunities to learn and practice it. Plus it has so much great accordion-based music!

With all that in mind, here’s a good Spanish-language song to know: De Colores. The exact origins of the song are a bit cloudy, but it’s a fun tune with a wonderful sentiment about different colors (both literal and figurative) adding up to so much beauty in our world.

I’ve arranged two versions–one easy (Palmer Hughes Book 1 level) and one a bit more advanced (maybe late Book 3 level?). Choose whichever you like below, or combine ideas from both. Buena suerte!

decoloreseasy_thumb        decoloresintermediate_thumb

* Technically, the lyrics of many Italian standards, such as ‘O Sole Mio, are actually written in Neapolitan dialect. Knowing standard Italian only gets you so far! Same thing happens with German music–a good portion of it is sung in a Bavarian dialect that is significantly different from standard Hochdeutsch German.

Your Annual Serving of Free Oktoberfest Sheet Music for Accordion!

Munich MaypoleThe 183rd Oktoberfest starts in Munich today, and, as in years past, I’m posting one of my arrangements for you to play on your accordion for the occasion. So I guess it’s officially a jeffjetton.com tradition!

This time, I picked an Oktoberfest song that I’ve seen referred to by several names:

  • Esel Lied
  • The Donkey Song (which is what Esel Lied means)
  • Hey Babariba
  • Iha Iha Iha Oh

Whatever you call it, it’s a fun, goofy song that’s easy for everyone to sing along to. Not to mention easy to memorize–it’s basically just a couple of riffs repeated over and over again. The only challenge is keeping your key signatures straight.

It’s also fairly easy to play, although you can make adjustments as you wish:

  • If you haven’t learned alternating bass yes, just play whatever 4/4 pattern you do know. Use the chord names written along the top as a guide.
  • If you haven’t learned 7th chords yet, just play the chords marked with a “7″ as regular major chords.
  • If you’re struggling with the harmony notes in the right note, just leave them out and play only the top note.

So give it a download, grab your accordion, and enjoy!

Esel Leid Thumbnail

Prost!

Free Sheet Music for Accordion: The Irish Washerwoman

St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon, and if you’re an accordion player, you’re going to want to know an appropriate song or two. Well here’s arguably the single most famous Irish jig for you:

The Irish Washerwoman (pdf)

Granted, in certain “serious” Irish Traditional Music circles this tune is considered quite daggy and overplayed. (You wouldn’t want to start this one off in a session, for example.)

Elsewhere though, it’s an instantly-recognizable crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for setting the St. Patrick’s Day mood. It can be a lot of fun to play too!

In my arrangement, notice how the bass note usually doesn’t play in the second part of the measure unless you’re changing to a new chord there. That’s a good way to give the melody a bit of space while still providing a solid rhythm. And in this sort of music, the melody is king! (In fact you might want to omit the left hand entirely the first time through and only bring it in the second time around.)

Free Accordion Sheet Music: The “Original” Auld Lang Syne

This time last year I posted a few free arrangements of Auld Lang Syne, for any accordion player out there who happened to find themselves in need of playing along on New Year’s Eve.

But did you know that the familiar song we all know may not actually be the original version? There’s evidence that Robert Burns initially set his lyrics for Auld Lang Syne to a slightly different melody, only later having it changed to the one most of us know today.

And while Burns himself was reportedly not too fond of that first version, I think it’s by far the superior of the two. Some traditional folk singers, such as Mairi Campbell and Jim Malcolm, have recorded wonderful versions of the original melody. Give them a listen and see what you think…

And if you want to play it yourself, here’s the sheet music for an accordion arrangement of it I put together (inspired largely by the Jim Malcolm version):

Auld Lang Syne (Original Version) for Accordion

(I’m using a lot of left-hand minor-seventh chords in it. If you’re not used to playing them, it may take a bit of practice. The basic idea is that you play the root of the chord on the counterbass row, then add a major chord button from one row higher–that is, closer to your chin. So a Bm7 chord would be the counterbass of G, which is a B bass note, played along with the D major chord button.)

Enjoy! And have a great new year!

More Free Accordion Sheet Music for Oktoberfest!

People enjoying large glasses of beer

“Prost!” Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gruß Gott!

As I type this post, it is less than 24 hours until the opening of Oktoberfest in Munich!

And while the party there runs until October 4th, here in the states the various Oktoberfest celebrations might not even get started until then–maybe even later. All of which means plenty of chances for we accordion players to bust out a few good beer-drinking songs.

So here’s my arrangement of Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit. If you’ve ever been to a German-style beer hall, you’ve probably heard this short little anthem more than once, and possibly taken part in the customary toast-and-chug at the end.

Note that there are two versions in the PDF file:  A basic one on the first page and a fancy one on the second. The basic one should be easily playable by anyone who has gotten through most of Palmer-Hughes Book Two. The fancy version is, well, fancier. You’ll need some experience playing two and three-note chords in the right hand as well as counterbasses in the left hand.

And if you need more drinking music than that, check out my arrangement of Du, Du Leigst Mir Im Herzen.

Tschüß!

Free Accordion Sheet Music: Auld Lang Syne

Let’s face it, if you’re an accordion player, this is that time of year when you might be called upon to play “Auld Lang Syne”.

Maybe you’ll be at a New Year’s party. Or perhaps at a Burns Night supper. Or maybe you live Bedford Falls where, inexplicably, they sing the song on Christmas Eve…

(Seriously… what is up with that?)

In any case, I’m here with three free arrangements of Auld Lang Syne for accordion to help you out. There should be something here for every playing level:

  • Beginner Version — If you’ve made it through most of Palmer-Hughes Book One, this shouldn’t be too much trouble for you.
  • Basic Version — A gussied-up version of the above, adding in some 7th chords and minor chords. Suitable for those who are at least toward the end of Palmer-Hughes Book Two.
  • Advanced Version — I’ve thrown in some jazzier left-hand chords, some of which use chord combining. You’ll need to be well-aquainted with the counter-bass row. The right hand gets a bit fancy during the chorus, but nothing too bad.

Best wishes for a happy and music-filled holiday season!

Free Accordion Sheet Music for Oktoberfest!

People enjoying large glasses of beer

“Prost!” Source: Wikimedia Commons

Guten Tag!

From time-to-time I’ll be posting some of my own accordion arrangements for you to download and (hopefully) enjoy playing. Just my way of saying “thanks” for being a visitor to my website.

And what better way to kick things off than with something in honor of Oktoberfest, which starts today in Munich!

I’ve never been, but I hear that it’s in tents! (Ba-dum-psssh…)

Anyway, here’s the beer hall favorite Du, du liegst mir im Herzen

Click image to download…

Those of us who learned accordion using the excellent Palmer-Hughes method books will no doubt recognize Du, du liegst mir im Herzen as the basis for volume 1′s Dreaming. P&H just modified the melody a bit to simplify the fingering.

I’m using the Marlene Dietrich version as inspiration for the somewhat unusual chord progression here. I think it makes the song a lot more harmonically interesting.

Also, I’m only going through the “Ja, ja, ja, ja…” part once per repeat. But you often hear it played twice in a row, so feel free to repeat those bars if you like. It is, after all, the one part that even those who don’t know German get to sing along with!