Slovenian-Australian accordionist

Phillip Nadvesnik

Category: Techniques

How to play basic Slovenian Oberkrainer guitar polka rhythm

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Vilko & Slavko Avsenik’s ensemble from Slovenia were the creators of the ‘Oberkrainer’ sound and genre which took off in the alpine parts of central Europe. A typical band in this genre, following Avseniki, has three main parts: the vocal, melodic and rhythm sections. The rhythm section in the band is usually made up of the vital three instruments: accordion, guitar and double bass or electric bass which alternates with baritone.

Slovenian ‘Oberkrainer’ accordion rhythm technique (Slo: tresanje, spremljavo) (Ger: begleitung)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Slovenian/Oberkrainer style accordion rhythm is a technique used by Slovenian and Austrian alpine style accordionists to complete the rhythm section in a trio or quintet, by playing chords repeatedly as semiquavers in polkas, or quavers in waltzes. In Slovenian it’s known as ‘tresenje‘ (shaking), for its ‘shaking’ sound, and ‘spremljavo‘ (accompaniment). In German it’s called ‘Oberkrainer begleitung‘ (Oberkrainer accompaniment). In trios with vocals, or quintets with a trumpet and clarinet, the accordion never only sticks to melody or rhythm, but fluidly alternates between melody and rhythm.

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