Freebass C-system Scale Fingering Comparison
#1
Hello,

Apologies in advance for a nerdy question. I've got a month off work over the summer and thought I'd give my Piano/Stradella Accordion a little break and set myself a new challenge of learning a C-system button accordion with freebass.

So far so good, and it was actually easier than I thought to play some simple tunes with both hands and great fun and refreshing having a much lighter musical texture. The several variants on RH fingering make sense to me. LH is trickier as you can't easily use your thumb so left with 4 viable fingers.

Being a bit keen I researched suggested basic C major fingering for freebass c-system.

Is it just me or are the ones in the Borgstrom/Charles book a bit strange compared to Ellegaard and Lars Holm?

C major ascending LH

2 3 2 3 4 2 3 2   Borgstrom/Charles
2 4 3 4 3 2 4 2   Borgstrom/Charles
2 3 4 3 4 2 3 4   Ellegaard
2 3 4 3 4 5 3 4   Ellegaard
2 3 4 3 4 5 4 5   Lars Holm

To my fingers the last two seem most logical and are almost the same except the penultimate (leading) note. The final Lars Holm fingering makes the most sense to my hand and feels more consistent with my RH fingering (1 2 3 2 3 4 3 4) albeit displaced by one finger.

Just wondered what other people's preferences were with the benefit of more experience than I have, assuming you have played freebass c-system.

Apologies again for a very specific narrow nerdy question!

Ben
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#2
Assuming you have a 4 row free bass you could also try to use all 4 rows for playing a scale, which no method I know of actually does. (They stick religiously to 3 rows only.) With the A on the 4rd row you can do the C scale with 2 3 2 3 2 3 4 5 for instance,
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#3
I think Paul has given you an excellent idea. 
Use the 4th row in the left hand side. That's what repeat rows are for. 
Good accordion teachers show the benefits of this repeat row in a very early stage of accordion study.
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#4
Thank you Paul, that is a very interesting alternative to experiment with.
Yes, my baby freebass accordion is a strange Weltmeister variant with 4 rows rather than the usual three they usually come with in this model!

Thanks again, Ben[Image: 002473-2.jpg]
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#5
I don't have my Ellegaard free bass tutor copy with me, but if I remember well, some of Ellegaard's fingerings were intended for being played with the repeat row. 
It's more than 25 years ago since I used Ellegaard's method, so I am not sure.
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#6
First off, good for you on looking for a new musical challenge, and I absolutely love that little Weltmeister!  Big Grin

Second... on page 4 of the Ellegaard book, you see he shows an MIII format or 3 row Free Bass, above the Stradella.  That is the format this book was designed for so, if you use the fingerings in this book, it is for using the first 3 rows of your Welty.  Smile

My 2 Hohners have that system, but the Roland has (of course) a 4-row FB system of your choice, though I hate that left hand design enough that I avoid the Free Bass on that accordion like the plague.

From my conservatory days, they used your first example in my teachings (2 3 2 3 4 2 3 2 Borgstrom/Charles)
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#7
Thanks for your encouragement Jerry - I love learning new things and think the challenges of learning free bass and CBA accordion will keep me going for a few years! I'll re-visit that Ellegaard book. I like the weltmeister baby accordion, certainly not got the quality of reeds of my Bugari PA but the musical textures on the instrument are really attractive with individual bass notes not limited to a repeating 12.
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#8
(08-07-2019, 11:08 AM)JerryPH Wrote: First off, good for you on looking for a new musical challenge, and I absolutely love that little Weltmeister!  Big Grin

Second... on page 4 of the Ellegaard book, you see he shows an MIII format or 3 row Free Bass, above the Stradella.  That is the format this book was designed for so, if you use the fingerings in this book, it is for using the first 3 rows of your Welty.  Smile

My 2 Hohners have that system, but the Roland has (of course) a 4-row FB system of your choice, though I hate that left hand design enough that I avoid the Free Bass on that accordion like the plague.

From my conservatory days, they used your first example in my teachings (2 3 2 3 4 2 3 2   Borgstrom/Charles)

To me this fingering seems to make the most sense as well, for 3 row melody bass.
Interesting that you don't like the 4 row converter system after studying on the MIII system. I have both as well and I much prefer the convertor which we have on all but one of our accordions. I can use the MIII on my Morino, but don't like it as much. That's a combination of both how it feels (a far stretch for the left hand) and how it sounds (a matter of taste of course).
I know others who have learned both types and you are the first who prefers the MIII system. I guess they are different enough that once you learned it one way that becomes so natural that the other way feels uncomfortable.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#9
I can't find my Ellegaard copy at home, and had an online look at Ellegaard's free bass method.
He groups the fingerings in 3 GROUPS (starting on rows 1, 2 and 3). The picture is a 9 rows (6 stradella + 3 free bass rows on top).

In my public music school days, we all played 4-rows free basses, mostly convertor accordions. And the teachers made frequent use of the 4th row, the repeat row in the bass side.

Ellegaard also mentions the flexibility of the free bass layout several times in this method. Perhaps I've misinterpreted his definition of "flexibility" of the free bass keyboard with the extra repeat row that was available on our 4-rows free bass accordions/convertors.

https://docslide.net/documents/ellegaard...-bass.html

You are very lucky to have that 4th row on your Weltmeister free bass !
I'd say try to use it in finding the best possible fingerings for your taste.
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#10
(09-07-2019, 07:57 AM)debra Wrote: To me this fingering seems to make the most sense as well, for 3 row melody bass.
Interesting that you don't like the 4 row converter system after studying on the MIII system. I have both as well and I much prefer the convertor which we have on all but one of our accordions. I can use the MIII on my Morino, but don't like it as much. That's a combination of both how it feels (a far stretch for the left hand) and how it sounds (a matter of taste of course).
I know others who have learned both types and you are the first who prefers the MIII system. I guess they are different enough that once you learned it one way that becomes so natural that the other way feels uncomfortable.

Paul, It's not that I don't like the 4-row converter system, it's that for me, the spacing of the Roland bass buttons cause my left hand to painfully cramp up after 5 minutes of playing anything on it's Free Bass converter system.  Others have no issues with it (a la Michael Bridge, an avid Roland/Bugari and button Pigini converter accordion Free Bass musician), this is just me, and yes, likely the Morino spoiled me but then again, I don't get cramping when fooling around with the little Hohner FB36 either... bottom line, it's my personal idiosyncrasy, not the accordions or the system.  Smile
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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