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newbie with Stradella bass question

colorado_hickcolorado_hick Hotchkiss Colorado✭✭
edited January 2011 in Accordion Posts: 25
I am trying to figure out some tunes on the accordion, it is a chromatic button accordion, but my question has to do with the stradella bass. For songs that have 1/2 step intervals, like J'attendrai or Hungaria, how do folks manage that jump? Is it best to train the fingers to jump 7 buttons up or down, and if so what sort of fingerings work best? Or is better to use the top row and just pick up the bass notes using the top row that is only 3 buttons away? any pointers would be much appreciated!

Comments

  • brandoneonbrandoneon Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France✭✭✭
    Posts: 171
    For J'attendrai, I'm guessing you are referring to a progression similar to the following:
    C | C | C | B7 | C | C#o7 | Dm7 | A7 ...

    One thing to keep in mind is that there's more than one way to make a chord. For some reasons I won't get into here, a B7 is very close to an F7 ... the good news for you is that F7 is a lot closer than jumping to B7! :D

    So you could just play a C chord as normal, followed by F7 with the B bass button (the one in front of the G bass button). This doesn't sound exactly the same as B7, but then it also adds some new color. Another option is to play a C diminished chord with that B bass note. These choices don't always work for every example, so you need to let your ear tell you when it's right.

    For C#o7 there is a similar approach you can take. Instead of jumping up or down to find that chord, you can actually play a G diminished chord with C# in the bass (the one in front of the A bass button). Now that chord is not so far away from C major! :D

    In Hungaria, when the chords move from G to Ab I think the easiest is to play the Ab chord normally, by jumping down to it. But finding other ways to play the o7 chords in Hungaria should work just as well as in J'attendrai.

    Hope this helps, and have fun!
  • LoritmoLoritmo Pacific NW✭✭✭
    Posts: 69
    Brandon’s exactly right. Stradella is somewhat limiting, but most limitations can be overcome by using substitutions. It might help to get familiar with the patterns on the basses. For instance, look at the bass and counterbass rows for the chord pattern for major chords, dominant 7ths, and major 7ths; those’ll give you insight into playing bass runs. If you learn the pattern for one 7th, say, the C7, then you use the same pattern for all other 7ths in those two rows. Same is true of scales: once you know the C scale , you use the exact same fingering pattern for all other scales.

    Also, not knowing just how much of a “newbie” you are, I might be suggesting the obvious, but most (all?) accordions have a dimple or rhinestone in the C bass button. Some also have the E and A-flat bass buttons marked the opposite way (i.e., if your C is dimpled, then the E and A-flat will have a stone or vice versa; sometimes a cross-hatch is used). If your accordion doesn’t have the E and A-flat marked, you might want to do that. It makes the seven-row jumps (if you don’t substitute) much more doable. For instance, Douce Ambiance has one that goes from an A-flat minor to an A minor. If your A-flat is marked noticeably, then jumping from there to the A minor row, which is just below the noticeably marked E, is much easier to learn.

    Good luck!
    Lorretta
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