Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass  (Read 1356 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

pbsalt

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
  • Location NE Fife
Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« on: January 27, 2019, 11:09:50 AM »

After years of playing 2 Row 8 bass instruments I recently bought a 2.5 row 12 bass box. I know advice to new players is to play the bass with 4 fingers but until now I have always managed to my satisfaction with 3 fingers. However with the new box I have difficulty reaching the air button with my thumb unless I use the little finger to play basses.

I realise the answer is likely to be practise and more practise - but does anyone have any tips on adjusting to play basses with 4 fingers. I'm finding the stretching and adjusting quite challenging at present.

Also -  wouldn't it be a good idea to have the most commonly played chords ( eg. the home key buttons nearest the air button ) and do any 12 bass boxes have this ?
Thanks
Paul   
Logged
Paul
Location NE Fife

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4807
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 11:26:17 AM »

Good question Paul.
Something I went through a period of considering  but shied away from. I will be interested in the replies.

Regarding the position of basses. I've only ever seen the extras on top of the normal 8 basses, with one exception being the Pariselle's made on the melodeon making courses. They are 14 bass buttons, with the main 8 buried in the middle.  I'm using my phone so can't call up their bass layout more accurately, but they are different.
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

arty

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1147
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 11:46:21 AM »

I suppose I should feel fortunate now, in that, when I bought my first melodeon it seemed the most obvious thing to use four fingers on the 8 bass buttons. (:) I have always done this and therefore, when I bought a 12 bass, it really wasn't a problem, so it didn't bother me that the most used basses are furthest from the air button. But a two and a half row, 12 bass does feel totally different doesn't it and takes some getting used to. Another problem, for me, was that I kept clipping the buttons on the half row, when trying to play the middle row, especially when playing at speed. This seemed to suggest that my fingering was quite sloppy and I had to become more precise.
It is getting better but, when I play my 2 row, there is a wonderful feeling of 'coming home'!
Stick at it, I guess is the only answer and your little finger will get stronger.
Logged
Pre-Pokerwork C/F, Castagnari Laura G/C, Beltuna Sara 3 A/D

howard mitchell

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 324
    • Howard Mitchell
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 12:20:09 PM »

...
Also -  wouldn't it be a good idea to have the most commonly played chords ( eg. the home key buttons nearest the air button ) and do any 12 bass boxes have this ?
Thanks
Paul

Yes, both my D/G Saltarelle Pastourelle III and G/C Bertrand Gaillard have the extra buttons at the bottom. They were not a special order, this seems to have been standard practice in the 1990s. It also gives a Gm7, Dm7 and Cm7 (D/G speak) on adjacent buttons. I have my Roland FR18D set up similarly.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 12:31:22 PM by howard mitchell »
Logged
Saltarelle D/G, Hohner D/G, Hohner C/F, Dallape C/F, Hohner A/D, Gaillard G/C, Sagne D, Roland FR18D, Hohner Bb/Eb.

Stiamh

  • Old grey C#/D pest
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2947
    • Packie Manus Byrne
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 12:30:28 PM »

I have the opposite problem: I can manage to play the basses with all four fingers on an 8-bass machine, but on my 12-bass Serenellini this is impossible. My little finger is quite short and, with my thumb on the air lever, my ring finger has the reach to get to the bottom button pair but my little finger does not. Nowhere near, in fact!

It makes you wonder why most makers use such large buttons for the basses. I have seen, in a YouTube video, a 12-bass Paddy Clancy box having smaller and more closely positioned bass buttons (which I could not see on  the maker's website), and some of Frans Vanderaa's later models appear to have similar arrangements.
Logged
Senior member at meoldone.net

www.rogermillington.com

JD

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 154
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 12:39:04 PM »


Yes, both my D/G Saltarelle Pastourelle III and G/C Bertrand Guillard have the extra buttons at the bottom. They were not a special order, this seems to have been standard practice in the 1990s.
I have owned two D/G 12-bass instruments both with the extra basses (A, G, F, F#) at the top. This is the "Saltarelle" layout as given in the 2.5 row diagrams on this website. This worked for me because I played the extra basses mostly with the D-row. I always assumed the layout was like this because G/C players played mostly in G at what some call the "dusty" end and it worked for them (both boxes were from a French maker).

Perhaps Castagnari layout players with Bb/Eb basses trying to play in keys other than the home rows think differently?
Logged

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4807
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 12:49:27 PM »

JD, I think you're right. I always think the Saltarelle layout gives a 'super' DG system whereas, as you say, the Castagnari system allows different key options.
It just depends on your choice of music you play as to which system you'd go for.
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

fc diato

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 114
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 01:47:16 PM »

Might the air button type make a difference here? The Castagnari-type push-in button allows you to control from any part of the thumb, thus plenty of reach. The few times I tried a Hohner-type, I found reach became a problem (but then I’m not used to that type of air button, so may have been going about it all wrong). 
In any case, I made the same transition from 8 to 12 a few years ago, and after a period (short-ish) of frustration, I adapted, albeit still mostly using 3 fingers. So hang in there. Sorry, no practical tips to offer, beyond perseverance
Logged
fc diato

-Y-

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 251
  • Handry 18 (G/C), Mélodie (D), Club IIb (A/D)
    • a database of 400 or more melodeons here
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 07:15:15 PM »

I have the opposite problem: I can manage to play the basses with all four fingers on an 8-bass machine, but on my 12-bass Serenellini this is impossible. My little finger is quite short and, with my thumb on the air lever, my ring finger has the reach to get to the bottom button pair but my little finger does not. Nowhere near, in fact!

It makes you wonder why most makers use such large buttons for the basses. I have seen, in a YouTube video, a 12-bass Paddy Clancy box having smaller and more closely positioned bass buttons (which I could not see on the maker's website), and some of Frans Vanderaa's later models appear to have similar arrangements.

A friend of mine designed a left-hand side layout for twelve basses, with no chords, that could be well suited if the playing style is somewhat similar to what the pipers do with the regulators (you won't be able to do a Joe Burke impersonation with it, for sure  (:)). It's a 3-row quincunx layout, all details here: http://malomorvan.free.fr/claviers/pythagoras.html
Logged
Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Stiamh

  • Old grey C#/D pest
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2947
    • Packie Manus Byrne
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 08:22:01 PM »

I have the opposite problem: I can manage to play the basses with all four fingers on an 8-bass machine, but on my 12-bass Serenellini this is impossible. My little finger is quite short and, with my thumb on the air lever, my ring finger has the reach to get to the bottom button pair but my little finger does not. Nowhere near, in fact!

It makes you wonder why most makers use such large buttons for the basses. I have seen, in a YouTube video, a 12-bass Paddy Clancy box having smaller and more closely positioned bass buttons (which I could not see on the maker's website), and some of Frans Vanderaa's later models appear to have similar arrangements.

A friend of mine designed a left-hand side layout for twelve basses, with no chords, that could be well suited if the playing style is somewhat similar to what the pipers do with the regulators (you won't be able to do a Joe Burke impersonation with it, for sure  (:)). It's a 3-row quincunx layout, all details here: http://malomorvan.free.fr/claviers/pythagoras.html


I've learned a new word! Quincunx sounds like middle English - the kind of word Chaucer might have used in the Miller's Tale - but no, it's the arrangement of five dots on a die (or dice if you must).

It's an interesting idea. I have just toyed around with it, trying to find an arrangement that would suit the music I play. The best bet would seem to be to start with G in the bottom left hand corner.


C
G#
EF
C#
AA#
F#
DD#
B
G

This gives (with a very brief look):

Full major chords of G, D, A, B, F#, and C#, all of which can be played thirdless.

Partial major chords (I + III) of E and G#.

Full minor chords of B, F# and C# with the tonic on the middle row.

Then with the tonic on the outer row we get Eb minor, Bb minor, and F minor.

These could be played thirdless, but to sound full major chords of Eb, Bb and F would appear to involve a big stretch. C major would be possible but with a huge stretch.

Nice idea, and thanks for the tip-off, Yannick, but I think I'll pass :)
Logged
Senior member at meoldone.net

www.rogermillington.com

-Y-

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 251
  • Handry 18 (G/C), Mélodie (D), Club IIb (A/D)
    • a database of 400 or more melodeons here
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 09:26:26 PM »

You're welcome!

I know having only basses (and a switch to disable the low notes) would perfectly suit my playing style for Irish music where I do not play any left hand, except for some notes a la uillean pipes.

In any case, for a regular 12 buttons left-hand layout, I'm all for a 3-row setting, which I think is easier to deal with.

But I'm leaning too much towards off-topic, so I'll stop on that for now  >:E
Logged
Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4807
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 12:00:29 PM »

Paul, just thinking about a conversation with someone I used to work with.
He happens to have produced a well regarded DG tutor. In an idle moment, whilst grabbing a cuppa, I asked him if he'd ever considered making a 2.5/12bass tutor. 'No was the emphatic answer! He then went on to explain the difficulties involved.
There are massive differences in design, some touched on here. Various numbers of buttons on the helper, of various combinations of notes, ditto the 2 main rows. Then there's the bass options. All in all almost every one seems to be different.
Whilst I totally understand the logic, I'm sure such basic advice such as fingering the extra basses would be useful to people making the jump, and also those wondering about it all.
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

pbsalt

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 267
  • Location NE Fife
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 05:19:22 PM »

Thanks for the replies. Interesting re fC-Diato's comment on air buttons is that I'd never really noticed the difference between the  lever-style ( e.g on my Pokerwork ) and rocker-style on my Nuage  .  However, with the 12-bass I suspect  rocker-style button  would have made air control slightly easier . 
Logged
Paul
Location NE Fife

Andy Next Tune

  • aka Andy Wooles
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 822
  • Melodeon with Accidentals? Make a PI Claim!!!
    • www.shavethedonkey.co.uk
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 06:50:02 PM »

I've similarly struggled with my 12 basses  'Rowbotham' Erika. There's been lots of challenges - losing position on the basses, struggling to get to the C bass with little finger, cramp in thumb from air button, hand/wrist pain etc.
One of Mike's suggestions was to change the Hohner air button for a Castagnari wooden wedge as they are easier to operate from different hand positions. However I am currently persevering before resorting to box surgery!
Through experimentation, I have found changing the way I hold the box has been helpful - e.g.  tilting the top of the box away from the body so that the wrist is virtually straight when reaching for bass buttons, pushing my left hand further through the bass strap and telling my thumb it is ok to let go of the air button!!!

Consequently, I've virtually ignored the extra bass buttons and half row, and instead concentrated on getting comfortable playing the usual repertoire with the usual basses.

Work in progress.......to be continued.......
Logged
Andy, from the now ex-County Palatine of Cheshire

Caring for a European community of melodeons from Italy, Germany, Wales and Suffolk!

Tone Dumb Greg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2297
  • DG Pokerwork, DG 2.4 Saltarelle, CF Hohner, 1040C
    • Dartmoor Border Morris
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 09:22:21 PM »


...One of Mike's suggestions was to change the Hohner air button for a Castagnari wooden wedge...
Consequently, I've virtually ignored the extra bass buttons and half row, and instead concentrated on getting comfortable playing the usual repertoire with the usual basses.

Work in progress.......to be continued.......

Personally, I find the Hohner air buttons a lot easier than the the wedge type,  but I eventually became  used to the wedge on my 2.4+12 Saltarelle. I still find myself wishing the air button would let more air through, though.

It took me quite a long time to manage to stop my wrist slipping to the top of the strap when I reached for air.   I am very comfortable with it now .

However, it is taking me a long time to really start using the top 4 buttons. They are, very much, a continuing WIP. I have, at least, got to the point where I can work on them.

Air control has become controlled and subconscious, if that makes sense.
Logged
Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
Lao Tzu

oggiesnr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 982
  • Dino BPII, Alfred Arnold Bandoneon, Loffet G/C
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2019, 09:37:36 PM »

Work with what your fingers can do.  Yes you can do exercises etc but if, like me, your little finger won't co-operate then don't push it, it's not worth damaging your hand.

Been there, done that and now have left hand problems.

Steve
Logged

Julian S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 669
  • D/G Pastourelle 2, Dony, Pokerwork, G/C Pariselle
Re: Adjusting to 12 bass after 8 bass
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 06:51:08 AM »

As I have a congenital problem with my little fingers which makes them ideally suited for linking when dancing an dro, I have always had problems with the four finger technique on bass - less of a problem with treble.
Playing 12 bass boxes, both of mine now have the more heavily used buttons at top end, nearest air button. Seems to make sense to me - and my Pastourelle came that way when I bought it thirty off years ago. Saying that the layout is esoteric to say the least - I have a C pull paired with an F push, and a G pull with C push, being at the bottom of the box. Middle inner buttons are Em push and Am pull. Has quite a few advantages however when I play my Dony with its completely different bass layout, I have to mentally readjust which is problematic at my age !

J
Logged
Old Bones Dance Band, Blists Hill Morris Gang
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.