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Author Topic: Bass Combinations  (Read 5900 times)

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Lester

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Bass Combinations
« on: March 15, 2008, 12:33:27 PM »

This is for the clever ones out there, I know how to play Amin7 and D7 by combining basses and chords but does anyone have  a definitive list of what's available via this route? More than happy to collate a doc so we can share it around like THIS.

risto

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2008, 11:05:20 AM »

I think this is a good idea but it would be a huge job to make a chart covering all possible chords. To make it reasonable it should be limited somehow. If there only were enough interested voluteers ....

To make a complete chart the first step would be to write out all the individual notes in all the chords of each and every key. After that you can compare these with the bass notes and chords (=notes in chords) available in the specific accordion. (To make the job even trickier chords can be without the 5th note and often also without the root (1st) note).

To get started you will need this:

http://www.kolumbus.fi/slowsession/Building_chords_from_scalenotes.doc

PS. It might actually be easier to make (and use) a small computer program which would list all the chords available in the accordion after you have given the program the bass and chord notes ...

« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 11:28:48 AM by risto »
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Waltham

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2008, 12:14:55 PM »

Actually I don't think it's that hard (if I've understood the question) because of the relatively small number of 'building blocks'.  Starting with combinations of one bass note and one chord button on a standard melodeon (D/G in what follows) there are 4 x 4 = 16 combinations in each direction, of which 4 each way are the standard ones, leaving 24 non-standard combinations.  Of these it's a judgement call which are useful/musical, any combination of notes can be assigned a chord symbol but it doesn't mean you'd want to use it.  My choices would be the following ten:

Press:
Gmaj with B or D bass
Dmaj with C bass to fake a D7
Dmaj with B bass to make Bmin7, often as a substitute for Bmin
Cmaj with G bass

Draw:
Dmaj with A bass
Dmaj with C bass as above
Amaj with E bass
Cmaj with E bass
Cmaj with A bass to make Amin7, often as a substitute for Amin
Emin with C bass to make Cmaj7

Of course there are other things to do than play one bass and one chord, but there aren't many useful combinations of two chords, the only one I'm aware of is playing Cmaj and Emin chords together to make Cmaj7 with or without a C bass.

Similarly bass notes can be combined, the triads G-B-D (press) and  A-C-E (draw) both exist but are a bit muddy, it's probably more useful to omit the middle note and play a bare fifth; other bare fifths available are  C-G (press) and D-A (draw).  That's about it in my playing, as I say there's nothing to stop you playing, say, Cmaj with a B bass, but I wouldn't often do so unless rapidly passing to something else.

Of course for club, 3-row and 12-button-bass boxes there are more combinations, but they're still finite and easy enough to list and choose from.  To be honest I kind of assumed everyone worked all this out shortly after realising how limited the 'standard' chords are.  Maybe they do and I've misunderstood the question.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 02:44:22 PM by Waltham »
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Waltham

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2008, 01:39:01 PM »

I was about to list the modifications associated with a D/G club when I realised that the keyboard layout here http://info.melodeon.net/files/site/DGclub30.gif gives the button that would be C/C on a regular D/G as Bb/C, which surprises me.  I don't own a D/G club but on my C/F clubs it's Eb/Bb (as it is in the corresponding keyboard layout diagram), so I would expect to see F/C on this button on  D/G club.  Can anyone who has access to a D/G club confirm whether this is an error in the chart or an anomaly in the tuning of such boxes?
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Bill Young

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008, 02:10:53 PM »

This is for the clever ones out there, I know how to play Amin7 and D7 by combining basses and chords but does anyone have  a definitive list of what's available via this route? More than happy to collate a doc so we can share it around like THIS.
There's a wealth of bass/chord combinations for stradella bass here.
It should be possible to pick out those available for various melodeon bass set-ups.

Waltham

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2008, 02:42:35 PM »

OK, now that I've got going here are the additional non-standard bass-chord combos for a standard A/D/G box:

Press:
Dmaj with A bass
Dmaj with F# bass
Amaj with G bass to make A7
Amaj with F# bass to make F#min7
Cmaj with A bass to make Amin7
Bmaj with A bass to make B7
Bmath with F# bass

Draw:
Dmaj with B bass to make Bmin7
Emaj with D bass to make E7
Emaj with B bass
Emin with B bass

And for Salterrelle 2.5 row D/G

Press:
Dmaj with A bass
Dmaj with F# bass
Amaj with F# bass to make F#min7
Cmaj with A bass to make Amin7
Bmaj with A bass to make B7
F#min with D bass to make Dmaj7
F#min with A bass

Draw:
Amaj with G bass to make A7
Gmaj with D bass
Gmaj with E bass to make Emin7
Gmaj with F bass to make G7
Cmaj with G bass
Emin with G bass
Fmaj with D bass to make Dmin7
Fmaj with A bass
Fmaj with C bass

And for Castagnari 2.5 row D/G

Press:
Ebmaj with G bass
Ebmaj with C bass to make Cmin7
Ebmaj with Bb bass
Cmaj with Bb bass to make C7
Bbmaj with G bass to make Gmin7
Bbmaj with D bass

Draw:
Dmaj with F# bass
Amaj with F# bass to make F#min7
F#min with D bass to make Dmaj7
F#min with A bass
Fmaj with D bass to make Dmin7
Fmaj with A bass
Fmaj with C bass

I've probably made a bunch of errors here, I may be back to edit this...
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 02:45:54 PM by Waltham »
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Rees

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 09:27:53 PM »

I was about to list the modifications associated with a D/G club when I realised that the keyboard layout here http://info.melodeon.net/files/site/DGclub30.gif gives the button that would be C/C on a regular D/G as Bb/C, which surprises me.  I don't own a D/G club but on my C/F clubs it's Eb/Bb (as it is in the corresponding keyboard layout diagram), so I would expect to see F/C on this button on  D/G club.  Can anyone who has access to a D/G club confirm whether this is an error in the chart or an anomaly in the tuning of such boxes?

You are quite correct. It should be F/C.
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george garside

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 10:13:04 PM »

some interesting combinations , however relatively few  of them are likely to add  greatly to the melody. 

My personal view, (taking into consideration that a very large proportion of melodeon players play   by ear/memory  perhaps augmenting this traditional method of playing with a very rudimentary  knowledge of dot reading )is that  it is just as useful (or in some cases more useful) to just experiment with  creating different sounds by combining notes either on treble or bass or even combinations of the two. 

  Tony Hall's  philosophy is that you  keep playing a particular 'tune note'  & at the same time prod around at other notes until you get a sound that you like using any number of other treble & bass notes in the process.  You then remember this combination for future use!. Then you experiment with another 'tune note' etc.etc

The effect Tony achieves with this method is nothing short of brilliant.

george
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Rees

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2008, 11:14:17 PM »

.... and that, Senor Garside, is the way to play the melodeon. Well said, sir.

My students come to me with reams of sheet music, scale charts, chord charts, etc. When I ask if they've ever tried just prodding about they look at me aghast.

Now then, have a go at playing in F# minor on a D/G melodeon. It's the best key for playing the blues. Hit any note on the pull and it will fit and most of the push notes too, best to avoid the notes D and G though. A good phrase is C - C# - E, it makes a nice blues roll. Also C# - E - F# (both of these go from low to high).
Bring the bellows back in on some A and F# notes. When you've got the hang of it try fitting some basses. There aren't any!!! Ha ha! (with the possible exception of A major). This scale is behind much of the Louisiana Zydeco style.

To sum up - play your D/G melodeon without using D or G and you'll discover a whole new world. Whether or not you want to stay in that world is up to you, but at least it you'll know it's there.
I realise that there is some resistance to this style among English melodeon players.
To quote Pete Coe "F sharp minor on a D/G melodeon - on yer bike mate"
I am unable to print the quote from Tony Hall.
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Matthew B

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 01:54:42 AM »

Well, friends, it seems we're making progress since the old board http://melodeon.aimoo.com/Technical/Left-Hand-Diagram-1-127201.html.
I've been "prodding around" for two years now, and I still don't sound like Tony Hall.  What am I doing wrong?  Maybe I'll try a few of Waltham's suggestions and see how it works out.

As for F# Minor . . . . is that what that key's called.  I always wondered . . . 
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baz parkes

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 11:03:16 AM »

[I've been "prodding around" for two years now, and I still don't sound like Tony Hall. 

I notice a pipe on your avatar. Making it a big curly Sherlock Holmes type might help... :)

Baz
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Matthew B

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Re: Bass Combinations
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 01:04:27 PM »

So, is it the shape of the pipe, or what you put in it?

Waltham, thanks for the detailed info. If I'm not mistaken the number of possible 8 bass combinations increases somewhat if you pull out the thirds and get rid of the low basses.
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