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Author Topic: Bass variations?  (Read 1986 times)

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Ziachmusi/Louise

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Bass variations?
« on: November 21, 2011, 11:55:05 AM »

I'm trying to get away from the Um pah Um pah bass.
I would like to be able to Um pah --pah (leaving out the second bass note) and would like to try this on a scottisch that I'm learning (Martini Phase) but I'm finding this extremely difficult.
Just playing the bass on it's own is fine but if I try and add any notes with the right hand I just can't do it, not even really slowly ???   
Any suggestion of exercises that might help me progress?

cheers
Louise                 
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Ray Langton

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 12:12:16 PM »

I often think of it as making a  habit and then breaking it. It sometimes helps to get past the obsessive om pah by block chording some sections-eg pressing both om and pa at the same time or trying just to play the bass note and no chord at all. It takes time to overcome the urge to om pa but it is well worth the effort. Just playing the bass without the melody as you have suggested can also help, but you need to keep it up long enough until you have formed a new habit!
Another tip is to start to develop the bass on tunes you really know well already not a new tune then the melody end has more chance of taking care of itself while you concentrate on what you are doing on the bass end.
Hope that helps -keep at it :|||:
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waltzman

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 12:31:53 PM »

I think this is an excellent thing to learn and a scottische is good place to do it.  Pick a tune that you know really well and consciously begin to play all the Um's lighter and lighter until all you hear are the pah's.  The Um finger is still touching the button and keeping time but not making any sound.  Once you get the feel of that then you can try mixing in some Um's or alternating or whatever.  I really like the back beat accentuated in a scottische.
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george garside

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 12:36:20 PM »

Totally agree, particulary with the try it on tunes you can play well notion.  I have an absolute rule whrn teaching the box to never teach a new technique at the same time as a new tu;ne.  Either practice ( & hopefully perfect) technique by putting it into an existing tune or  by pracicing it 'outside' of a atune.

There are lots of things that can be done using just  a few bass buttons  that will help to get away from the CONSTANT um pa.  i.e. umnpa is fine and should not be discarded  but should be used perhaps more sparingly than some do!.  The first  variation is to stop playing the bass co;mpletely for a bit of the tu;ne.  For this to sound effective where it is done must be chosen carefully so it enhances a fancy bit of treble playhing. The key to making it sound good is very precise timing a where to stop the bss and where to bring it back in.

Ray  has mentioned playhing bass & chord together  orjust bass notes. I would add that sometimes just playing the chord can sound nice i.e. the pa without the um. Using just the chord accross a few treble notes  can also provide a ni;ce bit of harmony here & there.


A technique I like for 3/4 tunes  is to break up a series of um pa pa's by occasionally playing um pa pa ,  pa pa pa, this could be perhaps followed by holding down a chord for a few notes  or better still starting off with a chord and then bringing in the bass note as weell to thicken things up a wee bit before perhaps reverting to a bar or two of no bass, a bit of um pa pa  or whatever.

If playing in D there are bits of some tunes that instead of um pa ing on Dbass & D chord you keep the D chord as the pa but do the um alternately on D & B.  Something on similar lines can sometimes work using C bass note when playing in G.

experimenting in this way enables you to develop an intuitive feel for the SOUND made by various buttons or combinations sthereof so you can pop in what is going to sou;nd best for a particular tune wi;thout any need to worry about playhing 'carrect' bass or 'appropriate named chords'.


george
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Larry

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 12:47:19 PM »

Hello Louise, If some in your neighborhood has volume 2
of Méthode d'accordéon diatonique by Pignol/Milleret please
ask them to share page 19 and pages 88/89 with you. these
pages will make your bass playing raise to another level. Not over
night of course but a few minutes everyday and you will be happy
with what comes from their information. I have a scanner but must have
my wife's son hook it up. I am sure you know how that goes :-[
I can say too that you would profit very much from volume 2!
all the best, Larry
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Anahata

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 12:55:45 PM »

One of my favourite variations on um-pa bass is to change the bass note when the chord is repeated.
E.g. on a D/G box, in G you can play G, D or B bass alternating with the G chord, and sometimes you can play D or A with a D chord and A or E with an A chord.

Gbass Gchord Dbass Gchord etc.

If playing in D there are bits of some tunes that instead of um pa ing on Dbass & D chord you keep the D chord as the pa but do the um alternately on D & B.  Something on similar lines can sometimes work using C bass note when playing in G.
Right. That's another variation on the same theme.

I also like to play another bass note instead of a chord sometimes, especially if it makes a melodic fragment of bass line.

E.g. Gbass Gchord Dbass Dchord becomes Gbass Bbass Dbass Dchord

To get more familiar with the bass possibilities and "unlock your fingers" I'd suggest trying to play scales and then simple tunes on the basses. This mostly works in G.
(Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a good start if you've never done this before)
Then in unison with the RH.
When that gets too easy, try playing bits of scales with RH and LH a third apart...
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paulq

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 01:30:32 PM »

I struggled with breaking out of the um-pah thing for ages. Basically you are trying to break a habit like Ray says. A couple of things that really helped me...

- Practicing just on the bases. You could play the whole of "Princess Royal" on them for instance.

- Practicing assigning little finger to G/C, middle finger to D/B (Andy Cutting plays like this among others).

- Moving the basses around within the Um-Pah - like playing G - Gchord  - D - Gchord (especially on Polkas), or using the B as a passing bass to get you to C...
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2011, 01:57:33 PM »

Sadly the rhythm lessons (see videos) from Steph Milleret are more about right end.  Looks like you've got the message on board "anything but um pah pah" but need to break the habits of a lifetime.

I'd separate bass and chords completely at this stage.  Play your tune a few times with bass only.

Practice B - - -, Bee - -, B - B -, and Beeeee variations. Seewhat works and try to get them "mixing at will". Sleep on it.

Next day repractice that - will be improved "I promise". Now repeat the process 'chords only'  Again try to vary the timing.

Next day mix them a bit. Anahata's bass lines can be extraordinary, but eg | G Gchord, D Gchord | is certainly a goer. You might find it easier to play | G+Gchord -  D+Gchord  -| as there is less going on.

Sleep on it again. A bass run I like is (on D/G) | E - Em | Dpull - Em | Cpull - Em - | Bpush - B - |.  It sounds clever, works with a lot of schottiches and actually .. you are only changing one finger (and you get that 5th finger working)!

Now apply the others again .. practice mixing them up.  

Always remember that taking your finger off a button is also a rhythm event.  The Milleret video is very good on this http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,7145.0.html
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george garside

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 03:17:22 PM »

I think of 'taking the finger off a button'  as being somwhat akin to plucking a string on a stringy instrument i.e. its the upward movemento n a button that is more important than the downward movement - if that makes any sense!

Thie way you take the finger off  effects the sound is, I think, because  the spring is then free to slap the pallet shut rapidly, cutting the airflow dead and the sound into separate chunks. Just raising the finger WITH the button restricts this high speed event by preventing the spring from doing its proper job.

george
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docEdock

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 01:15:05 AM »


Just playing the bass on it's own is fine but if I try and add any notes with the right hand I just can't do it, not even really slowly ???   
Any suggestion of exercises that might help me progress?
        

Louise, no suggestions but a lot of empathy. I struggled for months to make my left hand play anything at all, and now it stubbornly clings to the only pattern it knows. So thanks for asking the question. I would be curious to know which of these methods you find effective as you escape the land of um pa pa.
Doc
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Ziachmusi/Louise

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Re: Bass variations?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2011, 06:09:40 AM »

Thanks for all the food for thought. I'll work my way through them and see what works for me.
I'll let you know if there's any progress as I go along (:) :|||:
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