Thumbs Up for CBA??



Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby maugein96 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:48 pm

Hi Dan,

Curious as to how you came across the Chalier method? Paul Chalier's method was a bit controversial in France at a time when some teachers were advocating use of all 5 fingers. I have also dabbled with many method books, and have come to the conclusion that with CBA most professional players develop their own fingering after a while. It really is a case of each to their own, and the choice of fingering is often influenced by the style of music preferred. You can waste a lifetime trying to find the "correct" fingering for every scale in the book, but when it comes to playing tunes we usually need to work it all out ourselves, as the scale fingerings advocated by the method authors are often of little use at all. Some method books also show what the author considers the best fingering for the tunes that form the exercises contained within them.

On several occasions when I have tried the suggested fingerings I discover that my hand ends up in an awkward position, probably because I have been playing for a long time and I had already worked out another way to play the tune concerned. Inevitably, I end up playing the tune my own way, always using as few fingers as possible, and usually with my thumb on the edge of the keyboard, which is an invaluable aid to accuracy, if not speed. Chalier's method was unknown to me until about 20 years ago, and I wish I had known about it sooner. I was told that Anzaghi's method was the only worthwhile one when I bought my first accordion, but like you it never suited me. Consequently, I wasted a few years learning the basics from a method book that turned out to be of no use to me. No doubt there will have been others who found Anzaghi's book invaluable, but that was not the case in my experience.

Chalier's book was written exclusively for CBA, whereas I have never been able to understand the logic behind the methods written by Manu Maugain, Galliano, or Anzaghi. The last two authors combine PA with CBA, and Maugain's method is entirely based on the "new wave" style, which seems to fly in the face of the older methods, which are more familiar to me. Another book in the same vein as Maugain was one written by Michel Lorin, which I found very awkward. His father, Etienne Lorin, was the author of a previous method book which I unfortunately found too technical and dry, and consequently never tried it out. The only method I persevered with was Medard Ferrero's, which ran into several volumes. I think I got into volume two before I heaved all the method books away and actually started playing. I never had a teacher so I just took things at my own pace. I probably got to about an Intermediate stage, but was able to play some of the more complicated musette standards. French musette is about as appreciated in Scotland as Eskimo culture is in the Sahara, so I was never really able to hone my skills to their full potential.

I haven't heard of the other two methods you mention, but all I can say is don't waste years trying to figure all the technical stuff. Playing tunes is a lot more fun.
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby losthobos » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:58 am

Best go with maugeins advice, no-one either danced to or cried at the beauty of a scale.. ;)
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby noeledom » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:50 pm

Maugeins advice is superb.... I have never spent much time learning to play scales .. Always thought it pointless being able to play all the scales to perfection at the expense of being able to play little else.. When I first took up playing C.B.A . I took what many see as the easy lazy approach learn one scale play them all... What works so well for the left hand (same scale fingering) works equally well for the right on C.B.A..... I,m not one for complicating things....... I will be first to admit that I will never reach the standard of the many fantastic players I see /hear and admire so much...... but I can play most of what I want to and it has given me so much enjoyment over the years..... my method is I tend to move on to new pieces of music quickly and just sort the problems out as I go along... maybe even try to learn a couple of new tunes at the same time... that way while its always the same old head its never the same wall.......
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby losthobos » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:53 pm

I will be first to admit that I will never reach the standard of the many fantastic players I see /hear and admire so much...... but I can play most of what I want to and it has given me so much enjoyment over the years..... my method is I tend to move on to new pieces of music quickly and just sort the problems out as I go along... maybe even try to learn a couple of new tunes at the same time... that way while its always the same old head its never the same wall.......

Sound advice....my mentality too...succinctly put ..same head,different wall....thankyou noel
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby dan » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:07 am

Guess I got carried away! :roll:
I've read everything about fingering in the forum and had moved on to google translate. Maybe later I'll share my Swedish language pamphlet but for now time to let it go and play some tunes. :D

in my defense, I don't care about scales for their own sake. I was hoping to grasp the logic behind cba fingering methods so I can put fingering on autopilot rather than treating every measure as a fresh challenge. Seems to me that certain hand positions allow for more flexibility when playing tunes. Middle finger on second row whenever possible. Thumb no more than twice per octave.
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby debra » Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:05 am

dan wrote:Guess I got carried away! :roll:
I've read everything about fingering in the forum and had moved on to google translate. Maybe later I'll share my Swedish language pamphlet but for now time to let it go and play some tunes. :D

in my defense, I don't care about scales for their own sake. I was hoping to grasp the logic behind cba fingering methods so I can put fingering on autopilot rather than treating every measure as a fresh challenge. Seems to me that certain hand positions allow for more flexibility when playing tunes. Middle finger on second row whenever possible. Thumb no more than twice per octave.

I share you view: scales are just a matter of learning convenient fingering technique for longer runs. What people find a comfortable fingering and hand position differs per person. My wife and I rarely use the same fingering. The C scale we both use 1 2 3 2 3 4 2 4 going up but I use the thumb more on going down whereas my wife will simply reverse the fingering from going up. So there is no "the logic" as the logic is personal.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby george garside » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:57 am

I totally agree about working out a way of fingering that works for the individual. It is helpful not to become dogmatic but to see a way of fingering as perhaps best for most occasions but subject to variation according to the needs of a particular tune particularly as tunes don't all sit neatly within an octave but may sit across two octaves or or go into the octaves above and below the one that most of the tune is in. Whatever fingering system is adopted it must be able to cope ( with a bit of variation) with all eventualities.

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Re: Thumbs Up for CBA??

Postby Seisiuneer » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:29 pm

Coming from some experience on piano accordion and mostly on B/C two-row diatonic for Irish style playing, I pretty much started with my own fingerings on my 5-row C-system CBA.

As I finally became comfortable with the layout of the instrument to where I no longer had to think about what note was where on the rows, I started working through some of the 4-row scale patterns and videos that craptiger published more to understand the way he approaches about the instrument since I like his style and he has many examples of Irish traditional music in his videos. I can't thank him enough for putting these out there.

I've found it useful to learn these patterns, which do use the thumb extensively, and the general principles I found in these patterns of avoiding jumping the same finger for nearby buttons, using 1234 1 style crossing of the thumb under similar to piano style have all been very useful in adjusting my fingerings to be more efficient while still providing the "extra" fingers required to do the cuts and rolls in the traditional Irish style.

I'm moving more towards a "local zone" style where I use some of the fingering patterns from the scale exercises and videos to find smooth patterns wherever I am on the button board.

Starting to feel like there is some method to my madness, but I couldn't quite explain it to someone else quite yet.

What's interesting to me is that playing the CBA is improving my diatonic accordion playing, which feels much more linear in comparison.
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