Can anyone provide the link of Jean Yves Sixt's tutorial series? I searched the Youtube but just found some of his performances, and they are all in French.
I'd learned piano for several years but couldn't get to a decent level. When I started to think about learning accordion I chose CBA right away for several obvious reasons:
(1) It's much smaller and lighter (20% at least) than PA with the same note range!
(2) I like classical music more and many incredible classical performances on the Youtube are executed with CBA but not PA. Of course there are many excellent PA players as well but you can't deny that a greater proportion of the top classical players are CBA based nowadays. Modern free bass CBA is actually derived from Russia if my knowledge is right, and as you can see almost every Russian master uses CBA bayans. (B-system actually, and the C-system is just a tricky invention for avoiding the patent issue. They are both good systems though.)
(3) It's cooler to have a typewriter-like instrument.
After I actually bought and started learning CBA I found other critical advantages:
(4) As donn said all the buttons are in identical shape and height. This will give you less geographic struggling on the fingering compared to piano keyboard (although I don't think that would be a problem for mitchnc since he has already mastered the piano keyboard).
(5) CBA are easier for people with little hands like me. Now I don't have to stretch my palm to reach the octave anymore!
(6) Buttons on CBA are arranged in a very clever way that every button has exactly the same interval relationships with the 6 buttons around it. The result is you can use one specific fingering for every key signature (if you have a 5-row CBA and you are lazy
Even if you are not lazy you still have to learn only 3 sets of fingering pattern to cope with every key signature (with the root notes starting from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd row respectively. Please see the charts I attached below).
(7) With the same reason, the chord patterns can be divided into few simple groups, no matter which key signature you are playing. It's good for learning and memorizing.
The only disadvantage I could find in CBA is you can't slide your buttons very quickly with your finger nails to form a fast C major scale like you can do on the piano keyboard. If you slide the buttons on the CBA that would be a series of notes with minor third interval. I don't know if you can call this a disadvantage but it sounds different, and some music pieces seem to need this "white key sliding" to sound right. You can see this video (PA player: Alexander Sheykin). Note the sliding at 1:34.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHAMpQEtGd8
For those who are confused about the thumb thing on CBA, you are not alone. I also have the same issue of using/not using the thumb. I learned piano before so using thumb seems to be a natural thing to me. Besides, I am a rock climber with constant finger training for over 6 yrs. If you do rock climbing you probably know you never train your pinky finger with same intensity (or you'll get hurt), so you got your thumb and other 3 fingers strengthened evenly year after year, but not the pinky finger! The result is that if a rock climber needs to choose 4 from 5 fingers he has to play an instrument, his instinct will tell him to abandon the pinky one.
I moved to Australia 6 months ago and couldn't find any CBA teacher/player here so I have no choice but to teach myself. I created some fingering charts for scales/chords to help myself. I've attached the scale part here. Hope these would make some senses for other beginners like me.
(1) They are C-system based fingerings figured out by myself for right-hand treble and left-hand free bass. All 15 major scales ane 15 minor scales (natural, harmonic and melodic) included.
(2) Sorry about the Chinese characters, but they won't bother you too much. If you have some musical common sense you'll know how to apply them to your C-CBA immediately.
Red = Scales with root note from the 1st row.
Blue = Scales with root note from the 2nd row.
Green = Scales with root note from the 3rd row.
上行 = ascending
下行 = descending
(3) About the right-hand treble, as I mentioned above I use my thumb (1) a lot so you can see from the picture that I use it as a pivot to "transfer" other fingers (mainly 2 and 3) to the next notes so the scale can move on.
(4) But recently I found the thumb pivot causes obstacles to some degree when playing fast passages just because of the anatomic reason. So now I'm trying to create another version of this scaling chart. It's simple: use the 4th finger to replace the thumb. In this way you don't use thumb anymore on any scale. You have to twist your wrist to a different angle to apply the 4th one so it takes some time to adjust to it. Once you apply this 4th finger pivot to the actually playing you'll find yourself playing like these guys you saw on Youtube who don't use their thumb at all!
(5) Left-hand free bass fingering is completely different from the right hand because you can't use your left thumb too much. The principle is simple:
2 for 1st row. (2 = index finger)
3 for 2nd row.
4 for 3rd row.
Again I don't use my left pinky on scaling (except the harmonic minor on those starting from the 3rd row), but I use it in actually playing.
The color of left-hand buttons is just for recognizing when studying. They are usually all white in real instrument. And the visual size of them is also not so correct. They are actually much smaller compared to the right-hand buttons. Sorry for these bugs if you get confused which is right and which is left.
Any comment about my charts is very welcomed and appreciated. I know many guys of you have limited resource to study the CBA so I hope my ideas can help. Hope for feedbacks to improve this chart so everybody can benefit from it.
By the way, after 6-month searching, I finally found two Bayan players from Russian last week (they use B-system of course). They belong to a Russian culture group here in Brisbane. I'll meet them next week and see if I can get any insight of fingering from their instruments.