Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

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EricBarker
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Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by EricBarker » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:41 pm

Hi, I'm a professional keyboard player who picked up an accordion on recommendation of my rock band leader, to play some Irish rock covers (Pogues, Dropkick Murphies, etc). I've got a solid theory background and understand the stradella bass in principal, but a few progressions are really knocking me out in terms of hand position. One I see a lot of is movement between the root chord and the minor six chord, while prepping for a IV chord.

Let's say we're in C: To do this, the way that makes sense is to play the C chord with the ring finger, F with the pinky, and Am with the index finger. Makes sense, only problem is, I'm having a heck of a time playing the pinky without accidentally hitting other buttons, and I'll commonly slip too. Is this the correct way of fingering for tunes that have Minor vi chords?

I need a new strap, too, it's way too tight at it's loosest. But I live in Hawaii, my accordion is completely non-standard (old 60s Italian make), and I botched the job the last time I tried to fit a new strap. That's probably part of my problem.

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by Pipemajor » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:11 am

It sounds like your bass strap is part of the problem, If the ring finger, pinkie and index finger is posing problems, try third finger, ring finger and the index finger. You may find it more comfortable. :ch

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by jozz » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:56 pm

Not sure if I understand this correctly: c major chord (ring) to Am (index) to F major (pinky)?

I'd do pinky-index-pinky then (if it's an option in the music), sliding down a row is easier than hitting a spot on your (probably condensed) bass buttons.

Alternatively, you could use root basses with the major 3rd row instead of chords. Then everything is nice and close together.

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by JeffJetton » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:40 pm

EricBarker wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:41 pm
Hi, I'm a professional keyboard player who picked up an accordion on recommendation of my rock band leader, to play some Irish rock covers (Pogues, Dropkick Murphies, etc). [...]

Let's say we're in C: To do this, the way that makes sense is to play the C chord with the ring finger, F with the pinky, and Am with the index finger. Makes sense, only problem is, I'm having a heck of a time playing the pinky without accidentally hitting other buttons, and I'll commonly slip too. Is this the correct way of fingering for tunes that have Minor vi chords?
Well, first of all, when playing accordion in that sort of rock band context, I find that I don't really need to bother with the left hand at all. Typically you're just going to be using the treble side. So if you find you need to play a particular chord, you'd just play it with your right hand and call it a night. You'll get a lot more voicing options that way too.

If you are going to bring the LH into play, then (in typical/traditional accordion music) your left hand is usually in full-on accompaniment mode, where it's going to be playing the bass buttons too. The various rhythmic patterns you'd play will involve basses and chords, and these would generally have a fixed fingering no matter what the chord was. You would then just move your fingers to a different spot to play the pattern on a different chord. Yes, there is some blind "leaping" involved. You get used to it. (It's sort of how a guitarist might finger a certain barre-chord shape and just move that sucker up and down the neck to get whatever chord they need.)

All that said, if you find that you do need to play sustained chords in the LH with no basses involved, then yeah, I guess you could just assign a finger to each button. (There's actually one piece in the first Palmer-Hughes method book that's arranged that very way.)

One handy "cheat" for vi chords (or any minor chord, really) is to play them as m7 chords instead, by playing the root in the counter-basses and then playing the upper-structure as a major chord. So your Am chord would be played as an Am7 chord (essentially, as a C/A chord), with the A bass being played in the counter-bass of the F row, and the C chord very close by. Sometimes that's too jazzy--use with caution.

As far as hitting other buttons inadvertently, that's common when starting out. Maybe try pushing the palm of your hand further out (forwards, away from your chest)? That might give your fingers more of a curve, so that there hitting the buttons more straight on than flattened out?

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by EricBarker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:53 am

All good ideas. Yeah, I mostly use the accordion for lead for rock, I'm not doing much two-handed playing. However, one song ("If I should Fall from Grace with God" by The Pogues) has a very prominent accordion rhythm part on the offbeats (no bass). Up until now I've just played it on my keyboard with an accordion patch. There's also a fast "shake" section after each verse, which I switch to an accordion patch with a tremolo effect to simulate. But obviously the real thing is better. Shakes make a whole lot more sense to play with the left hand buttons, I can use my right hand to really push and pull on the instrument to get it going.

Also, on my accordion, the bass hand reeds are much louder than the piano hand. I think they have an extra set of lower harmonics, so chords sound much fuller than on the piano hand.

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by debra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:13 pm

EricBarker wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:41 pm
Hi, I'm a professional keyboard player who picked up an accordion on recommendation of my rock band leader, to play some Irish rock covers (Pogues, Dropkick Murphies, etc). I've got a solid theory background and understand the stradella bass in principal, but a few progressions are really knocking me out in terms of hand position. One I see a lot of is movement between the root chord and the minor six chord, while prepping for a IV chord.

Let's say we're in C: To do this, the way that makes sense is to play the C chord with the ring finger, F with the pinky, and Am with the index finger. Makes sense, only problem is, I'm having a heck of a time playing the pinky without accidentally hitting other buttons, and I'll commonly slip too. Is this the correct way of fingering for tunes that have Minor vi chords?

I need a new strap, too, it's way too tight at it's loosest. But I live in Hawaii, my accordion is completely non-standard (old 60s Italian make), and I botched the job the last time I tried to fit a new strap. That's probably part of my problem.
Something does not make sense here. A minor six chord for C would be C-Eb-A. None of the chords you name give you these notes... However, C diminished gives you these notes (complete would be C Eb F# A but the button does not include the F#.)

What is it you are really trying to play? (Name the notes in the chords, and then maybe it becomes clear.)
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by dunlustin » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:03 pm

Have I misunderstood?
In C you want to go: Cchord Aminor chord F chord
i.e.: I vi min IV
notes ceg ace fac
In Stradella the VI ( = relative minor) is always the third button along from the I
(towards the chin)
So: C (jump G jump D ) to A row and use the minor chord button
Or G ( jump D jump A ) to E row and so on.
This is not to ignore the good advice for a work around using the minor 7th with “a (counter bass of f row ) + Cmajor chord” or the bass run suggestion.

(Also is this partly a language problem ie VI min is not Cminor6)

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by JeffJetton » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:23 pm

EricBarker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:53 am
Shakes make a whole lot more sense to play with the left hand buttons, I can use my right hand to really push and pull on the instrument to get it going!
If that's working for you, then go for it! But I will point out that, normally, a "bellows shake" is performed largely with the left hand/arm. The right hand/arm serves mostly to steady the treble side of the instrument.

Here's one demonstration I found on the YouTubes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGcaHdeJ-Ic

Then again, I (currently) stink at bellows shakes, so, what do I know?

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by jozz » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:14 pm

I have played the Pogues occasionally but never with LH. It just drowns in the mix. Always just beating RH and MM register. If you're on a keyboard I would skip the accordion patch and go for a whistle or something. Cuts better.

But heck why not chord buttons {} Kind of depends what instruments this band consists of? It will definitely look cooler if you do it like that :mrgreen:

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Re: Moving from One to Minor-Six chords in bass.

Post by dan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:17 pm

James Fearnley used to post on the medusa forum and said he rarely bothered with left hand buttons playing with pogues but if your bass side is louder and you can figure out how to mic it, go ahead!

The I vi IV jump on left hand gets easier with practice and a properly adjusted bass strap. If you keep ring finger on bass row and use middle or index finger to hit those chord offbeats you can use marked buttons to help you orient yourself. Most accordions have C Aflat and E marked so you could practice going from G major to E minor to C major to get a feel for the distance.

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