Using the left hand thumb

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xocd
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Using the left hand thumb

Post by xocd » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:48 pm

On the first video below Oivind Farmen uses his thumb on the left hand on an accordion specially designed for that purpose:

Oivind Farmen/stepped left keyboard

On the second video, below, Uwe Steger is apparently using his thumb on a Roland accordion with standard left hand keyboard.

Uwe Steger/Roland accordion

I have tried this on a typical left hand keyboard (C-system free-bass) and it seems doable and useful (C-major arpeggios were pretty fluid), though I have not practiced much. Have you tried this?

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by debra » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:15 pm

I have used the thumb, both in free bass and with chords, but only on the outer row. Without the stepped keyboard using the thumb on other rows is just too difficult.
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by Nuuksu » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:32 pm

Not completely in topic but I discovered this



How good it may be to use thumb on such kind of keyboard?

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by JerryPH » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:05 pm

I've discussed this in the past, and it is very interesting, but how often does one need the thumb? That depends on the instrument one has and the music played. For me, I have never had the need for this, and survived quite nicely, however, if I was 7 years old again and starting over, the system that Oivind Farmen uses is 100% the system I would be using, both left AND right hands.

For now and very likely until I can no longer play an accordion, I will make due with my Hohner Morino VI N with the C-system 185 bass layout and maybe somethings will be played with the layout of the Roland FR-8X.
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by Nuuksu » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:06 pm

Thumb is not strict requirement but considering tehcnical possibilities that accordion has it is a little shame that using thumb in left hand is brought up only quite recently. It is interesting that there has been attempts in past but they have failed. Farmen system or actually his teacher invention (he mentions it in his video) is really unique, it is quite easy to produce(probably) and don't need relearning.

I agree with Jerry that it depends on music genre, but in the other hand it is not very wise to connect accordion only with small group of music genres, at least I thing these times are over. If I get rich someday I order free-bass instrument with Farmen system too :) ...but with bayan free-bass layout. Doing five part chords in both hand would be rather interesting.

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by JerryPH » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:20 pm

Nuuksu wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:06 pm
...but in the other hand it is not very wise to connect accordion only with small group of music genres, at least I thing these times are over.
Maybe I did not properly write down my thought, but I did not say anything about connecting or disconnecting the accordion with small groups of musical genres, I did say that some kinds of music lends itself more readily to using the thumb, such as most classical music that was designed originally to be played on a Piano, with 5 fingers on the left hand in use, for example.

A small note, because the Bayan system reverses the order of the notes so that the deepest notes are at the bottom (opposite from all other systems where the deepest notes are on the top), the fingering would actually be closer to what the original music fingering was originally written in *if* it was written for piano. Still, for me personally because I have played the MIII system for so long, it just seems more logical and natural to play a keyboard where the deepest notes are at the top and flow to the higher notes as both my hands descend. I am sure it would be different if I started with a Bayan system as a child... lol
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by george garside » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:28 pm

on my main box there is absolutely no question of using the thumb on the bass as it is on full time air bar duty!
george :D

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by losthobos » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:35 pm

On a 3 x 3 system the thumb is a great device for hitting the sharp root (ie C#dim in key of C) diminished
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by EMan » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:32 am

I've never seen an accordion with the bass on the side like the one in the video, but I'm just one person. Every time I come on this forum, I learn something new. I just left (as in 1/2 hr ago) the Cotati Accordion Festival grounds and saw more accordions and types of accordions today than I have seen in years, and still didn't see an accordion with the bass on the side. Are there any new ones like that being manufactured ?

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by debra » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:04 am

losthobos wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:35 pm
On a 3 x 3 system the thumb is a great device for hitting the sharp root (ie C#dim in key of C) diminished
You completely lost me here. What makes it easier to play C#dim in the key of C? C#dim on a 3+3 system has 3 of its notes as C7 but the base note C# is still quite far away (major third of A or minor third of Bes)...
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by losthobos » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:17 am

Sorry Paul....wasn't paying attention...should have said for C dim I use the thumb on D7 and keep the C root
I find it counterintuitive to use the F7...but that's just my style..
For the C#dim I may use the thumb on the A7 or may just play the counter bass of A (C#) as I find these directions let me drift naturally into the Dmin which is often the next chord
Sorry for any confusion
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by losthobos » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:26 am

Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by debra » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:43 am

losthobos wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:17 am
Sorry Paul....wasn't paying attention...should have said for C dim I use the thumb on D7 and keep the C root
I find it counterintuitive to use the F7...but that's just my style..
For the C#dim I may use the thumb on the A7 or may just play the counter bass of A (C#) as I find these directions let me drift naturally into the Dmin which is often the next chord
Sorry for any confusion
I see. For Cdim I would just use F7 (with index finger) and to make it full F7 + D7 (with little finger on F7 and index finger on A7). On a 2+4 accordion I would use Cdim + Esdim. No thumb in either case.
I never use the thumb for a chord that is "way up" (like the video shows) but I sometimes do a "thumb under" to catch a combined chord with a button on the outer row: A C9- for instance is C major + Bes dim on a 2+4 accordion. (the notes in C9- are C E G Bes Des) I would play the Bes dim in this chord with the thumb.
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by losthobos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:59 am

Thanks Paul...just tried your index finger/pinkie approach to getting a fuller chord...and works lovely for 2nd chord in Deep Purple...also tried with index finger playing dim on row below and could was become habit...thanks fir advice...sometimes old habits aren't the best...I'm self taught..
Question for you...any suggestions for left hand Ebdim in thus sequence from Pennies from Heaven....i usually just play a single bass note as passing anyway
C, Dm, Em Ebdim, Dm7 G7,
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by debra » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:05 am

losthobos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:59 am
Thanks Paul...just tried your index finger/pinkie approach to getting a fuller chord...and works lovely for 2nd chord in Deep Purple...also tried with index finger playing dim on row below and could was become habit...thanks fir advice...sometimes old habits aren't the best...I'm self taught..
Question for you...any suggestions for left hand Ebdim in thus sequence from Pennies from Heaven....i usually just play a single bass note as passing anyway
C, Dm, Em Ebdim, Dm7 G7,
For that Ebdim you could use the Es that is minor third of C and then combine F7 with D7. All in the vicinity of where you are already playing. (Dm7 is then Dm + Fmajor where that F major chord is with the pinkie, as in 3 on D, 2 on Dm and 5 on F major.)
If you want to really practice combinations of chords with the left hand, try http://www.de-bra.nl/arrangements/turks-fruit.pdf (music from the Dutch movie Turks Fruit or Turkish Delight). At the end of the score it says how to form all the chords but these instructions are for a 2+4.
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by PolishMoonPolkaTrio » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:15 pm

Personally, I'd play the Eb diminished using the Eb counterbass (3rd finger) with the A diminished chord (2nd finger). That's easy to reach. We're talking stradella bass, correct? debra, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Playing an F7 gives you an F note which isn't in an Eb dim and might not be bad, but playing a D7 gives you a dissonant D note against the Eb bass.

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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by debra » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:16 pm

PolishMoonPolkaTrio wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:15 pm
Personally, I'd play the Eb diminished using the Eb counterbass (3rd finger) with the A diminished chord (2nd finger). That's easy to reach. We're talking stradella bass, correct? debra, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Playing an F7 gives you an F note which isn't in an Eb dim and might not be bad, but playing a D7 gives you a dissonant D note against the Eb bass.
We were talking about a 3+3 instrument. The F7 then gives A C Es and not F A Es like on a 2+4 Stradella bass. The 3+3 is interesting, with different note combinations in the chords.
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Re: Using the left hand thumb

Post by PolishMoonPolkaTrio » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:55 pm

Aha! Not stradella. Even as I was typing my response I thought "I must be missing something here". I should have read through all the posts.

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