3 columns of individual notes
Is there a specific name for the left hand layout that provides 3 rather than 2 columns of individual notes? And does anyone have links to sources discussing this latout?
Do you mean "French system".. I prefer this... So basically same as Stradella but instead of 2 rows single notes you have three (the third row being a flat third above) and the 7th chord row is stacked differently so the say F7 doubles as a Cdim etc..
This is my interpretation of the basic 3x3 bass layout.. Though im sure someone more literate could explain finer..
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...
yes here:

I have the following on my Bugari

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Seems to be generally referred to as "3+3" bass. I have it on my Crosio and like it.
Good article linked by Jozz.
As it says in the article "Some variants of this system displace the extra counterbass row by one position" so following across the C row basses you don't get C E Eb, you get C E Ab. If you want the Eb you have to go to the next row. The consequence of this schange is that you have a major third as you go along the row, rather than dropping a semitone. Your normal bass and counterbass patterns will work between the two counterbass rows same as they do between bass and counterbass, (transposed of course.)
Interesting article Joss, though noticed on your Bugari (and just doublechecked my Piermaria too) the 5th is missing from the 7th chords is missing making the 7+ and the b5 chords possible.. So appears we have the better option of 3x3, though im glad to say my inner row is displaced so the b3 is one row across...
Though i am finding it hard to find the Am7b5 mentioned in the article
Thanks for posting... Im very happy with 3x3 system and would love a smaller box in same configuration should one appear...
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...
Can any 2+4 Stradella be easily modified to one of the 3+3 variants, or is that major surgery?
Frankly, I think my next purchase will be a Roland FRx-4b so I can experiment at will.
Thank you Jazz for the link to this most interesting article about the French bass system. 

I played the French 3+3 bass system a couple of months in 1989, before I bought my Italian Bugari converter 120 Stradella and free bass. 

The French minor thirds row of basses can be used for fast bass improvisation on stradella bass, but I could play everything as quick on the Italian stradella bass layout with 4/3 bass fingering technique. This way the little finger can reach to the minor third bass button. 

4th finger on the root bass button, and you don't really need the French version of the Stradella layout. 

Nor the Belgian bass layout. 

Still, French and Belgian bass layouts have proven to be very practical layouts.

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