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Fingering used on bass notes

Songcrow

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Hi all I have been trying to perfect the alternation bass technique with limited success and as i have stumpy fingers I use finger 3 on the fundamental bass note and finger 2 on the major chord. My question is would I be better off practicing by using fingers 4 & 3 on the above notes .Any advice comments or thoughts welcome .
regards S. Campbell.
 

Tom

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I do 4,3 on fundamental major chord (C), probably because I find it easier to follow up with 4,2 on G7. For alternating bass I would use use 4,2 on C, 4,3 on G7.
I don't know what is correct, or easier. Seems like conventional wisdom is to use whatever is most comfortable to you. Best of luck!
 

Scuromondo

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I learned using the 3-2 system, and I generally have no problem using 3-2 for bass/chord or counterbass/chord. It just requires practice. That said, I have noticed that, for faster-paced sections I sometimes find it more comfortable to use 4-3 for bass/chord and 3/2 counterbass/chord.

Thereโ€™s really nothing wrong with either method, but I must say that I wish I would have originally learned using the 4-3 system, as I now realize that it can have certain advantages.
 

Dingo40

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Song crow,
This is a bit like which end of your boiled egg do you open, the sharp or the blunt?
It seems the American (US) instruction books favour 3,2 while the Europeans favour 4,3.
Both work ( more or less) ๐Ÿ˜„
Eventually, you'll find yourself using all fingers (except the thumb), like the South Americans!๐Ÿ™‚
 

Songcrow

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Thanks to all who replied to my question , I feel more reassured now and will continue with the 3. 2 method. It was the alternation bass that I was struggling with but I feel if I keep at it, i will eventually get there, again thanks to all who took time to reply.

S. Campbell.
 

JeffJetton

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There are plenty of amazing players who use 3-2, so you're not making a mistake by choosing that fingering.

But I feel like the modern trend nowadays is 4-3, which is also what I teach my students and use myself. For one, I personally feel that it makes playing an alternate bass pattern easier, since you've got one finger assigned to each of the three buttons (bass, chord, alt-bass). After all, if you had to play something like a C major arpeggio back and forth in the right hand (C-E-G-E-C-E-G-E...) you probably wouldn't use a fingering of 2-1-2-1-2-1-2, etc., even though that would get the job done. No, you'd take advantage of the fact that you have more than two fingers! :) So why not do the same in the left hand?

Second, I've always suspected (but can't prove) that the fingering was used in the old days because most beginners were young children without any prior experience playing an instrument. It makes a certain amount of sense in that case, I suppose, to avoid the "weaker" fingers. But for an adult these days who, at the very least, has been typing on a computer keyboard for decades, there's little reason not to use the full complement of fingers (and yes, that includes the 5th finger when playing scales... but that's a post for another time).

Now you will have to eventually switch it up to 4-2 when playing minor and dom7 chord patterns, which some have cited as a point in favor of 3-2. This is really not that big of a deal at all though--something my students get used to fairly quickly and then don't even think about afterward.

In the end, as @Dingo40 said, you're eventually going to want to be able to use any finger anywhere it's needed.
 

wirralaccordion

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since you've got one finger assigned to each of the three buttons (bass, chord, alt-bass).
I'm not sure, and I wasn't sure in the OP either, what the alt-bass note is.
e.g. If bass = C ( root ) and chord = CM, would alt-bass note = G ( root )?
 

Tom

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I'm not sure, and I wasn't sure in the OP either, what the alt-bass note is.
e.g. If bass = C ( root ) and chord = CM, would alt-bass note = G ( root )?
In my way of speaking, alternate bass is the bass on the second row above the "fundamental" bass, so for fundamental bass C, the alternate bass would be G on the second row. The "counter" bass would be the bass on the first row of the same chord, so for fundamental bass C, the counter bass would be E.
 

JeffJetton

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In my way of speaking, alternate bass is the bass on the second row above the "fundamental" bass, so for fundamental bass C, the alternate bass would be G on the second row. The "counter" bass would be the bass on the first row of the same chord, so for fundamental bass C, the counter bass would be E.

Yup. The "alternate" bass is common accordion-speak for the fifth of the chord, which is found "upstairs" from the root (fundamental).

And as an aside, I'll point out that the notes of the root, plus the counter bass, plus the alternate bass, are the three notes of the major chord of the original row. I call this the "little triangle". :)
 

wirralaccordion

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the above.

The following is from P + H Book 3 and is typical of a problem I have which may be due to using 3-2 fingering. In bars 5-8 I find it much easier to swap the bass notes G and C around.
 

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wirralaccordion

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What do others find? Does it matter if you play what is easier as long as the alternating bass used gives a bit extra to the music?
 

Zevy

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the above.

The following is from P + H Book 3 and is typical of a problem I have which may be due to using 3-2 fingering. In bars 5-8 I find it much easier to swap the bass notes G and C around.

It is typical to play the Dominant of the Dominant 7th before the root. In this case, we play the G bass in measure 5 before playing the C bass in measure 6, and so on. You should have no problem with the fingering.
 

lmschgo

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Yup. The "alternate" bass is common accordion-speak for the fifth of the chord, which is found "upstairs" from the root (fundamental).

And as an aside, I'll point out that the notes of the root, plus the counter bass, plus the alternate bass, are the three notes of the major chord of the original row. I call this the "little triangle". :)
These two documents help visualize some creative bass notes + chord combinations. For the accordionist (and geometrician) the possibilities of the 'little triangle' can be greatly expanded. (The Stradella document is a bit easier to remember)
 

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JerryPH

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Just an opinion... I've always been told that the ONLY method that works best is to use whatever finger places you ready to hit the next required button with the most efficiency/least time.
 

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