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Free Bass Anyone?

J

Johnathan

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I was just wondering if there are any free bass players or aspiring players out there.

Any info on tutorial sources for learning free bass would be useful.

Also any playing tips or useful exercises.
 

Matt Butcher

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I do, after a fashion. I learned / learn from Ingrid who is also a member here, but please don't hold her responsible for the standard of my playing! That is purely down to me and my levels of practice; in fact I hardly ever manage to set up a lesson and turn up. She may know of some tutor books. For me the scales, arpeggios, broken chords have made a big difference (standard advice I know). One other thing I would recommend is practicing scales or whatever in different octaves as it can feel quite a bit different to play at different parts of the keyboard.
 

dunlustin

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I have a little Weltmeister with a couple of octaves of FreeBass..
I am finding it quite hard to get used to it being back to front
ie My little finger expects to find higher notes to its right and in fact it's the opposite.
Apart from the obvious - just practice more, - any ideas on speeding up getting used to this mirror image business?
 

donn

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If I understand the problem, I've read that it's common with free bass systems, with the exception of the Russian version. It's touted as an advantage, inasmuch this way lower to higher is the same direction (down) on both sides, but obviously that's no help if your mental model is left/right rather than up/down.

The other knock against the Russian system was that the lowest notes would fall under your weaker little finger, but that sounds like someone's imagination working overtime. It isn't like playing the string bass, the button action should be the same across the whole set I would have thought.
 

Matt Butcher

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The mirror image thing works for me - broken chords hands together? (boring as that is)
 
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simonking

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I mentioned before on the old forum that I'm really keen on starting free bass sometime. Is, for example, C system FB easier if you already play C system chormatic in your right hand? I play piano accordion so it basically a choice between C system FB (though I know you can get piano converters with Russian free bass too...) or the quint system FB, which looks easy to learn though more restricted in range.
 

Glenn

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This is so frustrating.
I want to try FB too but know I am never going to have the time to practice FB, CBA and PA all at the same time.
Anyone know how you can live parallel lives?
 
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simonking

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Give up one of them!? Either PA or CBA. Though if you can manage well on both of those already then picking up FB shouldn't be too much effort.

THe frustratng bit is finding the right instrument with the right system at a not-too-bonkers price.
 

Matt Butcher

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I've remembered some of the teaching materials:

Lars Holm wrote good beginners and improvers books for C system free bass. Claudio Jacomucci wrote a book of technical exercises which is published by Berben. The Trinity Guildhall certificate syllabus is available online and has music suggestions. If you can find the Trinity Guildhall graded exam lists (there was a PDF but the exam is no longer available) there are a lot more graded suggestions for music in there. A lot of what I learned came from the Trinity Guildhall lists.

Also Petri Makkonnen has published some good volumes of not too hard free bass music, and he is a genius.

I'm sure there's a lot more out there...
 

dunlustin

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Many thanks for the pointers.
I googled around with Lars Holm and found a book at Bradley's Music.
The reason I'm struggling with the mirror image thing is down to a small amount of piano learning.
My little finger wants to play the lowest note in an arpeggio and so forth.
Even a melodeon um-pah habit means I want to find the um on the little finger.
Hopefully some music will "cure" me
 

dunlustin

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I should have thanked Johnathan for asking the original question.
I wonder if there are any more of us out there?
 

jarvo

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Is Freebass what it says on the tin?

You actually form chords from individual buttons ? So you would press c,e and g buttons to form a chord for Cmaj..........hmmmmmm

Where can I find a diagram of the layout.........I get a bit hacked off with some of the jumps you have to make when following chords....and sometimes substitute an alternative (whether it's right or wrong is another question,the technique I mean,not the substitution).......such as a jump from C Cmaj to E Emin and then back to F Fmaj..........I get so ratty if I get it wrong I thought hang on when you get stressed try C Cmaj then Counterbass E to G and alternate between EGE and EGG.....or even EGBto fill in the Emin chord slot.....is this doing a little freebassing...no,no,no,that sounds wrong .....no white powder here thanks.....what are the disadvantages of a free bass system.....when I play the keyboard I never use whole chords I tend to walk a bass line,blues rock and roll,boogie and similar....even classical, God help me, I am such a phillistine.......
 

BobM

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jarvo said:
Is Freebass what it says on the tin?

......such as a jump from C Cmaj to E Emin and then back to F Fmaj..........

This is an easy jump if you’re prepared to accept a min7 rather than a straight min, play G/E. Simples..
 

jarvo

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jarvo said:
Is Freebass what it says on the tin?

......such as a jump from C Cmaj to E Emin and then back to F Fmaj..........

This is an easy jump if you’re prepared to accept a min7 rather than a straight min, play G/E. Simples..[/quote]


Ja,,,that is what I am doing.....but playing them arpeggio and not sounding together.....which of course now I think about it .......I could........and will
 

Matt Butcher

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Jarvo, in reply to your comments, As BobM and others have quite rightly said before, free bass is a lovely system but you lose as well as gain, all those chords and harmonies that suddenly become tricky when before they were a matter of one or two buttons... A leap from a low bass note to a high pitched left hand chord is dead easy on stradella if you have the right couplers, not so easy on free bass. And never underestimate the moving around you can do on the first two rows of the stradella (first three rows if you have a special set up like Glenn), if you've ever heard the basslines Jimmy Smith came up with on just the pedals of a Hammond organ, the stradella gives you a lot more options than that... I think the real reasons to try free bass are that you want to try music with melodic, interlocking left hand parts, if you get inspired by a player (did you see the Ksenija Sidorova links) or best of all if you just like the sound... Which I do. Hoping to post some more recordings... But BobM has some great ideas on getting the most from the stradella.
 

jarvo

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Yes ....I think Stradella is great for it's chord and single bass management...and I suppose you have ,as you say the two "mini freebass rows" I will dub them....I think that Bob has come up with an explanation of what I am doing but he can put it a lot more technically that wot I can :D

I will stick to Stradella and walk the bass on my Jo-anna :ugeek:
 

BobM

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I think that limitations can often be a basis of a style, and trying to find workarounds on the Stradella has opened my eyes to some great chord substitutions.
I’ve banged on about it at “the other place”, but printing out a Stradella chart and cropping it to your accordion button amount, and then spending few minutes a day searching for patterns is a great way to get your head around it.

Stradella Rules. O K K, O K K, etc :)
 

Glenn

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As I have said before, I'd love a free bass system but I do believe it would end up that I played different kinds if music with it.
After I watched the Keenija Siderova link I initially found her comment about "um pa pa" before she coupled her 15kg instrument to free bass as a bit insulting. Later I realised that it is a choice how you decide to accompany your song or theme. Free bass will have its own limitations as does the um pa pa Stradella.
 

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