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Free bass question

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Jul 20, 2014
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I just pulled from my basement a Titano Palmer grand free bass accordion. I have never played free bass and want to learn.as it seems like it will be much more useful than the stradella system. Can anyone tell me if this brand is any good and if you know of any introductory methods. The accordion is much heavier to lift than my usual stradella.
What type of Freebass is the first thing to find out .
If it's a convertor, there's a good chance your Titano could be a 'Quint.'
If so, the layout is as for Stradella but in Freebass mode notes replace chords - the scale pattern is the same as Stradella.
And if you're used to Stradella bass you have a head start.
It's probably worth checking this before going any further.
( Richard Gallieno plays a Victoria Quint Freebass to great effect)
I believe it is a convertor but I’m not sure. How can one tell?

thank-you for your information.
I'm sure there's lots of info on your side of the 'Pond' -have you tried Youtube?
A convertor has a switch on the LH which when selected changes the chords to single notes.
Whatever the detail you certainly have an excellent instrument.
(non-convertor free bass has a separate set of buttons from the Stradella set - don't think it'll be one of those.)
I know there are different TItano models, but don't know if there is a standard design for the Converter bass switch. I've recently looked over a Titano at the Accordion Gallery, and the specs provide a lot of info. Emperor Converter These might have some answers for you. The location of the switch is provided. I thought it was a good write up. ~Bob
The so called Quint Converter was first introduced and patented by "Titano" The late Emil Baldoni was working for the Ernest Deffner firm (Titano) and had a design for a lightweight converter system that could be used with a standard Stradella bass. The late Palmer & Hughes
were very interested in the design and the 3 of them traveled to Italy to perfect the system. This design was originally called the
Palmer & Hughes Convertor. When the patent's ran out other accordion makers offered it and It's now the most popular converter bass
This book might give you a start --

This system uses a standard 120 bass stradella that with a switch converts the bass keyboard with 3 Octaves of single notes.
It mimics a C system treble keyboard when looked at in a mirror.
This convertor system has a different interior reed placement and special slides that allows the use of the standard 120 bass
to convert. The system is made of aluminum and adds little weight to the accordion. C system Button box players take to it easily as
it's their treble buttons in reverse.

That Titano Grand you have switches back and forth from standard stradella & convertor (YOU HAVE BOTH) Titano offered the
converter option on all models of student, semi-pro and pro models they made.
At the time all Titano's were made by Victoria of Italy and they also shared the patent.
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The so called Quint Converter was first introduced and patented by "Titano" ... This design was originally called the
Palmer & Hughes Convertor. When the patent's ran out other accordion makers offered it and It's now the most popular converter bass
The Quint Convertor may be the most popular converter bass system in the USA and Canada, but in the rest of the world it is quite rare. In Europe Richard Galliano is the only professional I know who uses it. In Western Europe PA players almost all play a mirrored C system convertor and CBA players used to mostly play a mirror of their treble system (C or B system) but lately B system players are moving towards the Russian (non-mirrored) B system convertor. In Eastern Europe and a lot of Asia B system is most common, with the non-mirrored B system convertor.
The main advantage of the chromatic convertor is that a 120 bass accordion can accommodate 58 notes (actually a few more but that it rare) whereas the 120 bass offers room for only 36 notes in a Quint Convertor, and a huge 160 bass instrument can give you 48 notes.

When my wife and I wanted to learn melody bass (and were playing PA at the time) we had never heard of the Quint Convertor and thus started with a mirrored C system chromatic convertor. That really helped us when we eventually moved from PA to CBA.

By design a Quint Convertor is lighter (as it works with register slides) but it is quite a bit harder to tune than a chromatic convertor. As the same reed plays through a choice two different holes (on the sound board) the tuning is slightly different when air goes through one hole versus the other one. So tuning is a compromise and a matter of priorities (is Stradella more important or melody bass?)...
So I had my first lesson on free bas with my teacher today,but as said above as she lives in Europe she plays c system. We had to fiddle with the instrument so she could figure out how it works and she’s going to have to learn it on her own.i don’t know if anyone in n"America could teach this system as freebass is so rare here.
The chromatic button accordion C-System is the most logical configuration for a fixed-reed instrument. What one learns for the right hand transfers directly as a mirror-image to the left. Bach's Maria Magdalena books are an excellent starting point for any keyboard instrument. Fingerings can be derived from learning the scales on the primary 3 rows. A good basic source for understanding keyboard patterns is Elsbeth Moser's "Das Knopfakkordeon C-Griff". It is currently available only in German, but the keyboard diagrams are invaluable and don't need translation.
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