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Free bass question

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Well-known member
Jul 20, 2014
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I have played stradella for a number of years but have wanted to learn free bass which seems so much more logical. I had a used palmer convertertor which i took into the shop and I am very gullible and they convinced me the instrument is no good,that it is a discontinued model that one can not go very far with. The problem is that it had a full piano keyboard and 128 bass which i liked. They convinced me to buy, perhaps idiotically an inexpensive Bassetti which is entirely free bass. The instrument looks nice but it only has three rows of buttons and maybe a bit more than two octaves on the piano side. I am used to playing 128 bass,even though I've never used so many buttons and a full piano accorduon,so I'm realy worried that the layout of this instrument will be too small. I have never understood how band musicians play melodies with only two rows of buttons and barely more than three octaves of piano. I looked at a dealer on line and they sell converter style for one thousand dollars cheaper than just free bass alone. But isn't the concverter system more advantageous to play?
Worse than window shopping, I came home with an instrument I wasn't planning on buying and that I don't want now...very depressing.
That's what I meant by "the perils ": you expose yourself to temptation and impulse buying.
I sympathise!?
I have the original,I went to the store to have that instrument tuned and right away he gave me this song and dance about what a bad instrument
it was and how I really should buy this new one . The new one is 25 bass whereas my old one is 120 bass and I really don't know what one
can do with 25 buttons. He really had me by the throat, it's very hard to not allow these people to push you around, they can smell a sucker
a mile away.
Dingo do you play free bass? I would think a converter free bass would be ideal because you have both in one but he went on and on about
how it's no good and you should only have a single free bass. I do love the concept of free bass though.
Sorry, no, I only know what I have read about converters/free bass here on the forum. All my accordions are 41/120 straight stradella PA's ( various keyboard dimensions)?
It's good you still have your original instrument while you work out what to do next ?xx
Maybe you can still make some use of the new one as well ??
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Sorry to hear this, Alan. Maybe you can still return it for a refund?
the Palmer convertor was great because it follows the circle of fifths and
is kinda intuative for anyone used to Stradella left hand

and for many people who just want to have fun and try something different
they can still be great.. not to mention the overall nice quality of those boxes...

so OK yes we know the Quint layout lost the battle of the Freebass wars
waaaaaay back when (like Betamax vs VHS) but that dealer was
taking HIS needs and understanding as the main consideration,
not YOUR needs and desires.

sorry you got railroaded like that

and that bit about "discontinued model"
just about every model of Accordion on eBay is discontinued too
Sadly not all dealers are trustworthy people. And also, when you ask advice from a dealer they will always say that items they have in stock are better than items they need to order. This is commerce-101 common sense. Accordion dealers will often say the accordion you have is bad and not worth repairing because they want to take it from you for little money, then do the repairs (they said it did no longer deserve) and then sell it for top dollar. They will also offer a the trade-in to make you feel you get a good deal on a new or newer accordion whereas a more trustworthy dealer would sell you that newer accordion without trade-in for the same amount of money. When you think your accordion is still good and just requires some maintenance, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!

The Bassetti is actually a nice small instrument to learn melody bass on, but it is not a "keeper" in the long run. A convertor instrument with quint convertor is just as good as free bass instrument as a chromatic convertor. Sure, chromatic convertor is more popular (except maybe in north america) and especially for CBA players it makes the most sense (although Richard Galliano plays CBA with quint convertor). So when you feel on the Bassetti that you are getting the hang of it and want to continue to improve, that's the time to move up to a chromatic convertor.
Thank -you so much for all of your advise. It really helps a great deal. I wrote my teacher who is in Europe and I am not and she said the instrument does sound small but..when I looked on line I saw a reputable dealer selling a piano converter free bass at the same price as a general free bass both used. Could someone pls let me know which is the preferred instrument and why the same price? I have been learning on converter and it seems better simply because I don't ned to worry about working with two instruments.
Sorry about your experience.
How are you getting on with the 'Titano Palmer grand free bass accordion' that you pulled from your basement last August?
Thank-you Dunlustin for asking-it's been going great. My teacher plays the C system (she's in Greece) so she had to learn quint but now it is
no problem for her. She has started me off on just two notes and scales-c and A in the bass, at first the lay-out was so strange and I still don't
understand entirely how one would play a simple score with it, but it's becoming more clear to me. I've been told the sound is very nice, it's
just the free bass reeds are out of tune, which was the point of going to the dealer in the first place.I think converter is great because I don't have
to keep switching between stradella and free bass(the latter is of course much heavier and once lifted, I don't feel like putting it down a lot).
I was so resistant to free bass in the beginning of my study several years ago because everyone seems to play stradella,but now when I listen
to people on line stradella sounds strange to me-or at least the way some people are limited with with their left hand. I think free bass converter
is great and learning free bass will be fantastic to be able to read piano music. My dream is to play classical music-I know on piano you don't
have to be very advanced to play simple transcriptions. Other styles of music don't appeal to me as much.
Worse than window shopping, I came home with an instrument I wasn't planning on buying and that I don't want now...very depressing.
I don't have to imagine how discouraging your experience has been, Alans. Dingo responded to this comment you made with the challenge of "impulse buying." That is exactly what snared me in at least one accordion purchase, and also buying stuff for another sport hobby.

Not that long ago I bought an accordion that meets almost 100% of what I wanted. But it did take a lot of time to make that final decision. I created a pro and con sheet with numerous criteria listed, and don't know how many times I weighed it as it had seemingly a life of its own. :cautious:
One of the final evals I made was to ask the members here about the specific accordion shop and its owner. It turns out that there were highly positive responses to finding this owner to be trustworthy in his sales, and also provide valid follow-up services for the care of my accordion. After I got those responses, I added to my pro and con list. End of story is that I accepted the cons as the pros won out. To be honest, "grilling" myself and trying to manage my own tendency to buying on impulse worked out fine....although at moments a little tiring. I plan to purchase some new music accessories next, and am slowly and cautiously building my evaluation lists. I've already received some helpful info again from members here. (y) This should keep me occupied for a while.

Best to you as you work through getting back on track. It will happen okay.
Oh happy me-I called the store and they agreed to take back the accordion, and gave me all but forty dollars back. I'm so relieved because I hated
the thing-it had two octaves in the piano-what good is that? The store owner told me, just go back an octave when you need to play high
notes-great for an advanced musician but someone still learning? So i'm going to get my Palmer converter finally tuned.
But I have started to look online and I've found some reasonably ( relatively speaking) converter free basses but some are in b and some are
in c and i have no idea what the difference is. I guess I should just stick with the instrument I have. As I said the dealer so trashed my instrument
that he tried to make me feel ashamed to want to play anything so inferior. It's not like I'm planning on performing or anything close to that-its all
for fun.
It's very difficult to get a free bass accordion in north america-I called three stores around the country and none of them sell free bass and none
of them want them. I just don't get it because I think free bass would be so much more interesting.
You've had a close shave and been lucky!?
All instruments need an occasional service, so don't worry that it's time for a tune up: cheaper than new, and much better quality too!
Good to hear it Alan! Grass is always greener on the other side and all that!
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