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Hello from Ontario Canada

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I am Philippe from Canada. I am in my third month of teaching myself to play the accordion which is a completely new instrument to me. The range of expression is what attracted me to this instrument. I am teaching myself to play on a free bass instrument: the Giulietti Bassetti M3. I am following Mogens Ellegaard's method, which I like. Altogether my first impression is that the accordion is the most difficult instrument that I have learned to play. I have played the classical guitar, the renaissance theobo guitar, the piano and the chromatic harp. As a former musical instrument builder (String instruments) I look at this instrument from an engineering/ designing angle and I see that the left hand bass button board stability and control may be the most challenging aspect with this instrument . I am aware however that this down side did not stop accordionists from reaching the most spectacular performance levels in classical music interpretation. I am looking forward to sharing my experience on this forum with others , in particular if they happen to practice the fee bass accordion.
 

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Tom

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Welcome Philippe!
 

Dingo40

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Welcome Pillippe!🙂
I see you have set yourself quite a challenge by going directly to free-reed!🙂
Good luck and all the best!😐
 
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Buttons

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Welcome. Always good to see the world united in something..................... well nearly.................and at least Accordions.
Best wishes, and good learning and playing.
M
 

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Hi. Also starting on free bass, same accordion by appearances but mine says F3 not m3. I am interested to hear about your progress. I am using the Borgstrom method, from Ontario
 

JerryPH

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Hey Phillipe! What part of Ontario are you located in, if I may ask? I'm from Montreal, but I have my accordion being "touched up" in Burlington and am also struggling along with a little bit of Free Bass here and there. I'll advance a little faster once I get my Morino back. :)

Welcome!
 

JerryPH

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Hi. Also starting on free bass, same accordion by appearances but mine says F3 not m3. I am interested to hear about your progress. I am using the Borgstrom method, from Ontario
More precisely from St. Catherines, Ontario, that's where the gent himself is from! :)
 
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Hi. Also starting on free bass, same accordion by appearances but mine says F3 not m3. I am interested to hear about your progress. I am using the Borgstrom method, from Ontario
Hi. Thanks for you post. what is the Borgstrom method? Where did you find this? Thanks
 
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Hey Phillipe! What part of Ontario are you located in, if I may ask? I'm from Montreal, but I have my accordion being "touched up" in Burlington and am also struggling along with a little bit of Free Bass here and there. I'll advance a little faster once I get my Morino back. :)

Welcome!
Hi. I am in Napanee. I would like to hear from your experience on the free bass!!!
 

craigd

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Hi. Thanks for you post. what is the Borgstrom method? Where did you find this? Thanks
Boris Borgstrom wrote a series of free bass methods and sheet mut in the 60s or 70s. He has a Facebook page you can order from. He is very prompt and helpful. His methods are written specifically for piano accordion with bassetti.
 

JerryPH

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Hi. I am in Napanee. I would like to hear from your experience on the free bass!!!
I used to have a "car buddy" from there, nice place!

What would you want to know?

I started Free Bass in my early teens starting on a Hohner Morino VI N. My current teacher in Montreal was not really good with it, but he was an amazing accordion teacher for the basics and good enough to get me first place in several competitions.

After that I did the Montreal to Toronto trip every Saturday for years taking lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Glenn Sawich (a protégé of Joe Macerollo). At the age of 16 I literally burned out completely, including needing to take a nice long stint in a hospital and basically dropped playing for 30-35 years. In 2013 I picked up the accordion again, 2 months before the passing of my father. I've kind of stuck with it since, but at nowhere near the same level of dedication or time. I wanted to get back to Free Bass last year, but just could not make it happen.

A month ago I put my Hohner Morino VI N in the hands of Keith Anderson in Burlington and he's touching it up for me... should be ready in a few more weeks.

1630173068313.png

In the meantime I am futzing on my little Hohner FB36 here and there, trying to gain back a little muscle memory and just have fun.

1630173212020.png

I have family in St. Catharines, Ontario and when I found out that this was where Boris Borgstrom lived, I looked him up, made arrangements to pick up some books from him and had the opportunity to shake his hand while visiting him in his home. A very nice man!!

That's about it for now!
 
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I used to have a "car buddy" from there, nice place!

What would you want to know?

I started Free Bass in my early teens starting on a Hohner Morino VI N. My current teacher in Montreal was not really good with it, but he was an amazing accordion teacher for the basics and good enough to get me first place in several competitions.

After that I did the Montreal to Toronto trip every Saturday for years taking lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Glenn Sawich (a protégé of Joe Macerollo). At the age of 16 I literally burned out completely, including needing to take a nice long stint in a hospital and basically dropped playing for 30-35 years. In 2013 I picked up the accordion again, 2 months before the passing of my father. I've kind of stuck with it since, but at nowhere near the same level of dedication or time. I wanted to get back to Free Bass last year, but just could not make it happen.

A month ago I put my Hohner Morino VI N in the hands of Keith Anderson in Burlington and he's touching it up for me... should be ready in a few more weeks.

1630173068313.png

In the meantime I am futzing on my little Hohner FB36 here and there, trying to gain back a little muscle memory and just have fun.

1630173212020.png

I have family in St. Catharines, Ontario and when I found out that this was where Boris Borgstrom lived, I looked him up, made arrangements to pick up some books from him and had the opportunity to shake his hand while visiting him in his home. A very nice man!!

That's about it for now!
Thanks Jerry,
You were lucky to have a chance to meet Boris Borgstrom. I understand he is of Danish origin and my understanding is also that the Danes have been "serious" about free bass accordions for a long time, influencing the design of the bass button arrangement, for instance in a way to make using the thumb easier.
Take care.

Philippe
 

JerryPH

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Thanks Jerry,
You were lucky to have a chance to meet Boris Borgstrom. I understand he is of Danish origin and my understanding is also that the Danes have been "serious" about free bass accordions for a long time, influencing the design of the bass button arrangement, for instance in a way to make using the thumb easier.
Besides Boris and Mogens Ellegaard, I don't know any other Danes that made any contributions to Free Bass. As to making a FB unit easier to play with the thumb, the ONLY person that I know (could be others, I just never heard of anyone else!), that really did something about making the Free Bass easier to play using the thumb was a Norweigan, and that was the instructor of Oivind Farmen, (his name was Anders Grøthe).

Anders created the stepped Free Bass system, you can see it here. :)


I said it once before... if I was starting out as a young man again, this is the system I would be playing today, including the button right hand. :)
 
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Besides Boris and Mogens Ellegaard, I don't know any other Danes that made any contributions to Free Bass. As to making a FB unit easier to play with the thumb, the ONLY person that I know (could be others, I just never heard of anyone else!), that really did something about making the Free Bass easier to play using the thumb was a Norweigan, and that was the instructor of Oivind Farmen, (his name was Anders Grøthe).

Anders created the stepped Free Bass system, you can see it here. :)


I said it once before... if I was starting out as a young man again, this is the system I would be playing today, including the button right hand. :)
I stand corrected. I got Norwegians and Danes mixted up. I don't know whether there is a formal "school" about using the thumb in FB. However here and there I have noticed professional performers ( converters with FB buttons on the edge of the box) use their left hand thumb on the first row. In my own practice I wish I could use my thumb in the same situation but the angle of my wrist to the button board is wrong. Oivind Farmen above if I understood explains indeed that his instrument was built with a more slanted button board. If I could afford one this is what I would like to play.
 

JerryPH

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Well, all that said, you have people that don't use the thumb doing some very amazing things on Free Bass accordions, so I'd not let it discourage you too much. In terms of thumb use, the layout on my accordion has to be the very worst (MIII, where the 3 extra roes of bass sit on top of a Stradella system... 0% chance of using the thumb there unless you are double joined in the wrist and thumb bone and have an extra joint in the forearm... lol).

 
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