• We're having a little contest throughout February. Please feel free to enter - see the thread in the "I Did That" section of the forum. Don't be shy, have a go!

Playing ascending scale on stradella bass

Alex S.

Newbie
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto, CA
The accordion piece i am trying to learn has an ascending scale on the bass side: C-D-E-F
Trouble is that on my instrument the interval E-F is where the sound drops down an octave. So instead of an ascending scale it comes out as a weird jump which does not sound right. Playing that scale on the treble side is not doable.
What's the way to get around that?
The sheet music i have is actually meant for accordion, so i am assuming there is some sort of trick i am missing....

Thanks for helping a newbie out!
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
2,952
Reaction score
41
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
There isn't. :)
If that was the way the accordion was designed, short of doing some serious modifications and retuning, this is the way it will stay.
 

dunlustin

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
1,022
Reaction score
51
Location
S W England
Different accordions may have a different lowest note.
This means you must buy another accordion which we all agree is a good thing.
If this might cause an outbreak of hostilities one solution would be to play in a key that avoids the 'break.'
I hope I'm not stating the obvious.
 

Zevy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
492
Reaction score
30
Try to use a bass register that has the "odd" configuration, where the octave begins and ends in a different scale. Including that set of reeds will "fool" the ears and you won't notice the drop.
Good luck!
 

Glug

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
472
Reaction score
59
Location
London UK
As an example, my 1950s Orfeo has the following bass blocks:

Bass: C2-B2
Tenor: C3-B3

Contralto: F3-E4
Alto: F4-E5
Soprano: F5-E6

So in this case if you pick a bass register with at least 1 of bass/tenor and at least 1 of contralto/alto/soprano it's going to disguise the change.
 

debra

Been here for ages!
Technical Adviser
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,391
Reaction score
222
Location
Eindhoven, the Nnetherlannds
Most accordions with just "standard" bass (Stradella) have at least one voice with a different octave jump point. The point of that is to "hide" the octave jump when using the "tutti" register. It is a feeble attempt at achieving "Shepard tone", but in an accordion that can never be fully achieved as it requires a gradual shift in volume in the different notes to fully hide the jump. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_tone for details.
 

Sebastian Bravo

Active member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
217
Reaction score
12
Location
Santiago, Chile
Open the accordion, remove the big bass block, and put masking tape in the holes of the F-E bass reeds. Close the accordion and test the sound.
 

Dingo40

Prolific poster
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
241
Location
South Australia
AlexS,
"Trouble is that on my instrument the interval E-F is where the sound drops down an octave. So instead of an ascending scale it comes out as a weird jump which does not sound right. Playing that scale on the treble side is not doable."

I was surprised to read this as I couldn't remember ever experiencing it.🤔
I rechecked all my accordions and, to me, repeatedly playing a scale in the left hand, it just gives the illusion of continuing to ascend /descend indefinitely.🙂
 
Last edited:

Eric Stern

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
18
Location
Portland Oregon USA
AlexS,
"Trouble is that on my instrument the interval E-F is where the sound drops down an octave. So instead of an ascending scale it comes out as a weird jump which does not sound right. Playing that scale on the treble side is not doable."

I was surprised to read this as I couldn't remember ever experiencing it.🤔
I rechecked all my accordions and, to me, repeatedly playing a scale in the left hand, it just gives the illusion of continuing to ascend /descend indefinitely.🙂
This is my experience as well. Perhaps my ear has gotten used to the sound, but the octave drop doesn't bother me if I even notice it.
 

Ventura

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
306
Reaction score
111
Location
mid-atlantic, USA
short of bying a used FR7 (the low note position is programmable on the Bass)
you might also consider a used MIDI accordion, or adding MIDI Bass capability
to yours, as then you can use Software to control the pitch and postion of notes

for a short time there was a MIDI Accordion that allowed the octaves to follow
and shift automatically when one played an ascending OR decending bass pattern

the gentleman Jazz player you saw in the Charles Nunzio interview has one
 

TomBR

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
968
Reaction score
31
Location
SE. Gloucestershire UK
You haven't commented yet on the various suggestions made, Alex S, any thoughts?
If the octave jump is very obvious I wonder if you only have one set of bass reeds speaking?
 

Similar threads

Top