• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Right and left hands coordination on a Giulietti M3 free bass instrument

Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Location
canada, Ontario
Hi,
I am learning to play (mostly classical music) on the free bass accordion mentioned above. I am relying on Mogens Ellegaard's method which I find a useful introduction to FB fingering on a C Griff three row fingerboard. Mogens focuses on left hand fingering, which leaves me wandering when it comes to right and left hand coordination. What is the best way to practice? I find hand coordination challenging and I would welcome tips from the old timers. Thanks.
Philippe
 

Dingo40

Been here for ages!
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,181
Reaction score
754
Location
South Australia
PC,
My only experience is with PAs.
Many people suggest learning left and right hands separately, then combining.
Personally, I can't see that working with FB.🤫
Even using Stradella bass, I find using both hands together, very slowly at first, generally works best for me.🙂
 

Vladimir M.

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
8
Location
Slovak Republic
Hi Philippe,
I´ve been playing the MIII-PA since I was fourteen. I have the same learning attitude as Dingo40: I gradually practice both hands together. However, each player will gradually find the system that suits him best...
 

Valski

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
199
Reaction score
146
Location
Oakville Ontario Canada
Hi Philippe,
I´ve been playing the MIII-PA since I was fourteen. I have the same learning attitude as Dingo40: I gradually practice both hands together. However, each player will gradually find the system that suits him best...
Yes that seems to work best, practice both parts slowly. You can work on the right or left hand as required if you need to focus on something that isn't working as it should.
 

dunlustin

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
1,155
Reaction score
131
Location
S W England
I'm not a FB 'old-timer' but:
I see you play PA - how about a CBA tutor and use the RH study for the LH
1706.jpgis a classic but more modern are around

As to your question, some like both hands together in short phrases while others learn separately and put together.
Nothing stopping mix and match.
Although not classical, learning FB keyboard I found it useful to check the chord shapes for major, minor and 7chords and use this + std acc bass sheets to work thro' the chords. Maybe just bits of chords too: ceg to dg to fc or ace to afd to (b)eg and so on.



 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Location
canada, Ontario
Thanks for your advices. My limited experience (4 months) is that learning both hands (integrated) in the first place is ultimately less frustrating than learning each hand separately . But being a newbie I feel the need to ask. I understand from your responses that there are several ways to skin a cat.
Philippe
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
217
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
You may not like my answer, but there really is only one way! :)
Don't run before you can walk. That means learn each hand separately before you place the hands together. Why? 1. You learn faster. 2. you don't fight fingering mistakes which you will develop a TON of bad habits if you do 2 before 1 hand at a time.

You have about a 14 week head start on me, but let me say that there are only 2 "secrets" to the entire process...

Let's use a simple scale as a good starting point, start with the basic C-major scale.
1. practice separately, start SLOW and build to a good speed.
2. start SLOWER, 2 hands togehter, and again build to a good speed..

In expanded format here is I am doing it:
1. practice each hand separately until you can do each side to about 100 BPM (beats per minute), speeds on a metronome for 5 minutes on each hand non-stop without errors (google for online metronomes, which are fine ). Start with 1 octave up and down. START SLOW, Perhaps 30 beats per minute with eighth notes (2 notes per beat). For the Conservatory exam, the minimum speed is 80bpm for grade 1 exams. By the time you can do 100bpm with each hand separately, you are ready for an easy transition to step #2.

2. go back to even SLOWER, like 20 BPM. Do left and right hands together for *1* note, (ie only C),... repeat each note 5 times, the do 2 notes (C, D), repeat 5 times. then 3 notes (C, D, E), then 4... and so on... concentrate on proper fingering on both sides at ALL times. STOP if you make an error and start over. Once you can do the complete octave 2 times with both hands with no errors at 20 BPM, add 5 beats to the metronome, and then 5 more... and then 5 more. STOP increasing speeds if you make mistakes, slow down 5 beats and practice until you can do 2 runs without error. Continue to about 50 BPM. Once you can do several repeats of one octave without errors at 50BPM, slow down to 30BPM, and do 2 octave runs. Same process, if you can repeat 2 runs of 2 octaves smoothly and without error, add 5 BPM to the metronome.

After 5 days of this (30-45 min a day), you develop not only hand coordination, but you will find that the process starts over slowly once you start a scale from a different row as the left hand pattern changes (there are only 3 basic variations of all major/minor/etc... scales... 1st row, 2nd row, 3rd row!).

Concentrate while practicing, and you get a nice surprise... the 2nd scale (let's say a G-major scale), it takes you a mere 4 days to get to the same level it took you to get to the C-scale's 5 days. Why? You've developed coordination!

The basics are the things that take the longest... this process takes WAY longer if you did not develop slowly. Example, I can play 2 songs on Free Bass now easier than I can play the 3 scales and triads on hands separately for the exam, that is because I am just starting my path, and though I am 61 years old it takes me longer to get a strong base. One has to build a strong base to build your "house of music" on, because if you build on quicksand (take short cuts and don't focus), you will need to rebuild and correct for those errors later on. I stopped playing the songs for a month, to build on my base.

There is a reason they say that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to get good at any instrument, and Free Bass accordion is no different. My big advantage is that I am confident with my right hand, so I double up on the left hand to try to eventually bring it a lot closer in matching capability. I can do a C-scale at 225bpm all day long, but that is physically impossible to do even on the left hand alone... for now. :D

BTW, if I may ask, where in Ontario are you located, Phillipe?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Location
canada, Ontario
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I understand your approach and it seems to be a functional one. I practice about an hour daily ( twice 30 mn). Being 80 I have plenty of time but less patience for structured exercizes than I should have, but in four months I think that I have made some progress (or that 's my impression). I am bringing to bear the experience of past habits acquired in my l studying the classical guitar, the chromatic harp and the piano. When I begin to learn a new piece on the accordion , I figure out my left hand FB fingering (write it in 1 to 4 above the score). Then I focus on the keyboard side which is easier for me. I strategize my KB fingering without writing it down. An then what I do is to play both hands simultaneously. It is not easy but to me it feels more natural. On the tempo question, I listen to the piece being played by professional musicians and use the same score as they do. In other words I imitate them rather that figuring out the rhythms by myself as more serious musicians than myself would do. My musical ambitions of course are limited. I play mostly for myself and relatives. I find that my great age is slowing me a bit. But the main thing for me is to enjoy what I am doing and I do.
Thanks again for your points. I live in Napanee, near Kingston.
Take care.
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
217
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Phillip, we are on similar paths, which is kind of fun to see!

I feel that for me, the structured approach works best. It is tedious but gives better results in the long run. I wish that I had 2-3 hours a day to practice and play but the best I can do while still working a full time job is about an hour a day(30min morning, 30 min evening) and still have some semblance of life.

What kind of classical music do you enjoy on your Giulietti? I enjoy Clementi and Bach for the most part, but there are so many songs I'd love to be able to play, way more than I will ever be able to do in my lifetime! What is helping me stay motivated is doing little short videos of my progress (nothing much that I want to share here... lol), and though I am not too active in the thread, I do try to do some sight reading every day. :)
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Location
canada, Ontario
Phillip, we are on similar paths, which is kind of fun to see!

I feel that for me, the structured approach works best. It is tedious but gives better results in the long run. I wish that I had 2-3 hours a day to practice and play but the best I can do while still working a full time job is about an hour a day(30min morning, 30 min evening) and still have some semblance of life.

What kind of classical music do you enjoy on your Giulietti? I enjoy Clementi and Bach for the most part, but there are so many songs I'd love to be able to play, way more than I will ever be able to do in my lifetime! What is helping me stay motivated is doing little short videos of my progress (nothing much that I want to share here... lol), and though I am not too active in the thread, I do try to do some sight reading every day. :)
Yes it is nice to watch someone else on a comparable path. I find a good deal of guidance and moral support from Ronen Segal a fellow Canadian who lives in BC. He offers online lessons (not private) , he is a good teacher, inspiring (and rather informal professional musician). His virtual school is inexpensive, has a forum where people can share their performances no matter how "poor" they might be. You may want to visit them at accordionlove.com. My accordion music started with Ronen's simplified songs which you will find on his site. However his teaching is focused on stradella accordions, not free bass, so guys like you and I are the exception. I would like to be able to play what I play on the piano; mostly JS Bach, a music which has been with me for many years but that will not happen for a while. Currently I am working on a small piece by F. Händel called Sarabande from suite in D minor, Opus 437 which was made famous in Stanley Kubrik film Barry Lyndon. I found the partition on a site called 8notes, which has many versions for it. The version I chose is written for trombone and piano (main theme and two variations). I listen to the piece each time before my exercises. This motivates me and guides me. Then as I said, I go through the whole piece with a pencil and an eraser and mark my left hand fingering (which can change occasionally). In this piece I chose to make the trombone notes my left hand and the piano my right hand. I too am contemplating making my own videos; to see myself playing and eventually share what I do with my friends on the forum I mentioned above.
Have a good day.:)
 

Similar threads

Top