• 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

Tutor Books for CBA

pentaprism

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
322
Reaction score
33
Ive been learning PA for 1 year (off and on), and now would like to try CBA (C-system with Stradella bass). On this side of the pond, there are not many tutor books on CBA.

What do you think of this: Chromatic Accordion Method for C-System?

Note: I dont know German. English is difficult enough for me.

Thanks.
 

Glenn

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,545
Reaction score
16
Location
Netherlands
That's a good starting question.
I've just bought a B-system accordion and now need some help in getting off the ground.
Thus extending your question, are there any decent books for CBA ?
 

george garside

Prolific poster
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
0
In my opinion as a humble folkie and one with a preference for playing by ear many tutor books are somewhat of a disappointment as the provide more of what you don't need to know than what you would like to know! ( to avoid confusion I am not talking about those persuing exams and grades who must follow a prescribed pattern of study). Many tutor books contain the usual few pages of basic theory, keyboard charts of both end and a lot of tunes that the student may not be interested in.

All that is needed to get a very basic tune out of the box , either by ear or from the dots, is a knowledge of the notes making up a particular scale(s) and a keyboard chart so that the playing of such a scale can be worked out by the student. To a lot of people this is sfaairly obvious on a piano keyboard but not on a continental so for the latter a keyboard chart is the vital ingredient.

What is missing unfortunately is loads of practical stuff on instumental technique which is the absolutely vital ingredient to turn the '' right notes in the right order'' into an interesting musical rendition rather than the musical equivalent of a 'trudge'. I am of course referring to things like fine bellows control of dynamics, adding additional rhythm with the bellows, deciding on best phrasing and even basic stuff like how to press/release the buttons or keys.

So as far as learning to play a continental if coming from a piano box all that is required is the keyboard chart - a 'map' of the scales is merely a bonus as they can easily be worked out from the chart. Then start with the C (outside row) Scale , which on a 5 row will provide 12 keys, and practice it regularly until it can be played without conscious thought smoothly and swiftly over 2 octaves. At the same time choose no more than three tunes that you know well and , say a 3/4 a4/4/ and a6/8 and practice these as well but avoid new tunes until the 3 can be played without problems occurring.

some may say 'what about fingering' and my advice is to work it out ( its different in all the continental tutors!) the test being that if you run out of fingers you need to go back to the drawing board and if the fingering you are using is proving difficult there is usually an easier way of doing it!

My tutor book ''DG Melodeon a Crash course for Beginners'' does get people up and running very quickly as it contains no musical theory, concentrates on instrumental technique and recycles tunes so that beginners are not faced with trying to get their heads round learning a new technique and new tune at the same time

(If anyone is thinking of taking up the DG melodeon its always available as a buy now item on Ebay. just put in melodeon tutor book for full info etc)

george
(
 
S

simonking

Guest
george garside said:
some may say 'what about fingering' and my advice is to work it out ( its different in all the continental tutors!) the test being that if you run out of fingers you need to go back to the drawing board and if the fingering you are using is proving difficult there is usually an easier way of doing it!

I'd be interested to know if there's any consensus at all about fingering of scales etc. I know a couple of people who play B system who use all 5 rows and admit they just worked it out for themselves and it's probably the wrong method. I think they only play folk music but get on fine with that though.

Might you find more useful stuff if you look at foreign language publications? e.g. I know there is a book in French on C system (the default in France) by Richard Galliano (or his father). Perhaps there are a few B system book available in Russian?? There's probably a fair few books in German around too.
 

Glenn

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,545
Reaction score
16
Location
Netherlands
I've been scowering the German fora where there is quite a bit of B-griff chat but it appears the consensus is that there is no consensus. :?
Of course there are also wrongs ways and maybe a book of things not to do would be more useful.
 

george garside

Prolific poster
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
0
Irrespective of the genre of music played on a C or B system box the only conclusion I have been able to reach in regard to fingering are that there are several consensuses or should it be consensi!

If my theory is acceptable then then there is no point in wasting time worrying as to whether or not one is doing it the correct way - instead think in terms of if what you are doing works it must be one of the correct ways!

When it comes down to it the continental ( if learning the traditional way using only the outside 3 rows) is little different from playing a piano box. There are exactly the same black and white notes but they are arranged in a different , and much more convenient, order. Fingering the ''different order'' is down to practicing scales so as to develop the manual dexterity that is required to operate the machine. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with musical ability ,whatever that is!

Ultimately the aim should be to be able to 'think' a note ( trigured by memory or the dots) and automatically press the necessary button with ANY convenient finger i.e. getting away from any rigid idea that such and such a note/button should always be played with a particular finger. A useful exercise to develop that skill is to play the scales and some relatively slow tunes using just one finger, then repeat the exercise with a different finger until you have repeated it with all of them including the pinky.

In a sense playing then becomes not unlike singing or whistling a tune - you think it and it comes out of the gob without any conscious instructions to the gob operating department eg open wider, purse lips , move tongue or whatever is required in order to make the gob sing!

ON the box you think the tune, or the next note(s) thereof and auto pilot sends a message down the arm to the most conv enient finger to press the appropriate button leaving you free to concentrate on important matters like dynamics and phrasing.

george ;)
 

TW

Active member
Site Supporter
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
207
Reaction score
1
Location
Scarborough, North Yorks, UK
I'd just like to concur with George. Just using 3 rows and 4 fingers is counterproductive.

If the 5 rows are used there will always be an easy way to finger a sequence - I find the diffficult thing is to remember which way to go from a position.
So, as George says, get used to the note positions!

However, and having said that, I do mark buttons and find (for me) that marking the 'D's with a depression allows easier orientation (I don't look at the buttons).
 

donn

Prolific poster
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
13
Location
Seattle, Washington
TW said:
Id just like to concur with George. Just using 3 rows and 4 fingers is counterproductive.

Did he say that? Anyway, from what I see good players doing, I would guess theres no consensus over those two points either.
 

george garside

Prolific poster
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
0
TW said:
Id just like to concur with George. Just using 3 rows and 4 fingers is counterproductive.

Did he say that? Anyway, from what I see good players doing, I would guess theres no consensus over those two points either.[/quote]

I mentioned something about learning in the traditional way using only the 3 outer rows. This , using 3 scales, is well worth sticking with for anybody new learning the continental system.

however I totally agree that once competence is achieved using 3 rows the 4th row in particular (c system) can be very handy aas a helper row to ease tricky fingering etc. This is presumably why the French mostly seem to favour 4 row boxes rather than 5. As to using 4 fingers , to me, as a British Chromatic player, thats all youve got - tother is a thumb ;) . I have to remind myself that piano and continental players refer to the thumb as finger number one!. Seriously though, I heartily agree that finger 1, aka the thumb, should be used wherever it is helpful so to do eg in keys such as C 7 A starting on outside row.

george
 
B

billwolfe

Guest
I think its fair to say that there is no level of consensus about CBA fingering principles remotely comparable to that which exists for the piano keyboard. Four fingers or five, thumb anchored or floating, 3-row, 4-row, or 5-row, every permutation has superb exponents playing lovely, fluid, rhythmic music. If you begin collecting tutors, youll find multiple, sometimes radically different, approaches to even the basic major scales. If you have access to a teacher whose playing you like, follow his or her advice. Otherwise, its experiment and find what works and what doesnt. I started with piano, so I use my thumb a lot and pretty much keep it above the keyboard rather than anchored. The tutors by Manu Maugain seem to follow that approach, so I use them, especially his Excercise Technique Gammes et Arpeges. On the other hand, looking at Maugains playing on Youtube shows a classic 4-row French musette style with the thumb mostly anchored but brought into service as often as needed . It takes time to get familiar with the 2-dimensional CBA layout, but it offers great flexibility, with multiple workable ways to get from key to key, I dont know how much this helps, but if you encounter a specific fingering challenge, let us know about it. Im sure youll get a number if interesting suggestions!
Bill
 

Matt Butcher

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
0
Bill, if you are willing to copy across some of your posts on this from melodeon.net, they would be interesting to have as part of your thread. I haven't tried out your more radical suggestions yet, and I may be too set in my ways now, but I certainly found them interesting.
 
B

billwolfe

Guest
Hi Matt,
I'm not sure what the netiqette issues are for copying or referencing across boards. I have an impression some folks are a bit touchy on the matter. But I will post a sort of summary of what i see as four distinct approaches to 3-row C-system CBA major scales: 1) "finger walking" with no thumb, 2) finger walking with minimum use of thumb, 3) frequent passes under the thumb, and 4 legato scales with one thumb pass per octave. I'll post an example and source for each one tonight. I think there's value in picking and practicing one scale fingering for speed and fluency but also in becoming familiar with multiple fingerings.
BW
 

george garside

Prolific poster
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
0
billwolfe said:
Hi Matt,
Im not sure what the netiqette issues are for copying or referencing across boards. I have an impression some folks are a bit touchy on the matter. But I will post a sort of summary of what i see as four distinct approaches to 3-row C-system CBA major scales: 1) finger walking with no thumb, 2) finger walking with minimum use of thumb, 3) frequent passes under the thumb, and 4 legato scales with one thumb pass per octave. Ill post an example and source for each one tonight. I think theres value in picking and practicing one scale fingering for speed and fluency but also in becoming familiar with multiple fingerings.
BW


Bill, I cant see any problem with copying your own posts but if in doubt ask Theo for his approval via a melnet pm. He is a very reasonable bloke!

george
 
B

billwolfe

Guest
:) I wrote a long post last night on my attempts to explore CBA major scales. While I was writing, the system logged me out, and when I hit the submit button, it all evaporated. It was probably too long & pedantic, So heres a briefer version, supplemented by some straight pasting from a similar thread in MelNet. Ive only been messing with the CBA for about 3 years, and that has not been steady effort, so Im sharing impressions as a beginner.

George Garside has pointed out more than once the usefulness of practicing scales, and over the last couple months, Ive become a believer. There are at least two major benefits, quite interrelated: development of manual dexterity and familiarization with the keyboard.

As others have noted, there is considerable variaety among published CBA tutors/methods on how to finger even the basic major scales. I thought it might be useful to describe what I see as three distinct “schools” of fingering, based on my fledgling CBA library and what Ive gleaned from the nets.
Unless otherwise noted, I use the “piano” fingering convention where “1” = thumb and “5” = pinkie.

First, and I suspect most basic, is what I call the “finger walking school. Hans Palms accordion page http://www.accordionpage.com/chromsc2.gif . The basic principle seems to be that each row has its own finger: “2” (index finger) for inside row notes, “3” (middle) for the middle row, and “4” (ring finger) for the outside. The D major scale shows the logic of this system, and on a 5-row it could be applied to any key simply by changing the starting note and using the duplicate rows. I appologize for the poor alignment of letters & numbers. I spent time with the editor to get them lined up properly, but it all falls apart when I preview the post. I hope you can make some sense of it all!

Note D E F# G A B C# D repeat.....
Finger 2 3 4 3 4 2 3 2

Row 3 2 1 2 1 3 2 3

The second school really emphasizes use of the thumb, applying it pretty much to every outside-row note and generally at least one middle-row note as well. L.O. Anzaghi provides examples in his “Complete Method, Theoretical-practical, Progressive, for Accordion” Again, Ill illustrate this with his fingering of the D major scale:

Note D E F# G A B C# D repeat.....
Finger 2 3 1 3 1 2 1 2

Row 3 2 1 2 1 3 2 3

What both the above approaches have in common is a constant shifting of hand position. The third school, represented by Manu Maugain is radically different from both and has much more in common with classical piano fingering in its emphasis on long, unbroken sequences of notes played with a single hand position with only one hand shift per octave.  To achieve that on the CBA, Maugain passes the thumb under the pinkie in two of his three major-scale fingerings!  This had not occurred to me till I saw it in one of his books, but it has already transformed my approach to C and A major tunes with scale-like melodic runs. The fingerings come from Maugains Excercises techniques: gammes et arpeges. Im showing these in more detail than the others because they are so radically different. Coming from the piano accordion, I find them very useful.


Outside row (A C F-sharp E-flat) illustrated with C major through 2 octaves up and down

Note: C D E F G A B c d e f g a b c c b a g f e d C B A G F E D C
Finger: 1 2 3 4 5 1 3 1 2 3 4 5 1 3 4  4 3 1 5 4 3 2 1 3 1 5 4 3 2 1

Middle row (E G B-flat C-sharp) fingers only
up: 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5  down: 5 4 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 3 2

Inside row (B D F A-flat) fingers only
up: 2 3 4 5 1 2 3(1)* 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4  down: 4 3 2 1 5 4 3 2 3(1)* 2 1 5 4 3 2 

* The inside-row scales (D major, etc.) contain the only instance of the finger walking technique that appears in most other sources.  Using the D major scale as an example, when crossing between octaves, the sequence B C# D is fingered 2 3 2.  This works fine, but at least equally good is to use the thumb on the C# (major 7th) as I shown in parentheses.

Of these three systems, I spend the most time with Maugains, but I find it useful to practice all of them. The hallmark of the CBA, even the basic 3-row, is its flexibility. Getting familiar with a variety of fingering styles can only help in working out approaches to specific tunes.

Bill
 
N

nathen

Guest
Thanks for that Bill, I'm going to put this post aside for when I finally get my CBA.

I do know what you mean by losing posts that you've laboured over for what seems like hours! I do most of my posting on my smartphone, and it's so easy to tap the wrong key and lose everything. It's such a luxury when I take my laptop to the library.

Cheers,

Nathen
 

Similar threads

Top