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Using the left hand thumb

xocd

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On the first video below Oivind Farmen uses his thumb on the left hand on an accordion specially designed for that purpose:

Oivind Farmen/stepped left keyboard

On the second video, below, Uwe Steger is apparently using his thumb on a Roland accordion with standard left hand keyboard.

Uwe Steger/Roland accordion

I have tried this on a typical left hand keyboard (C-system free-bass) and it seems doable and useful (C-major arpeggios were pretty fluid), though I have not practiced much. Have you tried this?

Thanks,
 

debra

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I have used the thumb, both in free bass and with chords, but only on the outer row. Without the stepped keyboard using the thumb on other rows is just too difficult.
 
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Nuuksu

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Not completely in topic but I discovered this

<YOUTUBE id=QiyWmgqhDww url=></YOUTUBE>

How good it may be to use thumb on such kind of keyboard?
 

JerryPH

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I've discussed this in the past, and it is very interesting, but how often does one need the thumb? That depends on the instrument one has and the music played. For me, I have never had the need for this, and survived quite nicely, however, if I was 7 years old again and starting over, the system that Oivind Farmen uses is 100% the system I would be using, both left AND right hands.

For now and very likely until I can no longer play an accordion, I will make due with my Hohner Morino VI N with the C-system 185 bass layout and maybe somethings will be played with the layout of the Roland FR-8X.
 
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Nuuksu

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Thumb is not strict requirement but considering tehcnical possibilities that accordion has it is a little shame that using thumb in left hand is brought up only quite recently. It is interesting that there has been attempts in past but they have failed. Farmen system or actually his teacher invention (he mentions it in his video) is really unique, it is quite easy to produce(probably) and don't need relearning.

I agree with Jerry that it depends on music genre, but in the other hand it is not very wise to connect accordion only with small group of music genres, at least I thing these times are over. If I get rich someday I order free-bass instrument with Farmen system too :) ...but with bayan free-bass layout. Doing five part chords in both hand would be rather interesting.
 

JerryPH

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Nuuksu post_id=49361 time=1502399200 user_id=1079 said:
...but in the other hand it is not very wise to connect accordion only with small group of music genres, at least I thing these times are over.
Maybe I did not properly write down my thought, but I did not say anything about connecting or disconnecting the accordion with small groups of musical genres, I did say that some kinds of music lends itself more readily to using the thumb, such as most classical music that was designed originally to be played on a Piano, with 5 fingers on the left hand in use, for example.

A small note, because the Bayan system reverses the order of the notes so that the deepest notes are at the bottom (opposite from all other systems where the deepest notes are on the top), the fingering would actually be closer to what the original music fingering was originally written in *if* it was written for piano. Still, for me personally because I have played the MIII system for so long, it just seems more logical and natural to play a keyboard where the deepest notes are at the top and flow to the higher notes as both my hands descend. I am sure it would be different if I started with a Bayan system as a child... lol
 

george garside

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on my main box there is absolutely no question of using the thumb on the bass as it is on full time air bar duty!
george :D
 

losthobos

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On a 3 x 3 system the thumb is a great device for hitting the sharp root (ie C#dim in key of C) diminished
 

EMan

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I've never seen an accordion with the bass on the side like the one in the video, but I'm just one person. Every time I come on this forum, I learn something new. I just left (as in 1/2 hr ago) the Cotati Accordion Festival grounds and saw more accordions and types of accordions today than I have seen in years, and still didn't see an accordion with the bass on the side. Are there any new ones like that being manufactured ?
 

debra

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losthobos post_id=49399 time=1502469329 user_id=729 said:
On a 3 x 3 system the thumb is a great device for hitting the sharp root (ie C#dim in key of C) diminished

You completely lost me here. What makes it easier to play C#dim in the key of C? C#dim on a 3+3 system has 3 of its notes as C7 but the base note C# is still quite far away (major third of A or minor third of Bes)...
 

losthobos

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Sorry Paul....wasn't paying attention...should have said for C dim I use the thumb on D7 and keep the C root
I find it counterintuitive to use the F7...but that's just my style..
For the C#dim I may use the thumb on the A7 or may just play the counter bass of A (C#) as I find these directions let me drift naturally into the Dmin which is often the next chord
Sorry for any confusion
 

debra

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losthobos post_id=49637 time=1503213428 user_id=729 said:
Sorry Paul....wasnt paying attention...should have said for C dim I use the thumb on D7 and keep the C root
I find it counterintuitive to use the F7...but thats just my style..
For the C#dim I may use the thumb on the A7 or may just play the counter bass of A (C#) as I find these directions let me drift naturally into the Dmin which is often the next chord
Sorry for any confusion

I see. For Cdim I would just use F7 (with index finger) and to make it full F7 + D7 (with little finger on F7 and index finger on A7). On a 2+4 accordion I would use Cdim + Esdim. No thumb in either case.
I never use the thumb for a chord that is way up (like the video shows) but I sometimes do a thumb under to catch a combined chord with a button on the outer row: A C9- for instance is C major + Bes dim on a 2+4 accordion. (the notes in C9- are C E G Bes Des) I would play the Bes dim in this chord with the thumb.
 

losthobos

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Thanks Paul...just tried your index finger/pinkie approach to getting a fuller chord...and works lovely for 2nd chord in Deep Purple...also tried with index finger playing dim on row below and could was become habit...thanks fir advice...sometimes old habits aren't the best...I'm self taught..
Question for you...any suggestions for left hand Ebdim in thus sequence from Pennies from Heaven....i usually just play a single bass note as passing anyway
C, Dm, Em Ebdim, Dm7 G7,
 

debra

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losthobos post_id=49702 time=1503385173 user_id=729 said:
Thanks Paul...just tried your index finger/pinkie approach to getting a fuller chord...and works lovely for 2nd chord in Deep Purple...also tried with index finger playing dim on row below and could was become habit...thanks fir advice...sometimes old habits arent the best...Im self taught..
Question for you...any suggestions for left hand Ebdim in thus sequence from Pennies from Heaven....i usually just play a single bass note as passing anyway
C, Dm, Em Ebdim, Dm7 G7,

For that Ebdim you could use the Es that is minor third of C and then combine F7 with D7. All in the vicinity of where you are already playing. (Dm7 is then Dm + Fmajor where that F major chord is with the pinkie, as in 3 on D, 2 on Dm and 5 on F major.)
If you want to really practice combinations of chords with the left hand, try http://www.de-bra.nl/arrangements/turks-fruit.pdf (music from the Dutch movie Turks Fruit or Turkish Delight). At the end of the score it says how to form all the chords but these instructions are for a 2+4.
 
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Personally, I'd play the Eb diminished using the Eb counterbass (3rd finger) with the A diminished chord (2nd finger). That's easy to reach. We're talking stradella bass, correct? debra, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Playing an F7 gives you an F note which isn't in an Eb dim and might not be bad, but playing a D7 gives you a dissonant D note against the Eb bass.
 

debra

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PolishMoonPolkaTrio post_id=49720 time=1503425715 user_id=1634 said:
Personally, Id play the Eb diminished using the Eb counterbass (3rd finger) with the A diminished chord (2nd finger). Thats easy to reach. Were talking stradella bass, correct? debra, Im not sure I understand what you are saying. Playing an F7 gives you an F note which isnt in an Eb dim and might not be bad, but playing a D7 gives you a dissonant D note against the Eb bass.

We were talking about a 3+3 instrument. The F7 then gives A C Es and not F A Es like on a 2+4 Stradella bass. The 3+3 is interesting, with different note combinations in the chords.
 
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Aha! Not stradella. Even as I was typing my response I thought "I must be missing something here". I should have read through all the posts.
 
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