Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

Hey Folks,

Before buying a b/c accordion, I’m trying to understand
if I can play Minor chords on the bass.

Although I mainly play Irish/Scottish tunes I would like
to be able to play French waltzes too with plenty of
those lovely enchanting minor chords.

I found this - http://info.melodeon.net/files/site/BC21tradbass.gif
From the image I understand that all the chords are Majors and the basses can go either way, meaning I can only play bass note on the right hand and add a minor chord on left?

Am I completely off here?
Newbie of course… Thanks :)

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

One option with the bass chords is to remove the third note of the chord, leaving an open 5th which can be used for major or minor. Some accordions have a stop fitted so you have the option of the full chord or the open 5th on the same instrument.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

I’ve just had a look at Nuage and Connemara 2 and they both have the 3rds stop.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

cathycook - Many thanks!

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

Yes, either the thirds can be disabled by taping them, or some accordions (like my Saltarelle Irish Bouebe) have a stop that quiets them, then the bass chords become ambiguous and can be either major or minor.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

Thanks AlBrown. It looks safe enough. By the way, I’m also wondering if there’s a point buying a 2.5 rows accordion. Almost all Irish tunes can be played on B/C 2 rows - right? I read the extra basses and buttons add to the total weight.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

I posted my info this morning, and now I realize that I said almost the same thing cathycook said! I swear, the plagerism was not intentional, cathy!
A B/C box is fully chromatic, so it can play any tune that fits its range. I don’t known the advantage of that extra half row myself, although I know there is an advantage, or no one would do it—someone else will have to address that.
Yes, any extra buttons and basses add weight, but what really adds weight is extra reed banks and the stops that go with them, which is why I am content with a two voice accordion myself. There are even one voice accordions, which are even lighter, but they sound too much like a concertina for my taste.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

here are two cents: if you purchase one of these accordions, get it in writing by email that the box has handmade reeds. that will really mean more like "hand-type" or "tipo-a-mano" or "TAM" than literal blue-line hand-made. but still, it’s more responsive than factory or so-called "durall" or so-called "super-durall."

saltarelle made nuages with handmade for a while, then stopped for a while, but supposedly is now back to doing them with handmade. they emailed to me several months ago that nuages all now have handmade reeds. i am skeptical about this, not because i think they’d deliberately lie, but because the production of their boxes is subbed out to so many different factories, the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing.

nuages and connemaras are now very expensive, so expensive you should not buy a new one unless at a minimum it has hand-type (often loosely called handmade) reeds. the prices are too high now for durall or factory to be excusable. so…..if you order from saltarelle, they must tell you in writing and then it must check out when you or someone who would know looks inside. and if you order from a dealer, same thing.

of course, if you’re getting a good deal on a used one, maybe you don’t care if it’s durall/factory. i’m just saying, if you’re buying new, don’t go to those prices without written assurance that you’re getting TAM……

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

The four buttons on helper row would be reversals of the most important buttons (push/pull): D/F# A/G d/f# a/g

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

Thanks for the tip ceemonster. I suppose I’ll have to trust Saltarelle’s good name.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

The half row is more logical for other types of music that use treble chords. On the BC you often have notes missing if you try to play a chord because the instrument is actually set up to play in B and C—surprise surprise—but most of us play in D, G, A etc. Given, however, that we are playing the melody rather than chords it is not a big deal. The half row is rather a necessity for some European styles. Most of us would say that the hiccups in the BC, when you must reverse in mid stream, are part of the character of the instrument and we would be unhappy without them.

Re: Minor chords on the B/C button accordion basses?

direct answer is as mentioned. The box should be either buile without the thirds in the bass reed set or, as is typical on most new boxes you get a ‘castrating’ switch

If you have an older box, or are getting a used box withpout the castrating switch and full triads in the bass, Michael at IrishDancemaster can install a castrating switch for a very reasonable price. He did that to my first box. Works wonderfully.