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Which C is most common for basses ?
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Author:  lixnaw [ Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Which C is most common for basses ?

I'll be on the waiting list for a Gaillard by tomorrow!! :love:

I can't figure out what's the most common C on the basses
for a C#D system. My C and C# are both on the pull.
I'd like to stick to only 8 basses.

Is there anyone with any C's or C#'s in their basses ?

Author:  StevieJ [ Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which C is most common for basses ?

The lack of a C bass is a major drawback in a C#/D box because it's pretty well essential for coherent basses on tunes in G, not to mention all those great D mixolydian tunes.

But to put a C bass on an 8-bass layout would probably mean sacrificing your F#/B basses. I wouldn't do it, because losing those chords would compromise basses for tunes in A, Em, Bm and even D. They are too valuable IMO.

If you must have a C (and we all ought to have one), I'd go for 12 basses and make one of them F/C (push/pull).

The 6th pair is bit of a luxury really and there's no obvious answer what to do with it. You could put a pull C# on it, and an E on the push. That's what Jackie Daly has.

Consider this: the standard 8-bass layout is actually borrowed from A/D layouts. On which of course you cannot really play in G.

Author:  lixnaw [ Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which C is most common for basses ?

Thanks Steve,

If i give over my C#, it won't be as heavy as a 12 bass accordion.
Please let me know what you'd recommend along with the C.
I've got C on the Pull, need something on the push.
I'm kinda used to the rest of this setup now.
My lay out is: A/E A/E ?/C ?/C
F#/B F#/B D/G D/G
Bertrand Gaillard believes Benny McCarthy's set up is the most common.
D row: F#/B A/C# D/E F#/G A/B D/C# F#/E A/G D/B F#/C#
C# ROW:F/G G#/C C#/Eb F/F# G#/Bb C#/C F/Eb G#/F# C#/Bb F/C G#/E


the other option is to go for 12, i'll think about it.

Author:  StevieJ [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which C is most common for basses ?

Sorry to be slow in replying, have been too busy to check in here.

You seem to have sacrificed the pull A to make room for your C, which is another thing I wouldn't do. I would think that push D, pull A and pull G were the chords you need more frequently than anything else, that is if you play in the key of D frequently.

If you don't want to go to 12 basses, you might consider (if Bertrand G can do it) having bass notes only on a couple of choices (i.e. no chords).

For example (push/pull, chin end at top, looking at the box from a listener's viewpoint)

F/C bass A/E chord
F#/B bass A/E bass

G/G chord D/A chord
G/G bass D/A bass

Or some other such permutation. I suspect Bertrand G will tell you he can't (or possibly won't) do it.

My current main squeeze is a Hohner black dot converted to C#/D and customized for me by Mike Rowbotham in St Ives, Cornwall.

Among the customized mods is the addition of a 9th bass button, immediately below the G/G bass note. On this button is a F/C bass note pair. So I don't have a C chord but just using the bass note goes a long way towards eliminating the drawback of not having C at all, while keeping to a smaller-format box.

On the other hand, BG's bass ends are pretty light, esp. if you specify no thirds in any of the chords. I don't think they would make much difference to the weight and handling, honestly. That was not an issue at all in the one I had.

Author:  StevieJ [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which C is most common for basses ?

Sorry, I didn't answer your question. The obvious chord to pair with a pull C would be a push F (but I still wouldn't sacrifice the pull A for the sake of the C).

Other possibilities: push E (in case you like to play B/C style on your C#/D, in which case you could use the push E against your push G# on the melody side).

Or push B (I have occasionally yearned for a push Bm in Bm tunes).

But neither makes a logical pairing with C and you'd probably only use either once in a blue moon.

F is nice to have in Dm tunes...

But I would really urge you to go the 12-bass route. Plus, you never know, you might one day have to sell your Gaillard, as I had to sell mine, and having a strange bass setup won't help you do that.

Author:  lixnaw [ Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which C is most common for basses ?

Many thanks Steve!

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