Learning to Play the Basses on Irish B/C Button Accordion - 52 Tunes with Bass and Chord Annotation

Michael Eskin
1 rating

When I started learning to play the basses on my B/C accordion, I found it hard to find such information anywhere, so I hope these transcriptions will be useful to other B/C players who are taking on the challenge of learning the basses.  You paid for the bass buttons on your instrument, now it's time to get your money's worth and start using them!

In these transcriptions, I am not attempting to teach how to backup traditional Irish music. That is an entirely different skill than the physical challenge of dealing with the basses themselves.

My assumption is that you already are playing the tune melodies on the treble side of your instrument and are looking to learn to include the bass and chord buttons in your playing.

As of July 2023, the book now includes tablature for all the tunes.

The tablature assumes a 21-button B/C tuned diatonic accordion.

Notes on the C-row are indicated by numbers.

Notes on the B-row are indicated by numbers in circles.

Push is indicated with a down arrow.

Draw is indicated with an up arrow.

More information is available at:

Review by Graham Owen from Cornwall, England, UK:

"I am still working on my right hand techniques and occasionally come in with a bass note when playing a slow march or waltz. The work you have put in to your tune book with accompanying basses is really impressive, and helped me no end in getting to grips with these buttons.

Without your book or guidance it would probably have taken me a lot longer to work out how to add the basses. The bass on the chord change and then a back-beat (pause/chord) up to the next change to keep good tempo while the right hand uses ornamentation to good effect, expressing the character of the tune."

List of the 52 tunes with bass/chord annotation included in the tune book:

Alexander's (hornpipe)

The Banshee (reel)

The Boys of Bluehill (hornpipe)

The Cameronian (reel)

The Cat Rambles to the Child's Saucepan (slide)

The Chaffpool Post (barndance)

Cock 'O The North (slide)

Cooley's (reel)

Cronin's (reel)

Donnybrook Fair (jig)

Dunphy's (hornpipe)

Fanny Power (waltz)

The Factory Smoke (hornpipe)

The Flowers of Spring (jig)

Forde's (polka)

Going to the Well for Water (slide)

The Green Fields of Rossbeigh (reel)

The Humours of Castlecomer (jig)

If I Had a Wife (slide)

Jerry's Beaver Hat (jig)

John Kelly's Concertina (reel)

John Ryan's (polka)

The Kesh (jig)

The Knocknaboul (polka)

The Lark in the Morning (jig)

Lucy Farr's (barndance)

The Maid Behind the Bar (reel)

The Maid of Mt. Kisco (reel)

The Mason's Apron (reel)

Mayor Harrison's Fedora (reel)

Memories of Ballymote (polka)

Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife (slide)

The Merry Blacksmith (reel)

Music in the Glen (reel)

One Seventy Four (O'Carolan) (jig)

Out on the Ocean (jig)

Over the Moor to Maggie (reel)

Paddy Cronin's (slide)

The Pleasures of Hope (hornpipe)

Rakish Paddy (reel)

The Rambling Pitchfork (jig)

The Scholar (reel)

Sherlock's (hornpipe)

Sí Beag Sí Mór (waltz)

The Silver Spear (reel)

Sonny Brogan's (mazurka)

Speed the Plough (reel)

Spellan the Fiddler (hornpipe)

The Tailors Twist (hornpipe)

The Thames (hornpipe)

The Wicklow (hornpipe)

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PDF files with 52 tunes that include bass and chord arrangements plus tablature for B/C tuned Irish diatonic button accordion.

16.2 MB
74 pages


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Learning to Play the Basses on Irish B/C Button Accordion - 52 Tunes with Bass and Chord Annotation

1 rating
Buy this