I had a Bb flat also. I've talked about it some time ago. I had it built to be able to follow more closely, or parakeet the music of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. I had it made at about my 15th year of playing the Cajun accordion. I'm going to admit right here and now that I had it made *too soon*. All I was playing on that Bb flat was 2nd position "F" songs for the most part and not singing hardly at all.
For a Bb flat these are the 4 positions and their keys. For those that don't know, (This same counting system below can be applied to all Cajun accordions by using the key they were made in and count from there.)
1st position - Bb (always the same as the key the accordion was made in.)
2nd position - F (Count 4 letters past Bb: C,D,E,*F*)
3rd position - E (Count 3 letters past Bb: C,D,*E*)
4th position - C (Count 1 letter past Bb: *C*)
What I should have been doing with that Bb flat accordion was playing in it's 1st position and singing "somewhere's in the neighborhood of Bb flat fellers"! I played La Valse de Grand Bois once for some people using the key of Bb 1st position and it must have sounded old to their ears. Had a little boy playing triangle on the side. Not one single dry eye when we got done. LOL, even me and the little boy was crying. It set off some kind of reaction to the sound of that key, but I didn't realize it at the time. Shortly after, I sold the Bb flat out of ignorance, before I really got into learning it's 1st position.
As with my "C" and "D" accordions, often times I find my singing to sound older and better when I combine it with the 1st position of these 3 accordions, Bb,C,D. Its as if it gives you more range or tone or an old voice or something special. Like a link to the ancestors is the way I feel about it.
So in short, learn the 1st position of your Bb flat and sing your heart out. Sing from deep inside. Make them all cry (the accordion, your voice, the people, and even the lid triangle boy.
Thanks Bassman, now we know. "Eb" Got it, can't leave out them details. Thanks. How'd you figure that out? From memory, or you went and picked it out with a tuner?
Because its not common information. Thanks for the heads up.
Bassman, I'm starting to wonder how you know these "mynute" details you gave us. I wouldn't think that you're a base player stuck out in Oregon, California, or Washington learning all these small details about Cajun music on your own. Would you happen to be a bass player that belongs to a Cajun band from south Louisiana? Are you reaching out to try and save the music? Or....are you a bass fisherman that just knows his musical notes and keys?
You wouldn't have happened to been there that night at the "Whiskey River Landing" when the Mamou Playboys lost the Sunday gig permanently and every gig at the place from then on. Because if you were there, you and I looked eye to eye at one point in time while the band was on break by the boat dock. I was the guy that walked up on y'all and felt like I was interrupting something secret going on with the band. I wasn't walking by you guys to "groupie" the band. I just wanted a smoke outside away from the dancehall and y'all just happened to be there doing something on the sly it looked like to me. Like there was something to be hidden, or you guys were upset that a possible "fan" was coming by to bother the band. Any of this making sense to you Bassman?