Everything about the Accordion

What is it?

The accordion is a german instrument that is believed to be invented by Christian Friedrich in 1822.    

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names like button box, squeeze box, kanootch, and belly baldwin. Pronounced /əˈkɔ(ɹ).di.ˌən/, from the German meaning “chord” and called Acordeón in Spanish, Accordéon in French and Acordeão in Portuguese. A person that plays it’s called an accordionist.

Category

The Keyboard family means that it has a row of keys, buttons, or levers that make the sound when you press them and in another way of classifying its aerophone meaning it makes sound with air vibration.

Materials

Different types of wood, anything from hard maple, beech, and poplar wood with the reeds being steel or brass.

Variants

The types are determined by sound origin:

  • Acoustic: Uses air to make a sound.
  • Electric / Digital: Plugged into an amplifier to make a sound.

Another way to classify them is by buttons or keyboards, the difference here doesn’t matter if both the keyboard and buttons version have the same range (check range before buying), it will only affect your ability to play depending on what form you’re used to.

Lastly, there are the Chromatic and Diatonic variations. Diatonic accordions can play in specific keys, depending on their model (C, G, Eb, B, F) while chromatics have additional buttons that allow them to have a higher range of tones.

Before you buy

Prices

For a piano accordion (most common), around $ 500- 13,000 USD, the cheapest we found was a Hohner 1304-RED 24 keys piano accordion and the most expensive was a Hohner BR120B-N 120 Chromatic Piano accordion.

In the middle we have something like the Hohner Compadre G/C/F 3-Row Diatonic Accordion for $1,100 USD.

VariantAverage*
acoustic$ 550 USD
electric$1,100 USD
*Rounded and based on our own and a search in different stores.

Weights and sizes

The size of a regular accordion goes around 12 x 12 x 8 In – 28 x 28 x 20 In (32 x 30 x19 Cm – 70 x 70x 51Cm) and has a weight from 7 Lbs (3 Kgs) to 26 Lbs (12 Kgs), that’s the size of a laptop (open) and the weight of one as well.

Now that you know, you can check on eBay here.

Best brands and models

We checked a lot of brands and rated them based on customer experience. Models and series are confusing?  check this guide. Not picky? you have more options.

The best accordion for a beginner is the 22-key 8 Bass Piano Accordion since it is the most common variant, there’s also the Junior 8 Bass Accordion 22 Treble Keys. In case you’re left-handed then the Rossetti, 31-Key Accordion (ROS3112-FBE-BK) will do it for you. 

For toddlers and kids, we suggest an Easter Kids Accordion Toy Accordion Mini because the size is right for smaller hands, it’s a good option for a gift because it lets them play without no knowledge of music theory, but if they want to play the real one, they can, don’t worry about it.

If we look at famous players Ivan Hajek and Myron Floren we’re talking about 3-4 button rows chromatic accordions so if you’re going professional, you don’t have any excuse with one of these.

Accessories

Here’s a list of a lot of them, but for this one a strap for carrying and support, reeds for maintenance, and a case for protection.

Start playing   

To learn to play each note you need a finger chart for your specific model. 

We recommend learning to read sheet music to get the basics. We review resources to help you choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some. 


Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments and even the “song name for accordion to save on translations.

Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions, and techniques.

Remember, the accordion is not too hard to learn and in a couple of months you should be able to pick any song you want to play and then only your ability will limit you, it’s also similar to the melodica, so you can combine those resources to help you learn.

2 Replies to “Everything about the Accordion”

  1. Everything about the Melodica

    […] melodica is easy to learn and fast too (should take weeks to master), it’s also similar to the accordion, harmonica and keyboard, so you can combine those resources to help you […]

  2. Instrument categories

    […] Accordion, clavichord, dulcitone, harpsichord, hurdy gurdy, keyboard glockenspiel, melodica, piano, pump […]

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