The right hand plays either a
piano keyboardor a
chromatic (button) keyboard, which are the treble notes.
The fingers are numbered to provide a reference to the fingering
used. The right hand is also used to change
switches on the grill while the instrument is being played.
On some smaller accordions, the thumb is not used. When this
happens, the second finger becomes 1, to the fifth finger
which becomes 4.
The Left Hand
This hand that plays the bass notes and preset chords. The
fingers are also numbered to provide a reference to the bass
board. The left hand is also used to change
switches, and to operate the
The Left Arm
The left wrist fits on the inside of the
bass strap, enabling the left arm to move the bellows.
The accordion is held to the accordionist by various leather
straps. For larger accordions
shoulder straps are used, which are connected at the top
and bottom of the accordion. These are usually fully adjustable.
For smaller accordions, only one shoulder strap is used, and
sometimes none. Accordionists can also use combinations of
wrist straps and
As previously mentioned, the
bass strap enables the player to move the
OF LEARNING THE ACCORDION
Single note bass and fixed chord buttons make for very fast
and easy learning of bass and rhythm accompaniment. With the
visible right hand keyboard, the accordion is easy to learn
with the right tuition.
Education, General Academic Improvements
By learning the accordion, students learn how to organise
their time for practice. They will automatically apply this
skill to other aspects of their education. Research has shown
that people who learn music early in life achieve better academic
Any time that a person achieves something new their confidence
in themselves increases.
Introduces Self Discipline and Motivation
These attributes are learned through practice and achievement,
and with the help of the teacher.
To be able to play music one learns how to concentrate on
a problem and find the best solution.
It is easier to appreciate and enjoy music if one understands
how music is structured.
As progress is made through musical education the ability
to concentrate increases. With increased concentration comes
improved memory skills.
Playing the accordion requires coordination. Not only do players
use both hands, but the left arm operates the bellows while
the player reads music. As difficult as this sounds, a student
can learn to play a piece of music in their first lesson.
The accordion is an incredibly versatile instrument. Not only
can it play most musical styles, it is also very good for
There is the potential to teach or entertain full time with
Being Part of a Team
Because the accordion is such a portable instrument, it is
used in many types of musical groups, from rock bands to orchestras.
The reeds are fixed in tune for each individual accordion,
but can be made higher or lower (by a trained repairer) to
suit the preferred sound of the player.
It is recommended that any new student learns the accordion from
a respected teacher. The right teacher will help you choose the
correct accordion for the style of music you want to play, adjust
the straps correctly and get the student in the correct playing
position. A teacher is also important to ensure lessons continue,
and even if some practice is not done, improvement can still be
To improve, however, it is important that regular, thorough practice
is done between lessons. This practice should be based on quality
rather than quantity. For beginner students, short, regular practices
are far more worthwhile than irregular, longer practices. This
is when bad habits may begin, which are frustrating to fix later
For most people, sitting down is the most comfortable way of
playing. There are various seating positions and preferences.
You should always take care when bending down from a seated
position, however, so you do not damage your back. Having the
straps adjusted to fit your body shape is very important, not
only for ease of playing, but also to reduce any chance of injury.
Points to remember when playing:
your back straight
sitting, choose a seat so that your feet can touch the floor,
otherwise you will not have full control over the accordion.
right elbow should be kept out to enable a good hand position.
should be curved over the keys, to enable you to play with
the tips of your fingers.
is the most common position to play in.
For the treble side of the accordion, music is written in the
treble clef. The bass is written in the bass clef, except for
stradella bass. Instead of writing out the whole chord, the chord
symbol is written over the note:
over the note = Major chord,
over the note = minor chord,
over the note = 7th chord,
over the note = diminished chord
OF AN ACCORDION
| The following
list of tips on accordion maintenance has been compiled by professional
musicians, who use their accordions for many hours a day. If you
follow these guidelines, you will not only add to the life of
your accordion, but also save on repair costs, which can be costly.
Remember though, that if your accordion is damaged, to take your
accordion to the nearest qualified repairer.
that your accordion is polished and looking its best. You give
a better performance and practice better with an instrument
you feel proud of.
keep your accordion in a dry, warm place. Do not leave it in
your car overnight or leave it next to heaters. Extreme temperatures
can damage the reeds.
careful when you lift the accordion from its case, making sure
you do not damage the bass and treble keys. The best way to
learn how to remove it is from an experienced accordionist or
from an accordion retailer.
the accordion is not in use or in its case the accordion should
be carefully lowered to the ground. Dropping it that last inch
can dislodge the reed blocks, or misalign valves or bass mechanisms.
not leave your accordion sitting in places where people can
damage it. A large proportion of damage is not caused by the
owner of the instrument but by someone else knocking or bumping
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