It isn’t too hard to learn how to play the Accordion, given that you be a man of continuous practice and dedicate enough time to it.
However, a lot of people take up masterclasses to dominate the skill of playing the Accordion. After all, music is a passion worth spending on.
From instruments as standard as guitars to as unique as the Accordion, we have seen people give handfuls of dollars to Accordionist simply to be like them.
But what if we tell you that you can learn to play Accordion online easily, without giving off money. And, with a little practice, you, too, can become an Accordionist worth going out and showcasing their talent.
Read on to find out what the internet has in store for aspiring accordionists.
Table of Content
→ What Does Accordion Mean? → The Craftsmanship of an Accordion → Who Will Make Me an Accordionist? → How Do You Play the Accordion? → Is It Easy to Learn the Accordion? → How to Play the Accordion with Buttons? → How to Play the Easier Piano Accordion? → How Much Is an Accordion Worth? → Should I Buy an Accordion?
What Does Accordion Mean?
For anyone who lives under the rock, or is not just a passionate music lover, let us begin with imparting wisdom.
An Accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument, informally referred to as the Squeeze Box. This is because of its built, comprising of keys and a squeezable Harmonium.
While the Accordion may be new to some, it is actually a very popular instrument, used widely across the world, but especially in the life of Mexican and Puerto Rican music. Usually, it is accompanied by folklore or tap dance, enjoyed as a genera sight-seeing by many on the streets.
Hence, it also serves as a source of income, as tourists or passerby drops money to appreciate this distinctive art form. Moreover, it is played by Accordionists in bands as well.
The Craftsmanship of an Accordion
An accordion is very much a hand-crafted instrument, made by fitting together a hundred pieces. It’s a puzzle of the makers. Since a Button Accordion requires much more skill with the special tuning, buttons attached to different notes, etc., they are priced higher. But now, they are considered vintage as the keyboard attached, Piano Accordions, took over.
Usually, the modern Piano Accordion has three basic parts; a bellow, a treble end unit, and a bass end unit.
Within the bellow is a reed organ responsible for generating melodies as air flows past their vibrating piece. When you move the harmonium to and fro, this reed organ uses air to its advantage to create beautiful notes, perceived as music. The bellow also contains the wiring and electrical components.
The treble end has the keyboard attached, while the bass end has finger buttons that play notes and chords.
The overall instrument is held in place in the hands of the player via shoulder straps.
The musician has to wear the instrument, align one hand on the keyboard and the other on the bass in such a way that the fingers can ease their way on the buttons. At the same time, the palm can move the bellow to and fro. The next thing we know, music is created.
Who Will Make Me an Accordionist?
Despite the growing influence of Accordions in the music world, it is regrettable that there are very few Accordion teachers out there. You would probably have to search a great deal; in case you decide to go for manual learning via a teacher.
However, lo and behold! The wondrous world of the internet where you can find several accordion lessons. Just type in “how to play an accordion online?” and you will be directed to relevant clips in no time.
Those who master this instrument are known as Accordionists. History marks several examples of those who took this instrument, learned it themselves, and then made a fortune out of it, leaving their legacy behind.
Unlike several other musical instruments, Accordions have a lower price point, and the modern ones are beginner-friendly enough to be learned without extra help from outside. Be it the burning fire of your passion or just a mere hobby, Accordions can serve as great transposing instruments to own in either case.
How Do You Play the Accordion?
To play the Accordion, one compresses or expands the reed organ while simultaneously moving their fingers on the buttons or keys. The reeds then vibrate to produce sound inside the body. The opposing reeds contain valves used to make the instrument’s sound louder or lower. The performer typically uses the right-hand to play the melody on buttons or keys and the left-hand, to manage the accompanying reed, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons.
Is It Easy to Learn the Accordion?
With the Accordion basics already covered above, we move on actually learning how to play the Accordion. Remember that while one type may be easier to play than the other, they both require dedicated practice for proper mastery.
There are two basic Accordion; a “Piano Accordion” and a “Button Accordion.” If you are someone with their hands set upon a piano in general, playing the former type will not come as a problem. A Piano Accordion can be simply perceived as a portable Piano with an accompaniment of a reed organ. You play the keys just like a pianist, moving the reed organ to and fro, in the chorus, and voila, you have learned the Piano Accordion.
However, learning the Button Accordion can be a tricky business and requires extra effort and practice to master.
How to Play the Accordion with Buttons?
This type requires proper Accordion instructions to be followed to the nook. This is because this species is as manual as instruments can get.
Let’s take you through the limitations first. Unlike a Piano Accordion, a Button Accordion is diatonic, i.e., it’s monotonous in functioning and cannot play all the highs and lows and the sharps and flats.
Button Accordions are tuned to several keys, namely, C, D, G, F, and Bb. At a time, the performer can only play the instrument tuned to one of the keys. Each key, also has its distinct set of notes that the player needs to learn to finger to scale. In case the player wishes to try a different key, they need to find an instrument keyed accordingly.
Let’s look into the concept of transposing. Transposing simply refers to moving a collection of notes up or down in pitch, with a constant interval. This concept is what makes the keys of a button accordion unique as it’s a transposing musical instrument, usually with its entire music written in Key C.
When this much becomes clear, all you have to do is get your hands on an Accordion Chord Chart that tells you the name of the various key buttons from top to bottom on either side of the instrument. Learn the keys’ names and carefully use your ears to understand and memorize the various tunes when you press those buttons. The majority of the Button Accordion players are keen listeners because that is precisely what helps them master the play.
When all the learning is done, practice your heart out, and there you are, a self-made Accordionist worth being known.
How to Play the Easier Piano Accordion?
The Piano Accordion is comparatively more manageable, as all you have to do is learn the Piano. Moreover, that doesn’t require you teachers or paid training because the world of the internet got you covered well. There are thousands of apps that give you the preface of a piano to learn from their free versions. Countless YouTube videos run you through the steps of learning Piano from the very basic to advanced.
Once your digits have learned to melodize the keys of the Piano, use them the same way on the keys of a Piano Accordion while simultaneously compressing and expanding the reed organ, and experience the tunes that follow. Although the ambidextrous step might take some time to settle, it is much easier than a Button Accordion. The cherry on top is absolutely the fact that it has no limitations to the array of tunes, notes, and pitches that it can play; neither you need a tuned instrument every time; you want to go fancy with your music.
How Much Is an Accordion Worth?
Over the years, much like everything else, Accordions have had their fair share of evolution. Hence, today we have a wide range of Accordions to choose from, each priced differently because of having one or more unique features.
It really depends upon the investor on how much they are invested in both music and money-wise, and then the sky is the limit for their findings.
Let’s start with those having heavy pockets. If you are someone who has found an absolute love interest in Accordion, then look no further. Go and grab the “Pigini Mythos Accordion.” This beast is priced at a whopping $40,000 and is the famous reed maker; Pigini’s product. With an extraordinary bellow system and lavish craftsmanship, this meticulously crafted instrument is bound to leave your ears craving for more as the velvety tunes touch them.
And, now, the ideas for medium to small-sized pockets. Don’t worry because the Accordions are they according to all budgets. First decide, whether you would go for the basic diatonic Button Accordion or the beginner-friendly Piano variant.
Depending upon your choice, since Button Accordions are considered vintage, they are priced at an expensive amount range of $500-$1000, excluding shipping, preferably on eBay. Piano Accordions, however, are priced lesser. A new 120 bass Piano Accordion can easily be found in $300, and older, hand-me-down ones can be found for even as little as $100. Nevertheless, Piano Accordions are usually more robust and easier to handle and learn because of lesser complexity.
Should I Buy an Accordion?
This question gives me the vibe of “should I follow my passion?” because that’s precisely what Accordion buyers need to decide. Music is an art, and those who create it vis instruments, re the artists. And out of all the professions that exist, the artist is the one that requires the most decisive brains. Because while, unfortunately, music as an art form may not pay well, it’s the passion that drives one.
If you are passionately a music fan, looking forward to owning an Accordion just for fun, and to maybe give it a try as a hobby sometimes, invest in a second-hand Piano Accordion that works just as fine.
However, if you are someone seriously giving a thought to owning and playing Accordion, to rule the world, save up and invest in a good and new Piano Accordion. Then consider joining bands or playing gigs in pubs at night and maybe on the streets during the day. The real ones will be attracted and be appreciative of your talent soon enough, and who knows, one day, this very instrument might make you capable enough to pay your bills.
At the end of the day, it is the passion that drives you.