Learning Chords on an Accordion

Before you start learning chords on an accordion it is useful to know a few basic facts about chords.

Chords are made up of groups of notes that are played at the same time.  On a piano, a chord has to be played using different fingers to play the notes.

So a chord of C major would use the thumb and two fingers to play the notes C  E and G at the same time. The chord of G major is played by pressing the notes G B and D

Because a piano accordion has a keyboard similar to the piano keyboard, you can play chords just the same way with your right hand.

C major chord on accordion keys

But there is another way!

The left hand side of the piano accordion has a series of buttons that play a variety of chords and bass notes. This means that you can play a melody of notes on the keyboard with your right hand, and the accompanying chords using the buttons with your left hand.

Learning How to Play Accordion Buttons and Chords

If you want to play the chord of C on an accordion, you press the button for the C chord. If you want to play a G major chord, you press the G major button. It’s just a matter of learning where these buttons are and how to find them without looking.

So as a prelude to learning chords on your accordion, lets begin with some bass notes. Find the button for the note C with the third finger of your left hand. Then use your index finger and 4th (ring) finger to find the buttons on each side of the C. These are the bass notes G and F

How to find bass note C on accordion

Bass note buttons for F C and G on an accordion

Notice that all the buttons in the same diagonal row are related to the Bass note.

Practise playing the single bass notes of C F and G  in different orders until you are sure you can find them easily.

Next we’ll move on to learning chords of C F and G major.

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