If you can play a keyboard, even a little bit, then you can learn how to play accordion. It helps to be able to read music but it is possible to play acceptable -even terrific – music with little or no knowledge of musical notation. All you need is a desire to make music and an accordion. Of course you also need to be willing to practise techniques on a regular basis, but once you get the hang of things, you’ll probably find that it’s so much fun you don’t want to put your instrument down!
What’s so good about playing an accordion?
- The accordion is like an instant one man (or woman) band – it has a very full sound and is instantly recognisable.
- It’s portable. You can pick up an accordion and carry it with you wherever you go.
- You can stand up and even wander about while playing, or you can sit down comfortably.
- You can sing while you are playing
- You can make a pretty good sound – even as a beginner.
- The accordion is a very social instrument. It’s easy to make new musical friends, join bands and entertain others once you have mastered a few basic chords and techniques.
- There are many different types of bands you can join.
- You can play a wide variety of musical styles including old time music songs, folk dance tunes, classical music, blues and pop.
What you need to know to get started
The type of accordion that this site is devoted to is the piano accordion. It has a piano style keyboard on the right hand side, and a set of buttons on the left hand side. In between these are the bellows. When you open and close the bellows (by pushing and pulling them) you are causing air to be forced through a variety of reeds inside the instrument. This is what makes the sounds. You change the sounds by pressing notes on the keyboard and chord buttons on the left hand side.
So to start learning how to play accordion, the first things you need to know are
- How to pick up and hold your accordion
- How to move the bellows in and out
- How to play the keyboard at the same time as moving the bellows
- How to play chords by pressing the buttons on the left hand side
When you understand how to do these four things, you are ready to start putting them together to start playing simple tunes.