People will choose an accordion for all types of music, from Jazz, Folk, and even Rock. Playing an accordion is usually not your typical instrument to choose from when picking an instrument to learn. They are a very interesting instrument with its own unique sound..IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A INSTRUMENT, besides Amazon, which I highlighted in blue throughout this article, ZZOUNDS OFFERS THE WIDEST SELECTION OF NAME-BRAND INSTRUMENTS AT GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. YOU CAN PURCHASE OVER 125,000 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FROM THEIR WEBSITE 24 HOURS A DAY.
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The most common types of accordions are Piano, Chromatic, Diatonic, and Concertina. I will explain briefly what the different characteristics of each are.
1- PIANO ACCORDIONS – This type accordion is a newer invention than the button accordions, instead of having buttons, they have piano style keyboards. If you have experience playing a piano or keyboard instrument they are much easier to learn and are more affordable than your button accordions. You also have a wider selection to choose from because of their popularity.
This type of accordion is more bulky and has fewer treble notes than the button accordions. You can find one of these type accordions for as little as $50.00 for a smaller scale kids model to $1,000.00 for the more professional instrument.
2– CHROMATIC ACCORDION – This accordion is a button accordion and uses a chromatic scale. All the keys are whole steps and half steps so all the notes are covered including flats and sharps. This is known as semitone in the music industry.
This type accordion has a wider range of notes compared to the other types of accordions but has managed to still stay compact depending on the number of buttons. The buttons are close together which makes it easier to play more intricate or harder pieces. This type model may take you longer to learn than a piano model because of unfamiliar keyboard.
A chromatic accordion can be fairly expensive ranging from $500.00 for your basic model up to an extremely high end instrument costing $10,000.00
You can play the same note whether you’re pushing the bellows in or pulling them out.
3- Diatonic Accordion – This type accordion uses a diatonic scale having a variety of buttons. This means for example: if you are playing in the key of c major and you’re using c major scale notes, then you would say the notes you are using are diatonic. The buttons on this type accordion has a different pitch to it, depending on whether the bellows are being pushed in or pulled out.
There are fewer notes compared to a chromatic model making this type accordion easier to learn. They are more compact than most of your other accordions.
This type model leaves out sharps and flats which makes it less versatile than the chromatic model. You can pick one of these up ranging from $300.00 to $3000.00.
4- CONCERTINA ACCORDION – This model is smaller and has a hexagon shape, meaning six side angles. The Anglo concertinas are diatonic and the English concertinas are chromatic. The advantage of this type model is that it is small and lightweight and you have a choice between diatonic or chromatic. The disadvantage of this model is it has fewer notes than the other models and you cannot play chords with a single button. This model ranges from $150.00 to $500.00
Different Number of keys
An accordion can have anywhere from 22 to 45 treble keys and 8 to 185 bass keys. The common full accordion has 41 treble keys and 120 bass keys, but you can do fine with fewer keys. When you are looking for an accordion you may come across something that looks like 22/45, which means the accordion has 22 treble keys and 45 bass keys. For the beginner musician 26/48 would be fine.
Chords or Bass
your right hand generally plays your treble notes while your left-hand plays your bass notes. Many accordions allows you to play full chords on the bass side by pushing one button. This is called the stradella system. Free bass accordions have single bass notes. The advantage of this is you can create your own type chords by pushing different buttons at the same time so you can play more than standard chords. This makes the model harder to play.
You can find a range of different colors even though the basic accordion isn’t heavily adorned, they may have some metal detailing design on the bellows. Some people find the color and design and look of the accordion important while others do not. A more expensive accordion might be handcrafted and have detailed inlays and metalwork.
Some things to Consider When Buying
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Some accordions have what they call a tone chamber, which mellows the sound of the reeds giving a smoother richer tone. These tend to cost more than those without this feature, so if you are a beginner I would suggest a standard accordion.
You should also consider the size and weight of the accordion. If you choose a model with the full 120 bass notes it may be too awkward and heavy for you to handle comfortably so I would choose a smaller model.
There are also different number of sets of reeds in an accordion which they call voices. Most have at least two sets but you can have up to five sets.
If you plan on playing out or entertaining, some models can come with built in microphones. This isn’t a necessary feature since you can mic or amplify the accordion.
You can play an accordion either standing or sitting, if you plan on standing while playing make sure you invest in a sturdy strap.
You can find numerous accordions today with keeping children in mind making these accordions easier to handle. If you are a beginner or on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying a childs model even if you are an adult to experience the feel for the instrument before buying a better one.
Once you buy your ACCORDION you should store it upright on the bass side to avoid warping of the reeds. Store it in a medium temperature and dry place.
Best Accordions to Buy
Below is a list of some accordions that were reviewed by several musicians that they feel is a good choice when purchasing .
1- HOHNER 3100FB-PANTHER– 3 row fbe diatonic accordion, one of the lightest and smallest accordion on the market and has a rich sound when played in a group or playing solo.
2- HOHNER PANTHER G/C/F– 3 row diatonic accordion-black, weighs 9 lbs. This model allows you to play without any serious complications or demands.
3- BEGINNER ACCORDION – 22 KEY 8 BASS PIANO accordion. This accordion has some great features. It has a maple wood design which is durable and resistant to corrosion and has a nice elegant appearance and excellent workmanship.
4- RIZATTI BRONCO RB31GM– This is a diatonic accordion Mexican Flag design key G/C/F. This accordion can be good for a beginner or advanced players.
5- D LUCA TORO BUTTON ACCORDION – This model has a 31 treble button which produces a high quality sound.
6- HOHNER COMPADRE GCF ACCORDION RED– Great for a beginner and experienced player. It has an open grille design that allows you to create louder fuller music.
I only named a few that were reviewed and you can get great prices on Amazon. Hopefully I gave you enough information that you can make an educated decision when buying an accordion. If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject please feel free to comment and I will do my best to try to answer them for you.