Accordion – Opinions, Analysis and Buying Guide in 2021
Considered one of the most cheerful and harmonious wind musical instruments, the accordion generates a beautiful sound that is widely used in different musical genres. If you are interested in learning to play the accordion, it is important to know the characteristics of the different models that you will find on the market. Among the most prominent models is the Canigó AC-CAN02 , which is diatonic and is made of cherry wood. In addition, it has 2 rows of buttons, as well as 8 bass for the left hand. On the other hand, if you are looking for a diatonic accordion to give as a gift, we recommend the Hohner A3404 that sports elegant details in gold.
How to choose the best accordions
Accordions have great benefits on a creative and mental level, which is why they are highly recommended, both for children and adults. In addition, its sound tends to brighten the environment thanks to its tones and music. Choosing an accordion requires great attention to the most relevant characteristics of each model, however, your main needs will be decisive in the choice. We have felt the need to help you, making a guide to buy the best accordion that will seek to facilitate the task of choosing the most economical and functional model.
Types of accordions
One of the most important aspects that you should take into account when choosing your next accordion is what type of instrument you are looking for, since there are several accordion models that you can find on the market and that produce very different sounds from each other, so that everyone has their favorite musical genre. Remember that the tone of the accordion will depend on the songs we are going to play.
There are two models of chromatic accordions, those that use piano keys and those that use buttons to produce their sound. Diatonic accordions, on the other hand, are the models that produce double sound for each note, since when opening the bellows they generate a tone with one note and closing the bellows produce another tone with the same note.
Fit and comfort
Every instrument should have a high level of comfort, as it is likely to be used for a long time. This is why it is very important that you take a good look at the comfort of the instrument. Many times, the level of comfort the performer has will determine a good performance. It is vital that this instrument is ergonomically well arranged, since, depending on its size, there are models that can cause posture problems and long-term pain.
Taking this aspect into account, many professionals recommend that, before buying the largest and most beautiful accordion, you worry about choosing the model that best suits your needs. Also, more experienced users recommend that this instrument is not so heavy.
To a large extent, what determines the price of an accordion is the quality of the materials with which it is made, so there is a risk that, as the accordion becomes cheaper, the instrument will be of lower quality, affecting its durability and performance.
This goes without saying, so when choosing the best accordion, avoid asking yourself how much it costs in the first place. Although in any accordion comparison the issue of price is important, it is highly recommended to look for the model that has the best relationship between quality and price, especially if you are short on budget.
One of the aspects that we should not let go unnoticed is the quality of its manufacture, since like any musical instrument, its conservation and condition must be ensured for as long as possible. Modern accordions are made mostly with the reeds, bass mechanisms and chords, as well as other areas such as the fixing and control levers in steel.
On the other hand, the parts such as the housing or the reed supports, known as the bed bases, are made of wood such as cedar, which is subsequently cured to guarantee a perfect sound. In addition, mother-of-pearl has been one of the most widely used materials for decorative elements and button manufacturing, however, its use has now been limited, being replaced by plastic materials.
The bellows area is made of goatskin, as it is soft and fine, in addition to providing a good degree of flexibility, allowing the accordion to be opened to the maximum without losing air. Apart from these materials, accordions are made with fabrics as a decorative element in the bellows area.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to play the bass of the accordion?
First, you should keep your right wrist parallel to the keyboard, avoiding bending it. In addition, you will need to place the elbow on the side of your body, which may seem a bit uncomfortable for inexperienced users at first, but with time you will see that you will be able to achieve better precision, since the circulation of the hand will not have any obstacle.
Next, slide your left hand through the strap behind the case with the buttons on the hem, so that you can bend your fingers over the buttons. The accordion should begin to be played on the bass and the buttons should be pressed for a short time. There are method manuals that will teach you the correct way to produce the notes with this instrument.
Q2: How to repair an accordion bellows?
Sometimes the bellows of an accordion will need to be repaired, so you should first use a small brush to clean any accumulated dust on the permeable surface. Then cut a piece of cardboard a little thin that is the same size as the hole and can effectively cover it. Apply a little glue to one side of the patch to help it stay firmly in place.
On the patch, place a small piece of wax paper, so that the glue does not drip. Wait an hour for the glue to dry completely, and finally, you will need to cut a small strip of tape for the bellows. Lightly press a small layer of glue down one side of the bellows tape, then proceed to bond the tape over the patch and place the waxed paper over the tape, firmly compressing the gusset.
Q3: How to tune an accordion?
The vibration that is produced by two equal notes tuned to different heights is called Brío and it is one of the most important characteristics that almost all traditional accordions have. The difference in the heights of the notes that are played in the same octave is responsible for marking the timbre of the instrument. Depending on the tuning method you want, the process is different.
Wet tuning is used on older models with a musette switch button. By pressing it, you will be able to tune from reed # 3. On the other hand, for dry tuning, choose the reeds at # 1 and # 2 to adjust the pitch. In both methods, you will need to disassemble the reed, sand it, and replace it until you get the optimum tuning.
Q4: What kind of instrument is the accordion?
The accordion is considered a harmonic wind musical instrument, which is made with a bellows, two wooden harmonic boxes and a fingerboard . It works by pressing its bellows, which compresses the air and produces the sound.
Q5: How to clean an accordion?
To clean your accordion, you will need: cotton, water, soap and a small cloth. First, you will have to take the cotton and clean the outside of the accordion. Lightly dampen the cotton with a little soap and water, then rub gently. It is strictly forbidden to use any type of solvent, such as alcohol or a thinner. Do not clean the part that is made of fabric with liquid, as it is extremely sensitive. Only use a dry cloth in this area.
Q6: What is the difference between accordion and bandoneon?
Although the two instruments are similar on the outside, their operation is different. The most notable difference between an accordion and a bandoneon is that they belong to different groups of instruments. While the accordion belongs to the wind instruments, the bandoneon is among the aerophone instruments, due to its vibration. The latter is an instrument dedicated to religious music and in Argentina it was adopted by tango artists.
Q7: How is an accordion inside?
Modern accordions have three main parts or sections, the bellows and the two ends, one sharp and the other low. The reeds that are responsible for producing the different tones and sounds, as well as the electronic components if the accordion is modern, are arranged inside.
Q8: How to restore an accordion?
To carry out the restoration of an accordion , it will be necessary to completely disassemble the instrument until the parts are completely loose. Then proceed to sand and polish the wood. Carefully clean the sheet metal that has the holes where the buttons on the sharp part of the instrument stick out. Paint and polish the wooden parts until they look perfect, then reassemble the parts one by one. The bellows will need to be replaced with a new one, which can be purchased at a music store.
How to use an accordion
Knowing how an accordion works is essential to ensure that its sound is harmonious. In case you have no idea how to play it, it is very important to choose a model according to the beginner level and, if possible, that incorporates a method guide that will help you get started in this world without much difficulty. However, below we want to help you, briefly explaining how to use an accordion correctly.
Know your accordion
One of the first steps you must take is to know your accordion in detail. It is about studying the different parts of this musical instrument, what they are called, what they work for and how they should be repaired in the event of a breakdown. If your instrument includes an instruction and method manual, it is important that you take the time to read it. By doing this, the start in learning this instrument will be more pleasant. Familiarize yourself with the structure of your accordion, locate the melodic keys and other moving parts.
Get a suitable place
Choose a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit comfortably and play your accordion without being disturbed by anyone. Try to keep it quiet so that you can concentrate much better.
Put on the instrument
Keep in mind that when you start using this instrument, your left arm should move horizontally and vertically, while your right hand will only move vertically. At first, hold and hold it until you determine how you can feel most comfortable.
Decide on the posture
You will be able to decide whether to sit or stand while playing this instrument. Some users prefer to stand, while many others prefer to be seated while performing their favorite songs. The most important thing is your feeling of confidence in playing this instrument and comfort, so you are free to try various positions until you feel comfortable.
Get the balance
As this instrument is relatively large and you will need to have the utmost confidence when holding it, it is important to maintain the proper balance to play your best. The more balanced you achieve, the better you can hold it and the more control you have, the less uncomfortable you will feel.
Place the instrument on your chest
At this point you should slide your left arm through the strap of the instrument in the same way as if you were placing a backpack on your chest. Remember to place the piano keys to your right. On the other hand, pass your left arm under the lower strap, which is the small strap on the left side of the instrument.
Use the back strap
It can be very helpful to attach an extra strap to the back, which will hold the shoulder straps together, helping the accordion not move. It is important that you take into account if the strap is too low or high. Consider that if it is too low, the weight of your shoulders will be relieved, therefore, we recommend keeping the strap a little low.
Remember to give it maintenance
We all know that musical instruments require very deep care and maintenance , otherwise the instrument will lose its sound quality quickly. It is important that you study and know the main enemies of your instrument, so that you can avoid any of them.
It is vital to be aware of moisture, which is a direct enemy of any object that has wood in its manufacture, so it is advisable to purchase a case or substance that absorbs moisture. On the other hand, blows represent a serious danger, since it is a very vulnerable instrument to blows. This is why professionals choose to purchase briefcases with padded interiors to absorb the impacts that musical instruments may suffer.
Another of the most frequent reasons related to the deterioration of musical instruments, especially those made of wood, are moths, which in a very short time will be able to devour all the wood, seriously damaging the instrument. For this reason, it is highly recommended to be careful that the accordion model you want to choose has a special varnish that prevents deterioration by pests.