Welcome To Our Free Button Accordion Lesson
This lesson is for Full Size Accordions. If you have a 7 button accordion, please click here to go to the appropriate lesson.
Before starting to play read the button accordion instructions first. Knowing this accordion information and how the
symbols are utilized will enhance your ability to play our free accordion music lesson correctly.
If you are a button accordion beginner we suggest you start at the scales and work your way to the accordion tunes.
Taking Care Of Your Button Accordion.
Never open or close the accordion without pressing on the air or one of the other accordion buttons.
After use, make sure to fasten the two sides of the bellows of the accordion together using the straps provided.
Keeping the accordion bellows strapped together, when not in use, prolongs the life of
the bellows. Always store your button accordion in a dry place. Do not subject the accordion to excessive moisture or heat
such as direct sunlight.
It is not advisable to play the accordion where the air is humid or dusty as the reeds &
bellows might be affected.
About Our Button Accordion Books:
The songs in our accordion music books can be played on either the 1, 2 or 3 row diatonic button accordion.
This is made possible because the Lower Scales singing notes, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La ,Ti &
Do all start on the third button. The only exception is in the 3 row diatonic button accordions eg: Keys of GCF, and ADG
where the lower scales all start on the second button. In this case just call the second button
the third and usually there is no problem.
Bass accompaniment is only covered in Uncle Billy's Manual "LEARNIN' THE BUTTON ACCORDION, THE COMPLETE WANNABES MANUAL". found here
How Does The Button Accordion Work:
The accordion produces sounds when the bellows are expanded (PULL)
making the air flow over the different size reeds inside the instrument. By depressing
one of the accordion melody buttons and then alternately pulling and then pushing the bellows
together you will find that the accordion will produce two notes. There are 10 buttons on the
right side of a single row accordion, 21 on a double row accordion and 31 on a triple row accordion. On all types the top button
is number 1. The bottom buttons are either 10 or 11 depending on the number rows your
Positioning Of The Hands And Fingers:
Push your left hand through the accordion strap. Your left thumb should be in place to operate the air
button and left fingers over the bass buttons you want to play. Place your right thumb
through the loop and rest it on the side of the accordion button board. Placing the thumb behind the
button board and nipping it between your thumb and right fingers will decrease dexterity and
slow down your playing ability.
Place your right index finger on the number 3 button. The remaining fingers will fall in place
on the number 4, 5 and 6 buttons. Keep your fingers in this position while playing the
Try adding a shoulder strap and placing your thumb on the side of the accordion button board. You will
probably find your fingers have a greater range of motion and are not stressed or impeded
by having the thumb locked into the strap.
Note: Playing the button accordion bass accompaniment is covered in our Button Accordion Manual titled "LEARNIN' THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "THE COMPLETE WANNABES MANUAL." The series title is "THE PHD'S OF THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "PUSH HERE DUMMY, PULL HERE DUMMY"
Numbers written like this 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Push the bellows (IN) (> <)
Numbers written like this 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Pull the bellows (OUT) (< >)
Dashes behind numbers are played longer eg: 3 is do, 3 - is doo, and 3 - - is dooo
Major Scales, Lower Octave:
Lower Scales: Buttons 3 to 6
Higher Scales: Buttons 6 to 10
How To Play The Scales:
With your fingers and hands properly in place, place the accordion on your left lap with the
accordion bellows just to the left of your thigh. Resting the bellows on the thigh will cause extra wear
of the bellows and lessen the control of the instrument. After getting acquainted with
holding the button accordion you can proceed with some exercises. Open the bellows. Pushing the
bellows IN and pressing buttons 3, then 4, then 5 and 6 will produce the Do, Mi, So and Do
notes. Pulling the bellows OUT and pressing the same buttons, 3, 4, 5, and 6 one after
another will will produce the notes Re, Fa, La and Ti notes.
Now let's try a scale exercise. With your hands, fingers and accordion properly in place open
the bellows. Remembering the notations let's play the lower scales, buttons 3 to 6.
Do push 3, Re pull 3, Mi push 4, Fa pull 4, So Push 5,
La Pull 5, Ti Pull 6 Do Push 6
Play the Scales from buttons 3 to 6 then continue playing back from 6 to 3. When you know how to play the IN (3, 4, 5, 6) and OUT (3, 4, 5, 6) numbers start playing the Major Scales above.
When you can play the Lower Scales forward and back six times in a row without making a
mistake then you are ready to play the nursery rhymes.
The Higher Major Scales are played in the same manner
When you can play Twinkle Twinkle six times in a row without making a mistake then try
Six times, no mistakes rule again.
(It's Been Good To Know You)
Auld Lang Syne:
by Robert Burns
With a lot of IN notes in this tune you may find that the accordion bellows is running out of air. Correct
use of the air button is one of the basic elements covered in our Button Accordion Manual, Learnin' The
Button Accordion With companion CDs. This is volume 17 in our series of button accordion books titled"THE PHD'S OF THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "PUSH HERE DUMMY, PULL HERE DUMMY"
Please feel free to view our Button Accordion Manual and Accordion Books in our store. Any suggestions for
traditional songs or tunes that you may want to see in our future books are more then welcome.
Thank you for trying our sample accordion instructions and songs. If you have any questions please ask. We're only too glad to help.
An informal gathering of accordions and their players from around the Vancouver region.