Accordion Classroom I Getting Started I Ken Mahler, Instructor

Hi, I’m Ken Mahler, owner/operator of Mahler Music Center I We’re located just of Seventh Street in St. Paul, which is also known as the gateway to St. Paul.

Have taught accordions and repaired them for the last 30 years, I’m here to help you get started playing the accordion with sound basics so that advanced learning, later on, will be a lot easier.

I’m going to show you what would be equivalent to the first two books of any accordion method.

This video will show you a segment of what is demonstrated in the “Accordion Classroom I Getting Started” instruction series. Everything from holding the instrument, bellow control, hand positions, playing in 3/4 time, playing in 4/4 time and much more.

So enough of this introduction, let’s get started. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about the accordion.

On the right hand, we have the keyboard which is similar to a piano keyboard. There are two back notes and three black notes in addition to tonal switches on the right-hand grill. We’ll get back to that in a minute.

On the left hand, you’ll find the bass section of the accordion, you’ll find six rows. The outer row is called the counter base row. The next row is called the fundamental bass row. Between the two, you can do a variety of things — for example, playing a scale. The next row is called the major chord followed by the minor chord. Then you have the seventh and the diminished row.

Inside this part of the accordion, there are mechanisms in there that when you press one button, such as the major chord, the mechanisms lift up three pads. When those three pads are lifted, they create what we call a chord…the major chord.

When you go to the minor, it’ll change one of the chords for that sound and the seventh will change it more.

Moving over to the left-hand bass strap, your hand will move between the accordion bass plate and the strap.

At the top of the accordion, there is a wheel that loosens and tightens the accordion strap. How tight the accordion strap be based on individual preference. My recommendation is that there be a half inch space from the bass plate and the palm of your hand to allow enough room for movement up and down the basses.

The center of the accordion consists of the bellows and they are held together with bellow snaps when you are not playing the accordion. The snaps are located at the top and the bottom of the instrument.

Moving on to the right hand of the accordion. Here you’ll see some tonal switches. You might have two, three, seven and even up to fourteen switches. What they do is change the tone of the right hand of the accordion.

If you have only two switches, this instrument is considered an entry level accordion. You would have what is known as a middle reed and a low reed. A middle reed would be called a clarinet reed. A low reed in most instruments would be a bassoon reed. What they are is an octave apart. You might have a third switch combining the two clarinet and bassoon reeds together.

Moving up the latter of a piano accordion, you could have three sets of reeds on the right hand. The third set would be called a piccolo. So you’d have a low, a middle and a high reed, otherwise known as a bassoon, clarinet, and piccolo.

This particular accordion has four reeds which give me a lot of options and sound options.

To continue this lesson, order Accordion Classroom, Volume One: Getting Started with Palmer-Hughes Level 1 Instruction Book.

This tutorial is conjunction with the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course Book 1 and can be ordered here. We’ve bundled the two to save you money!

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