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A New Student

A fellow contacted me during the week asking if I was the guy who taught button accordion. It is true that I have done a little bit of teaching. I have one regular student and another occasional student. I hadn’t thought about seeking another but this guy seemed really determined to learn.

He came over today for a first lesson. He has a nice accordion, with the notes arranged in what I’ve heard called the continental tuning. His box is a GCF like mine but the note arrangement is a little different. The G row has 12 buttons, the C row has 11 buttons and the F row has 10 buttons for a total of 33. I normally play either the 31 or 34 button system (sometimes called the Hohner or Gabbanelli systems), which are set up such that the C row is longer than either the F or the G row. As well, there is one button on the C row tuned so that the same note plays on either the push or the pull. This doesn’t occur on my accordions. All this is no big deal though. The fingering is close to being the same. The other thing I’ll say about his accordion is it is tuned very wet or what is sometimes called wide open musette. This is very typical with instruments for the Portuguese market.

My new student doesn’t have a musical background so we’re starting at the beginning. We talked about scales and notes and rests and notation and I had him start playing the C scale pushing and pulling air through the bellows. On diatonic accordions, the fingering is different pushing or pulling. This week he’ll work on some basic reading and getting used to playing the scale and then move on to some simple exercises I put together. After that, he’s going to move right into learning the melody side of a simple song.

I have to say that I enjoy teaching, and while I hadn’t planned for a new student, as long as this fellow works at it, I’ll be happy to help him learn.


  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Oh my, if this doesnt stop it will start eating into your mushroom hunting time. Next you will be posting free snippets of lessons to attract students and you will be so busy teaching and becoming famous you will have to hire a chef to flip those bbq burgers and fetch beer. Be careful here.

    • Well, I understand. At the same time, there aren’t many button accordion teachers around, and anyone crazy enough to want to learn this instrument deserves some help.

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