Learning the C Button Accordion

This Christmas I took the plunge and began learning the button accordion. As I spent quite a frustrating time on the internet trying to find a suitable tutorial I thought I’d share my experience here in case other learners find it useful.

I should point out that I can already play the piano accordion, so my advice may not be suitable for a complete beginner to the instrument.

In the absence of a teacher, the quickest way to learn a new instrument is with a suitable tutorial. Looking around online two books were mentioned

Methode d’Accordeon Vol1 by Maugain Manu


(Click on the images to be taken to Amazon)

Both books are only available in French. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem to someone who can already read music as the fingering is clear. If you can’t read music, you’ll need another book to explain note lengths and values.

I ordered both books. As the Methode d’Accordeon Vol1 by Maugain Manu was the first to arrive that’s the one I’ve mainly been learning from. It’s the more modern of the two books, and proceeds at a slower pace. If you can afford both books, buy them. Otherwise, If you’ve never played the accordion before the Maugain Manu is the one for you as it takes its time introducing the left hand. If you are already a confident piano accordion player and just want to learn the fingering of the right hand then the Ferrero Medard book may be more to your taste.

I’ve been learning for a week now and everything I’d read appears to be true… the button accordion does appear a more natural way to play. It’s not that great a step up from the piano keyboard, particularly given that my left hand is already used to using buttons, albeit in a stradella layout. I do have a tendency to get lost with the right hand still, and it’s difficult at the moment to play by ear, but that’s improving as I learn the scales (and there are only three fingerings to learn for the major scales… ).

Sadly, the button accordion is going to have to go back in its case for a few days whilst I practice for a gig on the piano accordion, but I’m already looking forward to getting it back out again…

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