Day 170: Learning the Accordion

(While you read this post I want you to listen to this in the background. It’s very… well, I don’t know what it is, but I like it and it’s inspiring. And I have pretty much been listening to it on repeat while writing the last half of this post. Are you listening to it now? Good. It truly makes this post that much better.)

The accordion is making a come back! While you might be thinking that that is one ridiculous statement, you might actually be listening to the accordion more often than you think (and I got you to right now, didn’t I?). Panic At  The Disco uses one, Mumford & Sons use one, Edward Maya uses one… and the list goes on and on. It doesn’t really surprise me, though. The accordion can create a really beautiful, unique and fresh sound. Something that music these days could really use more of. (And in fact, between that last sentence and this one, I was just on YouTube for like 10 minutes captivated by all these sweet accordion covers of “Stereo Love” which led me to find this lovely song you’re (hopefully still) listening to right now!)

But anyways, growing up I remember my sister chasing our dog around the house while making noise on the accordion, but for some reason, I never remember hearing anyone actually play it in my house. I thought that should change. But after getting the accordion out, putting it on, and realizing how crazy heavy and awkward it was, I decided that I wasn’t going to be the person to play it and put it back in its case.

Just kidding. I mean, it truly was heavy and awkward- that thing is a beast- but I was determined to play it. My mom was kind enough to try to understand it with me and gave me some pointers and suggestions, most of which didn’t really help me, seeing as how my arms and hands were barely big enough to hold the thing, let alone make something pleasant come from it. I finally found that if I stood with one leg bent up- like a flamingo- I could support the beast better and actually use the bellows (the big part that opens and closes). While I was able to actually make sounds now, I only made it more awkward to hold.

After a lot of fumbling, my mom suddenly remembered to tell me we had a smaller one. Thanks.  At this point I had given up trying to learn this instrument, but decided I needed to try to stick it out. (And honestly, even the nonsensical sounds I was executing from the beast were fun and exciting, so I didn’t really mind!)

The smaller one was much easier to manage and with it came an accordion beginner book! I handed the beast over to my mom and we started to play some duets. I mean… we played sounds from our accordions at the same time and called them duets. It was great. Until the beast got the best of her and she decided to go water plants.

This was now my time to shine. I opened the accordion book to page 1 and thus began my first self-taught lesson. It was so fun! I learned about the chord and bass rows, and I even learned how to read some basic accordion music!

This is the first song I played on the accordion. It’s called ‘Batter’s Up’. My friend, Nate Shorb, would be proud.

I am most definitely going to continue learning this wonderful instrument. Who knows, maybe I’ll be playing in the background of a Coldplay song one day.

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2 Comments on “Day 170: Learning the Accordion”

  1. N Shorb Says:

    oh. my. goodness.
    so i’m a little late seeing this. but seriously, that song is more complex and more smooth than anything i’ve ever played on the accordion. i need to get my hands on that lesson book.
    seriously…i’m impressed.
    more inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vopaDE_9aE&feature=related


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