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Purchasing a good beginner accordion is the first step in the journey to becoming proficient with the instrument, but there are a number of common questions new accordion players ask, and there are a number of key decisions you will need to make, in order to acquire the best beginner accordion for your specific needs.
In this buyer’s guide, we aim to answer some of these questions and explain some of the main choices, such as the option for either a button or piano accordion, or the option for an acoustic or digital accordion.
What are the Best Beginner Accordions?
Beginner Accordions Reviews
The Hohner Panther Diatonic Accordion is a great beginner accordion for those who would prefer a button accordion over a piano-based equivalent. Featuring 31 treble keys, along with 12 bass/chord buttons, it is relatively easy to pick up and play, which is ideal for when you are just starting out.
Hohner’s Panther accordion is able to play in the keys of G/C/F and has been carefully designed to produce great tone at an affordable price. The instrument is easy to hold and transport, which makes it dependable for use in all settings, while the classy black finish ensures it will look great while you play too.
As the most affordable option in this list, the Hohner Panther Diatonic Accordion is going to be the best beginner accordion if price is a major factor for you. However, Hohner is also one of the most respected musical instrument manufacturers in the world, especially when it comes to accordions, so you will not be sacrificing quality.
Another excellent beginner accordion from Hohner comes in the form of the Hohnica 1303 12 Bass Piano Accordion, and this is a particularly great option if you are seeking a piano accordion, rather than a button accordion.
Once again, if affordability is a major priority for you, this accordion is arguably the ideal starting point and it is specifically marketed as an entry-level option. Nevertheless, it benefits from solid build quality, and its lightweight design and complimentary gig bag make it perfect for when portability is required.
The Hohner Hohnica 1303 12 Bass Piano Accordion has 26 piano keys, along with 12 bass buttons and its eye-catching design also helps it to stand out. If you are interested in learning to play a piano accordion, need an instrument that will serve you well in the long term, but do not want to break the bank, the 1303 is an excellent all-round choice.
Roland V-Accordions are well-known for combining traditional design elements with modern, digital technology and the FR-1x Piano V-Accordion is an excellent starter accordion if you have a larger budget to work with.
The V-Accordion is a digital option, with all the benefits of a regular accordion, plus you have greater control over your sound.
While the tones produced by the instrument are exceptional, there are also various digital options too, including on-board effects and the ability to adjust volume easily. Meanwhile, USB and MIDI connectivity gives you options to pair the accordion up with other instruments or devices too, for complete control.
The accordion includes 26 piano keys and has been made with portability in mind, while its stylish red color helps to give it a modern aesthetic. As a result, this may be the ideal accordion for beginners with money to spend.
Finally, if you have a good budget to work with and want a top-quality button accordion, rather than a piano-based model, look no further than the Hohner Corona II Diatonic Accordion, which comes complete with adjustable straps for total comfort and a gig bag for easy transportation.
The accordion features 31 treble keys, and 12 bass keys, and has been carefully designed to sound great while playing Tex-Mex, Latin folk and various other similar styles of music. The instrument plays in the keys of G/C/F and is ideally suited for practice sessions, studio work, and live performances.
Sound clarity and build quality are both excellent, while a classy black finish helps to give the instrument a professional feel. These elements all combine to make the Hohner Corona II a superb choice for a beginner accordion, or even as a more advanced option for when you want to take your playing to the next level.
Beginner Accordion Buyer’s Guide
Is the Accordion Hard to Learn?
The first thing many people want to know before purchasing a starter accordion is whether or not the instrument is hard to learn. In truth, this is a difficult question to provide a short answer to, because there are many variables, including different types of accordion and whether you have previous experience in playing a relevant instrument.
As a general rule, there are two main aspects of playing the accordion that new players struggle with. The first of these is learning to use both your left and right hand for different actions. Those who have previously played piano or keyboard sometimes find it easier to get the coordination down, but it can still be a challenge.
The second aspect is learning how to operate the bellows. Accordions are largely defined by the bellows, and learning this element is comparable to using a bow on a violin in terms of overall importance to your sound. With that being said, operating the bellows and coordinating your left and right hand both get much easier in time, as you start to develop muscle memory and learn exactly how they impact upon the sound your instrument produces.
As with any instrument, you will need to invest time and effort, but once you get the hang of some of the main techniques involved, the accordion is a perfectly accessible instrument for beginners.
Button vs. Piano Accordions
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make when seeking out your beginner accordion is whether you want a button accordion or a piano accordion, and it is important to understand how these options differ.
The button accordion option features buttons on the melody side of the accordion, which are typically arranged in rows and will usually produce notes according to the diatonic scale. By contrast, a piano accordion features piano-style keys on the melody side of the accordion, and these are played in much the same way as a piano or keyboard.
As a general rule, button accordions like Hohner Panther and Corona II are easier to pick up and play, although this may not be the case if you have prior experience in playing either a piano or a keyboard. It is also worth noting that, in many parts of the world, including in the United States, you will find more piano accordion options than button accordion options. Therefore, if the range of choice is a top priority, starting with a piano-based model such as Hohner Hohnica 1303 and Roland FR-1x Piano may be a sensible choice.
Digital vs. Acoustic Accordions
Another major decision you will need to make is the choice between a digital accordion or an acoustic accordion. Digital accordions produce their sound on a more artificial basis, but the benefits include a wider range of options, such as changing the sound you produce, using sound effects, and connecting to other devices via USB.
Acoustic accordions, on the other hand, are more traditional and the sound produced is a direct product of air flow through the instrument. There will be far fewer sound options available, but many people prefer the tones produced by an acoustic accordion and view the instrument as being more authentic.
Of course, pricing can also be a factor in this decision, but it is also worth noting that digital accordions are compatible with headphones, which can be ideal for when you are just starting out. Ultimately, the decision between acoustic or digital accordion is likely to come down to personal preference and will depend on your own individual goals