How Long Does It Take To Learn Accordion? - Squeeze Blog

How Long Does It Take To Learn Accordion?

I've had friends and family try out my accordion a few times, and as a result I've sometimes been asked to teach them how to play a simple song. This request has... proven difficult since there's a lot to learning how to play the accordion and I'm not sure I can just teach someone to play even the most simple songs in a few minutes. Or even a few hours!

I've been playing the accordion for almost 2 years, so while I still feel like a beginner in certain ways, I at least feel somewhat comfortable with my instrument at this point. But how long did it take me to get to that point?

It took quite a while for me to be able to play a song with both hands on the accordion. Like... at least around a month! And that was just to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. A lot of that time was just getting used to the left side, and being able to reliably find my way to the C button each time. And then coordinating my hands together to play a song. It's a bit like juggling the first time you try it: something just clicks in your brain but until then it's super confusing.

Of course, if you're used to the piano or another instrument where both hands are essentially playing two parts of a song, you'll probably be able to learn accordion a lot faster. I think piano is actually a harder instrument than the accordion in theory, as you're likely to find more complex phrases in the left hand.

...But when you first start out learning? I think accordion has a way steeper learning curve. Beginner songs on piano have a very static left hand; you usually end up holding down just one chord for an entire measure while you play the melody on the right hand. That doesn't really fly on the accordion though, the left side of the accordion tends to drown out the right side if you just hold down a chord while trying to play a melody over top of it. A beginner accordion song will typically have a basic staccato oom-pah-pah phrase in the left hand which just requires more movement. In order to really play a complete song, you need to get a handle on coordinating your hands way more immediately.

Anyways... how long does it take to learn the accordion? It varies from person to person but I think it's normal to take a month or even more to learn your first real song that uses both hands. It takes a long time, but once you get used to coordinating your hands, it gets easier to pick up new songs!

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