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BUYING AN ACCORDION

Buying an accordion can be a daunting prospect, especially to those new to the accordion, so here are my tips and suggestions.

 

My general advice is to buy the biggest – in terms of keyboard and basses – that your budget allows. It is often a false economy to buy a small, cheaper accordion which has limited range for the type of music you might want to learn to play in the future.


I advise everyone to decide on a budget and then to stick to it.

The decision to buy new or second hand is a personal one and the following ten top tips for buying an accordion might help you find the perfect accordion for you.


Ten top tips for buying an accordion

  1. BASSES – having 96 or 120 bass buttons will give more flexibility. Fewer might limit your playing in the future.
  2. BUDGET – Stick to your budget. Decide what an accordion is worth to you.
  3. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY – Get a feel for the instrument, check all is working and is there a guarantee on the accordion? Especially if buying second hand.
  4. TRUSTED SELLER – Buy from someone you trust, be that a shop, online retailer or friend.
  5. SECOND HAND – Pre-owned accordions can offer great value for money. Many shops and online retailers have a good selection.
  6. BRAND – Bear in mind accordions are made in various countries and in varying quality. Do not assume that a European sounding name on an accordion means that it is made in Europe.
  7. PIANO OR BUTTON – This is very much personal taste, but if you are going for a button accordion, make sure you know which system it uses and, if you are going for lessons, can your teacher teach button accordion?
  8. SYSTEM – There are pros and cons for the different button systems. Make sure your teacher is comfortable teaching the system you choose before buying.
  9. ONLINE AUCTION SITES – Only use these if you know what you are getting or if you fancy a punt on an accordion.
  10. RESELLING – A good quality accordion, that has been well looked after should have a good resell value.

Buying an accordion online


I would always suggest buying your accordion from a trusted music shop or retailer, whether in a physical shop or online. But with the rise of online auction sites and online classified advert sites, we can't ignore buying from this sort of site.


In just the same way that budget is important when buying an accordion in a shop, this is just as important if buying in an online auction. Perhaps more so.


Before agreeing to any purchase, ask the seller lots of questions about the accordion. Find out for example:

  • How old is the accordion?
  • Do all the keys and buttons work?
  • Is there any damage to it?
  • Can you go and see it?
  • Can you see more photos?
  • What is the returns policy?

If the seller is not keen on answering or is vague with answers, maybe it is best not to go ahead.


Having said all of that, if the price is one you are happy to risk losing and you are willing to take a punt in an online auction, good luck!


Buying a second hand accordion


With a new accordion costing up to several thousand pounds, most of us are likely to buy our accordion second hand.


Having a budget and sticking to it is important. As is making sure that the accordion you buy suits your learning and playing aspirations. If possible, buy from an established accordion shop or online retailer and discuss with them what you want from an accordion and what you want to spend.


If you are just beginning to learn to play the accordion, you may want to buy a cheaper, smaller accordion to see how you get on. But bear in mind that you might ‘outgrow’ an accordion with a limited number of keys and basses. This is why there is a large market in second hand 48 bass and 24 bass accordions.


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