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The Left Hand Side of a Piano Accordion


By Gerry Jones of
Liverpool Country Dance Band

Most people understand the right-hand side of a
piano-accordion. The black and white notes are much
the same as a piano, organ, or electronic keyboard.

All those buttons on the left-hand (or BASS) side
are a mystery to most people, and they cannot
imagine how players know where to put their fingers.
Here are a couple of points to get you started.

You can count them if you like; this gives you the
general SIZE of the accordion. The biggest normal
accordion has 20 buttons in each of six rows, so
multiply these numbers and call it a 120-bass
accordion. It also has the most piano keys on the
other side. It is also the heaviest!!

The rest are smaller, with less piano keys, less
buttons – and less weight.

Popular numbers are 96-bass, 72-bass and 48-bass.

Anything smaller than that is nice and light, but
very limited. OK for a child, or to start with, but
you would soon outgrow it, and get fed up with how
little you can do with it.

You cannot see the buttons, so you must find your
way by touch.

You start by finding MIDDLE C, just like in your
piano–lessons. This is half-way along, in the middle
of the SECOND Row -almost the furthest row from your
wrist. You can only tell it by FEEL – there is
something different about it. In most cases, all the
other buttons have smooth rounded tops; this one in
“dished-in” or concave.

Once you have Middle C, you can find your way to
the other Letters. “Father
” will help you.
F C G D A E B so F is to the left of C while G is
just to the right, and so on.