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Understanding Different Types of Accordions

Whether you are a professional musician looking to add an additional instrument to your repertoire or you want to play polka music, getting an accordion can be a great idea. Many affordable options are available in this large eBay collection. The combination of keys and billows makes for a unique sound as heard in many different types of music including big swing, polka, rock and roll, tango, and Cajun.

Choose from three accordion types

There are three main considerations used to describe this musical instrument.

  • Piano or button: Piano accordions have between 25 to 54 keys that are arranged in a white and black pattern similar to a piano keyboard while the other option has from one to five rows of buttons used to produce different melody notes.
  • Unisonoric or bisonoric: Unisonoric choices produce the same sound regardless of which way the bellows are pushed while bisonoric options produce different notes depending when the bellows are pushed or pulled.
  • Diatonic or chromatic: Diatonic options play in only one key and are often used in Cajun-style music while chromatic options can be adjusted to play in any key.

What types of reeds are used?

When a player hits keys or pushes a button, then the musical sound is produced by hitting a reed. The quality of the sound is determined by the reeds located inside. They are classified by four different types depending on how they are made. They are:

  • Commercial: These are manufactured by machine with little human interaction. They are usually mounted on an aluminum-reed plate.
  • Hand-finished: These reeds are cut by machine before being finished by hand, and they are usually made of steel. They are mounted on the reed plate by hand.
  • Tipo A Mano: These reeds are made of steel and they are finished and placed on the reed plate by hand.
  • Handmade: These heat-tempered reeds are made of duralumin steel by hand, and they are mounted on an aluminum reed plate.

What type of slides are found?

There are generally three types of slides. Slides may be automatic or turned on or off with a switch depending on the model. The types include:

  • Treble switches: These open and close specific slide registers controlling the upper ranges of the instrument's sound.
  • Bass switches: These open and close slide registers on the bass side of the instrument, and they are usually located near the bass board.
  • Quint switches: These change the sound of the instrument, allowing it to sound like a pipe organ by playing a perfect fifth.

How do you buy the right size?

It is important that the instrument fit the player correctly. Children wanting to learn to play and people who are smaller in stature should get a choice that is smaller. It is suggested that 80% of the weight be on the lap and 20% on the shoulders when sitting down to play. Search through eBay to find the new or used accordion size that will work for you.

As the leaves begin to change, ring in the Back to School season by shopping for everything your kids or students need to start off the year right, from stationary to accordions. 

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