Accordions4u - Button accordion books from music to // 1 2 3 4 // by Uncle Billy

Welcome To Our Free Button Accordion Lesson

This lesson is for Full Size Accordions. If you have a 7 button accordion, please click here to go to the appropriate lesson.

Important Notice:

Before starting to play read the button accordion instructions first. Knowing this accordion information and how the symbols are utilized will enhance your ability to play our free accordion music lesson correctly.

If you are a button accordion beginner we suggest you start at the scales and work your way to the accordion tunes.

Taking Care Of Your Button Accordion.

Never open or close the accordion without pressing on the air or one of the other accordion buttons.

After use, make sure to fasten the two sides of the bellows of the accordion together using the straps provided. Keeping the accordion bellows strapped together, when not in use, prolongs the life of the bellows. Always store your button accordion in a dry place. Do not subject the accordion to excessive moisture or heat such as direct sunlight.

It is not advisable to play the accordion where the air is humid or dusty as the reeds & bellows might be affected.

About Our Button Accordion Books:

The songs in our accordion music books can be played on either the 1, 2 or 3 row diatonic button accordion. This is made possible because the Lower Scales singing notes, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La ,Ti & Do all start on the third button. The only exception is in the 3 row diatonic button accordions eg: Keys of GCF, and ADG where the lower scales all start on the second button. In this case just call the second button the third and usually there is no problem.

Bass accompaniment is only covered in Uncle Billy's Manual "LEARNIN' THE BUTTON ACCORDION, THE COMPLETE WANNABES MANUAL". found here

How Does The Button Accordion Work:

The accordion produces sounds when the bellows are expanded (PULL) and contracted (PUSH) making the air flow over the different size reeds inside the instrument. By depressing one of the accordion melody buttons and then alternately pulling and then pushing the bellows together you will find that the accordion will produce two notes. There are 10 buttons on the right side of a single row accordion, 21 on a double row accordion and 31 on a triple row accordion. On all types the top button is number 1. The bottom buttons are either 10 or 11 depending on the number rows your accordion has.

Positioning Of The Hands And Fingers:

Push your left hand through the accordion strap. Your left thumb should be in place to operate the air button and left fingers over the bass buttons you want to play. Place your right thumb through the loop and rest it on the side of the accordion button board. Placing the thumb behind the button board and nipping it between your thumb and right fingers will decrease dexterity and slow down your playing ability.

Place your right index finger on the number 3 button. The remaining fingers will fall in place on the number 4, 5 and 6 buttons. Keep your fingers in this position while playing the scales.

Try adding a shoulder strap and placing your thumb on the side of the accordion button board. You will probably find your fingers have a greater range of motion and are not stressed or impeded by having the thumb locked into the strap.

Note: Playing the button accordion bass accompaniment is covered in our Button Accordion Manual titled "LEARNIN' THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "THE COMPLETE WANNABES MANUAL." The series title is "THE PHD'S OF THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "PUSH HERE DUMMY, PULL HERE DUMMY"


Numbers written like this 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Push the bellows (IN) (> <) together.
Numbers written like this 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pull the bellows (OUT) (< >) apart.
Dashes behind numbers are played longer eg: 3 is do, 3 - is doo, and 3 - - is dooo

Major Scales, Lower Octave:

Lower Scales: Buttons 3 to 6
Higher Scales: Buttons 6 to 10
Major Scales

How To Play The Scales:

With your fingers and hands properly in place, place the accordion on your left lap with the accordion bellows just to the left of your thigh. Resting the bellows on the thigh will cause extra wear of the bellows and lessen the control of the instrument. After getting acquainted with holding the button accordion you can proceed with some exercises. Open the bellows. Pushing the bellows IN and pressing buttons 3, then 4, then 5 and 6 will produce the Do, Mi, So and Do notes. Pulling the bellows OUT and pressing the same buttons, 3, 4, 5, and 6 one after another will will produce the notes Re, Fa, La and Ti notes.

Now let's try a scale exercise. With your hands, fingers and accordion properly in place open the bellows. Remembering the notations let's play the lower scales, buttons 3 to 6.

Do push 3, Re pull 3, Mi push 4, Fa pull 4, So Push 5,
La Pull 5, Ti Pull 6 Do Push 6

Play the Scales from buttons 3 to 6 then continue playing back from 6 to 3. When you know how to play the IN (3, 4, 5, 6) and OUT (3, 4, 5, 6) numbers start playing the Major Scales above.

When you can play the Lower Scales forward and back six times in a row without making a mistake then you are ready to play the nursery rhymes.

The Higher Major Scales are played in the same manner

Twinkle Twinkle

[Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Instructions]
When you can play Twinkle Twinkle six times in a row without making a mistake then try London Bridge.

London Bridge:

[London Bridge - Instructions]
Six times, no mistakes rule again.

So Long
(It's Been Good To Know You)

[So Long: (It's Been Good To Know You) - Instructions]

Auld Lang Syne:

by Robert Burns

[Oul’ Land Syne - Instructions]

With a lot of IN notes in this tune you may find that the accordion bellows is running out of air. Correct use of the air button is one of the basic elements covered in our Button Accordion Manual, Learnin' The Button Accordion With companion CDs. This is volume 17 in our series of button accordion books titled"THE PHD'S OF THE BUTTON ACCORDION" sub title "PUSH HERE DUMMY, PULL HERE DUMMY"

Please feel free to view our Button Accordion Manual and Accordion Books in our store. Any suggestions for traditional songs or tunes that you may want to see in our future books are more then welcome.

Thank you for trying our sample accordion instructions and songs. If you have any questions please ask. We're only too glad to help.


An informal gathering of accordions and their players from around the Vancouver region.

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