Recommended Music Books
I teach using the popular and time-tested Palmer-Hughes series of method books. No music store in Nashville (that I know of) carries them, but you can easily order them online. Amazon usually has the best prices (but check Sheet Music Plus too):
By the end of book two, most students should be ready to start playing some “normal” published accordion music. Here are a few good next steps:
- International Accordion Favorites
- French Songs for Accordion
- Italian Favorites For Accordion
- Light Classical Pieces For Accordion
- The Fiddler’s Fakebook — Fiddle books can be a wonderful resource for learning old-time, bluegrass, Irish, and other traditional folk music on the accordion. This one is probably my favorite.
- The Inner Game of Music — The seminal book on the often-neglected mental side of playing your instrument.
Some Recommended Recorded Music
In case you’re looking for some accordion inspiration. Most of these are available in both CD and MP3 download formats:
- Cafe Accordion — Dancing on the Moon
- Sharon Shannon
- Gus Viseur — De Clichy Broadway
- Yann Tiersen — Amelie: Original Soundtrack
- Art Van Damme — Accordion a La Mode & Perfect Match
- Frank Marocco — Just Friends
- Paris Musette — Start with Volume 1, but the whole series is great
Buying and Fixing
- Everything you want to know about selecting and buying an accordion is in George Bachich’s Piano Accordion Owner’s Manual and Buyer’s Guide. I can’t recommend this marvelous book enough!
- If you don’t mind shipping your accordion, Kimric Smythe at Smythe’s Accordion Center has a good reputation for repairs. He sells accordions too–I’ve bought a couple of Weltmeisters from him.
- The Button Box sometimes has good prices on smaller (under 120-basses) piano accordions. (And it’s the place to go for concertinas!)
- I use the free and open-source notation program MuseScore to create all my charts and handouts. Highly recommended!
- My current favorite metronome is the Perfekt Time Metronome from Shar Music. Powerful enough to stand up to even the loudest of accordions! [Note: It looks like they quit making these. Bummer! I’ll keep my eye out for a good replacement.]
- Peak makes the best folding music stand I’ve found. Much better than those flimsy metal jobs you usually see.
- And if you’re using a music stand outdoors, MusicMade’s music stand clips can save the day. (If you plan on using these with the Peak stand, let them know and they’ll gladly do a “custom bend” for you that better fits the Peak’s slightly thicker shelf.)