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THE PIANO ACCORDION
The piano accordion, as everybody knows, now ranks as one
of the most popular of all our present-day instruments. It is a
marvelous solo instrument, for it plays both the melody and
the accompaniment and has such a breadth of harmony that it
is almost an entire orchestra in itself. It blends beautifully with
other instruments that it accompanies, and is a favorite for ac-
The accordion is supported by straps that go over your
shoulders, and the left strap should be shorter than the right
so the instrument will rest against your left shoulder. The black
keys on the keyboard should be directly beneath your chin.
As you play, you pull and push the bellows out and in with
your left hand, taking care to have a smooth, easy motion. The
idea is to pull the bellows open from the top, so they are in
the position shown in Fig, 117, Don't try to pull the bellows out
as far as they will go. That is neither good nor necessary. The
rule is to use as little of the bellows as possible.
Piano accordions are made with from 12 to 120 or more
basses, the usual in-between sizes having 24, 48, 60, 80 and 96
basses. These numbers refer to the number of buttons on the
bass section of the accordion, which is played by the left hand.
It is usually recommended that a person start with an instrument
having at least 24 bass buttons. The descriptions in this section,
however, are for a 12 bass accordion. Using the smaller num-
ber of buttons makes it easier for beginners to understand, and
the principles outlined here can easily be applied to a 24 bass
or larger instrument.