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What Are the Best Tips for Buying a Used Accordion?

By Dee Jones
Updated May 23, 2024
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Buying a used accordion can be a challenge, especially for those who don’t have experience with these musical instruments. When buying an accordion, don’t judge it on how it looks on the outside, since an accordion can have internal, unseen problems. Check the accordion for leaks, which can cause poor compression. Do a visual check to make sure the buttons and keys aren’t misaligned, and press on them to make sure they aren’t loose or stuck. Whether buying an accordion from a private seller or a retail establishment, be sure to ask how old the accordion is, and how much it has been used. Getting some kind of warranty or guarantee on the accordion is also a good idea.

When buying a used accordion, the instrument's appearance is not a good indication of its condition. A used accordion can look excellent on the outside, but its inner workings could be damaged in ways a visual check won’t reveal. Ask someone to play the accordion, and listen carefully for a hissing sound that could be an indication of an air leak that will result in poor compression. If the accordion continues to play even when none of its buttons or keys are being pressed, this could be another sign that it has a leak. Finally, if the bellows are easy to pull out even when no keys are being played, this could also mean the accordion has a leak.

The condition of the buttons and keys on a used accordion is also very important. While misaligned buttons or keys can be repaired, this is an avoidable added expense. Before buying a used accordion, give the keys and buttons a visual check to see how straight they look. Push the buttons to see if any feel too loose, too hard to press down on, or stuck in the pressed position.

Asking questions about a used accordion can help make judgments about its condition. When buying from a private owner, ask how old the accordion is, and how often it has been played. An accordion that was bought for a child who lost interest quickly might be in better condition than an accordion that is the same age, but has been played frequently. Try to get a guarantee or warranty that the accordion can be returned for a full refund if it proves to be unsatisfactory in some way.

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Discussion Comments
By golf07 — On Feb 12, 2012

Whenever I think of an accordion I am reminded of my mom watching the Lawrence Welk show. There was a man on this show who was quite talented at playing the accordion.

This is a musical instrument that you don't seem to hear much about anymore. When I have watched someone playing a piano accordion it looks like there are several things going on at once.

Not only do you have to use the buttons on one side, but you also move the accordion in different positions at the same time.

For me, this looks like something that would take a lot of practice to be very good at. I have always been somewhat fascinated with these instruments. If I ever came across a used piano accordion I would be tempted to buy it and see if I could learn how to play it.

By Mykol — On Feb 12, 2012

Our state fair holds an accordion contest every year. I have watched this competition many times, and very seldom have I seen young people in this competition.

Most of the contestants are older folks who have been playing the accordion for many years. One man who is in his 90's goes to our church and enters this contest every year.

He usually wins first place in his category because he plays one of the old button accordions. I don't know much about accordions, but always like to hear him play.

If he ever sold his used button accordion, the new owner would easily be able to tell this accordion has been around for a long time and has been used often.

By bagley79 — On Feb 11, 2012

@John57 - My dad found a used Hohner accordion for sale in an antique shop that had a large variety of items.

I don't know how unusual it is to find an accordion for sale in a shop like this, but he has been quite pleased with his purchase.

The shop owner couldn't answer many of his questions, but my dad knew what to look for and was able to try it out by playing it.

From what he could gather, this accordion had not been played much and had been collecting dust for quite some time.

My dad knows how to play several musical instruments, and there was never a shortage of them around our house. He plays in a small town band, and the accordion is something many people enjoy hearing.

By John57 — On Feb 11, 2012

I have been in the market for a used accordion and this article has several helpful tips.

It sounds like the best thing is to try and find a used accordion locally. This way I would be able to ask questions and personally check out the accordion.

I have seen several accordions for sale online, but after reading this article think I will pursue other places to find one.

It would be pretty frustrating to purchase one online and find out it needed quite a few repairs done on it.

I don't have any experience in playing this instrument, but have always been fascinated by it. It is a good thing to know what to look for as far as possible leaks and problems with the buttons and keys.

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