Spink Comhaltas

From the blog

Taking care of your accordion

The accordion is a relatively robust instrument but many of the points for maintaining a concertina also apply here.

  1. Have a hard storage case for your accordion if possible.  An accordion should always stand on it’s “feet” i.e. on the bass button end (you will notice 4 studs to stand it on).  If the accordion is in a case, stand it on it’s feet.  (The reason is that the valves inside the accordion are made of leather and this is the best way to maintain their shape – similar reason for a concertina).
  2. Temperatures … accordions do not like extremes of cold and heat.  So, do not leave your concertina in the car overnight or in the car during hot sunny weather, or store it beside a radiator.  Some internal parts of the accordion are made of wax and can melt.
  3. If your accordion has been in a cold place and you bring it into a warm room, give it some time to warm up before you play it.  This will let the steel reed inside the accordion to warm up to room temperature.  Otherwise, you will have warm air going through a cold reed and you will get moisture condensing on the reed.
  4. Keep dust and smoke away from the concertina and dust the accordion regularly.  Ensure your hands are clean when playing the accordion.  Dirt and dust can get in through the metal or wooden panels on the outside and affect your inner reed pan
  5. Keep your accordion dry – wet or damp will damage the bellows or cause the reeds to rust.  Also, if you have a cat … don’t let them sit into the accordion case … they’re likely to pee in it … or worse!
  6. If you notice air leaking from the accordion (either at the end or out of the bellows) then you need to get this seen to immediately.
  7. Should you notice a button not working, a button beginning to stick or vibrate or a squeak you feel shouldn’t be there, it may be time to get your accordion tuned and serviced.  Spink Comhaltas can recommend a reputable specialist for you.
  8. And last, but not least, keep playing your instrument regularly, at least every second day as the levers and springs can begin to seize up and the reeds can slip out of tune as a result so just keep on playing as best you can.

The following video will give you an insight into what the inside of an accordion looks like – don’t go messing with your instrument unless you know what you’re doing!

Mark Vesey