Is there any musty or moldy smell to the accordion or case?
I think this is one of the most important questions you can ask. Because if there is a musty or moldy smell to the accordion, that means the accordion was not stored properly. Getting rid of mold in an accordion is one of the most pain staking process I had to encounter. Not only is it time consuming, but also very expensive. Once mold is in the accordion, wood starts to swell causing many problems with keys and button function. Rust will start to form on the reed plates and causing the accordion to go out of tune. Most of the time if mold has set into the accordion it is not worth fixing, unless you have a strong attachment to the instrument. But it will be expensive.
Do all treble keys on the keyboard work properly?
If there are keys that stick and/or protrude and are unaligned on the keyboard, you will need to take each key out of the keyboard track. By doing this, you will need to take the axle pin out to release the keys one by one (be careful not to bend the rod, difficult to bend back.) Usually when the key sticks, the spring has come off the shaft or needs to be adjusted. Some time the spring breaks. Sometimes the tracking that the valve rod shaft sits in begins to swell and will need to be sanded. When the keys become unaligned, you will need to find the key that is protruding above the other keys and bend the valve rod slightly back without breaking or bending it to much. So, when someone tells you that a key sticks or protrudes above the other keys, remember what you might have to do to fix the problem.
Does each key sound when pressed and are they in tune?
The best way to check if keys are sounding and are in pitch, is to press each key squeezing the bellows in and then press the key while pulling the bellows out. If a key does not sound. You will need to open the accordion up and take a look at the treble reeds, by pulling out all the reed blocks. Some times there is a piece of dirt or wood chip that is stuck in the tongue of the reed plate. This can be corrected just by flicking the tongue with a thin knife. It is very important that you do not touch the metal on the reed plates. The oil from your finger can make the reeds go out of tune. Another reason for a key to not sound, is that the tongue is broken off on the reed. If this happens you will need to send your accordion out to get fixed by a professional accordion repair man. Because the reed will need to be taken out of the accordion, and a new reed plate will be placed back in and then re waxed. This can be a pricey process.
Is the Accordion in tune?
When a reed is out of tune, the accordionist will notice an excessive amount of vibrato or tremolo on one particular key. This usually means that one of the three or four reeds controlled by that key has dropped in pitch. If one or more keys are out of tune, you will need to take the accordion to a repairman. This process is done only by a professional . They will open up the accordion and pull out the reed blocks. They will locate which reeds are out of tune. Sometimes when the pitch is way out of tune, this indicates that the reed tongue is cracked or broken at the base. (Reed will need to be replaced) Sometimes the reed is just a little out of tune. The repairman will use a pitch pipe to find the correct pitch. Then he will ever so lightly file the reed tongue to the correct tone.
So when the seller tells you, that the accordion could be a little out of tune. Remember, that it could be very costly to bring the accordion back to the correct tone.
Do all the Bass Keys (buttons) work properly?
First look for any sticking or sluggish buttons. It is frustrating playing an accordion
with sticking or sluggish keys. If the bass button is stuck, you will need to open the back bass panel. First unscrew the bass strap, so it will not get in your way. After the panel is open you will need to remove each bass shaft individually. You must not mix bass shafts or you will have a real mess on your hands. Each shaft has a different number of pins connected to it. Sometimes the pins will get caught under the upright pin from the pipes. This will need to be corrected. If the pins are not the problem, then sometimes the pipes need to be removed and cleaned. This will give the buttons quicker action. Sometimes the whole will need to be sanded if the head of the button keeps getting stuck. One easy way to check if a bass note or notes is stuck, is to squeeze the accordion without hitting any keys or buttons, if the accordion makes a sound then there is a stuck key or keys.
I have been taking lessons from David for a year he’s an amazing teacher and musician, also made it possible to take lessons by doing them in my own home as im disabled and not able to go places some times because of pain but still able to do lessons at home. Thank you so much David!
Eric – California
I am Aruna , a accordion lover from Canada.
Play accordion is my dream from my Childhood, this dream start to first step when I find David accordion class website! and I believe now this dream come true after I learn accordion with David for several years!
David is a wonderful music teacher! He not only teach me accordion instrument itself but also guide me to enjoy all kinds style music , I am really really enjoy each class with David , accordion class enriching my life and music opened my mind to a beautiful world .
Thank you so much David !
Aruna Li – CANADA
David is such an excellent teacher. I love our lessons so much I look forward to them every week.
He has extensive knowledge of the history of the instrument, different styles of music that the accordion is used in, and music in general. It’s also a bonus when he plays a song – he’s so talented!
It’s intimidating learning a new instrument especially one as complicated as the accordion and David puts me at ease by making the lessons fun and easy to understand. He’s so patient and works through difficult measures with me until I make progress. 10/10 I highly recommend David’s lessons – I wouldn’t be playing without them!
Jessica Jones – Las Vegas
David provides fun, challenging lessons catered to the individual and because of this I am playing accordion much better than I thought possible.
See you at Noon (my time) tomorrow, if this is not right, let me know.
Romona – Walker, MN
I had an old accordion sitting around that I had always intended to to play. One day I decided to do an internet search for an instructor, and I couldn’t find one in my area but I found David’s website. He did Skype lessons so I was in luck! I loved taking lessons from David from the start. He’s a super accomplished musician. He gives the perfect amount of encouragement and motivation. I’ve learned so much in a relatively short amount of time studying with David. And I now love playing the accordion!
Ashley Floyd – Albuquerque, NM
David is an excellent instructor who uses extremely effective methods to teach the accordion. He continually challenges me to play more difficult versions of songs I know and more difficult material, in general. He never lets me sit on my current skills, but pushes me to be better. This has allowed me to quickly become proficient in my playing. His laid back personality makes for a comfortable setting and I never feel intimated, even if I fail to play a piece correctly. I recommend David for players of all skill levels.
Dr. Benton Fazzolari
David has been my accordion teacher for many years now and I absolutely love our lessons together. David is fun and engaging and very supportive. He is an incredibly talented musician himself and I have grown tremendously as a musician since beginning our lessons together. I have so much fun during our lessons and always have engaging assignments to work on between lessons. I plan on taking lessons with David for years and years to come!
Rachael Johnston – Toronto, Canada
I highly recommend David McAfee for accordion lessons. He is an encouraging and patient teacher. He is very interested on what your individual goals are and he helps you with setting goals for what you want to accomplish with your instrument. He listens. My name is Carolyn Calcaterra and I live in Ridge Manor Estates, Florida which is in central Florida. I am an older student who has gone back to playing after 25 years of not touching my accordion.
Carolyn – Forida
David is an inspiring and intuitive teacher, he knows exactly how to pace the lesson so that I’m pushed to learn as much as possible but still feel comfortable. I’ve previously had face to face accordion lessons and was unsure that Skype lessons would work out but they do! So much so that I’m playing music I’ve only dreamt of playing. I started lessons with David at a beginning level several years ago and am now performing on stage! Weather your goal is to play accordion as a hobby or perform someday, I highly recommend his lessons.
Stephanie Roshto – Las Vegas
I have been extremely fortunate to have taken Skype accordion lessons with David the past 4 years. David’s enthusiastic and encouraging teaching style has produced the best effort from me which has far exceeded my expectations. I started with him as a beginner and have made steady progress through his mix of accordion instruction books, classical exercises, and supplemental sheet music that he selects to develop new skills. He sprinkles in practical music theory, so I have an understanding of what I am doing and why. David is particularly skilled with giving lessons via Skype. He can hear a “clunker note” while I am playing a complicated piece of music and he easily observes my physical technique and resolves problems as needed. He customizes the lesson to address my needs as a student and suit my interests. If I want to try polka or Cajun music, he helps me add that into our lesson plan. I am very analytical and he has coaxed feeling into my music. I highly recommend accordion lessons with David. It’s a fun and enlightening hour that I look forward to each week.
Sheree – Minneapolis
Dave – Loris, SC
I have been a student of David McAfee for about 5 years now. I am so fortunate to have found such an outstanding accordion teacher. David is a teacher in the true sense of the word. He is patient and offers constant encouragement with the goal of sharing is obvious love for the instrument and music. David doesn’t just tell you what keys to push but integrates music theory and also tries to help you experience the emotion of the music you are playing. David has a warm and friendly personality and seems concerned about me as a person not just another student. I consider David a friend. Lois, South Carolina.
Lois – South Carolina
Pat Walworth, Gilmer, Texas David is a great accordion teacher. His lessons are clear and encouraging and FUN! He teaches to the student rather than to the book. His lessons have taken me from an un-coordinated bumbler to someone who really enjoys playing for an audience! I’d recommend him to anyone at any age.
Pat – Texas
I feel very lucky to have found David to continue my love for the accordion. In addition to improving my playing, he has introduced me to music from different cultures and how to add color and interest to any piece of music. Most of all, our lessons are upbeat and fun. I always look forward them.
Mary Thomas – Bayonne, NJ
I tell everyone that David is my best teacher ever. He is always super attentive and encouraging. His lessons are tailored to my musical level and interests. I always look forward to my weekly lessons via Skype.
Frank Britton Niles – Michigan, USA
Learning to play accordion was a life long dream for me, and I thought it would remain just that (a dream) because having a family and running my own business there is absolutely no time to go out and look for music lessons , probably would’ve done it for a month or two and then quit putting my dream to rest for ever. online lessons via skype with David it completely change that, every week I have my lesson in my own home in my pajamas. its great. David has the patience and definitely the know how to get you going from the very beginning and I can say for myself that it has being very motivating seeing the improvement.
Fred – Parsippany NJ
I was 30. I had not seen an accordion in person. I found David’s contact from his youtube channel. When I called him, I had so many questions. David was answered all my questions patiently and diligently. He gave me confidence to take the plunge. I purchased an accordion from David. I also started taking weekly lessons from David via Skype. In a couple of months, I started playing out in the streets. Two years later, I’m now playing out several hours a week. The accordion has changed my life. If you’re looking for accordion lessons, I strongly recommend David. He’s the best!
Anand – San Francisco, CA
As I mentioned earlier this is a crazy time, so I promise to do this on
Monday or Tuesday next week. I too have enjoyed learning from you and
appreciate your patience. Okay then, I’ll be backatcha soon. Good idea
Richard – Pittsburgh Pa
I have been taking lessons with David McAfee for over one year and have seen much progress. I appreciate and recommend his teaching skills .
Lois – Tennessee
I have been taking lessons with David since 2014 and can’t believe how fortunate I was to run across his website years ago. After not playing for decades, David got me off to a good restart and I never imagined I’d be able to make the progress that I have. Lessons are fast paced, well structured, challenging; David enables you to do the “impossible”. As an added bonus, his great sense of humor makes lessons fun!
Skip – Falmouth MA
I started learning accordion from scratch with David just seven months ago, and my progress has been huge. I did start with piano and music reading in my background. David’s teaching style is relaxed but his standards for accomplishment are challenging and he holds me to them (thankfully!). Getting my lessons over skype has been a perfect substitute for being there in person. If you have a reliable and typically fast internet service, then you should be fine too. I don’t think that “not being there” this has hindered my progress at all. David provides the lesson sequence partially through the Palmer-Hughes series Accordion course, but he also introduces other music and some progressive technical exercises to round out the selections for learning. The additional songs are longer pieces with characteristics not found in the lesson book series, and they are challenging and fun. I look forward to every lesson.
Ken Hodina – Bloomington Indiana.
My son is 13 years old and LOVES taking accordion lessons from David McAfee! We had one in person lesson and the others have been online. The online option is amazing and David does such a good job teaching it is almost like being right there. I have watched my sons confidence grow in the instrument and himself. he can freely communicate and share during his lessons. It is awesome to watch my son learn an art that he is so interested in.
M. Ansell – Pittsburgh
Upon retirement I took up accordion lessons with David. His lessons provided just the right mix of technique and music theory, along with ample popular music selections. He is very flexible, and besides the technical exercises and music from the Palmer-Hughes series, he will add music that you enjoy with every lesson (popular, jazz, polkas, waltzes, etc.). David simplifies any arrangements if overly difficult for your current skill level. David brings a love of music and enthusiasm for teaching the accordion to every lesson – you won’t be disappointed with his lessons and the experience will add joy to your life.
Rob Anderson – Prescott, AZ
Here you go. “David pushes to improve my playing skills but there’s no shame when mistakes are made. At the beginning we jumped right in and did not spend tedious amounts of time on lots of technique but honed it as we went along. I especially like that when life happens and the memory, skills, and practicing lacks we adjust the pace but keep moving forward.” Laura Kulp Stratford WI
I have enjoyed the lessons too and I’m pretty impressed how far I’ve gotten!
Laura Kulp – Wisconsin
David is an amazing teacher. He’s patient, knowledgeable, very personable and makes the lessons both challenging and fun. I was a blank slate: I had zero experience in either accordion or music theory and David’s persistence and hearty encouragement have brought me to one of the advanced lesson books in the series. I love learning to play the accordion, I love practising, and being taught by David has been a privilege.
Kathy Cleveland – Ohio
It had been 50 years since I studied music, but my ‘retiree bucket list’ included learning to play a ‘portable piano’ aka ‘accordion’. My family thought I was wasting my time, but I bought a small “25 button” anyway. Conversely, David thought I would soon outgrow the beginner model and encouraged me to move up to 120 buttons. In spite of my decades, he patiently but methodically increases the complexity of the pieces. He introduces liturgical and secular music for each season, so I always have something ready to play (usually with David’s “augmentations” so the simplist pieces sound impressive). David’s accordion lessons have been a big boost of confidence. My friends are amazed at my progress, but no one has been more surprised than me.
Rosemary – Atlantic Beach, FL
Learning to play the Accordion with David has been amazing. We use the Palmer-Hughes series, but even better, David provides additional full music pieces for the Accordion right from the beginning. Two weeks in I started learning “Mademoiselle de Paris” without any previous music experience. Over that past few years we covered French, Italian, Christmas, and even Irish music. And the best is yet to come.
Moshe – Los Angeles
I started my accordion lessons with David 7 years ago. I was in my mid-twenties and never played an instrument. My goal was learning a few chords to play with friends. In a short period, I learned how to read music, and a couple of years later I was performing at retirement homes. I advanced much farther than I anticipated. David’s is very patient and non judgmental. Learning to play the accordion has been a dream come true. I am very thankful for David to have taught me that.
Harvey – Virginia
Our son has been taking accordion lessons from David for 5 years. Weekly lessons with David have really helped our son become a much better player and he is always encouraged by David’s upbeat attitude. We feel very fortunate to have found David’s studio.
Shruti Rajan – Columbia, MO
I’ve been taking accordion lessons from David for just over 2 years now and in my opinion he’s an excellent accordion teacher. He spends the necessary time to get his points across and in a manor conducive to learning. David uses the gold standard “Palmer-Hughes” accordion method but injects well thought out additional pieces that are not only more modern and nicer to play but, also teach the student additional lessons, as well as generating successes, that will place him or her well in advance or their current place in “Palmer-Hughes”, so ones progress is faster. I recommend David to anyone wanting to learn the accordion whether they can take lessons at his studio, like I do, or via Skype. David is well worth it and certainly greatly enhances the accordion experience.
Tony Pittsburgh – Pa
My name is Mandy Hickman. I’m from the middle of nowhere in Saint Regis Falls NY. I began accordion lessons with David a couple of years ago and it has been on and off as circumstances change. I absolutely love David. He is a wonderful teacher who really takes the time to get to know you and where you want to go as an accordionist. He is very thorough, meaning that when you get stuck on something, he helps you get through it and you are not moving on until you get it. I have come so far with the accordion and am loving it! And as I tell everyone who hears me… It’s my teacher. I would not be where I am today without him!
Mandy – New York
If your wanting to learn how to play the accordion don’t wait any longer. I found David doing a web search and have found him to be a pleasure. Dave just doesn’t stick to the book but is eager for me to learn everything he knows. Passing this art along is his passion and I look forward to my lessons. This machine with its 41 keys and 120 buttons makes sense to me with Dave as my teacher.
Gary Raley Sicklerville – New Jersey
Accordion teachers are hard to come by, especially good ones. I stumbled upon David’s YouTube page while searching for videos on how to teach myself because all the teachers I knew just lived too far. I was skeptical at first about how Skype classes would work out, but David doesn’t skip a beat. Each lesson is cohesive, clear, and most importantly – FUN. He is always in a great mood, easy to talk to, and finds endless ways to personalize the lesson and technique to your own needs, style, and level. I’m an actor so my schedule changes regularly, but David is always flexible, available throughout the week to answer questions, and I can save time by not having to travel to class! The only downside? I can’t see him in person to give him endless high fives.
Masha King – New York City
Thank for the great lesson! I’ll definitely have some excellent stuff to work on. Also, I just wanted to say thanks again for doing this online instruction. You’re a great teacher and this method fits perfect with my highly mobile life. I’ll be in touch soon to schedule another round of lessons.
Zach – Denver Corado
I was skeptical about taking music lessons by Skype, but thought I would give it a try since there are no accordion teachers in my area. Skype lessons with David have turned out to be quite a pleasure and much better than the best I could have imagined. First of all, David pays such close attention to my playing that he picks up on little details that I thought might go by unnoticed through a video lesson ( e.g. fingering and minor issues with my accordion reeds). Also, because David is so personable, the lessons are fun and I forget that we are not actually in the same room together. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have been taking weekly lessons for only two months and my playing has already improved considerably. All and all, I am extremely happy with my accordion lessons with David through Skype: I have an attentive teacher, the lessons are fun, I am getting much better, and the only thing I’m missing from taking lessons with a teacher in person is the drive!
Bruno (student) – New York City
I have been learning the accordion with David for a few months now and would happily recommend his Skype tutoring service. I have progressed well since starting the lessons and really enjoyed David’s teaching style. He covers all the basics and fundamentals necessary for my level but also focuses on chord structures and progressions with an eye on mor advanced technique.
Stuart Dorin, (student) – London,England
I love the Skype lessons! It allows me to learn how to play accordion from the comfort of my own home. I just set up a time to meet and then do the lesson! It’s quick, easy and painless. David is very knowledgeable about the accordion and I have learned so much from him in only a few months. I would highly recommend the Skype lessons with David to anyone who wants to learn accordion, but may be hesitant about online lessons.
Matthew (student) – Atlanta, Georgia