Invented in Europe in the early 1800’s, the accordion has a unique, and easily identifiable sound. The accordion is an extremely versatile instrument that can be played in musical styles such as Jazz, Rock, Celtic, German, Folk, and Cajun. However, if you’re a musician, finding the best accordions for sale can be a difficult, and confusing task. That’s why we wrote this guide to the best accordions.
Below you can find our favorite pick “Best Buy ♥“, which is the best balance of cost vs. quality on our list. Also listed is our “Best of the Best ♠”model, which is the highest quality accordion on our list, regardless of price tag. Because music is important to you, and because you’ll be spending a large amount of time using and practicing with your accordion of choice it’s critical you get the right advice. So take some time to digest the information below.
For a quick overview, below is our list of the Best Accordions. For more in-depth information, scroll below.
Hohner Panther (Diatonic)
♥ Best Buy Award
It comes as no surprise that a company as distinguished as Hohner has gained our Best Buy award.
In the key of G/C/F, the Hohner Panther is a perfect balance of quality vs. cost, which is a difficult thing to do in the accordion world where accordions can get up to $3,000+.
Additional features include: 31 buttons, 12 bass buttons, double strap brackets, cleaning cloth, and the Hohner Diatonic Method Book. There is NO gig bag/case included, which we highly recommend grabbing, as accordions can be very fragile and sensitive instruments.
All in all the Panther is an affordable, easy to learn, good quality accordion from Hohner.
Fever Piano Accordion
The Fever Piano is the perfect accordion for those searching for an affordable piano accordion.
At a cheaper cost than the Hohner Panther, the Fever Piano comes with 25 keys, 12 bass buttons, adjustable shoulder straps, and a beautiful hard case with lock and key. The Fever Piano is a much more compact and manageable accordion than it’s larger counterparts with dimensions at about 14″ height x 12.5″ length. Some will prefer a larger accordion, but we actually enjoyed it’s comfortable size, and felt the volume was louder than accordions of a similar size.
Hohner’s Concertina contains 20 buttons, 40 reeds, hand straps, and comes with a gig bag. The Concertina is perfect for musicians on the road as it is more than half the size of standard accordions. We were extremely happy with the sound and playability of the Hohner Concertina. Despite this, some players have reported ‘sticking’ on some of the buttons. This is a simple fix, as you can remove the head plates, and lubricate/clean the buttons. Which in any case, it’s a good practice to always clean and maintenance your instruments, whether they malfunction or not.
If you want the best, look no further than the Roland FR-1x.
The FR-1x is an electric accordion that is fully loaded. Features include: 26 velocity sensitive keys, 72 velocity sensitive bass buttons, onboard speakers, standard and USB midi, a library of accordion sounds, orchestra sounds, drum kits, and virtual tone wheel organs.
Plug in a USB of a backing track to the accordion and play along with a full virtual band, or set drums to the bass buttons and create multiple instruments with just your two hands.
The fun and quality is endless with the Roland FR-1x.
Here’s a great demonstration:
BONUS: Woodstock Kid’s Accordion
Because we were actually quite impressed with the Woodstock Kid’s Accordion, so we decided it would make a great, affordable addition to our list for any young learners.
Authentic sound, small size (4.3 x 7.5 x 7.3 in), 2 octave range (key C), a song book, and 10 buttons, make this the perfect accordion for young first-learners, or even a fun addition to a camping trip or other outing where you wouldn’t want to risk damage of a professional accordion.
At such a low cost, the Woodstock Kid’s Accordion is worth the endless fun and introduction to a wonderful instrument.
Key Features to Look for in the Best Accordions
There are 4 different types of accordions. By knowing these differences you can make an informed purchase. The 4 types are:
- Piano Accordions – The piano accordion is the most recognizable, as well as most popular accordion on the market. Piano keys on the right and bass buttons on the left are the piano accordion’s distinguishing feature. The amount of keys can vary from accordion to accordion. If you already play the keyboard stick with the piano accordion, if not you’ll have to learn a new way of playing with the other accordions. Piano accordions are great for jazz.
- Diatonic Accordions – Diatonic accordions are a load of fun, and probably my favorite type of accordion. Instead, Diatonic accordions do not have piano keys, but have two or three rows of buttons limited to the diatonic scales (of a particular key), with the root notes on the left hand side of the instrument. What makes the Diatonic accordions so interesting is they are bisonoric, which means that a single button produces two notes: one when opening the accordion, and one when closing. Some of the styles that use the Diatonic accordion are Celtic, and Cajun.
- Chromatic Accordions – The Chromatic accordion is essentially a more complex version of the Diatonic accordion. However, there are differences: a Chromatic accordion has many more buttons than the Diatonic, each button can only play one note (unisonoric), and the Chromatic accordion can be played in any key. The Chromatic accordion is most used within the French style of playing.
- Concertina Accordions – The Concertina is a fun, adaptable, small-sized accordion. Mostly used in Classical, Celtic, German, and Polka, the Concertina can be either unisonoric or bisonoric, although typically it is unisonoric. If ease of travel is a priority to you, the Concertina is the way to go.
Cost is always an important feature when purchasing a musical instrument, and not just the best accordions. Similar to other instruments, there is a wide price range within the accordion world.
Within our list, we’ve listed out multiple price ranges. Our “Best Buy” model, which is a measure of cost vs. quality, or in other words, the best bang for your buck. Our “Best of the Best” model which is only concerned with pure quality, and not cost. The rest of our accordions listed are essentially “mid-range” in terms of cost and/or quality.