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Fifteen Tips for Accordion Health

Courtesy of: Boaz Accordions
The following pieces of advice are based on some of the commonest problems I see in my accordion repair shop. --Boaz Rubin
  1. Don't store your accordion next to an outside wall.
  2. Protect your accordion from extremes of temperature. Don't park it in the trunk of a car overnight!
  3. Avoid reed-rust and bellows-rot: keep your accordion away from moisture. (Never leave it out in the rain!)
  4. Your accordion needs air; store it out of the case. But to help keep dust and dirt out of the interior, protect the instrument with a dust cover or cloth.
  5. Protect the bellows by replacing the back-pad when worn.
  6. Don't over-force the bellows when you play; reeds may bend or break!
  7. The oil from your fingers will yellow the accordion keys. After each use, wipe outside and keys with a chamois cloth.
  8. To avoid damaging the bass machine, always put your accordion in the case keyboard first, and remove it from the case bass-machine first.
  9. Dust and dirt clog reeds; if reeds won't sound, take your accordion in for a professional cleaning.
  10. Frequently-played accordions in good condition usually need tuning every three to five years. If yours goes out of tune more often, the reeds may be defective, or you may not be playing it enough! Accordions hold their tuning best if played at least three times a week.
  11. Leaky bellows? Get it repaired! A professional can usually take care of this without too much fuss, and a leaky accordion bellows can degrade the performance of the reeds.
  12. Want more glitz? Dress up your accordion with colors, letters, rhinestones and more! Your repair person can probably get these for you at a good price.
  13. If you play in a band or ensemble, your accordion will last longer with a special accordion microphone installed, because you won't have to play it as hard to be heard. Any accordion can be fitted with an accordion mike. If you want more freedom of movement onstage, get a wireless setup.
  14. Clacking keys are a sign that pads are worn and need replacing.
  15. No matter how frustrated you get, don't throw your accordion out the window.
    P.S. I have never actually encountered an accordion that had been thrown out a window, but I did get one that had been thrown against a wall!
    Boaz Accordions
    First-rate accordion tuning and repair
    Accordions bought and sold
    Tel. 510/653-6983, fax 510/595-9664
    Email: schmatte@well.com

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