World’s Fastest Accordion Player?

Photo of man who attempted Guinness Record for fastest accordionWhen you were a kid, did you ever spend a Saturday trying to set the Guinness World Record for “Longest Time Balancing a Broom on Your Chin”? Okay, maybe that was just me. But this past Thursday, aspiring record holders around the world attempted everything from Largest Tea Party to Most Rattlesnakes Held in Mouth during Guinness World Records Day.

Buried deep in news stories about the event, though, was a line about someone in Dublin, Ireland, attempting to become the world’s fastest accordion player. I haven’t been able to track down much information about the attempt other than the photo above, and that the attempt took place at an Eason’s bookstore. Anyone know who this guy is? And how exactly do you measure such a feat? Most notes per minute? Do you have to play a particular song or can you just flail aimlessly? Is it easier to play fast on a button box or a piano accordion? So many questions!


  1. This doesn’t really help, but did you read the description of Krasen Gospodinov on this page, ?

  2. Interesting… I didn’t see that. He doesn’t appear to be the guy in the Guinness picture, though. I searched the Guinness site for ‘accordion’ and the only record result was for largest accordion; no speed records (yet).

  3. What an interesting concept!!!

    I can think of at least 10 people that could be in “The Fastest Fingers Contest”

  4. Hi.

    I just want you to see this nice video:

    It is a nice Vallenato Festival of my country in Valledupar where they really know how to play an acccordion.


  5. Wow — fantastic video, Juan! The accordionist is incredible, and the other musicians are excellent too. Thanks!

  6. The man pictured as the Fastest Fingers in the World is Liam O’Connor from Ireland. We saw his show @ the Killarney Avenue Hotel in Killarney, Ireland in October. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the “Fastest Fingers in the World”. He is an accordionist and plays beautifully. Guineness recorded him playing 11.9 notes per second. Unbelivable.

  7. Thanks Bascom — we actually did a follow-up post on Liam a few days after this this post.

  8. I can play the Flight of the Bumblebee at the speed of 20 key strokes per second. Look at my youtube video I posted recently:

    I think that I even can perform a little bit faster but at the expense of the musical content: at this enormous speed it’s hard to be “musical”.
    By the way if it’s true that Liam O’Connor plays at 11.9 notes/s then I play 60% faster than him.
    At the speed of his 12 keys/s there is a real danger that I can easily fall asleep…I don’t even warm up at such sluggish speed.

    Best regards!
    Peter Grigorov

  9. Wow! That’s incredible, Peter. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I saw the new 2008 Guinness book and the record of 11.9 notes/s is indeed there. Then I sent my claim to the Guinness people in London and they officially registered me and will answer in the next couple of weeks. So I’ll see. Depending on their final answer I ‘ll take my decision to continue or not with the proof of my claim.

  11. Mr. Carlos from the Guiness “great” team is a business guy obviously interested only and only in flashy show effects for raking in good dough. I don’t promise them anything else than sheer speed and speed is not money in this case, therefore …”we are not interested in your achievment”. Here is their reply after I submitted my claim for the fastest accordion player (beating the miserable 11.9 keys/second record (book 2008)):Claim ID: 204588
    Membership Number: 181273

    Dear Mr Grigorov,

    Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record proposal for
    ‘World’s fastest piano key accordion player’. We are afraid to say
    that we are unable to accept this as a Guinness World Record.

    We receive over 60,000 enquiries a year from which only a small
    proportion are approved by our experienced researchers to establish new
    categories. These are not ‘made up’ to suit an individual proposal, but
    rather ‘evolve’ as a result of international competition in a field, which
    naturally accommodates superlatives of the sort that we are interested
    in. We think you will appreciate that we are bound to favour those that
    reflect the greatest interest.

    We realise that this will be disappointing to you. However, we have
    considered your application carefully; in the context of the specific
    subject area, and that of records as a whole and this is our decision.

    Guinness World Records has absolute discretion as to which Guinness
    World Record applications are accepted and our decision is final. Guinness
    World Records may at its discretion and for whatever reason identify
    some records as either no longer monitored by Guinness World Records or
    no longer viable.

    As your record application has not been accepted, Guinness World
    Records is in no way associated with the activity relating to your record
    proposal and we in no way endorse this activity. If you chose to proceed
    with this activity then this is will be of your own volition and at your
    own risk.

    Once again thank you for your interest in Guinness World Records.

    Yours sincerely,

    Carlos Martinez
    Records Management Team