Recommend an Accordion Lesson Book?

Joseph wrote in to ask:

“I am an old man who loves music… I have a student accordion I fool around with but I would like to know a book that you would recommend. There are a thousand on the net but I can’t afford to buy 3 or 4 ’til I find one I’m happy with. I don’t want to be a professional, I just want to ENJOY.”

My experience with accordion lesson books is fairly limited; I started with the first couple books in the Palmer-Hughes series, but I was bored by the repertoire and eventually abandoned the books in favor of playing by ear (learning tunes that Anna taught me).

What about you? What accordion lesson books would you recommend to Joseph? Leave a comment and tell us what books have worked for you (or your students, if you’re a teacher).


  1. The book is not as important as the teacher. Learning yourself can be very boring because there is no demand for discipline and practice. Get yourself a good teacher and you will be very happy.

    Good luck!

  2. I live in an area where getting a teacher is an impossibility…. small farm based community in an agricultural area of central Ky. I don’t think I could even find another accordion PLAYER within a hundred miles or so – I would recommend two books that I am having real success with.
    One is from Alfreds Publishing : Miriam Davidson ‘teach yourself accordion’ has a CD included with all material covered – the other is a Mel Bay : ‘you can teach yourself accordion’ it too has a CD with it.
    As to the demand for discipline and practise – if you really want to learn then you don’t NEED to have someone else drive you to pick up the instrument and work at it daily – if it takes someone else to make you want to then you didnt really have the want too’s bad enough anyway :P
    I would also recommend a few DVDs 2 by Debra Peters – which can be ordered from her website
    and another that was mentioned here at this site a month or so ago
    Professor Louies’ rock and blues accordion
    it is available at homespun records
    Hope this helps!
    Im a bare bones beginner myself – never touched an accordion till this past November and still pluggin away at least 2 hrs a day :)
    BTW this site is ALSO a great source of inspiration if you do still need some outside help with discipline and desire :)

  3. A really good book I ran across is L.O. Anzaghi’s
    Complete method, theoretical-practical progressive for accordion. Covers Piano AND Chromatic. One of the only books I know of in english (in print) that does chromatic (C system) 217 pages.
    It has a pull out chart ,bass and keyboard.
    Has tunes and exercises in a good progression. Even has photos of a disassembled accordion with identification of the parts. Pics of how to hold the instrument.
    It does assume you know how to read music.
    In the back of the book it gets into playing augmented 5th and major 9th on the dominant, among other things on the bass side.
    I usualy have this book in stock, it is imported.
    Kimric Smythe

  4. Mel Bay’s book has worked well for me. It does NOT assume you know how to read music. It begins as if the reader has a 12 bass, and moves on to more buttons at the en d of the book.

  5. I learned how to play using the Sedlon Accordion Method. I still have my old lesson books. It was a solid method that worked well–at least for my brother and me. I would get bored just doing practice exercises, but the Sedlon method was very effective in the way that it integrated practice material into actual songs So that, for the most part, one was always learning new songs, rather than endlessly practicing only scales, arpeggios, and chords, etc. I don’t know how Sedlon compares with the Palmer/Hughes method; it may well be that Palmer/Hughes uses a much different method. Apparently, at some point, the Sedlon method fell out of fashion beause it is no longer being published–though I notice that Charles Nunzio carries many Sedlon volumes on his website, and used copies of the Sedlon Accordion Method, as well as the supplemental series “Entertaining With The Accordion” are generally available on the Internet, particularly via ebay.

    A side note:
    In recent years, I’ve heard some players criticize any method which instructs in the usage of the middle finger (rather than the ring finger) for playing fundamental bass notes. I’ve never appreciated the advantage (or disadvantage) of either approach, but if it matters to you, I shoudl mention that the Sedlon Method is guilty of this.

  6. Thanks for the feedback, David! I inherited a couple Sedlon method books recently, but haven’t spent much time with them. I’ll have to take a closer look.

  7. Dear sir,

    I have purchased a accordian, I want to learn kindly help me to learn

  8. I am 82, studied with Joe Sedlon in Cleveland ohio in 1943 and 1944. He was an absolute master. I became a very good professional accordionist and retired 3 years ago. I have some original manuscripts handwritten by Joe that are my treasures. He wrote piano and organ books under the name Noldes [ Sedlon spelled backwards].

  9. Fascinating story, Anthony! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Learned on Seldon too; It was super for me. Had a patient teacher and played from other books as well as my parents enjoyed to hear me play european and latin. Accordion was my introduction to the world of music.
    It may interest you to know that I tried and was bored with Palmer-Hughes.
    Now my question…
    When I hear tunes by the Cleveland masters such as Frankie Yankovic, there are high accordion licks and runs.; mostly in Bb, Eb, Ab and F.
    Does anyone know where to download them or exercisest to practice?

    Chuck… Toronto Canada

  11. Hi, wonderful to learn from you on seldon. Would love to see some of those harder pieces.
    Accordion is a love affair to me.
    Be well,

  12. I am looking for the accordion book from the American Collection for band and orchestra published by Rubank – Hal Leonard. Any help would be appreciated. I have most of the other instrument books. For those interested in playing in a band or orchestra with an accordion, or an accordion marching band, this is a fine old series that includes all band instruments and many of the old standard songs in simple arrangements.

  13. I’ve been learning with the Sedlon Method through a free instructor on the web. You can go at your own pace. There are over 60 lessons. Each one has a pdf file and an mp3 file. The instructor walks you through the lesson and plays the songs or practice runs on the mp3 file. The pdf file is the Sedlon material. Check out the website —

  14. Just did a web search and wanted to throw this out to y’all. Joe S. was a great family friend as I was growing up east of Cleveland in the late 40’s, until he passed about 5 years ago (around 93). I remember watching him do the draft work on his various methods (piano and accordion – which of course he played well; as well as the guitar – which he didn’t play). Just curious if any of you have any personal connections??


  16. I would love to learn to play my grandfather’s old accordion. Just need a little help getting started.
    Any suggestions would be great.
    By the way, the accordion is a:
    Helikon-Harmonika from R.Novak, made in Austria.
    Its a beatiful looking instrument and would love to play it.
    Thank you for your time.

    Mike Prokop

  17. hi I Want free download sedlon pdf or mp3 .tank you