This is a five row chromatic C-system. There are
other systems as well but this is the system that is used here in Sweden.
About 90% of the Swedish accordion players are using this system and the
remaining 10% are using piano accordions. (Excluding other types of squeezeboxes
such as diatonics)
Advantages of this system compared
to the piano key system (PA players - consider this!):
(I've also made a more thorough comparison of piano,
chromatic and uniform accordions.)
- Easy fingering.
- Look at the layout above where one octave C-C
is marked. Only three adjacent rows are really needed to play any scale
since row 1 and 2 (starting from the bottom row) are repeated in row 4
and 5. In practice, most players are only using the bottom three rows.
If you stick to three adjacent rows there are three alternate fingerings
- if you use more rows there are even more possible fingerings. The various
fingering possibilities really helps when you're playing a difficult tune.
- The keys are really close - only about half of
the C-C distance compared to the piano keyboard. This makes it very easy
to play those nice BIG right hand chords.
- The keys are all equally shaped and feels the
same. If you play by the ear (or if you're colour blind..) there is really
no reason for having different colours at all (well, it helps to select
the proper starting position). In fact some players prefer to have only
white keys on their instruments.
- The following fingerings
(expand the link) for the outside three rows of the chromatic accordion
are taken from an accordion tutor by Jularbo/Gylling/Walter (famous Swedish
- Easy transposing.
- If you stick to three adjacent rows when learning
a tune, playing in another key is very easy. Just select a new starting
position and use the same fingering!.The only 'difficult' about this is
to select the correct starting position - you have to move your starting
position right_or_left and/or up_or_down. Of course you have to select
another starting position on your left hand as well. If you're using a
stradella bass system this is also very easy since the relative position
of the bass/chord buttons isn't changed.
- If you're able to sight-read notation and the
tune is in the 'wrong key' - no problems, just 'pretend' that you're playing
in the notated key but select another starting position on both your right
and left hand. This is really 'real time transposing'! The really lazy
five row chromatic player could in fact have all tunes notated in the easily
read key of C and then do 'real time' transposing into any key!
Some (minor) disadvantages:
- If you're used to playing on piano keys, you
have to learn a new playing technique. This doesn't take very long though
and it's really worth the effort (see above).
- The keys are not strictly 'in the right order'.
On a piano keyboard a higher note is always to the right of lower note.
This is not always the case on a chromatic keyboard.
to Hans Palm's Accordion Page: main page
Hans Palm 1997, firstname.lastname@example.org
, snail address