Learn by Yourself
Contributions on learning the bandoneon were provided by many
volunteers, members of the bandoneon list. Thank you for this valuable work!
NOTE: A self study can't be a substitute of a teacher. It is
particularly important to have at least introductory classes. If you get used
to bad habits, it is very hard to revert the situation.
First of all, you should carefully decide the keyboard system to be
learned. This depends on the music you want to play and the
sheet music you will use.
The decision also depends on the instrument you have got. Basically you
may use any layout as long as its tonal range is sufficient. Be aware that
the fingering is different among the systems and, perhaps some chords
are easier to play on one system compared with an other.
However, if you are member of an ensemble with other bandoneons, it would be
a huge advantage to have a common system.
After that you start learning the 4 keyboards, which is for most of us,
very time demanding. It is not
a surprise that students try to find ways to shorten the process.
In this place contributions from people giving their experience
are presented: keyboard layout, chord tables, learning tools, and
also a game!
But at the same time you need some success. Besides some technical
training you should start playing easy pieces with a narrow tonal range.
Beginners' exercises for piano are a good alternative if you don't have
You can learn fairly fast using only one hand.
Learn all the notes for both bellow senses and by separate.
The coordination of both hands simultaneously is far more difficult.
While you progress learning the keys you can choose exercises with more notes.
Later play simple but real pieces to learn the handling of the bellow.
The bellow is not an air pump and has a prominent importance in getting
the real sound.
All the first exercises should be played as legato.
To learn this you may play a scale holding every note as long as you
can but with constant intensity. Imagine you are playing a cello.
Always check if your are completely relaxed!
by Felix Lipesker given in his HANON,
adaptado y digitado para
bandoneón, Edition JULIO KORN
gives some recommendations.
(I'm not sure if
it is still available, my personal issue is of 1958):
- find a comfortable sitting position and avoid a rigid body
- press the buttons with the finger tips deep to the bottom
by moving only the lids
- don't press the button near the edge
- avoid lifting the fingers too much, they must be kept close
to the keyboard
- work each exercise by separate hands. First learn one hand
and then the other. Once you are sure with each part, start
playing both hands together
- don't go to the next exercise until you are not secure with the
- the fragment which causes the greatest difficulties has to be
studied by separate
- every exercise has to be played in the indicated tempo. You
must reach the final part with the same speed as you started
- since the fingers 4 and 5 are the weakest, use them more frequently
to make them as strong as number 2 and 3
- don't work more hours as you can support and divide the time making
recreation periods for the muscles and the brain
Learn the Keyboard
Several tutors come along with chord tables showing up a keyboard layout
and where the buttons to play are enhanced. Most of them list a pair of
chords; the tonics and it's dominant, both to play in different sense of
bellow. Since the key pattern is not the same for all tones, learning the
chords takes a longer period of time and each student finds its own way
to learn them.
from Brazil who prepared the table
based on the button coding of the instrument.
Santato Chords Collection
has prepared a chord collection
for the 142 voice bandoneon. The original site where he made it available
for bandoneon students, is no longer on-line.
You will need also a
blank keyboard layout sheet
to print out and make your own chords.
The Seguro Layout and Chords Tables
Costa Rica has kindly provided his set of chords for the 142 voice bandoneon.
and the horizontal view
are the 142 voice keyboard layouts
The Zisman Layout
, student at
the music school in Gennevilliers, France, created the game.
The aim of this game is to help memorizing the 142 voice bandoneon keyboard.
The presented version is in French.
Speelstukjes voor Bandoneon
by Pieter van Dijck
is a very nice approach to the instrument.
The 17 exercises written by the Dutch author and fingered
for the 142 voice Argentine layout instrument, introduces the beginner
starting with a limited number of notes and which are increased
gradually. The bisonority of the instrument is applied appropriately.
The exercises are also recorded on a separate audio CD which may
be used as an additional aid
for bandoneon by Beat Muggli
More advanced pupils may learn just by playing pieces which are not too
difficult. Some two voice pieces from the original were
adapted and fingered for bandoneon by Beat Muggli, Niederlenz,
Switzerland. These are excellent exercises.
by Beat Muggli
Audio is included to help work with this material.
The lyrics in Swiss idiom
is also available.
(level II) by Beat Muggli
four voice arrangements for bandoneon
by Beat Muggli