| Where can I find song tabs
for the accordion?
Song tabs for the accordion are archived at Paco's
Page. This is a cumulative list of all the tabs shared in the
Open Forum and
it is updated about once a month. For the bajosexto or guitar,
you can find TABs at ATAME.
| How do you read the tabs?
This article authored by 'drjoe' will tell you how to read tabs.
Here is a Spanish
version of the article.
||Who invented the TAB method?
The Tab method was
developed by Dr. Joseph Colizoli "Dr Joe" from Bellevue, Ohio. He has
been an active participant on the Reyes forum from the beginning. Reyes
Accordions wants to thank Dr Joe for this invaluable contribution that
gives people from around the world the ability to understand how to
play the three-row button accordion in a very simple and easy to
| Who writes the TABs?
The tabs are written and posted by forum participants.
| Can I play a GCF tab on my EAD, FBbEb, ADG
Depends...there is a lot of overlap between the various accordions. But
in order for you to be able to interchange accordions, you have to make
sure the key of the song is playable in both accordions. For example,
the key of G is readily playable in GCF boxes as well as
ADG boxes. However, the key of A, is rather difficult and incomplete on
the GCF box!
In general, these are the basic major keys for each accordion:
GCF: G, C, F, D, Bb
EAD: E, A, D, B, G
FBE: F, Bb, Eb, C, Ab
ADG: A, D, G, E, C
In order for you to play a song that is tabbed for a particular
accordion on a different box, you must first convert, or “transpose,”
EACH individual step of the tab to make sure you are still playing the
same notes on the second accordion. To do this, you must know
which musical note each button corresponds to on the different
accordion boxes. A program like Paco’s Sr.
Maestro will clearly help you identify these without having to
Say, for example, the first step of a tab for a GCF is F3C6.
These two buttons correspond to the notes G-B, and now you want
to play this on the ADG box. Well, the notes G-B corresponds to D45 on
the ADG box. Hence, instead of playing F3C6 as you would on the GCF
box, on the ADG
box you’d have to play D45!
Keep in mind that sometimes the scales are not complete on one box, so
the transpositioning may not be perfect. For example, if you are
playing D7A9 on the ADG box, these buttons correspond to e-g#. Now, if
you want to play this on the GCF, but even though the GCF has an e at
F6, there is no g# available. Hence, this is an example of why the key
of A is not entirely playable on the GCF box.
Alternatively, and in order to avoid the work that goes into
transposing a tab, you could play the song with exactly the same finger
positionings on a different accordion than that for which the tab was
written for. This, however, will change the key of the song from the
original version. For example, if the song is in the key of C on the
GCF, it would be in the
key of: A on the EAD, Bb on the FBE, or D on the ADG
| Is this the only method of tabbing for the
No, the TAB
by 'drjoe' is just one of many possibilities. Another
possibility, for example, would be to use notes rather than button
positions. This, however, has been the method adopted by the Open Forum
participants for its ease of use and convenience. It is perfect
for the beginner as it requires no knowledge of music.
| Are there any tabs for
the Piano Accordion?
Yes, though not as many as for the button accordion. The TABs
written for the piano accordion are labelled with the letters 'PA' at
the end of the song name.
|| How do you tab/read tabs
for the PA?
|| Why don't you use notes?
Notes can be slightly more confusing, especially for the beginner.
The current tabbing method is very explicit. For example,
F3 means F3, and no other button. Notes, however, can be slightly
more vague. The 'G' note, can be F3 on a GCF accordion, or it
could be (C5) or (G5).
||How do I access
files that use the 'ñ'
Tab filenames that use the 'ñ' may
not be readable to some browsers. Here is a workaround:
1. right-click over the TAB link
2. select "Copy link location" or "Copy shortcut"
3. paste the web address in your browser's URL window
4. replace the 'ñ'
|| What are the various key configurations for the
The most common key configurations are (in no particular order):
- G-C-F or SOL
- E-A-D or MI
- F-Bb-Eb or FA
- A-D-G or LA
| What accordion key should
This is a matter of personal preference. If you want to play
songs just like your favorite band, buy the accordion(s) that they use.
The GCF accordion is the most common in terms of availability,
however the most widely used key config in Norteño music is
Eventually you'll get the itch to sing the songs that you play
on your accordion. You should consider what keys your voice can
|| What keys can I play on a
GCF? EAD? FBbEb? ADG?
Here is a list off keys that can be easily played on different
- G-C-F: D,
G, C, F, Bb
- E-A-D: B,
E, A, D, G
- F-Bb-Eb: C, F, Bb,
- A-D-G: E,
A, D, G, C
|| Can I get my accordion tuned like <insert
your favorite conjunto here>?
Check out the Accordion
Repair section for contact information on various accordion tuners.
| What are the various ways/styles of tuning
| Do you
play the bass buttons?
Some music genres do use the basses. However, for Norteño/
Conjunto music, the bass buttons are generally not used. In fact,
many accordionists choose to remove the bass reed blocks to reduce the
weight of the accordion. The removal also provides extra air
release outlets for the bellows, which in turn helps to pull or push
the bellows more quickly.
|| How do you remove the bass reed blocks?
|| Is there a recommended maintenance schedule
|| What is the layout of the notes on the treble
side of my 3-row accordion?
Check out the Chords
and Scales: Diagrams section for JPEGs of the layout of the
notes. You can also use Paco’s Sr.
Maestro application to see the layout of the notes.
|| What is the layout of the notes on the bass side
of my 3-row accordion?
Check out the Bass Button
Layout document by John Jennings.
What are the frequencies of the
notes on my 3-row accordion?
Check out these documents by John Jennings:
|| What is the purpose of the switches on an
Check out this document by Paco: