23 Easy Accordion Songs For Beginners

Looking to sharpen your accordion-playing skills? Tired of playing the same scale exercises and drills repeatedly? Ready to try your hand at a few easy songs?

If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended that you make the process of practice more enjoyable by picking up some of your favorite songs.

In this guide, we look at an array of easy accordion songs for beginners – classical, pop, rock, funk, R&B, and more.

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye feat. Kimbra

Song year: 2011

From lover to stranger. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Use to Know” explores these unsettling and uncomfortable feelings in graphic detail. But all I’ve got to say to the narrator is “Get out of there!”

I know “Somebody That I Used to Know” best for the Walk off the Earth version, which I prefer (it’s always cool watching five people playing the guitar).

Either way, the song layers together several simple parts, which you can learn individually or mix. Accordion player Lucy Riddett, seen in the video above, found the song easy enough to play on accordion, glockenspiel, and tambourine simultaneously.

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

Song year: 1984

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen must have been on to the fact that he was writing a timeless classic with “Hallelujah.” He dedicated considerable time and energy to the lyrics, drafting about 150 verses in the process.

“Hallelujah” has more than a few teachable moments, though. The way the melody ascends and descends and responds to the chord progression is something I would love every student to pay attention to.

“Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Song year: 1786

A bit of classical music never hurt anyone. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is a song most if not all musicians study at some point. Its melody has essentially weaved itself into the very fabric of culture.

As a beginner, it’s best to keep it simple, focusing on learning the melody first and foremost. As the video above demonstrates, though, you can advance to more sophisticated versions with practice. To be fair, that is true of most tunes.

“Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” by Doris Day

Song year: 1956

Doris Day’s “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” is well recognized across the world. The song originally appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. Day would go on to sing it in various TV and film appearances.

Although the title phrase sounds vaguely Spanish, it was quite possibly an unnatural word-for-word translation and it’s not a proper Spanish phrase. While it’s been associated with fatalistic philosophy, I don’t think that’s the song’s point. I think of it as being like Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Anyway, its 3/4 time signature plays very nicely on the accordion.

“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Song year: 2008

Apparently most popular Coldplay songs are easy to play on most instruments, but is anyone surprised by that?

The great thing about “Viva La Vida” is its rhythmic pattern, which is something every student should learn. It can be a useful pattern in other situations, and of course, it can be adapted to suit your purposes as well. If you want to be able to write your songs, take note.

The melody to “Viva La Vida” sounds especially cheerful on an accordion.

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

Song year: 1987

It may appear an unexpected choice for the accordion, but that’s what makes it fun! Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” remains a staple in rock band repertoire to this day. And its “finger exercise” inspired intro will certainly give your right hand a good workout as well.

From students who eventually want to play in rock bands to those who just like the song, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” offers just enough challenge to be a great song for beginners to tackle.

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

Song year: 1969

The gentle sunshine of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” translates nicely over to the accordion. While it’s recommended that you practice all songs at a slower tempo, “Here Comes the Sun” already features a moderate tempo that gives you more time to adjust your fingerings as you’re performing it.

Beatles songs are excellent for music education because the band laid the foundation for pop music as we know it today. Guaranteed the skills you learn here will transfer nicely over to other songs.

“The Scientist” by Coldplay

Song year: 2002

“The Scientist” is one of Coldplay’s more emotionally evocative breakup tunes, and the music fits the message to a tee.

The song sounds great on the accordion, though to be honest most songs do! If you’re a Coldplay fan this would be a good one to try. You should have a lot of fun learning it.

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Song year: 1983

Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” is beyond iconic. Jackson’s deliberate move toward a darker sound on Thriller paid off in spades. The song is a product of its time, but it was unmistakably one of the best (if not the best) in the genre.

Many songs on Thriller took a less is more approach, and that’s evident in “Billie Jean” too. The main thing driving the song is the bassline as synthesizer and guitar layers come and go.

The video above demonstrates a fun interpretation of the song featuring four layered parts – percussion, bass, rhythm, and melody / lead. You may not be able to play a more complex version like that right away, but you should be able to pick up individual parts relatively quickly.

“Superman (It’s Not Easy)” by Five for Fighting

Song year: 2001

The piano-driven balladry of “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” captivated an early 2000s listening audience. Its pop appeal is quite immediate, and doubtless, Five for Fighting’s falsetto vocals had something to do with it too.

The song features a chord progression piano players find very easy. And that means it shouldn’t prove too much trouble on the accordion either. For any student looking to decode how to play modern pop songs, this song will teach you some of the ins and outs.

“Let It Be” by The Beatles

Song year: 1970

For keyboard instruments, The Beatles’ “Let It Be” is considered one of their easier songs to play. Its gentle tempo might have something to do with that. It’s also mostly white keys in the right hand, which can make life easier, especially if you want to improvise in any capacity.

“Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” by Train

Song year: 2001

Many would consider the piano-driven “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” a gem of the early 2000s. The song features a simple construction, but the songwriting is on point. Have a listen to the lyrics and decide for yourself.

For your right hand, it’s all white keys, which is one of the things that makes “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” a beginner-friendly tune.

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