Welcome to old and new friends who are interested in discussing Cajun and other diatonic accordions, along with some occasional lagniappe....



General Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: 9 button boxes vs. 10 button

More info: The 9 button box is about 1.5" shorter than a 10 button and supposedly about 1 lb lighter. Like I mentioned, any downside to the 9 button? If I head to LA, will people stare at me because of my button deficit?

Re: Re: 9 button boxes vs. 10 button

I was wondering how common they were. A friend of my dad who used to make accordions made them with 9 buttons because he said their was one button (cant remember now which one) that noone used. Hard to imagine it being very noticeable.

Re: 9 button boxes

Thats exactly what I have been told. I have never hit the 1 button yet myself but my repertoire is limited. I played one and it is wonderful to play.

Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Hi Bob. Met you at Mitchell's and the TK Club. You played my Miller C. You told me you ordered a 9 button. Sean Vidrine played them on the road for awhile. Here's my take on them. If you are going to play Zydeco you need that low button to get those funky riffs. Also, If you watch Steve Riley's DVD he uses that low button all the time on the G pull when ending songs and phrases. If it were me I would get a full size box. But then again, what do I know?

Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Rosie Ledet plays a 9-button (G) made by .... [moment of silence]... ... Larry Miller. Rosie let me take a squeeze on it, and it has very nice action. But, I would REALLY miss that top note. I use it often. She obviously uses a 10-button (A) for her kick-butt song, "I Love Louisiana."

Allegedly, that top button was invented to tune the accordion -- and not to play. But c'mon...

So, if you aren't looking to jam nouveau zydeco or make a ballsy stinger note on the end of a two-step, I say go for the 9-button. They are purty cool!


Re: Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes

There has been very much said on this page about 9 button accordions and how the 10th button is only for tuing and how the stops are only for tuning etc. It's all Bull ****!! Only those who are new to accordions and learning believe that. What with all those Irish and German 4 bass boxes etc. Get a 10 button box and be done with it. You will always be limited with a nine button box. If you find it too heavy your are too weak to play anyway.

Re: 9 button boxes

Well BILL, if it's bull****, then call Larry Miller maker of the BON CAJUN accordion and tell him it's bull****. Before we had all these fancy strobe tuners and such, THE NUMBER 1 KEY ON THE CAJUN ACCORDION WAS USED FOR TUNING PURPOSES. IT'S PURPOSE WAS TO HELP YOU RE-TUNE YOUR ACCORDION. That is directly from Mr. Larry and it is in Mr. Larry Millers cajun accordion instruction booklet too. I have two 10 button, boxes and two 9 button boxes. Get what makes you happy, they are both great for cajun music.

Re: Re: 9 button boxes

the reason no one uses it is because
it;s redundant and out of the pattern.

get an accordion made for you and
get that low pull made an A instead
a G.

you've already
got that same note in 2 other places,
why have 3?

also, it doesn;t save a lot of money
or weight.

i had mr larry miller make both mine that way
and i love having an octave for the
number 5 pull, as well as the really low
push note.


Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Now that'a a good idea, have your accordion made the way you want it. I could go for that. But, like others I hate to see that same erronous information constantly repeated. Really guys there are books on the history of the accordion which contain some very good information on their development.

Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Well green eyes. Study the history of the accordion and you will see for yourself and remember this accordion was not developed for cajun music. Cajun music began developing around it. Now, I did not say that it could not be used for tuning. Just that It is not it's only purpose. Many musicians, be it cajun, quebec, Irish or German use it now and have been in playing. Get a life dude! Do a little studying. There's a whole world out there.

Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Cajungreeneyes you sound very naive. Perhaps you should look for more accurate informaion somewhere else. That same misinformation you are talking about has unfortunatly been mouthed for years and guess what, it's still wrong. If you can't reach or don't want to play that top button. Oh well!!!!

Re: 9 button boxes

I have had both. While I do admire people who do use the top button, it makes no difference to me because I can't reach it. I don't use a shoulder strap and my thumb is anchored. It makes it difficult to reach it. I occasionally use it to finish a song with a big fat G chord.

Re: Re: 9 button boxes

Most of what I've seen on the use of the top button while playing has been by Steve Riley, Aldus Roger and Mark Savoy. All of which have long fingers and use it mostly on the pull when playing Johnny Can't Dance and songs of the same melody when pulling the G.

Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes

i always use the top button so yea, get a ten button. But you do what you want.

Re: Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes


This thread looks like so much fun that I just have
to dive in

Obviously, purchase what makes sense to you .. but ..
I play at least one tune that can't be pulled
off (pardon the potential pun) without the
"top-button". So, I vote for 10


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 9 button boxes

devil's advocate here

that same note is the #2 push

as well as the left hand
bass pull note button

so you COULD learn it
either without the #1 button
or with the #1 button pull being
something sensible.. :)


to: wle: Yes but ..


See the cool thing about the tune of which I speak
is that the same note *is* played on the #2
push as #1 pull .. but, this allows other notes
to be played on the pull or push against the
*same note* by using the #1/#2 buttons.

So, this is a very unique instance on the
Button Box and cannot be done any other way
on the planet Earth!


Re: to: wle: Yes but ..

Big knows his stuff!!

what IS this top-secret Mystery Tune?

so what IS this top-secret Mystery Tune?

[i just learned 'the harlem shuffle' in
G minor on my Bflat box, i play it all on the
1-4 buttons, very low and cool sounding..]


The top-secret Mystery Tune is .. is ..


It's not really top-secret .. It's my
"Amiral Rouge" (c) 2004 song.

(Of course, Amiral Rouge = "Red Admiral" which
is a buttery fly of the family Vanessa Atalanta.)

At 1:45 into the tune, I play a variation on the
main theme using the lowest pitched buttons
on a high-"F" box.

Although the riff can be played elsewhere on the
box, it's the only place that one can drone that
button #1/#2 pitch on push & pull along with the


PS: We godda get back to Atlanta & see you guys



Re: The top-secret Mystery Tune is .. is ..

nice tune
nice playing
but you know what i am going to say -
if you WROTE the song, you could also
have written it without needing that note!!


nope :-)


The "riff" using the #1/#2 buttons was the heart of
the tune, and everything else was played around
the riff to develop and support it.

i.e., the riff came first.

On a 9-button box, the song would have never got invented

Incidently, thanks for the compliments .. that
was done a couple of years back now ..


Re: nope :-)

You can also get a cord on button 1,2,and 3 on push or pull. so maybe there's use there. Hummmmmmmmm!

Re: 9 button boxes

I really like the German made 114 Hohners.. plebian and cool.. lots of good music has been made on these
I have had handmade Itailian, Quebec and Cajun made boxes but for all around fun... 114

That said.. if you want a smaller lighter box and still have 10 buttons.. consider Claude's Castagnari..

It's in 12TEt tuning and a scrid off dry.. but it's an outstanding handmade box..

I play Irish and Quebec on 1 rows.. I use the #1 button..


Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

Brett's all new Cajun Accordion Music Theory for all keys!

LFR1.gif - 1092 Bytes The April 2011 Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week

augusta.gif - 6841 Bytes

Listen to Some GREAT Music While You Surf the Net!!
The BEST Radio Station on the Planet!