How to Pack an Accordion – for Traveling or Shipping
This topic is very NEEDED! I just got off the phone with a student that ordered an accordion from a web site that does NOT specialize in accordions. The accordion price was cheaper than I could offer it to her. The first accordion arrived with all the bass buttons caved into the bass section. She sent it back telling them – as I instructed her – to have them BRACE the left hand buttons. She just received her 2nd accordion – and there was an ATTEMPT to place the card board under the buttons – but they failed to SECURE the cardboard in place and she AGAIN has 1 button fallen through!! She is now waiting for her 3rd accordion to ship and this ordeal has so far taken over a month.
This site goes into great detail about WHY and HOW to pack your accordion for shipping. In fact – when I travel with my accordion – I do the SAME to the bass side. There is nothing more disappointing than to arrive at a distant location and your accordion basses are all fallen in!!!
Traveling By Car – even just to your lesson
- Always put the accordion IN THE CAR – not the trunk! Trunks can get hot! AND melt the reeds.
- NEVER Leave the accordion in a HOT CAR – Same reason
- NEVER leave the accordion in a COLD CAR – if this happens – allow accordion to return to room temperature before playing it!
- Position the accordion NOT on it’s back – this will allow the bass buttons to BOUNCE up and down with the movement of the car. Place it Vertical (handle UP) – on the case’s back hinges or if using a gig bag – on the bass section feet. OR UPRIGHT – with the handle on the side. AND USE A SEAT BELT!
- IF YOU MUST LAY IT DOWN FLAT – lay it on it’s belly – with bass buttons facing DOWN!
Traveling by AIRPLANE
- NEVER check your accordion through baggage! IF you have to!!!!! purchase an anvil case – designed for airlines. Pack the inside – exactly like the instructions above – and brace the basses – take your screw driver with you!
- I have walked onto an airline with TWO FULL SIZED accordions – in a gig bag – with no questions!!!! You will need to insure you have early boarding – by either purchasing it or using the WHEEL CHAIR ASSIST technique. I am a senior citizen, I have a Handicap placard for my car – and I call the airport or online – ADD that I need wheelchair assistance to the gate. (I only do this with 1 accordion)
- There is sometimes issues – at security – they think the accordion can not fit through the machine – so you can ask for a supervisor and they can hand check the accordion.
- If you have an acoustic accordion – you can pull the bellow pins from the keyboard side – wrap each section in bubble wrap and place into separate back packs. Take your pliers with you! Don’t forget to TAKE or Check the case or gig bag you plan to use at your destination. I have used the accordion case AS MY SUITCASE – with my clothes in it!!!
I personally have a travel anvil case and a rolling gig bag. This last trip to Chicago – I checked my large Hohner accordion in the anvil case and carried on the smaller Chromatic accordion in a rolling gig bag.
AND – I opened the anvil case BEFORE leaving the baggage claim area – so I could file a claim immediately – if there was a problem!
Hope this helps you when you purchase an accordion that requires shipping or when you are traveling!