From This Might Be A Wiki

Older discussions[edit]

This is a rough list I made after a fairly thorough listen to my They Might Be Giants collection. I might have missed an Accordion if it was really buried in the mix. This is pretty much in album order, with the EPs thrown in between albums where I think they fit chronologically. -Pugly

I took the liberty of alphabetizing these; I think it makes it easier to navigate. Hope that's cool. - Octofish

The accordion should be used more than it is in Their songs. but... that's just my opinion. it's nice to tell people that my favorite band includes an accordion and see their slightly disgusted yet intruiged reactions. i just wish there was more of it.

I think it would be a good idea to seperate the songs into ones that rely heavily on the accordion (like "Piece of Dirt" or "Subliminal") and ones that only feature it briefly or buried in the mix (like "Sapphire Bullets").

I finally did this. I played it by ear so there could be a few that could be incorrect. Also, there are a few that I was unable to listen to, so I couldn't categorize them. Please correct any mistakes I have made as is seen fit!--ArAn 14:35, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Magbatz for changing some stuff around. I couldn't think of some words for the titles because I didn't sleep last night and was really worn out by the time I finished this. --ArAn 22:47, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Accordion Players Unite![edit]

This section is for all those who play the world's most wonderful instrument! post your recordings ETC. here!

i dont have a recording just yet, but soon i will put one up of me playing particle man (learned by ear) Cody-schmidt

Here's the first of many to come: Cowtown. Hosted on the Wiki temporarily - my host's having server problems. I'll move it once he says it's back up. - j2

How do you upload? I have been trying to upload my version of "rythm section want ad" but I don't know how.

j2 IS john linnell!- user:C&A BM

Yay, I'm Linnell. Go to Upload File - it's in the toolbox at the sidebar. - j2

this is a .WAV, so i'm not sure this is gonna work

Your link seems to be broken. - j2

let's try another. it's cage and aquarium! i just started about a week ago, so it is not so good. File:C&G.mp3

Guitar time

Sounds pretty good! The only odd thing is that A chord is an octave lower than the G one, which sounds a bit different. Maybe go for the A in the same octave? - j2

I'll try that.

This constant editing thing is getting kinda annoying. We need a chatroom or forum or something. I'll throw something together later if nobody else does - for now I'll be recording my version of Rhythm Section Want Ad. - j2

i was gonna do that!

Then feel free to. - j2

i was just kidding. here is the first song on the pink album File:Erira.mp3

Sounds good - interesting addition of the bass buttons on the first part. Do you have Skype? We could go back and forth playing live to each other. If not, it's freely available here: - just tell me your username and I'll start a conversation. - j2

got it. my name is accordionman0. i'll talk tommorow.

Can I join this... "Club"? I'm new with the accordion, but i can kind of play "Hide away folk Famly". I'll post it if i ever record it. Warning: i have trouble playing without singing. - BucketHatBobby I also have skype, I'm BucketHatBobby.

I also can put up my version of violin, play on the old squeeze box (once again learned by ear) Cody-schmidt

that would be great!

Here's a little spontaneous improvisation I did three weeks ago. Features an unnamed friend of mine playing the mandolin. Recorded in a park - this explains the bad audio quality and the windy mood: [1] - Whirrrlwind (Woosh!) 17:35, 15 Apr 2006 (CDT)

I don't have an accordion, though I would like one. Could anyone tell me where I could get a half decent one? Not a dinky 12 bass, but not a $10,000 one either. You could type it here or IM me at bustofvanburen45 on AIM. Thanks!

try used music store, i got mine for like $300 at one by my house. -Cody-schmidt

A part of of Mammal done on accordion. Temperary hosted on ConstellationNg File:Mammal accordion.ogg

Hey accordion players! TMBG got me playing the accordion a good 6 years ago and since then Ive had proffesional lessons and performances, and have acquired a nice handfull of accordions (five to be exact) all for the low low price of $0!!! - User:Anklepants

Awwww, this makes me wish I could play accordion. But I think my mom'll think I'm crazy if I say I want to learn to play the accordion. =) Oh well. I have my almost-less-than-original guitar. =D --Lemita 18:57, 28 Mar 2006 (CST)

Here's me and my dad playing Space Suit, with me on the accordion and him on the guitar. --Spiraling Shape

Lemme just note here that I do, indeed, play accordion, and yes, you can in fact, blame TMBG. I don't have any recordings though, at the moment. - Desck

I AM BACK. I just recorded two accordion/organ covers, one of TMBG (Out Of Jail), one of a Fountains of Wayne song (The Valley of Malls). They're pretty good, but on Out of Jail it's pretty obvious that my accordion is slightly untuned. And I really, really, really, really hate my voice.

Listen: Out of Jail | The Valley of Malls

Both these songs are really fun to play. YOU GUYS SHOULD TRY ONE DAY.


I don't have any recordings, but I can play Ana Ng, and a LITTLE bit of Particle Man. --Flansfan 14:13, 26 December 2012 (EST)

MICHAEL DILTHEY just finished writing a new accordion solo. "Sonata". Recording is on youtube:

Accordion Types[edit]

What kinds of accordions has Linnell played? Anyone ever see him play a MIDI accordion or a digital accordion? Krueger 23:07, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Accordion basses/notes?[edit]

We here at the wiki should really consider adding some accordion basses or notes to the areas by the guitar and bass tabs. I think this would add some prosperous variety in our media offerings (totally just made that up). Plus i wanna learn how to play subliminal on my squeeze box. -Cody-schmidt

Cody-I think I know how to play a few bits of it, at least. Contact me at my user page, or at if you're interested. - Desck

Concerning the basses, consider the guitar tab chords. I do so and it turns out sufficient for my needs, if not right anyway.
Notes we won't provide too soon, since TMBG is planning to release a song book. - Whirrrlwind (Woosh!) 02:17, 21 May 2006 (CDT)
I don't think it would be a dishonorable thing of the wiki to post the notes-- 1) on songs, they're just as present as the vocals, which we post the words to; and 2) like lyrics, they're not definite and they're not official, and plus they don't come with a spiffy booklet with pictures and coolness.

Space Suit[edit]

Hey, are there any accordion players out there who know all of the chords/notes to Space Suit? I tried the guitar tab, but it made no sense to me. Thanks for the help!!! Mr.klaw

Yesss. I'd like to know, as well. I saw a YouTube video of a girl playing it with her dad on the guitar once... The film was too dark to see the fingers flying across the keys. Dang. :( --Henry 17:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC) UPDATE (two seconds later...): And holy crap. I think I know who that girl is. It's Spiraling Shape! That shows me for not remembering the exits in back of me. And all that jazz. My leftwing references fall deftly.--Henry 17:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

we should use this more[edit]

Seriously. -J2

Learning Accordion=Learning Piano?[edit]

If you learn how to play the accordion, you kinda knock out the piano too, right? I wouldn't believe this, but it seems that every accordion player can rip some keys on the board. --Dunklekuh81 15:18, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, sort of... I'm much better on accordion than keyboard. When I switch over to keyboard, my right hand is significantly more coordinated than my left. I've noticed that's the case with some other accordion players, as well.
If you're looking to learn both, I'd go with piano first. It's much easier to jump from piano to accordion than accordion to piano. -thevince 14 July 2007
I'm learning piano, and I talked to my music teacher and he said that once you learn some piano basics you can probably play the accordion. I noticed at the Weird Al concert I went to that when Al brought out the keyboard, he was playing with one hand. Maybe because he started playing accordion before piano, I dunno, I just found that quirky. I would think Linnell would have been playing piano first however. --Lemita 01:12, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Accordion Helllp?[edit]

Heyo ye accordionists! Ya still here? I just started this instrument, tried learning a few polkas, didn't really get into 'em. But. I think I'd find it easier learning to play while learning a song that I know and enjoy. If people are still here... Think you could drop me a line? Email? I'm sure if you just, er, send the letters of the notes on the keyboard, I can pick up the rhythm somewhat. And I think I can work out the bass notes. I'd really appreciate this. Any song will do. Any They Might Be Giants song is a good song. Rock. -Sara (Or Henry. You decide.) (Oh, and email is I'd really appreciate the help of fellow accordion enthusiasts. Or piano players! I'm sure it's easy to work that out too. And if any one needs 'em, I have the notes to "Ana Ng", "Experimental Film", and...a small bit of "Boss of Me". Luff-joo. <3) --Henry 17:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Transcriptions for who wants them[edit]

Hey there fellow accordionists,

I started playing some TMBG songs on (piano-) accordion recently, I can put the notes on paper if anyone's interested. They're not literal transcriptions, I'm trying to re-arrange them a bit so they sound nice with just the accordion and nothing else. I started out with my favorite TMBG song, Museum Of Idiots, which can be downloaded here. Don't pay attention to the tempo (way too fast), the recording (internal mic), the mistakes, my singings skills etc... not trying to promote anything, just pay attention to the accordion part and if anyone's interested, I'll post a .pdf later. Currently fiddling around with The House At The Top Of The Tree, New Hampshire, She's An Angel and Sleepwalkers. - Wout

Quick question...[edit]

Uh, I know this hasn't been edited for a while, but I was wondering what the difference between a Button Accordion and a Piano Accordion? Also, are there any chords (or the aforementioned song book) for TMBG songs? Tank ya, --Sparkling_Omelets

A piano accordion has a piano on one side (bass keys on the other), while a button accordion has buttons on both sides. Button accordions are various There are some with buttons resembling a keyboard and pedals on the side where you would find bass keys normally, others have bass keys. Depending on the type, it could be a lot of buttons. Like, a buttload. For example, a bayan. Those are really confusing and not worth figuring out unless you're a musical prodigy. There are also concertinas. -Apollo. 00:13, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and to answer the other question, you can usually just play the music off the guitar tabs and it comes out nicely. Blitzente put together a lot of sheet music here. -Apollo. 00:19, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh, thanks! I can't really read that sheet music, but the Guitar tabs make more sense, so I'll use those. --Sparkling_Omelets 14:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Should we add to the article...[edit]

...the fact that Linnell, y'know, plays accordion WRONG? This seems relevant if you ask me. --Self Called Nowhere 00:24, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

He does! He never actually, y'know, properly learned to play, he just picked it up and was like "Well, I know how to play keyboard..." He has no idea how to use the button side and he does the self-described "crab claw" technique on the piano side. --Self Called Nowhere 00:36, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
  • He does? It would make sense, though, seeing as I don't think he ever had any formal training. I would think it'd be relevant to add, just start a different section in the article for it, like before the songs that inculde accordion. --Sparkling_Omelets 14:18, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh. The buttons are overrated, anyway. I always thought he used the bass keys, though! I also thought the crab claw thing was just standard. This is what I get for letting the Flood Promo teach me how to play accordion. That's also why I play it upside down. Mirror images slipped my mind. How would you incorporate that into the article? -Apollo. 00:42, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the buttons are supposed to be pretty important, actually. And no, he totally totally doesn't. Watch him. As for incorporating it, um I believe Mr. Ant recently got a thing with an FAQ where he talks about this...or I know I've seen other things where he refers to it...I'm in the process of coding a zillion articles for my site, I guess I should keep an eye out for something. It seems like if we can include the FAQ about how many he has (which is way outdated anyway) we could include this too in the same way. --Self Called Nowhere 00:49, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I never understood the buttons till I read last week that they were the bass form of the key they lie adjacent to, which was, coincidentally, said by John Linnell in that little booklet that Ant got. Having watched a few live videos, I didn't actually see him use them. He just puts his hand over the middle, I figured that he was actually pressing the keys, but perhaps not. If you mean the 1994 info-club thing as the FAQ that Ant got, I agree that it would be relevant to quote it somewhere. -Apollo. 01:02, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeh, I mean, he definitely knows what they ARE and how they work, I didn't mean to imply by the "not understanding" that he didn't. Just that he, y'know, isn't capable of incorporating that into his own playing, haha. And yeh, he does that thing with his hand sometimes. He's trying to trick you into thinking he knows what he's doing! Haha actually I think he just...has to do so something with his hand. Oh! I just remembered this other thing where he was like "Oh, well, my wife is trying to learn and she wants to play the RIGHT way, and she wants me to help her but I don't know what to say..." That was in the Electronic Musician interview, I believe. --Self Called Nowhere 01:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I knew what you meant. I was just saying that he said that. He does a lot of things with his hands. Oh, that sounded dirty. I meant the weird hand gesture thing, get your mind out of the gutter. I think you're right about quote though. That sounds vaguely familiar, too. -Apollo. 02:13, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Here we go: "No, no, I picked up accordion late. I started playing keyboards in rock bands before I ever touched an accordion. I still have an utterly unorthodox left hand. My wife plays the accordion; she really wants to learn the right way to do it, and I don’t have very much to offer her." But hmm, he also claims here that he uses the buttons to play bass notes but not chords. So he's still not using them correctly, and I think he rarely even does that. And hahaha I soooooo am not going anywhere near the "does a lot of things with his hands," HAHA. --Self Called Nowhere 03:03, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh! I found this page again, and no one's cared about this since May, but he does occasionally use the bass buttons live - they're prominent in his solo version of New Hampshire and whenever he plays How Can I Sing Like A Girl? on accordion (like during the Kit Kat Acoustic Break, or more accessibly on Youtube). I can't think of any examples of the chord buttons, though. -j2

No Answer[edit]

Since DidgeGuy doesn't think this, I'm not putting it on the page yet. But I'm hearing some accordion on No Answer when he says "saying" (in the line "and he seems to hear it saying"). Anyone else agree/disagree?

No. --Self Called Nowhere 04:07, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Disagree --$¥Šтəмд†↓к є┌╓☼╔ (talk) 05:32, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

TMBG & Star Wars (very accordion-relevant)[edit]

Clearly the Johns love themselves some Star Wars. Yesterday, the band posted this "Fingertips"/Star Wars mashup video on their Facebook page. Then, after digging around related videos, I found this video which features an accordion solo by Darth Vader. Wicked. --MisterMe 13:27, 2 November 2012 (EDT)

Best accordion for playing TMBG songs?[edit]

Hello. I plan to learn accordion someday, thanks to TMBG of course. My question is, what's a good accordion to play TMBG songs on? There's a ton of options when it comes to accordions — diatonic, chromatic, bisonic, unisonic, registers, bass, etc. I'm assuming I want pretty much what John Linnell plays, but this page doesn't go into much more detail than the brand names he uses.

[sarcastic comment about how John should sell a line of accordions that has the keyboard side but then just has the buttons painted on for decoration goes here] --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 13:53, 26 January 2014 (EST)
John Linnell plays piano accordions! This takes all the guesswork out, piano accordions function the way pianos do (and button accordions can come with various scales and configurations). Most TMBG recordings (and many live shows) rely on eastern European/French musette-style reeds (think the Puppet Head or Ana Ng accordion tones), but lately he's been playing reedier, more Italian clarinet-ish accordions (like the little runs on The Darlings Of Lumberland, I'm struggling to think of more studio versions but he did a few recent tours with that big red one that sounded like this). And yes, he doesn't really use the bass end, but I find it very satisfying to come across performances where he does! -j2

Accordion Tabs[edit]

I feel like the wiki should be adding a new section for accordion tabs, or at least keyboard. I know for the general chords the guitar tabs have got that covered, but for solos that were played on accordion or keyboard could be added for those who can’t read a guitar tab but want to play along on the accordion (like myself :/) - AnaNgInASpaceSuit