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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Pat McInnis on January 03, 2019, 05:40:20 PM

Title: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 03, 2019, 05:40:20 PM
The only shoulder strap that I'm sort of familiar with is a single strap that just slings over your right shoulder and helps to keep pressure on your treble side. They should have top and bottom mounts as far as I know. Of the three boxes I have, only one came with a "U" shaped mount and only on the bottom? This is pretty confusing for my old brain. I plan on buying new mounts from CGM but it looks like he only sells one type of unpadded single strap and it seems a tad short (up to 84cm) Maybe this is enough but again, unpadded. I'm not that fat but plan on gaining some weight (I'm a realist). Anyways, I'm up for opinions on the single strap for those who like this method. Wasn't really looking for the twin straps although maybe if I buy a set I can set up two boxes?

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Theo on January 03, 2019, 08:07:27 PM
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off-topic posts removed.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on January 03, 2019, 08:10:17 PM
Bear in mind that if you buy a set of two straps one is likely to be longer than the other.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 03, 2019, 08:20:52 PM
Bear in mind that if you buy a set of two straps one is likely to be longer than the other.

That's a really god point. My buddy's system that I'm basing this off of uses a single strap that he had to get lengthened to accommodate 42". He does have a bit more belly than I do but it's nice to have adjustments in case anyone else wants to use it. I might try some of the straps from a piano accordion I have.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Lester on January 03, 2019, 08:25:35 PM
You can't beat a Mally Strap (https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/squeezebox-straps/mally-melodeon-strap.htm) if you are content with unpadded. I use them on all my boxes and I'm size 96 extra fat so the 115cm length is good
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 03, 2019, 08:29:50 PM
Bear in mind that if you buy a set of two straps one is likely to be longer than the other.

Hmm... I've bought a few sets over the years and I can categorically say this has never been the case.  I can't think why it would be to be honest?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Lester on January 03, 2019, 08:31:55 PM
Bear in mind that if you buy a set of two straps one is likely to be longer than the other.

Hmm... I've bought a few sets over the years and I can categorically say this has never been the case.  I can't think why it would be to be honest?


It's quite normal in the sets I have bought, the treble side one should be longer than the bass side on to enable to keyboard to lay on the centre of the body. It is possible you have not noticed that one could be extended more than the other?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 03, 2019, 08:39:20 PM
It's quite normal in the sets I have bought, the treble side one should be longer than the bass side on to enable to keyboard to lay on the centre of the body. It is possible you have not noticed that one could be extended more than the other?

Hmm... interesting.  Nope, got a set here still packaged and they are the same length with the same extend-y bit. E-bay purchase. Well I shall add that to the list of 'interesting things I learnt today' :)
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 03, 2019, 08:47:45 PM
You can't beat a Mally Strap (https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/squeezebox-straps/mally-melodeon-strap.htm) if you are content with unpadded. I use them on all my boxes and I'm size 96 extra fat so the 115cm length is good

Doesn't get more basic than that. Having no experience playing I appreciate your input. The leather doesn't dig in for you?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 03, 2019, 08:50:34 PM
Doesn't get more basic than that. Having no experience playing I appreciate your input. The leather doesn't dig in for you?


+ 1 for the Mally strap from me.  My first box, a Pokerwork came with one.  I've now added a second strap (Ed Rennie gave me an old strap to add at my first beginners' workshop with him and I've been a two-strapper ever since) but the Mally strap is still in service, no digging in. TBH I probably prefer it to the padded straps I've subsequently bought for other boxes.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on January 03, 2019, 08:51:25 PM
For light boxes I use a camera strap. Works fine for me, but then I never play standing up. There are even times when I can't stand up:: however  :Ph

SJ
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 03, 2019, 08:56:29 PM


+ 1 for the Mally strap from me.  My first box, a Pokerwork came with one.  I've now added a second strap (Ed Rennie gave me an old strap to add at my first beginners' workshop with him and I've been a two-strapper ever since) but the Mally strap is still in service, no digging in. TBH I probably prefer it to the padded straps I've subsequently bought for other boxes.
[/quote]


Thanks so much Helena. I've just been looking at the padded straps on my piano (two different lengths) and they look really bulky. So you are a two strap convert? Strange that my early Hohners have no provisions for straps. Just a thumb strap which I can't get behind.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 03, 2019, 09:21:34 PM
So you are a two strap convert? Strange that my early Hohners have no provisions for straps. Just a thumb strap which I can't get behind.
 

Yes. pretty much from day 1 - I'd only had my pokerwork about ten days when I went to Ed's workshop  ' let's just say he is a strong advicate of the two-strap system.

That said, if you're new to all this expect to spend an inordinate amount of time adjusting,  altering and fussing with straps for a while. At first nothing seems to work but in time you'll find you can play other people's boxes without much difficulty.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on January 03, 2019, 09:38:33 PM
Bear in mind that if you buy a set of two straps one is likely to be longer than the other.

Hmm... I've bought a few sets over the years and I can categorically say this has never been the case.  I can't think why it would be to be honest?

Sorry if I confused you, Helena, I have always had two straps on my boxes and I  have owned 5 pairs of straps. All five came from a different source. Every set had one longer than the other.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on January 04, 2019, 08:28:02 AM
All my pairs of straps are different lengths.
They've come supplied with Castsgnari, and I've bought 2 sets from CGM. All have a longer treble strap.
I'm a 2 strapper, right from the start as it made sense to me, but others might differ.
Q
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: JimmyM on January 04, 2019, 06:01:57 PM
my box is fitted with two straps and if im playing standing i use both but if im playing sat down i just use the longer strap but around my right upper arm -but one strap is def longer than the other
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 04, 2019, 06:39:07 PM
OK we're in danger of getting a bit too far off topic now to be of help to the OP but seriously, I've been playing my Oakwood and my Nuage tonight and out of curiosity checked out the straps - nope, definitely the same.

Sure, I have them adjusted to different lengths but the straps themselves are exactly the same length - i.e. one is not capable of being extended more than the other.  Pretty sure the straps on my Lilly are the same - but can't be bothered to go and look, besides I've got a curry to finish cooking.

There maybe a *ahem* a couple of other boxes in the house* too but I think they have random/old/mismatched straps and in the case of at least one Liliput what appears to be an antique cat collar applied as an extender.


*not all mine, honest guv.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 04, 2019, 08:31:00 PM
my box is fitted with two straps and if im playing standing i use both but if im playing sat down i just use the longer strap but around my right upper arm -but one strap is def longer than the other

This seems like a great way for a newbie to decide what they like. I'm placing a CGM order pretty soon. Are your pads padded or just plain?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: folkloristmark on January 04, 2019, 08:55:45 PM
On vintage hohners the buyer and shop fitted the strap and choice of strap fitiing so they are not uniform Pat.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on January 04, 2019, 09:10:03 PM
I have and use padded and unpadded straps. What is uniform about the ones I use is that they are 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide where they go over the shoulder. I have a set of narrow straps that came with one box and I do not use them. They are only about an inch wide and their narrowness is noticeable after a while.

So, for me, it seems that it's the width that matters rather than the padding. I only use one strap and sit down these days btw.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on January 04, 2019, 10:21:05 PM

... I'm placing a CGM order pretty soon. Are your pads padded or just plain?

Speaking for myself, I have used padded and plain leather straps. Padded do it for me far better than plain. Every time. Much more comfortable, but not too wide. Charlie's Italian melodeon straps are fine.  Other opinions are available.

[Edit: and I use two straps standing, stick them both over my right shoulder whan I sit down. Works ok for me. ]
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Stotty on January 04, 2019, 11:42:10 PM


There maybe a *ahem* a couple of other boxes in the house* too but I think they have random/old/mismatched straps and in the case of at least one Liliput what appears to be an antique cat collar applied as an extender.


*not all mine, honest guv.

I hope you took the bell off the kitty collar before you tried taking it surreptitiously into the house - you wouldn't want a tinkling setting off a cacophony of bird alarm calls and breaking your cover >:E.

I play standing up for dancing outside with single or double straps, and I have used both padded and unpadded straps.  However, I much prefer padded straps.  I don't think it is about weight distribution, just comfort/security.  I don't really see much of a downside from padded straps other than they are a bit more awkward to get into cases and gig bags.       
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 05, 2019, 11:09:50 AM
I hope you took the bell off the kitty collar before you tried taking it surreptitiously into the house - you wouldn't want a tinkling setting off a cacophony of bird alarm calls and breaking your cover >:E.

I think the kitty in question was long dead before I acquired the boxes, the collar may well have been added pre-war TBH.

Besides, given the number of bells in this house one more would hardly have been noticed  :M
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 06, 2019, 05:08:23 PM
I was feeling a little impatient with 5-6 weeks delivery from the UK typically (I know straps could be sourced closer but the ones I liked were mostly overseas) so I had a little craft session in the shop. I fabbed a lower mount using a long bolt with threads all the way up. I ground the middle smooth so it wouldn't cut the leather. Next I used an old belt to extend an old, really short single strap with aluminum rivets then pounded them flat and used quick release clasps at each end. Worked quite well. I'll still order nicer straps and would like to give two straps a go but for now my practicing is much more comfortable.

Thanks for all the input

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/46580841092_6cafd8f88d_q.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2dYbZcS)IMG_8648 (https://flic.kr/p/2dYbZcS) by Pat McInnis (https://www.flickr.com/photos/157073130@N07/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Steve_freereeder on January 06, 2019, 11:36:45 PM
Next I used an old belt to extend an old, really short single strap with aluminum rivets then pounded them flat and used quick release clasps at each end. Worked quite well. I'll still order nicer straps and would like to give two straps a go but for now my practicing is much more comfortable.
Just be aware that the quick release clips on the ends of the strap can cause bruising and denting damage to the casework, if you are not careful. OK for temporary, testing use, but personally I don't recommend them as a full time substitute. I've seen a number of instruments with casework damage as a result of people using these type of clips.

From another thread:
...
My (single) strap is a fraction too short. Fine for Morris, but a bit too close to my right shoulder for twiddly bits. I thought I was being clever and used a dog lead. Doh!
All the gold no longer glisters, the chrome is rusty, there's a hole where the jackplug was, the corners are chipped and down to bare wood, the fabric mesh at the bass end is ragged and torn and the keyboard has a lump broken off....
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on January 07, 2019, 06:13:36 PM
i completely agree with Steve on the clips. I've got used to all sorts of bumps and scrapes on my instruments over the years, afterall they're hard-working boxes. However, I'd never use that kind of metal clip for fitting straps, it's just asking for trouble and like Steve I've occasionally seen the results.

Far better to use a strip of leather, some fabric tape or a length of heavy duty webbing/strapping of the type that's used on bags or outdoor gear.

How about plaiting some string?
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on January 07, 2019, 07:57:37 PM
It's reminded me...…
I attended a workshop weekend with Andy Cutting last June. As he popped his trusty old DG Mory into it's beaten up box, I saw the back edge of the finger groove running along the keyboard was scalloped all the way along. It looked like it's been attacked with a router. I asked him about the damage ' it's the straps' was his reply.
They can damage boxes....
cheers
Q
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: Pat McInnis on January 07, 2019, 09:44:24 PM
It's a temporary strap folks. Just waiting on the goods.
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: JimmyM on January 08, 2019, 04:07:19 PM
my box is fitted with two straps and if im playing standing i use both but if im playing sat down i just use the longer strap but around my right upper arm -but one strap is def longer than the other

This seems like a great way for a newbie to decide what they like. I'm placing a CGM order pretty soon. Are your pads padded or just plain?

sorry for late reply, been lost to the world of work. my straps are padded but pretty basic and cheap. from hobgoblin if memory serves me right.
when i first started playing i was always sat down and just used one strap. Then i started playing for morris stood up and started to use two but in the pub after i'm sat down but didnt want to keep adjusting the straps and i think i saw someone playing with the one strap anchored around the upper arm rather than around the shoulder. It works for me and i dont have to keep changing the length of the straps.
However, thinking about it, if i play a one row I'll play sat down or stood up using the thumb strap so i guess theres no reason i couldnt play my d/g like that. I reckon we find something that works for us and we stick with it -logic or no  ;D
Title: Re: Shoulder Strap Preference
Post by: boxer on January 08, 2019, 05:14:12 PM
on one of my boxes that has particularly tight clearances on the strap hangers. I've used a long broad cable tie as an extension to a nice but standard length padded right hand strap, at the top end.  A pair of much shorter and slimmer ties hold the big tie's loops closed around the strap's end bit and the box's top strap hanger, and keep things tidy.  The tie doesn't touch the woodwork at and it's given the strap the extra 70mm I needed.  I use Mally straps in pairs on most of my boxes but when I got to six pairs I thought I'd spent enough.