Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Advice on holding the instrument!  (Read 3223 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

stevoj

  • New Starter
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Advice on holding the instrument!
« on: January 25, 2013, 09:33:07 AM »

Hi, bought my first melodeon 2 days ago (Delicia Popular D/G, as new), quite excited, and this is my first post (of many I expect).  I'm looking for a little advice regarding straps.  I intend to play standing most of the time.  But I'm not feeling comfortable holding the box for any length of time.  Despite trying to stabilise it as much as possible, I'm finding that the box rotates so that the right hand is moving towards the floor and the left hand ends up higher, or vice versa.  Another thing, is that my left hand always seems to end up towards the top of the strap, rather than in the middle near the buttons, despite the fact that the LH strap seems tight. 

I'm currently using only a single R shoulder strap; I expect using a 2nd strap might help, but any other advice greatly appreciated.

Stephen
Logged

ACE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 500
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 11:59:08 AM »

Watch some youtube clips and look at the angle of the box. Not many standing players are holding it straight across their chest. Some even try to be guitar heros with a low slung angled box. Two straps will help slightly but the heavy end is governed by gravity and everything will still rotate. A good tight left hand strap helps but gripping the melody end is making hard work of the job. Mine is raised as far up my chest as to still be  comfortable and apart from a thumb on the outside of the keyboard to keep it steady no grip is involved. Practice while sitting on a kitchen\bar stool to start with, that way your knee will help out until you get the knack. Just a thought though, does it have a thumbstrap? some people cannot play properly without one.
Logged
Saltarelle Horizon, Dino mini, Lachenal g/d anglo

penn

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 323
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 12:17:07 PM »

I had the same problem when I started with my Erica, as I prefer to stand up - just can't really find anywhere on my knee or leg to balance it. I've settled on two fairly luxurious straps from Theo, but took a couple of months of tweaking and lengthening, shortening, and going back to one strap, and back again to 2 ad infinitum until I found a happy position.
I feel that one thing that may have made this worse was the fact that I pushed the bellows so violently - I'm trying to tone that down.
Curiously I've bought two other ebay boxes that both came with two straps, and I just threw them on without feeling the need to adjust them - they just felt immediately comfortable.
steve
Logged
Hohners in C, G, DG, CF, EbBb, GC, Dino Baffetti DG, Sterling A, Koch D, ‘Butterfly’ 6 voice 1 row.
Some broken.

Anahata

  • This mind intentionally left blank
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4650
  • Oakwood D/G, C/F Club, 1-rows in C,D,G
    • Treewind Music
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 12:19:12 PM »

I always use two straps and even a backstrap when playing standing up.
Logged
I'm a melodeon player. What's your excuse?
Music recording and web hosting: www.treewind.co.uk
Mary Humphreys and Anahata: www.maryanahata.co.uk
Ceilidh band: www.fendragon.co.uk

EastAnglianTed

  • The wise wearer of the onesie
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 522
  • Castagnari Hascy-East Anglia for the win!
    • My Youtube account
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 12:40:24 PM »

Not really advice, but I like it with one strap, done up to the tightest setting  >:E
Logged

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7525
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 02:09:37 PM »

If you go to the tune/theme of the month threads you will find videos of virtually every type of strap set up known to man or woman. 

Ebor_fiddler

  • Chris
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2340
  • Hohner 1040 C One-Row, Sandpiper D/G, Liliput C/F
    • Ebor Morris
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 02:20:53 PM »

And much melnet threading on the subject with all the advantages of each strapping pointed out.  :-X
Logged
I'm a Yorkie!
My other melodeon's a fiddle, but one of my Hohners has six strings! I also play a very red Hawkins Bazaar in C and a generic Klingenthaler spoon bass in F.!! My other pets (played) are gobirons - Hohner Marine Band in C, Hohner Tremolo in D and a Chinese Thingy Tremolo in G.

stevoj

  • New Starter
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 03:05:42 PM »

Thanks for all this info chaps, definitely food for thought here.  Ace, my box doesn't have a thumbstrap, I feel that it might benefit to have one though.
Logged

ACE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 500
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 04:25:42 PM »

There's the crunch. Somebody on here shoud be able to tell you how to fit one without drilling your newly aquired box. sticky backed velcro comes to mind and a thumb strap adapted to stick to it could give you the feel. You might not like it, some of us go the other way and remove them.
Logged
Saltarelle Horizon, Dino mini, Lachenal g/d anglo

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2949
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 04:51:21 PM »

Ace, my box doesn't have a thumbstrap, I feel that it might benefit to have one though.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!.........unless you want one, of course!   ;D ;D

You will have gathered I'm in the thumbstrap= Spawn of the Devil camp; that doesn't mean I don't acknowledge that some players actually use them and find them helpful.  Whatever, as they say, floats your boat.... ;)

Graham
Logged
Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2949
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 05:01:32 PM »

On a rather more serious note, I should say that my first three melodeons had thumbstraps and I used them because they were there and I didn't know any different.  When I bought my first (and only!) "posh" box it didn't have one, and although its absence was a bit weird in the first few months I came to appreciate the flexibility and control available without the little bu**er darling, and now the first job with any box I acquire is to remove said appendage.  It suits me, it may not suit you. Try it and see - you've nothing to lose.

Graham
Logged
Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

SamH

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 30
  • D/G Serenellini Seli, Violin
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 08:32:12 PM »

I bought my first melodeon second hand, the user before me removed the thumb strap (VERY BADLY)
I have not felt the need to use one, in fact the tutor book I used instructed to rest my thumb on the side, assuming that anybody buying a melodeon would not have a thumb strap!

As for Shoulder straps, I have two straps fairly tight when standing and one strap when sitting down.
I think that anything goes so long as it's comfortable and does not limit your playing.

With Cajun music, smaller boxes, don't some people not have shoulder straps and use a thumb strap?
Logged

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 3625
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 08:49:11 PM »

If you go to the tune/theme of the month threads you will find videos of virtually every type of strap set up known to man or woman.

Absolutely  no need for a thumb strap. Unless of course It's a one row and no straps, which I find impossible to play.
Stick a shoulder strap on, you only need one and pull and push to your hearts content, leaving your fingers on the right totally free. There are many who will disagree but it works for me.
I can stand up, play a tune and sing, even throw the box around my head, recover and carrying on playing.
I know that's cocky , but thumb strap? Oh! What a limitation .
Logged
What does a melodeon and a lawsuit have in common?

Everybody’s happy when the case is closed

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7525
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 09:18:52 PM »

I've just removed the shoulder strap from my one row has I think I think it sounds better played using the thumb strap. Time will tell.

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4128
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 10:48:21 AM »

Just re-read your original post.
It looks like two things are going on:-
Your box is moving around, as you say one end then the other heading towards the floor. As said here, two straps will keep it stable much more than a single 'off the shoulder' number! Even then, as a two strapper I find I sometimes go and adjust everyting, play, re-adjust and probably re-adjust it back to where it was....... it is fun though  (:)
Your left hand keeps going to the top of the basses end. I suffered this mysef last year when changing boxes. Advice was to tighten the left hand *bellows* strap ( where your hand goes under ) sometimes just a touch, so  reduce the slack in the strap.
I've now found my hand doesn't move as much, if it starts to slide I tweak the steap a little tighter. Also I think in the year since acquiring, I've learned to to tense my hand against the strap to help reduce movement. Maybe it's just getting used to the balance of the box over time..... but it seems to be less of a problem now.
Perhaps time is important, simply getting accustomed to a strange thing strapped to you and learing unconsciously the balance point of the instrument.......
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7525
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 11:04:43 AM »

The number of straps you use does not necessarily have any effect on the stability of the instrument. I can play perfectly with with one strap,  two straps, thumb strap, and quite often in my workshop, with no straps. The main cause of instability, especially when new to the melodeon is putting far too much effort in to the bellows, one you get more at one with the instrument you will put far less jerkiness into your playing and thus reduce the amount of movement of the treble end.

YMMV

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4128
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 12:11:47 PM »

I suspect too that over your amount of time playing you manage to get a feel for the balance much quicker than me, regardless of straps and as you say, you're much more at one with your intruments because of time put in.
.....and yes, over time I'm finding I'm much more contained in my bellows movements, but still run out of air on occasions  ;D
hey ho, tis all good learning!
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 3625
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 01:36:32 PM »

I've just removed the shoulder strap from my one row has I think I think it sounds better played using the thumb strap. Time will tell.

That I find very interesting Lester. I find that without a shoulder strap, especially on the pull that the strain on my thumb precludes any vigorous playing. Almost pulling the melody buttons out of my hand.
I've seen many photos especially of the old East Anglian boys without straps and wonder if the bellows were so clapped out and leaky that there was no pressure/strain to warrant one.
Bob Cann used two straps and sometimes that thingy at the back to hold the two together.
My personal opinion is that with a shoulder strap the strain is taken off the right hand ( unless you play upside down Anahata) which gives you much more freedom to catch those elusive buttons.
The obvious no no of course is trying to play standing up. I defy anyone to do that, unless of course you are Tubby Reynolds .
Logged
What does a melodeon and a lawsuit have in common?

Everybody’s happy when the case is closed

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7525
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2013, 03:15:08 PM »

I've just removed the shoulder strap from my one row has I think I think it sounds better played using the thumb strap. Time will tell.

That I find very interesting Lester. I find that without a shoulder strap, especially on the pull that the strain on my thumb precludes any vigorous playing. Almost pulling the melody buttons out of my hand.
I've seen many photos especially of the old East Anglian boys without straps and wonder if the bellows were so clapped out and leaky that there was no pressure/strain to warrant one.
Bob Cann used two straps and sometimes that thingy at the back to hold the two together.
My personal opinion is that with a shoulder strap the strain is taken off the right hand ( unless you play upside down Anahata) which gives you much more freedom to catch those elusive buttons.
The obvious no no of course is trying to play standing up. I defy anyone to do that, unless of course you are Tubby Reynolds .

I shall be putting up some videos on my bog in the near future to show what I'm doing.

911377brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Advice on holding the instrument!
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 03:18:04 PM »

I guess that unless you're in the armed forces, where a weapon is held in exactly the same manner by absolutely every one,an individuals build and maybe even more important their stance will have a lot of bearing on the way they hold/operate their instrument. I tried Lester' s thumb strap only method out of interest and maybe a touch of nostalgia,remembering the old Essex boys of my childhood, and it was fine, [and my bellows dont leak ] but I do'nt know how long I could keep it up. I favour a single long strap, top of the box pushed firmly away, bottom of the box fimly wedged at top of right thigh, and standing up...just can't play sitting down...... ::) :||:
 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.