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Author Topic: Finger control  (Read 2541 times)

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george garside

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2018, 09:33:36 AM »

if the back of the hand is under the bass strap the hand has no sideways articulation whereas with the wrist under the strap  the hand will articulate freely in any direction and this of course includes , if using 2 fingers, rapid movement between  DG an DA basses if changing key or jumping from eg A bass to C bass etc etc.

On boxes such as pokerwork and many others without a rotella ( the little wheel to adjust the tension of the bass strap) some initial adjustment (by making different holes for the screws or maybe padding the strap)  may help.

personaly I use the 'wrist' position on all boxes from pokerwork/Erica up to 120 bass and find it adds to rather than detracts from bellows control. However like any change moving from hand under strap to wrist under strap will take a bit of getting used to.

But each to his/her own as  there  are no 'rules' to comply with

george
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arty

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 10:13:30 AM »

I play with 4 fingers on the bass, it obviously has to be the most efficient way but I understand the difficulties and anyway, as many people have said, there is no ‘right way’.

However, something I learnt about finger control - I see a lot of players on YouTube, whose left hand fingers stick right up into the air, when not playing a note on the bass side. It is so much better if you can keep your fingers as close to the buttons as possible, when not using them, so that they are ready to play their next note/chord.

A way of correcting that habit, (as I was shown by a CBA player), is to put your left hand under the bass strap and in to the normal playing position. Then, put a small coin, (a 2p coin will do), between each finger, i.e. between the second knuckle and where your finger joins the hand. You then have to play as normal, without dropping a coin!

I was one of those, guilty of sticky-up finger syndrome and this trick cured me of that within a week. Really, I only did it a few times and it made me conscious of my left hand position until it quickly became habit.

Anyone got 6p?  ;D
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george garside

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2018, 10:45:36 AM »

or get into the habit of playing with the hand/fingers arched so the tips of  all fingers are always pointing down towards the buttons. This position also greatly facilitates moving around the bass buttons without catching unwanted ones.

It is also an absolute rrequisite  for playing stradella bass as with  up to 120 buttons using anything other than the finger tips would  create some very strange dischords 

Perhaps its because I play both 'melodeon' and stradella' bass that I   am at ease with the finger tip touch on both systems

george
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Taswindjammer

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2018, 11:33:45 AM »

This is my first post. Older melodeon/button accordion players in Tasmania sometimes use a second shorter loop/strap on the LH. Secured at the bottom of the box at the same point as the main strap.
This loops around the left wrist. The idea being it takes the weight of the accordion whilst allowing the hand to rotate up & down the 8 or 12 bass buttons.
The normal LH strap does not need to be quite as taught, but enough to allow pulling the bellows in/out.
I tried it out on a 3 row Hohner 2 weeks ago and seemed to make sense to me. Have yet to set up this extra loop/strap on any of my boxes. Perhaps someone might like to try it out.
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Sebastian

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2018, 12:06:10 PM »

Older melodeon/button accordion players in Tasmania sometimes use a second shorter loop/strap on the LH. Secured at the bottom of the box at the same point as the main strap.
This loops around the left wrist.
Interesting idea. Could you make a picture of it, or do you know of a video where one can see someone playing with this additional loop?
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Taswindjammer

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2018, 12:23:54 PM »

Still learning how to post etc on this forum. The owner of the accordion fitted with the loop is at the other end of our island but with technology I may be able to get a couple of photos. I’m unaware of any videos.
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Chris Rayner

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2018, 12:27:50 PM »

This is my first post. Older melodeon/button accordion players in Tasmania sometimes use a second shorter loop/strap on the LH. Secured at the bottom of the box at the same point as the main strap.
This loops around the left wrist. The idea being it takes the weight of the accordion whilst allowing the hand to rotate up & down the 8 or 12 bass buttons.
The normal LH strap does not need to be quite as taught, but enough to allow pulling the bellows in/out.
I tried it out on a 3 row Hohner 2 weeks ago and seemed to make sense to me. Have yet to set up this extra loop/strap on any of my boxes. Perhaps someone might like to try it out.

Yes, I have tried to implement this.  I started teaching myself at the beginning of the century, teaching myself using Roger Watson’s Handbook for Melodeon.  The guidance in this for left hand technique is sketchy to non-existent.  I was, in any case, more interested in sea songs than folk dances, so I soon developed a style different from the up and down the row common to many players, using a lot of cross row fingering. 

I put the instrument away about 14-15 years ago as work became frantic, and did not resume until six months or so ago.  My word, the melodeon world has moved on a bit since I started.   Loads more tutors, and, of course, t’interweb.  In retirement I am making a more rigorous attempt to learn, and so have been on a couple of courses and bought several books to learn.  I have also resumed playing the guitar, which went through a period of neglect.  I find that my left hand benefits from the guitar, lending strength and agility to the fingers.  At work I found myself using a keyboard more and more, so I taught myself to touch type.  I think that has helped.

I fear persistence and doggedness appears to be the key.  The rewards will come, I keep telling myself, if I live long enough.  In the meantime it’s fun learning.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2018, 12:30:51 PM »

I'm sure there was something similar being discussed on here a while ago, when the main point was about the box sliding down on the wrist/hand, and stuffing a sponge or something under the upper section of the strap. I tried an extra bit of strap on one of mine at the time, and it worked a treat, IIRC.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2018, 12:31:17 PM »

This is my first post. Older melodeon/button accordion players in Tasmania sometimes use a second shorter loop/strap on the LH. Secured at the bottom of the box at the same point as the main strap.
This loops around the left wrist. The idea being it takes the weight of the accordion whilst allowing the hand to rotate up & down the 8 or 12 bass buttons....

When I first went to playing a 12 bass box (rather than 8 bass), about six months ago, I would have thought this was a great idea. I could not play at all, my hand slid straight to the top of the strap. I could not reach the lower basses and I could not operate the air button. I have no idea how but, strangely,  after a period of fighting this, and almost giving up on it at one point, the problem just went way. I've no idea what I do differently now, but my left hand is free to roam all the bass buttons, the air button is starting to steer itself  and the struggle is a vague memory. I still have a problem getting my brain to cope with the extra chord options, though.

I think the key is to learn by doing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 12:33:36 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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Lester

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2018, 12:38:12 PM »

Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2018, 01:06:43 PM »

I find the box slipping down something that happens when first playing it, i.e. having another box after changing from your usual one.
In fact have just encountered it myself recently.

I have meticulously copied the fitting from my usual box, adjusting the straps to get as close to the original fit as possible, though my new box is lighter and therefore has a different point of balance.

Then adjust the left hand strap.
With my Hascy, I do this with a wheel adjustment. Over the course of playing this can slacken slightly so if I feel it slipping I tighten the wheel. My point of reference is that it is ideally tightened when half the rivet head on the strap emerging from the body. When I can see the entire rivet had on the strap then it has loosened and needs tightening. The box also starts slipping down as described.
OK I have particularly small hands and wrist so everyone else will be different, but the point is, the difference between a firm strap with no box slippage and slack and it slipping is minute - tightening by 3-4mm?

My new box has a Velcro left hand strap, so once it's sorted it doesn't slip, though the strap leather does give a little being new. Again it is ever so slight between firm and loose.
I'm finding as Greg does, that after a while it doesn't slip as much. Perhaps getting used to a new balance point of a box is a factor too?
cheers
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2018, 01:41:21 PM »

The thing is, when I first got the bigger  box I tried every which way of strap adjustments and pads. Nothing made any difference. I developed a problem with the pokerwork so I was forced to play it and I came to terms with the issue by carrying on trying, mostly sat down, at first.

After a time (maybe a month, can't really remember), the problem went away, almost without me noticing. Now, the strap setting is totally non-critical. I am doing something that eliminates the problem, but I have no idea what  (:)
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2018, 01:56:04 PM »

Could it be just getting used to the new box, it's balance and other idiosyncrasies?
It must be a similar thing if you change your car, it takes a while to get comfortable. At first nothing feels right but after a while.........
I do admit to being in a similar position with my box, and now a couple of months in it feels 'normal', after the initial strap tweaking and re-tweaking.
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2018, 03:01:45 PM »

Could it be just getting used to the new box, it's balance and other idiosyncrasies?...

Don't know. Something like that but, it wasn't just a case of feeling awkward. I couldn't play it at all. It's odd how the problem just went away.
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
Lao Tzu

Martin P

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2018, 03:24:04 PM »

Re George’s suggestion of playing with bass strap across wrist. Sorry, I just don’t see how you manage that, unless you have a very short hands. For one thing, how do you use air button because with my hand my thumb is way past the air button. In fact, I found problem that the thumb side of my palm was pressing on air button unintentionally every time I pushed bellows. Not me me thanks.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2018, 04:00:47 PM »

I just made four discoveries.

1. My hand needs to be through the strap well up to the wrist in order to reach the bass buttons and get any mobility.

2. I operate the air  valve with the bottom part of my thumb, almost the heel of my hand.

3. I only use my little finger when playing the chin end bass buttons. Can't see any advantage in changing this.

4. I am equally comfortable playing with my fingertips or the flat of the pads.

I would never have found out if it wasn't for this thread  (:)
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
Lao Tzu

malcolmbebb

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2018, 04:18:59 PM »

Re George’s suggestion of playing with bass strap across wrist. Sorry, I just don’t see how you manage that, unless you have a very short hands. For one thing, how do you use air button because with my hand my thumb is way past the air button. In fact, I found problem that the thumb side of my palm was pressing on air button unintentionally every time I pushed bellows. Not me me thanks.
It works for me - but I do have short fingers relative to hand size. I really should adopt it.

The underlying problem is the lack of hand size adjustments on squeezeboxes - on size fits all. Or not.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2018, 05:25:24 PM »

I find such threads always worthwhile as it makes me stop and think:

My normal strap position is where it lies across the back of my hand so the back edge of the strap touches my wrist bone. I have very small hands and wrists, in fact not met any chaps with smaller hands!
I play with 3 fingers but can use my pinkie on the G bass but it is a stretch for the C bass and I have little power.
I operate the air button with the lower part of my thumb. In this position I'm comfortable and press the bellows with the muscle or flesh below my thumb.

I've just slacked off the rotella wheel and slackened my bass strap on my Hascy. If I push my hand further in, so the strap is near or across my watch, then the air button is out of reach by my thumb so I would have to use the fleshy muscle below the thumb. My hand feels too far forward and that just feels wrong!
I can believe I'd attack the buttons with more upright fingers using my tips, but then my air button control goes. It doesn't feel right to me.
Just my thruppence
Q


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Thrupenny Bit

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

Taswindjammer

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2018, 10:49:49 PM »

Re Extra Loop/supplemental strap.
Lesters’s docEdocks pictures show the setup that I tried out on a 3 row Hohner 2 weeks ago. Interesting that one photo shows the hand supporting the box rather than the wrist.
I won’t seek to post additional photos as the link to docEdocks describes what I saw very well.
As I mentioned in my first post this setup was used by older generations of Tasmanian box players. These old guys new how to pump out a tune for Dances.
As I am now fully exploring the use of the LH I am looking to find the best setup for me.
Maybe as others have said, the use of 1 strap will all just come naturally. Heaps of practice I suspect, but hey , is there a better way to spend my retirement.
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Anne Croucher

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Re: Finger control
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2018, 05:46:52 PM »

I'm sure there was something similar being discussed on here a while ago, when the main point was about the box sliding down on the wrist/hand, and stuffing a sponge or something under the upper section of the strap. I tried an extra bit of strap on one of mine at the time, and it worked a treat, IIRC.

Might have been me reporting on my battles with 'Roaring Johnny' - the Arriette in C - it definitely needs a support on the LH side - also, if I put the strap across the back of my hand there would be no way I could depress any of the bass buttons on any box, ever - a simple insufficiency of finger length prevents.
I have now got two shoulder straps, as the fixing point of the strap has been turned around onto the side and I plaited a strap onto it and tied it at the right length at the bottom, which I need to get used to in order to assess how the LH side needs to be got to grips with. 
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