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Author Topic: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?  (Read 2396 times)

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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2019, 08:21:16 AM »

By keeping the treble end stationary, and slightly higher than the bass end ( as it sounds like the position you have ) you can simply let the bass end fall away. Gravity is your friend  ;)
I think as well, for me, it puts the treble keyboard at a slight angle which suits the natural position of my hand.

The reason I use 2 straps is not because of weight, for me it keeps the box in the position I want. When trying friends' single strapped boxes I feel I'm in an odd position with my shoulder in the air to keep the strap on... but I concede that's because I'm not used to it.
Whether it's single or double, you need to ensure the box stays where you want it to enable you to play it easily in your style.
Cheers
Q
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2019, 01:38:08 PM »

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boxer

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2019, 03:17:54 PM »

I've seen some wonderful box players who produce their magic despite their shoulder straps rather than because of them.  I've also seen players who are probably setting themselves up for a later life of chronic discomfort if not permanent pain.  It's worth taking time to find the best strap configuration to suit your personal requirement.

A complicating problem is that as your playing skill and strength develop, a box position that suited your initial style may become inappropriate, and a change might improve matters.

My own experience has been that over fifteen years or so my boxes have migrated about 12" (30 cm) leftwards across my body to enable a gradual straightening of the line of my right forearm, hand and fingers.  You may not need to do this, or you may already be there.  We're all different.

The purpose of the strap(s) is to keep the keyboard end of the box as stable as possible (as well as to stop it dropping on the floor).  I don't see any virtue (beyond the speed with which you can get into harness and start playing) in using a single strap if two do the job better, and if a backstrap and two shoulder straps is better still, that's OK too.  The more secure the treble side of the box, the less work your right thumb (resting on the edge of the keyboard, and tensioning the right shoulder strap) has to do.

On light boxes like the Pokerwork my personal preference is for a pair of Mally straps (they're as long as you'd ever need) with a backstrap.  I'd encourage you to experiment and keep on experimenting with different lengths and numbers of straps until you find the best for you.

Good luck




 
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2019, 03:45:41 PM »

I wholeheartedly agree with boxer.
A good friend and renown player plays with the box almost vertical. His left wrist is at an incredibly bent angle. About 18months ago he was suffering numbness and loss of control to his left fingers. He narrowly missed having to be operated on.
It was a salutary lesson.
I made sure both arms were in a relaxed position, keeping the forearm/wrist/fingers in as relaxed and straight as possible.
It might not look as 'hardcore' a position as some, but I hope to avoid longterm damage and play for as long as possible.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Peadar

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2019, 07:40:03 PM »

I would always go for a plain leather strap as wide as you need it- which depends more than anything else on three things: the weight of the box, your peripheral blood pressure and the amount of subcutaneous fat you carry (your very own God given internal padding sytsem). Well tanned leather, a material made from the skin of an animal, will give and conform over pressure points where it contacts your body to spread the load naturally, in exactly the same way as leather shoes break in to the wearers feet. Plain leather will get more comfortable as they age, whereas padded straps will get less comfortable.
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Steve C.

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2019, 12:47:02 PM »

Steve, where do I find the woodwork on my Pokerwork that is going to scratch/dent?  (:)
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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2019, 06:01:06 PM »

Steve, where do I find the woodwork on my Pokerwork that is going to scratch/dent?  (:)
Are you serious?
The entire Pokerwork casing is wooden construction apart from the steel corner pieces.
It will dent, the same as any other box.

On the other hand, perhaps your Pokerwork is so well-used and covered in dents and scratches that the odd few more from a plastic dog clip won't be noticeable!  :o
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2019, 06:42:23 PM »

Richard ::) You are a bloke. You have got shoulders. A small rucsack doesn't fall off your back for want of a chest strap does it? Sure if you are carrying a fully laden 70 litre rucsack on a two day expedition :Ph a chest strap helps but this is a 3.6kg (8lb) Pokerwork you're talking about. :|bl
I know a number of people who use backstraps on light boxes. It's not the weight, it stops the straps sliding down or off your shoulders as you play. If you intend to play seated, it's unlikely to be necessary but standing it depends on your shape and build.
Personally I play with one strap when seated, and two + backstrap when playing standing.
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george garside

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2019, 08:55:53 PM »

the only time I use a backstrap is when playing for ceilidhs as lead musician as a strap sliding off my shoulder mid dance  could be awkward to handle and may bugger things up!  Otherwise its two straps  using exactly the same adjustment whether seated, standing , processing or whatever'

The standard recommendation for ''accordions'  of all sizes  from 12 to 120 bass is top of treble end about a stretched handswidth below the chin when stading 'to attention' i.e looking straight ahead with back straight.  right strap longer than left so top of treble end is roughly under the chin and right arm can be more or less down  your side so movement up and down the keyboard is using elbow joint rather than shoulder joint.   That's the rough starting point  and obviously it can then be fine tunes according to individual anatomy.

I use the same basic setting on everything from 8 bass pokerwork to 120 bass piano box ( exept for  4 stop one row  which I play using only thumb strap)  and once finetuned it never needs further adjustment.

It has suited me for 60 years but of course everybody to their own

george
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2019, 09:30:04 PM »

...You are a bloke. You have got shoulders. A small rucsack doesn't fall off your back for want of a chest strap does it? Sure if you are carrying a fully laden 70 litre rucsack on a two day expedition :Ph a chest strap helps but this is a 3.6kg (8lb) Pokerwork you're talking about. :|bl
....

OK so I'm not a bloke but I'm not at all convinced this is about gender or size or any of that stuff. As in so many cases I think it's how you play that matters.

I primarily play standing up and for morris. My style of playing is very physical - probably due to being a morris dancer myself - I tend to step along with my playing, move up and down with the set and move around quite a bit generally.  A lightweight back strap is invaluable here - yes, even with a 3.6kg Pokerwork.  It's not about the weight, it's a matter of keeping the box steady so I don't have to be.  Losing a shoulder strap mid-slows would be a bit of a disaster - the backstrap is simply a good insurance against this.
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Stotty

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2019, 09:41:51 PM »

Okay, thank you both - I'll put some more thought into this... I'm getting excited about the prospect of finding good support for the box to free up my hands more, particularly on the treble side as the thumb strap is just barely manageable (for me anyway, at this point) and gets a little uncomfortable and awkward... yep, looking forward to some strap set-up, even a simple arrangement, and the thought of moving more freely along the right side.

I coming round to thinking that the Hohner pokerwork thumb strap is rather more unhelpful than the single "screw" fixings and slightly longer thumb straps on Italian and other boxes.  Up until recently I had always played with thumb straps, and I still prefer them, but I've come to the conclusion that slightly longer thumb straps which can pivot are less restrictive than the Hohner 2 rivet designs.  It is perhaps a bit frustrating that the boxes that so many people learn to play on are not necessarily the easiest to get comfortable with.
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Peadar

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2019, 09:54:16 PM »

Losing a shoulder strap mid-slows would be a bit of a disaster - the backstrap is simply a good insurance against this.
Nothing to the disaster of drowning on your way home from the ceilidh. :M

(Confession...MAD struck again and I have just acquired an old Hohner 2 row A/D.....and compared to the 1040 the bass end is b****y heavy....2 straps on this one. :|bl)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 10:01:16 PM by Peadar »
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Andy Next Tune

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2019, 10:12:11 PM »

I've come late to this chat, but....

I have a pair of Neotech straps complete with back strap. The plus side is the combination of the neoprene and the backstrap means my left shoulder strap stayed in place when playing standing up for dance (ceilidh/morris). The downside was the neoprene caused nasty black marks on my nice white morris shirt  :(

I now use padded leather straps, irrespective of the weight/size of box, and have added a backstrap (CGM) to my main morris and band boxes.

But anything can be used to 'stabilise' your melodeon. I remember seeing Tony Hall playing in a concert with baler twine attached to his old Hohners as improvised straps  ;D
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2019, 08:27:40 AM »

My two morris box players play Hohners ( Erica and Pokerwork ) and both use back straps.
One is a leather bespoke one, the other is a soft piece of thick rope and gets tied in by whoever's available.
Both say it's a stability thing, not weight.
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Lester

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2019, 08:31:39 AM »

I have really only ever played with a single strap on any melodeon I've had right up to a Castagnari Mory. I have had no difficulty with stability. I have tried 2 straps and found it to be constricting and uncomfortable.
Each to their own.

Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2019, 08:42:33 AM »

Yes absolutely Lester, we all have preferences.
Somewhere previously it was implied that it was a weight issue and a Pokerwork being light, only needed one strap. Both my friends, Helena and others use two and a backstrap for stability alone.
But as you rightly say 'each to their own..'
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Thrupenny Bit

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

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2019, 08:53:09 AM »

Quote from: malcolmbebb
I know a number of people who use backstraps on light boxes. It's not the weight, it stops the straps sliding down or off your shoulders as you play. If you intend to play seated, it's unlikely to be necessary but standing it depends on your shape and build.
Personally I play with one strap when seated, and two + backstrap when playing standing.

I strongly resemble that remark!
I have particularly sloping shoulders and straps fall off easily. Even a one-row played sitting down can work its strap off my shoulder if I'm not careful.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2019, 08:59:39 AM »

I use two straps standing or sitting.
I do confess that when sitting sometimes my left hand bass strap starts to slip...   :|bl
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Peadar

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2019, 09:05:11 AM »

Quote
I remember seeing Tony Hall playing in a concert with baler twine attached to his old Hohners as improvised straps  ;D

Something else to add to the list of uses of baler twine.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Shoulder Strap Recommendations?
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2019, 10:01:47 AM »

Trouble is, baler twine's  all red and plastic now, not the coarse light brown rope that held together the farmers coats..... and much else on the farm!
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Thrupenny Bit

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