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: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping  (Read 5307 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« on: March 24, 2010, 04:46:49 PM »

I'm after some help & advice please.

I'm a "four finger" lefty, rather than the 2 or 3 fingered players that seem to be the majority.
I'm finding that my left hand is supporting the box but it "slips" as the piece goes on. So, for example, if there's been a D / Em / Bm section for a while and then I need the C bass I find my little finger is nowhere near where I want it to be. But then I feel like I've almost got to "drop" the box to allow me to reach the C bass.

Now 2 / 3 finger players must not do this as they're always happily jumping around the left hand side.

So ... any ideas what I'm doing wrong and how I can fix it?

Many thanks
Chris
Logged

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7978
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 04:56:32 PM »

Search is your friend, especially if you know what to look for   ;D

Try this thread

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,1880.msg19596.html#msg19596

LdT may be along later to add to this

Ellie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 603
  • Saltarelle Pastourelle II
    • Rose Hips Bellydance
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 04:56:38 PM »

Absolutely no use to you, but I suffer from the same problem, and have yet to find a solution. It's even worse on a 12 bass box...

I always thought it was something to do with the bass strap being a little loose (I have it at it's smallest extent), as it's particularly a problem when my hand gets a little sweaty (no bl**dy use for playing in public!!). Interested to hear if anyone has any solutions  (:)

Edit: Aha, Lester's come up with the solution I've already tried. It does sort of work, but it's not necessarily comfortable, as the weight then 'hangs' off the wrist worse than it does normally  :-\

ladydetemps

  • Emote Wizard
  • Forum Librarian
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3757
  • Castagnari Tommy D/G, Hohner 1 row 4 stop in C
    • My Youtube Channel
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 05:00:08 PM »

Search is your friend, especially if you know what to look for   ;D

Try this thread

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,1880.msg19596.html#msg19596

LdT may be along later to add to this
Thanks lester. I was just about to point that one out.

Its what used with the sara now I have the tommy and my hands have stopped sweating so much I don't have the problem so much.

OwenG

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 297
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 05:05:58 PM »

Without reviving another old debate, are you a one- or a two-strapper?

I've recently switched from being a one- to two-strapper and have found that my left hand doesn't seem to need to support the weight of the bass-end of the box as much and so my left hand dexterity has improved.
Logged

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 05:23:55 PM »

Thanks for such speedy replies.

Quote
Search is your friend, especially if you know what to look for   Grin

Thanks Lester - I did search for "left hand" and faced MANY threads, but didn't check for "slippage".  :|bl

Also thanks LdT - yet more innovation. Intriguing.

Quote
Without reviving another old debate, are you a one- or a two-strapper?

I've always played double-strapped (!) so I can't tell the difference not having played single strapped. My instinct is that you're right, there shouldn't NEED to be the support from the left hand (at least not to the same extent) ... but I still do it.

Like all things I expect it's a combination of practice NOT supporting it ... and if that doesn't work well enough, then go for a mechanical aid of some form. I suspect that if I keep the top bellows-strap done up then that would also work, but would be hard work on the bellows!

Any technical solutions very welcome ....

Thanks again.
Chris
Logged

Pete Dunk

  • Typo Expert
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 3246
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 07:07:13 PM »

Not a technical solution at all, try wedging a lump of sponge (you'll have to experiment with size) under the top end of the bass strap and see if that helps. The sponge should rest on top of your wrist and prevent 'slippage'.
Logged
Squeezing on the Isle of Oxney, UK
Primo D/G, Albrecht Custom Liliput D/G
Hohner B/E, B/C, C/F, Bb/Eb G/C/F
Liliputs D/G G scale, C/F, Bb/Eb

waltzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 943
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 07:24:34 PM »

I have a 3 finger bass technique and I've found that my little finger wants to 'anchor' my left hand by pressing against the box and keeping my wrist against the bass strap.  This does help stabilize my left hand but I find that my little finger gets very tired.
Logged

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4858
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 09:41:17 PM »

I don't think the number of fingers used has any great bearing on the arm slipping  , more likely to be to do with the degree of tightness of the strap. on an 8 or 12 bass box it can be  tight enough to grip the arm just above the wrist, leaving the wrist free to articulate to reach the buttons.  Its just the same on a 120 bass box  , the arm not needing a great deal of movement  whilst playing in a particular key.  One other thought is that everything including the weight of the  bellows & bass end is much more easily controlled if the bellows opening is always kept to  the minimum possible whilst of course taking into consideration the air needs of the particular bit of the particular tune.

george
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

Andy Next Tune

  • aka Andy Wooles
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 822
  • Melodeon with Accidentals? Make a PI Claim!!!
    • www.shavethedonkey.co.uk
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 11:26:44 PM »

I find keeping the thumb on the air button helps to keep the hand anchored and the wrist against the bass strap.

Andy
Logged
Andy, from the now ex-County Palatine of Cheshire

Caring for a European community of melodeons from Italy, Germany, Wales and Suffolk!

ganderbox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 733
  • Melodeons from Brittany, Italy, Germany* and Leeds
    • www.choughedtobits.co.uk
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 09:11:16 AM »

I find the thing to do is not to have the bass strap tight. You can then support the box by pushing your wrist out against the bass strap, rather than having it held tight against the box. If you keep your thumb on the air button, the heel of your hand will also be supporting it.
I have a 3 finger bass technique and I've found that my little finger wants to 'anchor' my left hand by pressing against the box and keeping my wrist against the bass strap.  This does help stabilize my left hand but I find that my little finger gets very tired.
I'm generally a 3 finger player, and often use the little finger to help as well. I always feel it's probably bad technique and I should be using 4 fingers, but that just doesn't work for me, although I sometimes manage to use the little finger for the outside basses. Although I usually play a 12 bass box, I often find myself just using 2 fingers  if I'm not moving around the basses much and need to give it some welly, in which case I've got 2 spare fingers to push against the box, which stops the little finger getting so tired.
Sounds like even worse technique,  :|bl but I reckon you should just do whatever does the job. 

I experimented with the wrist in a sling once, but all it did was completely immobilise my arm and I couldn't do a thing!
Logged
Pauline from Cornwall

*  including a customised Hohner Club from Cornwall (and very nice it is too!).

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 09:20:44 AM »

More thanks for all the replies!

Andy - I'm with you in principle: I keep my thumb on the air button, but for some reason although I start a piece with the end of thumb over the button it's common to end the piece with the lower end of the thumb there ... so for whatever reason that isn't stopping my slippage.

george - you make a very good point, especially considering 120 note basses (or any large number, of course). I will certainly try to alter the strap - I have tried it very tight, and it was some help, but it was tight around the back of the hand rather than the wrist, so I'll experiment further with that one.

waltzman - respect to the power of your little finger!   ;) Thinking about what you've said here I realise that it's not really the "weight" that I'm trying to support, it's the "levelness" - ie I'm trying to resist the box's desire to splay open from the top. That being the case, then the little-finger-as-support isn't my problem ... but it's making me think of other implications about what I'm doing, so thanks for that.

tallship - interesting idea re the sponge. I'm sure that would be a failsafe method, if unsightly. Worth a try - thank you.

In light of the first few replies to this thread I did alter the left shoulder strap - tightening it somewhat. It occurs to me that my own version of slippage would be reduced by having the box more level. More adjustments are required, but I'm encouraged by the first try - suddenly the box seemed much more stable. I think it'll end up being a combination of various suggestions to this thread ... so, sincerely, thank you to all contributors.

[added with last reply]
ganderbox - your observation seems like a bit of a breakthrough to me ... the idea of supporting the box outwards ... I don't think I do that, but I sense it could make all the difference. That must be what 48+ bass players do (?) so I'll experiment with that too (variations on strap tightness). Thank you.

Chris
 :||:
Logged

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4858
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 09:47:22 AM »

I agree with pauline that if it works it works - it is however worth spending some considerable time experimenting to find what works best for the individual as anatomy, degree of arthritis etc etc all vary!

When I refered to using the articulation of the wrist I find that putting the hand through the bass strap so that the strap  is roughly where your watch would be works best for me on anything from 8 to 120 bass.

Trying to keep the bellows horizontal or even rising from right to left  is smore likely to cause problems than playing them as if they are hinged at the bottom i.e. as if the bottom strap was kept fastened, the bellows taking the shape of a 'fan'. Obviously this cant be taken  to literally as greater bellows extension is required with  the small bellows used on melodeons - it does however provide a nice relaxed stance & becomes more natural if you keep the bellow tight for better control. For what its worth on my 48 & 80 bass boxes I sometimes forget to undo the bottom bellows strap & many tunes can be played in that way - but obviously not all!

george
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 10:21:48 AM »

Trying to keep the bellows horizontal or even rising from right to left  is smore likely to cause problems than playing them as if they are hinged at the bottom i.e. as if the bottom strap was kept fastened, the bellows taking the shape of a 'fan'. Obviously this cant be taken  to literally as greater bellows extension is required with  the small bellows used on melodeons - it does however provide a nice relaxed stance & becomes more natural if you keep the bellow tight for better control. For what its worth on my 48 & 80 bass boxes I sometimes forget to undo the bottom bellows strap & many tunes can be played in that way - but obviously not all!

george

Very good point george - noted, and thank you.
At Witney last year I was in Ed Rennie's session and he demonstrated one piece that was played entirely on push, but he demonstrated bellows technique by gradually (and apparently continuously) having the bellows expand. It was an amazing thing to see - I wonder if you know of anywhere that can explain & demonstrate such technique?

Chris
Logged

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4858
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 10:48:04 AM »

I presume Ed;s technique is to play the melodeon in mush the saem way a a single acting concertina is played (they only play on the push, no note sounding on the pul

therefore assuming that all notes are being played on the push  the air button will need to be used at every available opportunity to move the bellows out & keep them from getting anywhee near closed. Its probably down to how the tune is phrased ( take in air between phrases) & how the 'gaps' between the notes are played (with fine control of air button it is possible to have a quick suck between notes) the trick is to make sure you let go of the air button VERY swiftly- otherwise what you have gained you will immediately lose!

george
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2010, 10:50:38 AM »

the trick is to make sure you let go of the air button VERY swiftly- otherwise what you have gained you will immediately lose!

Indeed!   ;)
Logged

Hello

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 148
  • mmm
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 11:23:07 AM »

This is interesting. I have gone though the phase of feeling everything was slipping away, sweaty palms etc, but I came to the conclusion that actually, although it felt insecure, it wasn't.

The more basses you have and the more you want to do with them, the greater the need to jump around the buttons and the more flexible you need to be with regard to which fingers you use.  The left hand is often neglected in this respect, but I would say that it pays to work on developing a similar level of dexterity as afforded to the right hand. Something that worked for me is performing jumps or bass runs slowly and staccato, bringing the fingers right off buttons at about 45 degrees.

Having the whole melodeon hanging at an angle (the sort of angle as if you were holding a baby) with the right hand end uppermost also improves things I find, rather than holding it parallel to the ground as the weight tends to fall into rather than down your palm.

Bass Strap tightness does play a role.  If you have a pokerwork then it can be tricky to adjust. You can bulk it with padding or punch new holes. Otherwise I found the best way to get the right tension is to start off with it too tight, play something and work it back with the rotello until it's comfortable.

Some people glue their underwear or bits of towel to the bass end to give more grip. 








Logged
Trying is the first step towards failing

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2010, 11:37:34 AM »

I agree with you -

Quote
I came to the conclusion that actually, although it felt insecure, it wasn't.

I was trying something similar last night ... Mine is a 12 bass and I've not been using the "extra 4" much (really only when necessary). I thought I'd try to use them more ... deliberately ... not just when "forced". Suddenly that meant I had to "let go" more. And you know what? ... the box didn't collapse after all!  :|bl

So that's good news ... and just more practice focusing on that.

Quote
Some people glue their underwear or bits of towel to the bass end to give more grip.

Err ... thanks for the disclosure.   ;)  "Some people" ... as in "a friend of mine ..."  >:E

Better make sure THAT comment isn't taken out of context!  ;D
Logged

zubz

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 388
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2010, 11:46:20 AM »

Some people glue their underwear or bits of towel to the bass end to give more grip. 
best to take it off first, though.

lol  ;D
Logged

Peter G

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 175
  • Hohner Pokerwork, Castagnari Tommy
Re: Left hand supporting the box ... & slipping
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2010, 05:54:53 PM »

If you have a pokerwork then it can be tricky to adjust. You can bulk it with padding or punch new holes.

I found a matchstick under the top end of the strap works well - can shave the match to required thickness and if necessary keep in place with a bit of bluetack
But make sure it's a spent match or it might set light to your underwear - or your bass end?  ;D
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.