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Author Topic: Preventing bass side hand slip  (Read 3982 times)

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Flanna

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Preventing bass side hand slip
« on: June 26, 2011, 09:35:24 AM »

I'm new to melodeon with my previous box experience being on English concertina and CBA. I am finding that my bass side hand slips about quite a lot (I'm left handed so it is my right hand that is slipping on the bass side of the box). I already have the bass strap adjusted as tightly as it can be without restricting the movement needed to reach all the buttons.

Of course this would never be an issue with an English concertina. My CBA, however, is much bigger and heavier than my melodeon and I never have a problem with hand slipping. This only happens with the melodeon. I am guessing that it has something to do with the frequent bellows reversals that are a big part of melodeon playing.

Can anyone advise me how to prevent this slipping of the hand?
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 11:35:06 AM »

Can anyone advise me how to prevent this slipping of the hand?
This question has been asked before on this forum, with various replies from different people, some advocating weird and wonderful additional wrist straps, with varying degrees of success.

If you play with the axis of your bellows more or less horizontal, gravity will inevitably mean that your left hand tends to slip higher up the strap.

The trick is to alter your playing position slightly, so that the bellows are angled downwards a little (a bit like my avatar picture, but not necessarily as much as that). This will increase the friction between your wrist/hand and the instrument and will also reduce the gravity/slip component, as the flat of your hand will be partly acting directly on the instrument base plate and will have something to lift against. This is usually enough to counter the hand slipping upwards.

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Neil_M

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 05:36:11 PM »

I had this problem with my Pokerwork, I simply shortened the bass strap by unscrewing the metal holding bracket, punched two more holes in the strap and screwed it back together. Took literally 5 minutes - I put the new holes about half an inch from the originals and luckily it was perfect first time. Tip, put the new holes on the underside so you can't see the old 'uns!

I've aslo used an alternative method on my Corona, a second, 'looped' bass strap fixed inside the original. Search 'customizing a honer corona' on Youtube. I used a cut down sleeve off an old jumper to try the idea out, worked really well and haven't replaced it yet  ;)
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Flanna

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 10:39:08 PM »

Thanks for your replies. Steve or anyone else, do you know where I can find the earlier threads that discuss this?
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tjsmithdog5

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 11:14:02 PM »

Thanks for your replies. Steve or anyone else, do you know where I can find the earlier threads that discuss this?

Here is a discussion from about 6 months ago that brought forth quite a few "solutions" ::

       http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,6018.0.html
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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 08:29:29 AM »

Thanks for your replies. Steve or anyone else, do you know where I can find the earlier threads that discuss this?
Here is a discussion from about 6 months ago that brought forth quite a few "solutions" ::
       http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,6018.0.html

Barry Askew's carefully shaped wooden block, mentioned in that thread, works wonders for a Hohner 4-stop one-row.
A similar solution would possibly work for other boxes, but would need to be attached to the bass cover plate. The nice thing about Barry's bodge is that it sits in the recess that is part of the Hohner's construction, and is held in place by the strap when you're not playing, so you literally need no adhesives, screws or other fixing technology.
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mory

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 10:58:03 AM »

I'm new to melodeon with my previous box experience being on English concertina and CBA. I am finding that my bass side hand slips about quite a lot (I'm left handed so it is my right hand that is slipping on the bass side of the box). I already have the bass strap adjusted as tightly as it can be without restricting the movement needed to reach all the buttons.

Of course this would never be an issue with an English concertina. My CBA, however, is much bigger and heavier than my melodeon and I never have a problem with hand slipping. This only happens with the melodeon. I am guessing that it has something to do with the frequent bellows reversals that are a big part of melodeon playing.

Can anyone advise me how to prevent this slipping of the hand?

Sharon Shannon famously always has a pack of cheap sponges at hand for this, mory

even in the earliest clip I've seen of her when she was about sixteen, I guess for some petite girls its just a fact that tightening the bass strap just isn't enough anyhow its seemed to have worked for her and it's movable as she swops it from box to box when she's on stage  (:)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 11:06:43 AM by mory »
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Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 09:16:45 PM »

I'm new to melodeon with my previous box experience being on English concertina and CBA. I am finding that my bass side hand slips about quite a lot (I'm left handed so it is my right hand that is slipping on the bass side of the box). I already have the bass strap adjusted as tightly as it can be without restricting the movement needed to reach all the buttons.

Of course this would never be an issue with an English concertina. My CBA, however, is much bigger and heavier than my melodeon and I never have a problem with hand slipping. This only happens with the melodeon. I am guessing that it has something to do with the frequent bellows reversals that are a big part of melodeon playing.

Can anyone advise me how to prevent this slipping of the hand?

Sharon Shannon famously always has a pack of cheap sponges at hand for this, mory

even in the earliest clip I've seen of her when she was about sixteen, I guess for some petite girls its just a fact that tightening the bass strap just isn't enough anyhow its seemed to have worked for her and it's movable as she swops it from box to box when she's on stage  (:)

I suspect that's less to do with hand slippage and more to do with concerns about pressure on the wrist from the back corner of the box.

Then again, I suppose we'd have to ask her to be sure.

george garside

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 11:13:05 AM »

could it be something to do with whether one or two shoulder straps are being used and also the way they are adjusted.  As a confirmed 2 strap player I have never had any problem with left hand/arm slipping presumably because I am only using the left arm/wrist for bellows movement rather than as support/location for the box. Thinking about it, when trying boxes with one strap eg in shops, my left hand has been moving unwantedly  whilst struggling to keep the box & hence the treble keyboard where it belongs!
 It is probaly because of firm attachement to the person that players of piano, continental & British Chromatic boxes don't have the slippage problem.
george
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Nick Hudis

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 04:10:15 PM »

I'd go along with both Steve's comments about angling the bellows and George about about the two straps.  I find doing these things I can keep the left hand strap quite slack which is more relaxed and makes it easier to move around the basses (on an 18 bass box in my case)
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mory

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2011, 05:06:42 PM »



Sharon Shannon famously always has a pack of cheap sponges at hand for this, mory

even in the earliest clip I've seen of her when she was about sixteen, I guess for some petite girls its just a fact that tightening the bass strap just isn't enough anyhow its seemed to have worked for her and it's movable as she swops it from box to box when she's on stage  (:)

I suspect that's less to do with hand slippage and more to do with concerns about pressure on the wrist from the back corner of the box.

Then again, I suppose we'd have to ask her to be sure.

 ::)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 05:08:34 PM by mory »
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Flanna

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 06:08:14 PM »

Sharon Shannon famously always has a pack of cheap sponges at hand for this, mory...
...
Then again, I suppose we'd have to ask her to be sure.

To be sure, to be sure  :P
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Peter_T

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 05:11:56 PM »

Thanks for your replies. Steve or anyone else, do you know where I can find the earlier threads that discuss this?

Here is a discussion from about 6 months ago that brought forth quite a few "solutions" ::

       http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,6018.0.html

Thank you.

This was a problem I've only had since St Mary Bourne and the Andy Cutting workshop - which mean actually I've noticed that my left hand tends to dive diagonally across the bass end. Progress, I guess.
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Telemorris

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 07:42:37 PM »

I'm new to playing the instrument and struggling with the ergonomics, if you will, of left hand placement, especially the contact points of back of hand/strap and palm of hand/bass grille. I know there have been discussions of how to keep the hand from shifting, as in this thread. I haven't seen any discussions of what part of the right hand should be in contact with the bass grille.

I'm learning to play on an Erica. I've started with a bass strap that's as tight as I can get it which keeps the strap hitting across the back of the hand. I've had one person advise that the strap should be placed closer to the wrist, almost where a watch strap would go. On the other side of the hand, it's possible to anchor the left hand by flexing the wrist against the strap such that the entire heel of the palm is what contacts the back grille. Another option is to flex and slightly twist the hand under the strap such that the fleshy pad under the right thumb is what's in contact with the back grille (and drilling said thumb pad into a sharp edged air hole). What's the best, most comfortable playing position?

Oh, I have moderately long hands which forces me to place my hand lower down on the back of the bass side so that I'd don't have to curl my fingers excessively to get to the G/D and D/A bass and chord buttons. Should I try to find a way to relocate the bass strap so that crosses the back lower down? I hate to drill new holes in the case. Has anyone made this kind of modification to a Pokerwork or Erica?

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Howard Jones

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 08:31:56 PM »

The question of tight straps v loose straps comes up regularly - even more so on concertina.net.  It varies from player to player - beginners seem to like the sense of control a tight strap gives them, but with more experience you'll probably prefer more freedom of movement.  However I'm sure the opposite also applies!  I'd be cautious about moving a strap - it may work in the short term but you may regret in the longer term.  Having said that, on the Erica it's just a question of moving a few screws so it should be simple enough to move them back again.

If the strap is too tight it will restrict the movement of the hand and make it more difficult to move around the buttons - perhaps not a problem when you're starting out but it may be when you come to play bass runs etc.  It can also press against the tendons on the back of the hand and makes them sore. 

My main point of contact is the base of the thumb, which means I can exert as much pressure on the strap as I need by twisting the hand slightly, whilst keeping the thumb free to move on the air button.  I don't find the edges of the air holes are sharp, but if this is uncomfortable then gently sand the edge to remove the sharpness.

Ultimately, only you can say what's comfortable.  But before you start moving the strap, think about your technique and whether you have your hand in the best position.

Flanna

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Re: Preventing bass side hand slip
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2011, 10:55:45 PM »

I am pleased to say that I have completely solved the issue of hand slip by; tightening the bass strap, and, wearing a tennis players wrist band. Both as recommended by members of this forum, thanks.
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