Bellows across the knee?
Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:00 AM
Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:10 AM
I have always felt that keeping the bellows off the knees would extend the life of the bellows. If one feels the need to use the knee(s), then I think it's mostly a matter of personal preference. But I do think Dave has a point and I think that if you own a fine instrument like a Jeffries, Wheatstone, Dipper or the like - with original bellows - then don't you have some moral obligation to care for and protect that bellows? Of course if you live close to a bellows maker like Greg Jowaisas and you don't feel any need to protect a bellows, then Play On!
Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:33 PM
I know that people advise against wearing out the leather but I am beginning to find it is more responsive. At workshops I've attended Harry Scurfield (Anglo) and Rob Harbron (EC) have both suggested it makes sense to use the natural 'fall' of the bellows in this way with the bellows like an arched bridge. They both said it might necessitate new or repaired bellows every 20 years or so! So any views?.
In Bertram Levy's new tutor ( I think ) he recommended that you imagine a ball of gel inside the bellows and compress and release it. That seems to fit with balancing the bellws across the knee.
I adopted the right end on the right knee at the outset as I hold the melodeon stady and push the bellows from the left end. I am now finding the balanced method helps.
I realise it's been talked about before but in the light of the veiws of people I respect I just wondered if it was worth resurrecting the discussion
Not too worried about the bellows. Just a note: I'm right handed and play my Anglo with the end on my left knee; but, I'm learning the melodeon and find I do better with the right end on my right knee. Those who have played for a long time say the treble end should be on my left knee. Then I watch some fine players on YouTube and the treble end is on the right knee. So, I figure it must depend on a player's individual ergonomics. A friend plays the harmonica and doesn't worry about his knees. He doesn't smoke so his bellows are ok.
Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:35 AM
Perhaps if you use a designer bar towel it would also make a fashion statement???
For ITM concertina players, a Guinness bar towel would be the obvious choice. What would English Morris men use?
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