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Support For Bass Concertina

Bass strap

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#1 AdrianJ

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:14 PM

I am the proud owner of a Lachenal double action g bass concertina (so it is heavy).
I get on well with it when sat down, but I now have a requirement to play it when standing.
I am reluctant to modify the instrument and the only holes in the ends (apart from the fretwork) are the thumb strap fastenings.
Does anyone have any ideas about straps or mechanisms,to support it for playing when standing, or even better, walking.
Regards,
Adrian

#2 Don Taylor

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 06:01 PM

Perhaps you could fashion some webbing straps to go around each end, maybe with a Velcro fastening, that would be tight but not abrasive. Then attach a neck band or a chest harness to the webbing straps.

#3 gcoover

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 06:03 PM

Hi Adrian,

Welcome to the Phartophone Club - you have hours of wonderfully rude and awesome bass sounds to look forward to!

 

My Lachenal bass has thick wriststraps that coincide with the thumbstrap connection on the top of the instrument, and both are held in by a tall brass screw thing (not the typical flat-topped brass concertina thumbstrap connector). I'm guessing this same connection might have once accommodated a neck strap of some sort, judging from the wear on the back of the bellows. The thing where the brass screw screws into (sorry for all the technical terms) also has a few stray screw holes, so these might have been where a neck strap was connected. The trick is to find a place where it's balanced enough and then be able to hold it out away from your stomach. Not sure I have a photo that shows this, but I'll look.

 

 

Gary



#4 AdrianJ

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:07 PM

Thanks both for those useful replies. I'm inclining to Don's idea, due to it's non-invasive nature, but I'm reluctant to trust Velcro. I'll try to find a different fastening mechanism.
I think I've seen fastenings like Gary's on other instruments fir attaching neck straps.I've heard that some of the old bands used modified prams when marching. I.e. They extended the pram handle to shoulder pads and the concertina rested on a platform on top of the pram. Sounds like it would rub the bellows to me and I don't want a large wheeled contraption in addition to the concertina. I'll keep on thinking and design something.

#5 Don Taylor

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:08 PM

Adrian

I was thinking about something we brought for use on our boat, but actually use for a variety of purposes. We have some "Taylor Made Hook and Loop Fender Straps", but I think that a more generic term would be a "hook and loop cinch strap". The hook and loop (Velcro) on these is aggressive and I doubt that my straps would come undone accidentally. Velcro is very strong in sheer and that is how these straps would set up.

A nice feature of these straps is that they are infinitely adjustable, you don't have to line up a pin with a hole as in a belt strap.

I don't know where you are located, but try a major hardware store.

Added later. Maybe you could screw the thumbstrap screw through the webbing to give you some additional security.

Edited by Don Taylor, 29 August 2017 - 07:15 PM.


#6 conzertino

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:20 AM

The usual method would be to fasten a folded leather or cloth-strip with the thumb-strap-bolts - probably with D-rings. Works well for smaller instruments. But a bass might be too heavy!?

Fortunately my Aeola bass has proper loops attached;-)

 

Bass klein.jpg


Edited by conzertino, 29 August 2017 - 02:23 AM.


#7 d.elliott

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:25 AM

Some big reed instruments were made with facilities for neck strap attachments, I am not a fan of attaching straps to thumb strap screws or loops, it can do damage.

 

This sort of mounting is set into the wood and utilises an end bolt, but is not a face of fret attachment, it is more stable, less obtrusive and stronger. It is a very simple and low cost adaption.

 

I have seen pictures of the Liverpool marching concertina bands where the big bass was set on an adapted perambulator frame. Look up Liverpool Marching Band, you might spot pictures.

 

Dave



#8 wayman

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:56 AM

Rich Morse designed a D-ring precisely for this purpose, ideally sized for unobtrusive but sturdy concertina use. It might save you looking around for suitably small, aesthetically fitting, sturdy hardware. It's minimally obtrusive, and maximally reliable, but it does require actual attaching into the instrument: drilling a small hole in each end frame (not the fretwork) adjacent to the strap screw.

 

The main benefit is that you avoid the worst-case scenario: your instrument slipping out of a mounting system not physically attached to the instrument, whilst you're standing and relying on your strap!

 

So, that's a solution if that's a direction you're willing to go. (Depending on where you're located, you might want to acquire parts and have a local professional install them.)



#9 AdrianJ

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:43 AM

Thanks again everyone. Some really useful and constructive ideas here.
I am in touch with my local professional (Dave Elliott) who has a minimally invasive solution.
I'm off for a deep think about matters now :-)

#10 W3DW

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:09 PM

Let us know what solution you choose.

#11 Spectacled Warbler

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 08:30 AM

It might be worth thinking about a binocular harness rather than a neck strap, as your concertina is heavy.    Binocular harnesses attach over both shoulders / back so you don't have to carry the whole instrument's weight on the back of your neck.   Some harnesses are elasticated, which wouldn't suit your needs, but some aren't and could be worth trying.   

 

All the best, 

 

Joy



#12 Pete Dunk

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:27 AM

I use an RSPB binocular shoulder harness on my tenor/treble and it works a treat. I use two slim webbing trouser belts, one fastened around either end of the concertina with the discrete plastic snap buckle underneath out of sight and pass the little webbing loops that come with the harness under the belt just behind the thumb loops. The small loops have a little D ring that the hooks on the main harness snap into, all very lightweight and comfy. A bass concertina may work with this arragement I'm not sure but it would be worth playing around with. All of that being said, if Dave Elliott has come up with something I'd be taking that route!



#13 Pete Dunk

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:41 AM

Pictures of the harness.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 002-1.JPG
  • HarnessFront.JPG
  • 001.JPG






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