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How Do You Folks Play Without A Strap?!


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#1 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 03:54 PM

I'm waiting on some hardware to arrive so I can add a strap to my new EC. I've been playing with with no strap for a few days, and it's a pain in the butt. If I put it on my knee, I loose a lot of the bellow dynamics plus I'm hunched over, and if I hold it at a more suitable angle, I lose finger agility due to the added job of maintaining the weight. I think you people are nuts (I say that with the utmost respect) to not use a strap. I don't see it as being any different than putting a strap on a mandolin: it's light enough that you don't NEED it, but it sure makes things easier.

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me [a strap] or give me death!"

#2 JimLucas

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 04:50 PM

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me [a strap] or give me death!"
...it's a pain in the butt.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No surprise, if that's where it's applied. :D

But as for using one on a tiny treble concertina, I don't see the point. B)
Get a grip, man! :P

#3 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 05:24 PM

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me [a strap] or give me death!"
...it's a pain in the butt.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No surprise, if that's where it's applied. :D

But as for using one on a tiny treble concertina, I don't see the point. B)
Get a grip, man! :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I am cowed by your herculean strength, but if you're making the claim that, because a strap isn't required, it's not useful, then let me point out a few very helpful, yet ultimately unnecessary, support devices which would not exist in your world...no wait, for brevity's sake, I'll prune my list down to one single item:

1. Bras.

#4 JimLucas

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:24 PM

...let me point out a few very helpful, yet ultimately unnecessary, support devices which would not exist in your world...no wait, for brevity's sake, I'll prune my list down to one single item:
1. Bras.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My world... from my handy online Danish-English dictionary comes:

bras (noun) rubbish; junk; trash

:D
But it's your choice if want to trade your "pain in the butt" for a pain in the neck. B)

#5 JimLucas

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 01:55 AM

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me [a strap] or give me death!"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm not equipped to do either. Probably just as well. :unsure: :D

#6 Mark Evans

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 05:42 AM

Jeff, strap er no...I dunno. Never used one so I have zero opinions on the subject...however (knew that was comin'), be careful putting the strap on your elderly concertina. You have submirged yourself in the vintage concertina world and any haste in attaching the strap could bring you to grief. She's no spring chicken me bucko!

You must also consider any damage to this instruments' value. The thing will out live you as it has already done several other owners. Any muckin' about now (the drillin' of holes man) will effect it's value and original state.

Within a few days you might discover that the strap is not nessicary on such a wee beastie.

Go slow ;) .

#7 RELCOLLECT

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 06:13 AM

Any muckin' about now (the drillin' of holes man) will effect it's value and original state.



You might want to consider how Wim Wakker mounts straps on the Jackie series: a small strip of leather is doubled over through a small "d" ring, and the free ends are punched and inserted between the wood concertina ends and one of the retaining screws on each said end. No new holes, etc. I use this strap method on my Jackie when standing and find it very handy.

#8 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:26 AM

I've been using a strap for several months now, without a single bit of pain or discomfort, so I don't understand what people mean about pain. That's on a treble mind you; I make no claims concerning larger instruments.

As for drilling holes, while I'm perfectly willing to drill into a Stagi, there's no way I'd touch that Lachenal. I have dee rings mounted on small plates that I will sandwich between the thumb screw and the thumb strap (screw will go through plate). The only effect it will have on the instrument is a slight indentation in the top side of the leather.

Besides freeing up your pinkie, a strap is a great way to keep your instrument handy if you need to use your hands for something. Who wants to put the instrument back in its case just to grab a swig of water?! Not me! Then there's always the chance, remote though it may be, of dropping it while playing.

I'm getting the impression that it's just not cool to use a strap.

#9 Mark Evans

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:39 AM

Oh no, no Jeff. Several fine EC players posting here use the strap (man that sounded kinda kinky :blink: ).

If you can get it on there without damaging the instrument...rock on. Plenty of vintage EC sport them.

#10 JimLucas

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:09 AM

Who wants to put the instrument back in its case just to grab a swig of water?!  Not me!

Who wants to risk spilling a swig of water onto his concertina? Not me!

Then there's always the chance, remote though it may be, of dropping it while playing.

Yep. Some people use wrist straps to protect against that. I'd rather trust my own muscles and reflexes than any mechanism.

But what about coming to depend on the neck strap, and then one day it breaks, or the screw holding it comes loose, or...? Repairing one instrument that fell to the floor was more than enough for me. If I set mine down -- in the case or out,-- it's on the floor, and I never leave it hanging by a thread.

I'm getting the impression that it's just not cool to use a strap.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Some folks think they're cool. Some don't. I just think they're a nuisance.

Your mileage may differ, but it's fun to tease you about it. :D

#11 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 01:59 PM

I'm getting the impression that it's just not cool to use a strap.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well I'm definitely not "cool" B) , so maybe I should be using one - but I'm not ! :rolleyes:

For one thing I don't see the point on a concertina, and as somebody who also plays the button accordion, I have seen too many boxes get damaged whilst they are swinging around on a strap in between tunes, and concertinas are much more delicate than button boxes.

However, my friend ...

... Douglas Rogers has been using them for years to play the classical concertina music of Giulio Regondi. Regondi advocated the use of a neck strap to free the little finger and permit playing with all four fingers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Which is perhaps the only justification for using one. :huh:

Edited by Stephen Chambers, 13 May 2005 - 12:34 AM.


#12 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:31 PM

Vive la strap!!

#13 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:35 PM

I have seen too many instruments get damaged whilst they are swinging around on a strap in between tunes


I've seen many cars get damaged while speeding around, but I don't blame the car.

Edit: No wait, that's not a very good comparison, is it? My point is that swinging an instrument around, strap or no strap, is a dangerous activity, and should damage occur during such activity, I wouldn't blame the equipment at all.

Edited by Jeff Stallard, 12 May 2005 - 02:57 PM.


#14 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:55 PM

I've seen many cars get damaged while speeding around, but I don't blame the car.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But they never crash when they are parked safely in their own garage - just like a concertina in its case when you aren't playing it ! ;) :rolleyes: :P

#15 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 03:25 PM

My point is that swinging an instrument around, strap or no strap, is a dangerous activity, and should damage occur during such activity, I wouldn't blame the equipment at all.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But I'm afraid its just what happens when you "grab a swig of water", or whatever else you do with the concertina/accordion hanging round your neck. :o

#16 JimLucas

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 03:33 PM

I have seen too many instruments get damaged whilst they are swinging around on a strap in between tunes

...swinging an instrument around, strap or no strap, is a dangerous activity, and should damage occur during such activity, I wouldn't blame the equipment at all.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nor would I, but I might blame the person foolish enough to use such equipment in such a way.

If you want to use a neck strap for support while playing, that's fair game (though I don't think you should need to).

But if you're thinking of it as a safety harness, please don't. It's quite the opposite. Rather than hold the concertina fixed against your body, a neckstrap will allow it to swing freely.

Consider this scenario: You're at a session, not playing at the moment, but with you concertina hanging from your neck. Suddenly, somebody knocks over a drink, and you jump up and twist sideways to avoid being splashed. This sets the concertina swinging, but when your body stops, the concertina doesn't, and it will strike any object -- a person, his banjo, the wall,... -- in its path. Not worth the risk, methinks.

#17 Jeff Stallard

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 04:01 PM

I don't think you should need to [use a strap].
But if you're thinking of it as a safety harness, please don't.


I understand that it's not necessary; I just think it's helpful. What I DON'T understand is how other people don't recognize how helpful it is. But hey...maybe I'm just a nancy-boy who can't handle the weight.

No, I don't really think of it as a safety harness.

Edited by Jeff Stallard, 12 May 2005 - 04:01 PM.


#18 ~Sarah~

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 04:46 PM

I am a very recent newcomer to concertina playing and bought a neck strap about a month ago. I am not certain that it really helps, although I'm not sure that I am holding the concertina correctly.

I play sitting down and try to rest one end of the concertina on my left leg, but I still find that my little fingers ache after a while and the neck strap doesn't seem to alleviate this. Is this something that will improve with time? I try to play for about 30 - 60 mins per evening.

I'd be grateful for any advice.




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