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Wrist Straps On Ec


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#19 buikligger

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 06:15 AM

Hi Henrik,

'hand straps', indeed. So EC à l'Anglo is correct. Nice new idea! Let's experiment!

How do they work? Can you compare the two ways of playing (hand straps versus wrist straps) from your experience? Have you tried them both?


greetings from,

Dirk De Bleser, to have some straps in the near future; but which type? (lol)

#20 RatFace

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:53 AM

The anglo doesn't have wrist straps. It has hand straps. I have yet to see an anglo player try to put his/her wrists through those straps.


My little brother (Sam) used to... but that was in the days when he really was little!

#21 Henrik Müller

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:22 AM

Hi Henrik,

'hand straps', indeed. So EC à l'Anglo is correct. Nice new idea! Let's experiment!

How do they work? Can you compare the two ways of playing (hand straps versus wrist straps) from your experience? Have you tried them both?


greetings from,

Dirk De Bleser, to have some straps in the near future; but which type? (lol)

Hi, Dirk -
I was joking a little, there. The instrument is designed with the handstraps
and an anglo-type handrest. The handrest is at an angle (approx. 15 deg).
The angle allows better access to lower notes.

My rationale behind the arrangement was that the handstrap will take the
strain (I play with quite a lot of force) and the thumbstraps keeps the instrument
in place.

The thumbstraps are much narrower than ordinary ones and positioned
so that the thumbs are meant to go all the way through, to minimize the
strain on the main thumb joint.

It works very, very well. The only adjustment I want to do, is a new handrest
which is formed - moulded - after the inside of the hand. Should be more comfortable.

I have never tried wriststraps - I have (maybe an unfair) a feeling that they would
conflict with my playing style.

/Henrik

#22 chiton1

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:25 PM

Wrist straps are in fact hand straps as well (anyway the way I use them). They do not cover the wrist but cover the lower part of the hand just above the wrist.
Of course you can play any kind of music without them, but if you play Irish music as I do they are quite handy. For me they give more stability and less strain (on my thumbs) when I want to have some dynamics while playing dance music. I wouldn't need them when playing a slow air or anything legato.
I started playing ca. 25 years ago on a EC without wrist straps, but a few years later I got a new one which had wrist straps and I used them eversince (in fact I feel uncomfortable without them).
I hope to post some of my music this year, so I could make my point audible!
Hermann

#23 chiton1

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:46 PM

Perhaps I didn't explain the way I (can) use dynamics on my EC. It can be very rough at times and I give my EC a hard time. It has nothing to do with the way Wim Wakker or Pauline de Snoo or even Alistair Anderson employ dynamics. I am afraid my EC gets a severe beating from time to time :lol:
I use my bellows much more than most other EC players I saw playing. I also build up pressure to get some effects/ornamentation.
Hermann

#24 m3838

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:15 PM

The instrument is designed with the handstraps
and an anglo-type handrest. The handrest is at an angle (approx. 15 deg).
The angle allows better access to lower notes.

Hmm.
What kind of music do you play? Do you play chords, or multi-voice arrangements, when you have to simultatiously play low A and high C, for example. I was experimenting with hand straps, wrist straps whatever you call them - only to find that EC is designed to be what it is. EC's original idea was real mistake, unless you have reeds that speak very loudly at very low pressure and keep on whispering at even lower pressure. Anything with your ordinary reeds suffers from lack of dynamics and control, or too much stress on thumb joints.
Can you show picture of a side of your instrument unobscured?
And perhaps a sound file? Or a video?
Thanks.

#25 Henrik Müller

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:55 AM

Perhaps I didn't explain the way I (can) use dynamics on my EC. It can be very rough at times and I give my EC a hard time. It has nothing to do with the way Wim Wakker or Pauline de Snoo or even Alistair Anderson employ dynamics. I am afraid my EC gets a severe beating from time to time :lol:
I use my bellows much more than most other EC players I saw playing. I also build up pressure to get some effects/ornamentation.
Hermann

Allright! I can identify with that!
/Henrik

#26 buikligger

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:28 PM

Wrist straps are in fact hand straps as well (anyway the way I use them). They do not cover the wrist but cover the lower part of the hand just above the wrist.
Of course you can play any kind of music without them, but if you play Irish music as I do they are quite handy. For me they give more stability and less strain (on my thumbs) when I want to have some dynamics while playing dance music. I wouldn't need them when playing a slow air or anything legato.
I started playing ca. 25 years ago on a EC without wrist straps, but a few years later I got a new one which had wrist straps and I used them eversince (in fact I feel uncomfortable without them).
I hope to post some of my music this year, so I could make my point audible!
Hermann


Hi Hermann and all,

the discussion about the difference between hand straps and wrist straps needn't become to academically. It's more a matter of how you define things: whether you put 4 or 5 fingers into the strap.

Hermann i hope you'll post some tracks soon. I don't feel the need to compliment you on your playing because i bought my EC from you, but i think your style is the most dynamic one i heard on EC.(no offence to other players) It is appealing to my bodhrán.
Still a lot to learn for me. In 25 years I'll be 75 (lol)

kind greetings to all

Dirk De Bleser, Belgium

#27 chiton1

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:46 PM

Hope you are doing well on your concertina. I think you will find that straps will give a little advantage when playing Irish music.
All the best, Hermann
Why?could you explain please.
last night, I was listening to Alistair Anderson[concertina workshop]he plays some irish tunes [without wrist straps],his playing is very good and I honestly dont think it needs improvement ,neither do I think it would be improved by wrist straps.
[/quote]

Hello Dick,
Quite simply because if you draw you get strain on your thumbs, if you draw gently its OK, but if you draw hard and often (as I do for Irish dance music) you got a lot of strain and the straps will give you some extra comfort. The lower end of the back of your hand can take much more strain than your thumb. But apparently there are people who do not whish to believe this, well don't - what do I care :P :P
I find Alistair Anderson a great player (and a great personality as well), but although he is very skilled on his instrument he clearly does not come from an Irish music tradition. His playing doesn't sound Irish to me, and when he plays Irish music its sounds like English music to me. Anyway it is not the way I want to play.

This weekend there were Irish workshops in the South of Brittany. The concertina teacher was a young guy named Colm Delaney. He is really the extreme end of dynamics (loads of energy) in Irish music. Although he is not very well known, in my opinion he ranks among the best Irish players and has a large array of techniques to draw from while playing. He uses a lot of chords and double notes (which is perhaps not to everybody's liking). Go to http://bono-winter-s...l.chez-alice.fr , click on invités (guests), go to Colm, and then click on the ''moving notes'' to get a glimpse of his playing (on stage his playing will be more polished though). You may not like it, but he is amazing!
Anyway if you want to play anything remotely like it ''wrist'' straps will help.
Hermann

#28 m3838

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 09:03 PM

Anyway if you want to play anything remotely like it ''wrist'' straps will help.
Hermann


Great playing.
But I thought the discussion is about English Concertina Wrist straps, not Anglo. Goran Ram' s idea claims to be equally better for both, EC and AC, but EC definiitely is on a weaker end.
Still, my observation is that a concertina playing tends to be much less dynamic of all the free reed family. The expression of, say Rostropovich (yes, finally the CDs have arrived), is, I believe, unacheavable on concertina. Perhaps it's smaller bellows and lack of air, perhaps concertinas still produced to a lower overall quality. Perhaps it's the mechanics of reed response or the ... ergonomics of holding the instrument, that by all standards - suck. So far the responce from the builders was: "How can you complain, when we tried to copy original Wheatstone design?"
I think even rotating thumb strap will be great improvement, or bigger and more comfortable pinkey rest.
Or some sort of vice with bracketts for wrist strap, that can be put on the ends withouth damaging the ends proper, so the "resale" value of the instrument could be kept.

#29 chiton1

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:07 PM

Great playing.

But I thought the discussion is about English Concertina Wrist straps, not Anglo.

Still, my observation is that a concertina playing tends to be much less dynamic of all the free reed family.

Or some sort of vice with bracketts for wrist strap, that can be put on the ends withouth damaging the ends proper, so the "resale" value of the instrument could be kept.
[/quote]


Colm Delaneys music on his Anglo is just to show what kind of music I want to make on the EC and why I need wrist straps.

I think that much depends on the quality of the other free reed instruments as well; and well every instrument has his strong and weak points. I was never able to play chords on my wooden flute for instance.

Who says the value will drop? I will give at least 20 euros more for a concertina with good wrist straps! :lol:
Hermann

#30 m3838

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:22 PM

Colm Delaneys music on his Anglo is just to show what kind of music I want to make on the EC and why I need wrist straps.

I see.

I think that much depends on the quality of the other free reed instruments as well; and well every instrument has his strong and weak points. I was never able to play chords on my wooden flute for instance.

The chord example is not working here. Chords or no chords, music is about expression, and you need straps for control, to acheave expression, no?

Who says the value will drop? I will give at least 20 euros more for a concertina with good wrist straps! :lol:
Hermann

Drill expencive concertina on it's side, install brass screw anchors, put straps on, put it on ebay and watch the result.

My problem comes from seen top notch accordion, cello, piano etc. players playing music at certain level.
To be able to compete they demand instruments of certain quality.
Modern top notch concertina players have much lesser sophistication of performance, less nuances in expression, that perhaps, sets the lesser treshhold for "quality" instrument.
Oh, it is often heard, you have to play it in. Would it be acceptable, if a new piano has to be played in just to be playable?
If the bellows are not flexible enough, don't sell the instrument. Flex the freaking bellows on some rig a few thousand times! If the reeds don't speak at a wisper or choke or high volume - there is a problem. A thumb pulling on the ends requires reeds, that are very easy to speak, easier, then on the Anglo, where forces are stronger. Etc. But we can't even pass by the convention that concertina is cute little accordion with 6 sides. Square Herrington didn't sell!
Imagine plastic mold square or cylindrical EC with swiveling thumb strap. Who wants it? Even if it's very expressive, indestructable and requires little effort to play.
Personally I'd rather hear more great playing than praises.
P.S.
It' s Rostropovich. His fault. Such expression, bold and not without that Gipsy feel. His accents - Oh my!
No guys, first let's give the world Rostropovich on Concertina, then we'll talk about been taken seriously.

#31 Mark Evans

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:37 PM

It' s Rostropovich. His fault. Such expression, bold and not without that Gipsy feel. His accents - Oh my!
No guys, first let's give the world Rostropovich on Concertina, then we'll talk about been taken seriously.


I see you've been enjoying Mistlav's Cello Suites.

#32 tallship

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:38 PM

each to their own,

Precisely, and I wholeheartedly agree that playing in a particular style shouldn't have any real boundaries, perhaps just sufficient time for the lovers of the genre to get used to the idea that things are moving on as they inevitably will ...

Back on topic, which was of course wrist straps and the possible benefits of using them. I say again that they don't really work for me and I find them uncomfortable and of little use in bearing the weight of a treble concertina, but what the devil does that mean? It means I will 'possibly' never use them because I can't see the point, it doesn't mean that there aren't benefits for other players who need greater stability in order to feel comfortable whilst playing. That need might just arise from a physical disability or weakness; it may also arise from a simple feeling of comfort and security.

Whatever the reason if it helps you to play within your particular comfort zone then go for it!

#33 m3838

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:05 PM

It' s Rostropovich. His fault. Such expression, bold and not without that Gipsy feel. His accents - Oh my!
No guys, first let's give the world Rostropovich on Concertina, then we'll talk about been taken seriously.


I see you've been enjoying Mistlav's Cello Suites.


Yes. I ordered 2CDs, as you and Danny suggested and it's an entirely different level of artistism. Not that I like the pieces too much, I can see now why Johann Sebastian wasn't that popular as a composer - he was a jazz musician of his time. But the expression of Rostropovich and rich sound of cello are on very different universe of comprehension. EC is designed as classical instrument, so EC players can't really ignore these acheavements. They are in a company of violin players. Call it "fiddle" if you want, but seeng another guy giving this "fiddle" life of such enormous intencity surely helps to feel inadequate.

#34 m3838

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:06 PM

Posted Image
Hi everybody.
After reading about wrist straps I got to thinking and went back to my old idea to realize that it wouldn't work.
So I thought it a little and offer above placed idea as a variant of half wrist strap, half hard bracket.
What if a semy-flexible bracket is inserted under the thumb strap and fixed by the three screws in the thumb strap and the big one on top. The bracket, or call it the "Handle", extends from under the thumb strap and rests on top of your palm. You push out with the back of your hand, like with regular leather strap, but the handle is more rigid and thus offers more control and been open downwward, gives needed freedom for the hand and fingers to move underneath, reaching low buttons, working chords, etc. It also serves as concertina support, allowing to play standing. Thumbs add control to the contruption, instead of bearing full weight, so we have two points of support, giving (assumingly) more stable control. The handle can be encased in leather,just like thumb strap, or any kind of soft material - styrofoam, thick vynil ...
I was thinking of bent plexiglass, but probably it'll be too thin to survive the playing, so perhaps steel or brass would be better.
Makers out there, what do you think?

#35 chiton1

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:08 PM

I do not wish to play like anyone else,
I am quite happy with my playing of Irish music[visit youtube dickmilesmusic concertina reel,]and I have never suffered from strained thumbs.
each to their own,
but In my opinion ,which is based on over thirty years experience , altering the design of the EC is unnecessary.and will not help playing Irish /Scottish/Northumbrian or any other kind of dance music.
number one priority [ imo]is to make people feel like dancing,Alistair does this.
Irish music consists of many many different styles,priority number one[imo] is danceability.
it is [imo]a mistake to be didactic or insistent that it should be played one particular way.
Dick Miles


Hi Dick,
Of course you may play Irish music as you like (I never stated otherwise), and I may play as I like (with my own preferences). I highly respect your opinion that you want not to copy somebody's style but have your own. Music is not served by cloning. My comparison with the Irish AC player was just to give an impression of the sheer energy he has, not that I want to imitate his playing (although he gave me some ideas I might employ, but so has Alistair Anderson!).
Although I have only about 20 years of experience, wrist straps work for me. And I didn't alter the design of the EC; I didn't invent wrist straps, in fact the 1929 Aeola I bought came with original (contemporary) Wheatstone wrist straps!
I am not trying to dictate anything to anybody. Well, I am playing Irish music for 30 years (started on the whistle and flute) and I have my own taste, preferences, views and opinions about it. This was acquired by listening a lot and by playing with others. I agree there are many different styles in Irish music but strange enough there remains something of an overal Irish feel to all these styles. The situation in Brittany is quite similar (although Breton music is very different from Irish music).
I remenber going to the Mozart concerto for flute and harp with my father. The soloist on the flute was James Galway. Well he's Irish and considered one of the greatest classical flute players. The concerto was great and afterwards (as a little encore) he took out a tin whistle and started to play an Irish tune. I was delighted because I didn't expect him to play the whistle (at that time I was playing only a few years myself). But was quite dissapointed as it didn't sound anything like Irish music. He did play the notes alright, but it had a classical feel to it. Still I do not condemn it, why should I? It is well possible that most people in the audience would prefer his way of playing that Irish tune, to that of Mary Bergin or Micko Russel! - Let everybody play as he wants, but grant me my own taste and opinions......
Hermann

#36 chiton1

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:33 PM

It' s Rostropovich. His fault. Such expression, bold and not without that Gipsy feel. His accents - Oh my!
No guys, first let's give the world Rostropovich on Concertina, then we'll talk about been taken seriously.


I see you've been enjoying Mistlav's Cello Suites.


Yes. I ordered 2CDs, as you and Danny suggested and it's an entirely different level of artistism. Not that I like the pieces too much, I can see now why Johann Sebastian wasn't that popular as a composer - he was a jazz musician of his time. But the expression of Rostropovich and rich sound of cello are on very different universe of comprehension. EC is designed as classical instrument, so EC players can't really ignore these acheavements. They are in a company of violin players. Call it "fiddle" if you want, but seeng another guy giving this "fiddle" life of such enormous intencity surely helps to feel inadequate.



We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality [Oscar wilde].
Well why don't you play the fiddle then, instead of concertina?
In fact I agree that violin and cello, but especially the violin are amongst the most expressive instruments. But you can not compare appels with pears. Every instrument has its strong points and weak ones. Some instruments are suitable for certain kinds of music and not for others. Composers (the great ones but also the humble folk musicians) will compose different music for different instruments. Cello is beautiful instrument but you can not play Tchaikovsky's famous violin concerto on it (not as it should anyway). I play the bombard which is a very limited primitive instrument, but I assure you that the kind of dance music I make on it would sound crap on the cello! Does that make the Cello an inferior instrument? Don't think so.
Hermann
Bach may not have been very popular as a composer at his time, he is now certainly far more popular as Rostropovich!




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