Ok..I did a search of the forum for stuff on handstraps (totaly confused too many to read through)
I'm still not quite sure how tight they should be. But I find the last notch it too tight and the next one up too loose. And it kinda rubs a bit so I had a brainwave. Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing.
anyway other question. Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?
I think we have a consensus that straps shouldn't be too tight - but what is "too tight"?
In my experience, this is one thing about music making that has to be optimised for you personally on your personal instrument. And it has to be re-optimised occasionally as you get more familiar with holding and playing your concertina. If you find you're not comfortable with the adjustment you made a while ago, try re-adjusting - you might just get a pleasant surprise
I've read that beginners tend to have the straps too tight - they feel more secure that way, but it limits movement. When you're more familiar with your concertina, you'll get that feeling of being in control even with looser straps, and playing will be easier. (I did just that recently, after having my Anglo straps in the same holes for years. Gave my playing a real boost!)
In fact, an old Duet tutor recommends that one start with the straps tight, when one is playing in the scale of C and not using the outer buttons. By the time you get on to the keys with sharps and flats, you're ready to loosen the straps.
So what is right for you as a beginner is not necessarily right for you when you've had more practice.
Fingernails - now, there I'm an expert
I also play finger-style 5-string banjo, which requires very short nails on the left hand, but a significant projection beyond the flesh on the right-hand index and middle fingers. Here, I have to optimise very finely. To reach the inner row of the Anglo, I have to curl my fingers and play with the tips. If the nail is too long, it hits the endplate of the concertina before the finger-tip has pressed the button right down, and I get a strangulated sound, because the pad isn't completely open. In the middle and outer rows, it's not so bad, because the fingers are slightly extended and I play with the pads of the fingers. So it's a matter of the relative geometries of concertina and fingers. Smaller hands should have less nail trouble with the inner row, and a few millimetres more or less between the handrest and the inner row could make a difference.
I must say that I've found a nail length that lets me enjoy banjo and concertina turn about - but if I'm preparing for a gig, I manicure my right hand appropriately: cut the nails for a concertina gig, let them grow for a banjo gig. If I'll be playing both, I file the nails to an optimum.
There's something to be said for the short-nailed, calloused fingers of the banjoist's left hand. I can easily slide my finger from a middle-row button to an inner-row button on the concertina, which can be useful at times
My experience, FWIW