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Sore Left Thumb And Wrist ...


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I'm new with my duet Lachenal 39 buttons.


yersterday, I tried very eagerly (and nearly all day long, which is probably too much ... ) to learn Inisheer waltz, because I do want very much to play this tune (though it's not an easy one for me, being a beginner and having to get in mind the positions of the notes, and to do with absent notes on the right etc...).


At the end of the day, I overcame some difficulties but at the same time, I got a pain in my left thumb and wrist, really painful which caused a strong waning of my enthusiasm ...


I know I played too long.


But my question is : why is the LEFT thumb and wrist ? and nearly no pain on the right hand ?


Maybe I play my concertina the same way as I play my melodeon ?


and another question is : is there a special way to manage the bellows when playing the concertina ?






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I don't know if it is relevant, but I am learning Anglo and trying to use left hand chords/right hand melody.


The first few days I also had pain in my left thumb after playing. I was using a death grip with my left thumb, but not the right thumb. I have consciously tried to stop myself doing this by watching my thumb and keeping it straight. I also found that if I loosened the left strap completely and put my thumb into a small loop above the main loop then this kept me from gripping with my thumb. I do not need to do this much of the time - just to reset my brain into believing that I do not need to grip with my left thumb.



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I don't use a grip for my thumb, I just put my hands under the main strap.

But it seems difficult to adjust rightly this strap :

if it's too loose my hand is free, but not precise in its movements.

If it's too tight, I cannot use my 4th and 5th fingers ...

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Being an EC player myself I'm experiencing a sore right thumb (only worsened by an unlucky fall) for weeks now. Since I decided to straiten the right strap significantly the thumb seems to recover in spite of resumed playing.


I had to realize that my playing (whilst supporting the right end of the instrument with the right knee) is quite far from being symmetrical. Albeit performing the pushes and pulls with the left hand it's the right hand that is apparently challenged more (due to the resistance it has to put up?).


Maybe these observations apply to your playing in any way too.

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enthusiastic beginings and too much time spent trying to 'hard wire' a new keyboard into one's brain usually results in some pain at the hands or wrists.


This is normal and will go away as you develope muscle memory , strength and more efficient ways to play will come automatiquement.


I often have numbness arriving in my left hand from pinching a nerve at the base of my thumb when playing the Maccann... but it dépends for me on which chair I am sitting... only one chair allows this problem to commence.... why I do not know but it must be due to the height of the chair which causes my hands to enter the straps at an inapropriate angle.


I would suggest finding a good height of chair for you so that your hands enter the straps and your fingers arrive at the keys in a most straight line... that there is no "having to hold the instrument in place".


When I first started on the Maccann I had the straps too tight and I looked on these forums for discussions about all that and several people suggested having the straps loose enough that when you pull your hands outwards against the straps there should be, at the least, centimetre of space between your palms and the hand bars. This allows for some sideways movements that are needed to reach all the keys.


With the loose straps some people will brace the lower part of their palms against the end of the concertina behind the hand rest bar when they need firm control at bellows direction changes or for musical emphasis.

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  • 7 years later...

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