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lstein

Finding Correct Wrist Strap Tension

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Hi,

 

I'm learning 30b Anglo C/G and have a question regarding wrist strap tension. I find that I need to loosen the left-hand strap in order to have enough clearance to comfortable play chords involving the G row (particularly the pulled F chord). However, when I loosen the strap enough to get to the near-row buttons, I lose stability on the push/pull and find myself instinctively clutching the strap between my left thumb and the side of the index finger. This clutch gives me sufficient stability, but it feels wrong and also starts to ache after a while. Can someone give me a hint as to the right way to adjust the strap tension that gives me both stability and enough freedom to get to the near-row notes?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Lincoln

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Here is my experience and solution - one of the old c.net articles. The one difference today it that I have inverted the foam so it is thicker at the end away from my thumbs. What works for others probably depends on length of fingers, etc. Experiment!

 

Ken

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In general, you want to have the room to move your hands as needed without having excess slop as you play.

 

In order to achieve this, star by ensuring that your hands are full engaged in the straps, with the straps positioned as far back towards your wrists as they will readily go. The straps should not touch your fingers or your knuckles. Sometimes some adjustment to the shape of the straps (cutting) is necessary to ensure the latter. Then you should adjust the strap length to where you can see a little space between your palm and the bar when you hold your hand flat and pull lightly in the open-bellows direction. I'm talking about the full width of your hand here, not just a part of it. As to how much space, individual preferences vary but I'd say between 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch. I prefer 3/8 but I know some that think 1/4 inch is excessive. I suggest you target 1/8 to inch to start with. Some straps (depending on the design) may require addional holes punched in them to best accommodate your hands.

 

You should find that with proper adjustment, you can see space with your palm/hand held flat, but eliminate that space and tighten the straps when you cup your palm slightly. That allows you to move your hand easily and still anchor it in place when you wish to do so.

 

If you find you have difficulty reaching the outside row or with curling your fingers in to easily play the inside row, you may need an extended height palm bar or a custom height adjustment such as Ken has described.

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I think that Don and Ken's suggestions may apply. My hands are not particularly large but I have long fingers. I am picking up a new instrument in a few days and perhaps the palm rest will be better positioned. Thanks for all the great advice!

 

L

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Just a mention, many concertina makers will provide custom height bars if they are specified when the order is placed. If you decide you want a change after delivery, you can contact the maker and request a custom height bar set be made, but expect to pay a small additional fee. Once made, the custom bars are shipped to you and you can swap them out for the bars your concertina was delivered with. You may want to hang on to the originals in case you eventually sell the instrument to someone that prefers standard height bars.

 

My comment isn't intended to take away from Ken's solution, which I find to be an excellent example of a highly functional fix that one may happily employ for many years. Rather, my intent here is just to illuminate an alternative approach in case you're one that prefers an "as-made" look.

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I'm learning 30b Anglo C/G and have a question regarding wrist strap tension.

 

Nothing personal against you, Lincoln, but why do people insist on calling them "wrist" straps, when they have nothing to do with the wrist? They lie across the back of the hand; they never touch the wrist in normal use. And calling them "hand straps" (which they are) is no more difficult than calling them "wrist straps" (which they aren't).

 

In addition, some English concertinas do have actual wrist straps, which do lie across the back of the wrist when in use and are mounted quite differently on the instrument. Isn't it a good idea to avoid confusing the two concepts?

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I'm happy to call them hand straps and will for now on.

 

However, as someone who went through gross anatomy in medical school, I'd like to put in a word of defense for those who call them wrist straps. The anatomic wrist actually extends to the top of the carpal bones, much higher than most people think (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_bones) while the hand begins at the base of the metacarpals at just about where the web of the thumb is. The HAND straps are mostly covering the metacarpals, but probably cover the top of the carpals as well, so it's not completely misguided to associate them with the wrist!

 

Lincolnl

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