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Thumb Extender

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For those whose thumbs don't quite reach the air valve on a Stagi WL-15 or who experience hand/thumb soreness because they strain to do so, here's something that has helped me enormously.

Get one of the vinyl "toothbrushes" designed for brushing a cat's teeth and stick it on your thumb with the textured side on the outer side of your thumb where it will hit the air valve. This gives you an extra 1/8 to 1/4 inch of reach, which can make all the difference.

The vinyl is soft enough that it won't harm the finish and doesn't slip as a harder material might. Do note that some of these "brushes" are too flimsy -- very transparent and not even good (in my opinion) for their original purpose. I think the brand I'm using is made by Pet Dental and was from a pet store. You can also get one from your vet.

I've only been able to get them in green, which did attract notice at my session. But what the heck, after two years of wrestling with my concertina, I can finally use the air valve, even while playing a reel.

If others try this, I hope you'll let me know how it worked for you.


Ruth Myers

Edited by ruthmyers

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