Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
AdrianJ

Support For Bass Concertina

Recommended Posts

I am the proud owner of a Lachenal double action g bass concertina (so it is heavy).

I get on well with it when sat down, but I now have a requirement to play it when standing.

I am reluctant to modify the instrument and the only holes in the ends (apart from the fretwork) are the thumb strap fastenings.

Does anyone have any ideas about straps or mechanisms,to support it for playing when standing, or even better, walking.

Regards,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you could fashion some webbing straps to go around each end, maybe with a Velcro fastening, that would be tight but not abrasive. Then attach a neck band or a chest harness to the webbing straps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Adrian,

Welcome to the Phartophone Club - you have hours of wonderfully rude and awesome bass sounds to look forward to!

 

My Lachenal bass has thick wriststraps that coincide with the thumbstrap connection on the top of the instrument, and both are held in by a tall brass screw thing (not the typical flat-topped brass concertina thumbstrap connector). I'm guessing this same connection might have once accommodated a neck strap of some sort, judging from the wear on the back of the bellows. The thing where the brass screw screws into (sorry for all the technical terms) also has a few stray screw holes, so these might have been where a neck strap was connected. The trick is to find a place where it's balanced enough and then be able to hold it out away from your stomach. Not sure I have a photo that shows this, but I'll look.

 

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks both for those useful replies. I'm inclining to Don's idea, due to it's non-invasive nature, but I'm reluctant to trust Velcro. I'll try to find a different fastening mechanism.

I think I've seen fastenings like Gary's on other instruments fir attaching neck straps.I've heard that some of the old bands used modified prams when marching. I.e. They extended the pram handle to shoulder pads and the concertina rested on a platform on top of the pram. Sounds like it would rub the bellows to me and I don't want a large wheeled contraption in addition to the concertina. I'll keep on thinking and design something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adrian

 

I was thinking about something we brought for use on our boat, but actually use for a variety of purposes. We have some "Taylor Made Hook and Loop Fender Straps", but I think that a more generic term would be a "hook and loop cinch strap". The hook and loop (Velcro) on these is aggressive and I doubt that my straps would come undone accidentally. Velcro is very strong in sheer and that is how these straps would set up.

 

A nice feature of these straps is that they are infinitely adjustable, you don't have to line up a pin with a hole as in a belt strap.

 

I don't know where you are located, but try a major hardware store.

 

Added later. Maybe you could screw the thumbstrap screw through the webbing to give you some additional security.

Edited by Don Taylor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The usual method would be to fasten a folded leather or cloth-strip with the thumb-strap-bolts - probably with D-rings. Works well for smaller instruments. But a bass might be too heavy!?

Fortunately my Aeola bass has proper loops attached;-)

 

post-7162-0-85007700-1503991162_thumb.jpg

Edited by conzertino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some big reed instruments were made with facilities for neck strap attachments, I am not a fan of attaching straps to thumb strap screws or loops, it can do damage.

 

This sort of mounting is set into the wood and utilises an end bolt, but is not a face of fret attachment, it is more stable, less obtrusive and stronger. It is a very simple and low cost adaption.

 

I have seen pictures of the Liverpool marching concertina bands where the big bass was set on an adapted perambulator frame. Look up Liverpool Marching Band, you might spot pictures.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rich Morse designed a D-ring precisely for this purpose, ideally sized for unobtrusive but sturdy concertina use. It might save you looking around for suitably small, aesthetically fitting, sturdy hardware. It's minimally obtrusive, and maximally reliable, but it does require actual attaching into the instrument: drilling a small hole in each end frame (not the fretwork) adjacent to the strap screw.

 

The main benefit is that you avoid the worst-case scenario: your instrument slipping out of a mounting system not physically attached to the instrument, whilst you're standing and relying on your strap!

 

So, that's a solution if that's a direction you're willing to go. (Depending on where you're located, you might want to acquire parts and have a local professional install them.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again everyone. Some really useful and constructive ideas here.

I am in touch with my local professional (Dave Elliott) who has a minimally invasive solution.

I'm off for a deep think about matters now :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be worth thinking about a binocular harness rather than a neck strap, as your concertina is heavy. Binocular harnesses attach over both shoulders / back so you don't have to carry the whole instrument's weight on the back of your neck. Some harnesses are elasticated, which wouldn't suit your needs, but some aren't and could be worth trying.

 

All the best,

 

Joy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an RSPB binocular shoulder harness on my tenor/treble and it works a treat. I use two slim webbing trouser belts, one fastened around either end of the concertina with the discrete plastic snap buckle underneath out of sight and pass the little webbing loops that come with the harness under the belt just behind the thumb loops. The small loops have a little D ring that the hooks on the main harness snap into, all very lightweight and comfy. A bass concertina may work with this arragement I'm not sure but it would be worth playing around with. All of that being said, if Dave Elliott has come up with something I'd be taking that route!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×