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geoffwright

Harness For English

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After seeing a harness for a bass concertina (similar to that used for a big bass drum in a marching band), it struck me that similar could be made for English treble concertinas, to either hang around the neck or to put wrist straps on like some treble-baritones have (or both if you like belt and braces).

Apart from anything else, it would save drilling holes on your box and one size would probably fit most trebles.

 

Anyone else seen one / tried this idea?

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Anyone else seen one / tried this idea?

 

I am pretty sure Pauline de Snoo uses one of these (and advocates their use). It is similar to a saxophone strap or camara strap and is adapted to fit both ends of the concertina.

 

The one she had at Whitney seemed to be thinner almost like the straps people use for holding glasses round their necks when not in use.

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Peter,

 

I think Geoff may be referring to something rather more substantial, but there has been some reference to the type of neck stap you describe in the English Wrist Straps thread :

 

Actually I am being asked to fit neck strap mounts far more frequently these days, either due to the influence of Pauline DeSnoo, or the aging of he concertina playing population, or perhaps just common sense for bigger instruments.

I've never seen, nor heard Pauline play, but Douglas Rogers has been using them for years to play the classical concertina music of Giulio Regondi. Regondi advocated the use of a neck strap to free the little finger and permit playing with all four fingers.

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Peter,

I think Geoff may be referring to something rather more substantial

 

Page 3 of Pauline's "Complete Anglo Concertina Course" (2003) has a photograph of someone using a strap on an anglo. (sorry I don't have a scanner available) The strap is a thick padded one similar to a Nikon camera strap. I would have thought anything more substantial than that would be a horse harness! ;)

 

However the one that I remember Pauline using (whilst playing English at Whitney) was considerable thiner.

 

Not sure what I think about these straps anyway. I hope to be able to swing the concertina around my head one day like Tim Laycock or John Kirkpatrick do - imagine the mess if a neck strap were used! :lol:

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I hope to be able to swing the concertina around my head one day like Tim Laycock or John Kirkpatrick do - imagine the mess if a neck strap were used!  :lol:

Do you do sea shanteys?

You could work up "Hanging Johnny" as a Grand Finale! :o :D

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I hope to be able to swing the concertina around my head one day like Tim Laycock or John Kirkpatrick do - imagine the mess if a neck strap were used!  :lol:

Do you do sea shanteys?

You could work up "Hanging Johnny" as a Grand Finale! :o :D

 

I have been known to sing the odd shanty - I thought Rolling the whole world round might be more appropriate :wacko:

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When I first got my concertina I experimented with a neck strap. I went to the local fabric store and picked up a couple lengths of ribbon that coordinated with the bellows color. One was a fancy flat ribbon (for formal playing) and one a round ribbon (for informal). To start with I just tied a loop in one end of the round ribbon and fit it under the thumbstrap screw, then tied the other end under the other screw with a length that felt right. This allowed me to adjust it and experiment with different lengths. Once I set on a length that stayed comfortable, I sewed a loop in the end that fits under the thumb strap screws and stays hidden. The flat ribbon can simply be folded over a couple times and a small hole started in the middle for the screw shaft.

 

Concertinas being so light it doesn't take a very heavy piece of ribbon to hold the majority of the weight. And it made playing standing up alot easier. Since I play sitting down almost exclusively now, I've taken them off. But they are available if I should need them again.

 

I suggest taking a stroll through your local fabric store and seeing if anything catches your eye.

 

- Keith

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With all this talk about neck straps and harnesses, I'd like to mention that the Button Box makes strap hardware for sale: turned brass posts with eye and D-loop and matching nuts $20 per pair. The actual strap is NOT included.

 

The installation requires drilling small holes in your concertina frame which is an easy thing to do if you're reasonably handy and have the tools (or take it to someone who does - or we can do it). They become permanently mounted and yet are very low-profile and "historic" looking. No, they're not lisited on our website, but next time I'm in the shop I'll take some photos of them to post here.

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That's good to know Richard. Thanks. Unfortunately, it's 12 hours too late for me; I've already decided on a system. I'll keep you in mind though for future purchases.

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I just don't understand this talk about drilling holes into the instrument for adding wriststraps or neckstraps.

You may fixate both to a plate fixated to three endbolts or the neckstraps just by a short strap each side between two of the endbolts. This also helps adjusting the balancing position of the instrument.

Ed

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Yeah, that's true, but I'm a tinkerer at heart, so drilling holes where holes weren't intended holds a certain charm and thrill with me.

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I built a neck strap for a local customer who plays one of my anglos in a local Cajun/Zydeco/Blues band called the "Cosmic Snake Handlers"

 

He uses it to good advantage when switching from concertina to blues Harp in the middle of a set by simply dropping the concertina from his hands.

 

Additionally he is the ONLY customer I have ever had break a reed.

 

He plays with a fair amount of "passion"

Edited by Bob Tedrow

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Steve Chambers is spot on - I brought up this subject, specifically for concertinas which did not have inserts drilled and tapped into the concertina to fix a strap to. (And also for larger/heavier concertinas)

 

I have visions of looking like an American tourist (sorry guys) with two concertinas hung around my neck so I can swap anglo and english as the mood takes.

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I have visions of looking like an American tourist (sorry guys) with two concertinas hung around my neck so I can swap anglo and english as the mood takes.

So which one are you going to put the telephoto lens onto ? :huh: :blink: :o ;)

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Dont need one - both concertinas can be heard miles away - as the wife and cat will vouch.

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...I brought up this subject, specifically for concertinas which did not have inserts drilled and tapped into the concertina to fix a strap to. (And also for larger/heavier concertinas)

When you used the word "harness", for me it conjured up an image of some system of straps with buckles for enclosing the instrument. :)

 

But since you mention "larger/heavier concertinas", here's a picture of my contrabass English.

post-13-1110472041_thumb.jpg

The loops for fitting a neck strap or harness are obviously not original equipment, but I believe they served the player well in a concertina marching band. Truth to tell, though, I've never bothered to try fitting anything to them.

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