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Playing when standing up


gcarrere
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Nice, moving picture. Yes, just let the instrument stay in its natural position. That must be the best idea when playing when standind up! Thanks, Little John!

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I like the picture, the concertina then is basically hanging from above the third knuckle of the index fingers. I imagine there would be some issues with the elbow joints with instruments that are heavy, and over long periods of time, but this appears to be comfortable. I guess even with a second strap over the wrist joint depending on the shape of the individual’s hands.

 

I was going to add that a really easy way to attach fine black parachord straps onto a heavy concertina or melodeon is to use two new or used bicycle inner tubes.

Each one is tight but gently secure around each side of the instrument and glued or sewn at their respective ends (yes you can sew bicycle inner tubes, and they look like leather but have superior functional qualities).

The chords then go up inside a jacket to two shoulder loop straps which are connected at the back.

-I admit, though, that it can be fun to look like you’re struggling with a heavy instrument, especially if you’re working !  :) 

Edited by simon ds
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I struggled with playing standing for years and at one point I think I was quite good at it. My 'method' was to learn new pieces sitting down and then force myself to play them standing every day, until my brain had worked out the 'displacement positions' of the buttons. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I think if you just keep at it, you eventually learn how to make the adjustment when standing.

About 4 years ago, I started to get a few nasty pains in my hands and forearms - probably due to a combination of my pieces getting more complex and me getting older - so I decided to play sitting as a default and only stand when I really had to jump around. I still like to play standing when singing if possible and I think for music-hall repertoire, it's really great to play standing, if you can manage it without injury.

 

Adrian

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1 hour ago, adrian brown said:

I struggled with playing standing for years and at one point I think I was quite good at it.

 

Did you attempt to keep the instrument horizontal (as you probably do when sitting), hanging down at sixty degrees like Joe Blackburn, angled up at thirty degrees as in David Barnert's photo, almost vertically upwards as JK sometimes does, or something different?

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47 minutes ago, Little John said:

 

Did you attempt to keep the instrument horizontal (as you probably do when sitting), hanging down at sixty degrees like Joe Blackburn, angled up at thirty degrees as in David Barnert's photo, almost vertically upwards as JK sometimes does, or something different?

Actually a bit of all of the above - have a look at this video and I think you'll get the picture.  I used to lower it to sing and then go vertical for any awkward bits, but there was a lot of in between there too.

 

 

 

the tightness of the straps was really important to get right, up to the point that I made intermediate holes in the straps to have a finer adjustment. And obviously, the straps were tighter than for sitting.

 

Adrian

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, adrian brown said:

Actually a bit of all of the above ...

 

Yes, I see what you mean!

 

3 hours ago, adrian brown said:

And obviously, the straps were tighter than for sitting.

 

I have mine the same sitting or standing. Fairly loose in both cases. 

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What a delightful tune, Adrian! I wonder if a 30 button anglo is lighter than a same size duet (46 button, I think)?

I'll try tightening my straps, and play my easiest tunes as often as possible, keeping standing, as you suggest, and let my fingers and hands find the right position. Thanks!

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The strap tightening is an important factor with this subject. 

The ideal is that the straps should not be so tight you cannot reach the buttons, but tight enough that if you arch your hand it pushes the strap hard against the back of the hand, thus holding the concertina in position tightly.

The other useful tip is that if you hold the concertina in the praying position (obviously with the hands apart to hold the concertina) it is usual the the corner of the concertina hexagon fits neatly into the ridge at the bottom of the hand almost digging in.   Notice how tight the blind player is holding the concertina with the corners tight against the bottom of the hand. If the straps are too loose it would slip down to the wrist.

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On 2/6/2021 at 11:01 PM, Alan Day said:

Notice how tight the blind player is holding the concertina with the corners tight against the bottom of the hand.

 

That might be true of his left hand, but not his right where there is a clear gap to be seen.

 

I hold my (small duet) concertina in exactly this manner so I've been experimenting to see whether this idea of corner of the instrument resting in the heel of the hand is true for me. What I've discovered is this. The weight is taken almost completely by the knuckle of my index fingers; the strap being tensioned against it by the thumb being curled round. (This is also apparent in the photograph of the blind player.) Other than that there is almost no contact between my hand and the instrument. My palm touches the handrail (little finger side) only very occasionally and briefly. The heel of my hand doesn't touch at all; and neither do my little fingers since they are usually busy pushing buttons.

 

It sounds unlikely, but I've played several tunes while concentrating on my grip of the instrument and that's it. The knuckle and the thumb do it all. Watching myself in the video I linked above seems to confirm it.

 

LJ

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