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Very new to concertina

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Hi All. I'm very new to the concertina. My (inexpensive) Anglo C/G 3 row arrived yesterday! I already play Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica and some keyboard, so I've a fair idea about the note layout now, but I'm having trouble with the hand straps. When I put them over the back of my hands, I'm having trouble reaching the lower row of keys. My hands are not large, but it feels very ''cramped''. I've tried tightening the straps and getting just my 4 fingers though, but I'm open to any advice on how to sort this out. I've thought of making a pair of thumb straps similar to an English concertina or a melodeon, but if anybody else has had this problem and knows the answer I'd be grateful for some advice. I love the sound of the thing.

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I compare concertina straps to learning to ride a bicycle. You start off with training wheels, and eventually get rid of them. When you first pick up a concertina, you feel you need to have the straps tight for control. but that's not right. Looser is better so you can move your fingers around to reach the buttons, especially to G row buttons. There needs to be some space between your palms and the handles. Resting the left hand side of the body of your concertina (not the bellows) on your knee will give you control, even with the looser straps. It will get some getting used to, but too tight is not the answer to control, quite the opposite.

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''you feel you need to have the straps tight for control''

Yes thank you, That works. I've loosened them off a lot and I can now reach the lower row OK. I've tried all the buttons now and I find that 3 of them are different from the chart I found yesterday. No big deal, and I've now made my own chart. I plan on using it for song accompaniment rather than tunes, as I use the harmonicas (Lee Oskar). I've ordered a book from Amazon, but we'll see how useful it is to me. 

Blank Concertina chart coloured letters.jpg

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