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Hand position tips?

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Hello! As the grateful recipient of a Trinity College concertina for Christmas, I'm driving headfirst into learning this lovely instrument. Right away I was having problems holding it and I felt as though the straps were too loose. I have small hands and had to cut additional holes into the straps to pull them tighter. Now that I've been playing for a few weeks, I often find I'm pushing the bottoms of my palms against the concertina while pushing up on the strap with my knuckles, which get a tiny bit sore. I was wondering almost if I should add padding to the strap where it contacts my knuckles. Am I holding my instrument correctly? Thank you!

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It's a well-known fact that beginners on the Anglo make their handstraps too tight, so as to give themselves the impression that the instrument isn't "flopping about", and that they have it under control.

With time, they reach the point you're at just now - the straps feel too tight, because you're fixing the concertina betwen the pressure of your palms on the end-plate and the opposing pressure of your knuckles on the straps. If you ease the straps off just a little, you should find that you can get the stability you need without strapping your hands down tight. Picking up and setting down the instrument will then be easier.

You're on the right road - keep going, and have fun!



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Have the straps very slightly loose.  Put your fingers through, but not your thumb.  The top part of the strap should nestle in the crook between your hand and your thumb.


By small adjustments of the position of the thumb, taking up the slack, you can slightly tighten or loosen the part of the s that goes over the back of your hand.


A little bit of looseness enables you to adjust your hand position for the hard to reach buttons, but you might pull the thumb in to tighten the strap slightly when you need speed and precision.


Note also that your hands should normally be slightly arched, rather than pinned against the hand rest.


One day, it will feel so natural that you will forget it was ever a problem.  Some time after that, you may find yourself struggligng to find the words to explain it to a newby in this forum.  :)

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