Aleksandar Rašković


Accordion Straps

Straps Help Distribute The Weight Of Your Accordion

What kind of straps are there?
There are several types of straps that we use with an accordion: shoulder straps, back straps, bass straps, and small straps for locking and unlocking the bellows.

Shoulder Straps
Accordion Shoulder Straps

Above all else, the use of the shoulder strap is to keep the accordion attached to the body and to provide as much control over the instrument as possible. While holding the accordion in the sitting position, we use our back muscles, abs, and shoulders to balance our posture. Depending upon the size of the accordion, we also support it with the left knee.

An optional back strap is used to horizontally connect the left and right shoulder straps to help evenly distribute the weight of the instrument.

Bass Strap
Accordion Handstraps

If we want to produce an even sound from the instrument, we need to maintain leverage over the strap that is on the left side of the accordion. The awareness of this bass strap is very important because, while actually playing the accordion, we utilize that strap to pull or push the bellows - creating sounds. If we want to play with comfort, then properly setting that strap is crucial. The strap must not be too loose or too tight. To set this strap, we use the roller that is on the top of the accordion. Professional accordionists use a much higher quality bass strap, which allows the backside of the hand to glide freely, nearly unaffected by the accumulation of sweat that can be created during long practices.

Small Straps
Accordion Smallstraps

We should also appreciate the small bellow straps. They lock the bellows when we are not using the accordion (which is very important for the care of our instrument). Whenever we want to transport the accordion or store it somewhere, these straps should be clasped tightly. Interestingly, there are very high quality accordions that do not have these straps, because their bellows cannot move unless something is being played.

Of What Are Straps Made?
Accordion Small Straps

Most often, we can find straps that are made of leather or leather-like substances. We can also find straps that are made of polyester and/or other plastic material.

How To Properly Set Straps

Because of its heavy weight, accordions pull naturally downward with the help of gravity. Therefore, direct pressure by the shoulder straps is highest at the shoulder and neck regions. In configurations where shoulder straps have been set apart too wide, the direct pressure can create muscular discomfort and sometimes even pain. Recognizing this, it is very important to understand that by adjusting the straps to properly fit the player - not too far apart but also not too close together - we can free the right shoulder and arm such that the right hand is in an optimal position to perform. If the straps are placed too narrowly together, that can create a lot of pressure on the neck, which is also not good because an accordionist’s focus needs to be on the music, not on unnecessary pain or discomfort. Recall that there are arteries that run through the neck and bring oxygenated blood to the brain, which is important to every musician’s level of concentration. Therefore, it is very important to keep the body free from unnecessary pressure. With younger players, mostly children, there can still be problems with the shoulder straps because the accordion pulls the child downward. In those instances, we increase structural support by tying the two shoulder straps together with a small cross-strap that connects the two straps across the middle of the back (it’s also possible to use string, in order to improvise a back strap). Every individual is different, so take the time to adjust accordion straps before you begin practicing; do your best to eliminate all discomfort.

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