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OK to pick up my accordion by the shoulder straps?

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Another stupid question... πŸ™‚

I assume it's OK to pick up my accordion by its shoulder straps, isn't it, because they're designed to bear the full weight of the instrument? I wouldn't pick it up by the bass strap though - that's plainly not load-bearing.

Last night I made the probably common mistake of loosening the bass strap too much and having it come off entirely 😁. Turns out that the adjustment wheel on top is just the top of a disk with a threaded hole in the centre which pulls a threaded rod attached to the top end of the bass strap in or out. There's no "stop" on it, so if you unscrew it too far it just comes out entirely. Had a heck of a job getting it to screw back into the disk again! Lesson learnt...

Chris
 

Glug

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Strangely enough the bass strap screw adjuster on my 1959 Hohner Lucia is 3/16" Whitworth.
And it's original - I got a genuine Hohner replacement strap.
 

embers

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Another stupid question... πŸ™‚ NOT!

I assume it's OK to pick up my accordion by its shoulder straps, isn't it, because they're designed to bear the full weight of the instrument? I wouldn't pick it up by the bass strap though - that's plainly not load-bearing.

Last night I made the probably common mistake of loosening the bass strap too much and having it come off entirely 😁. Turns out that the adjustment wheel on top is just the top of a disk with a threaded hole in the centre which pulls a threaded rod attached to the top end of the bass strap in or out. There's no "stop" on it, so if you unscrew it too far it just comes out entirely. Had a heck of a job getting it to screw back into the disk again! Lesson learnt...

Chris
When I'm not playing it, my accordion rests on its feet, as likely other folk do. So I pick it up using both straps like they were the handle on my accordion case. Just have to be careful because it "swings" a little. There is less "swing" when I pick it up where straps connect at top of accordion. And you're right about not using the bass strap. I've seen some of the students in my studio's accordion band (many years ago) try that and more than once have watched that bass strap fly loose. The accordion never did too well hitting the floor.
 

JeffJetton

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I assume it's OK to pick up my accordion by its shoulder straps, isn't it, because they're designed to bear the full weight of the instrument?

Not only is it okay (for the very reason you mention), I would argue that it's the it's the best way to pick it up. I try to grab near the top bracket, so there's not a lot of swinging around.

Second best would be to grab hold of the entire body of the instrument. You don't quite get the same secure grip you'd get by picking it up by the backstraps, but the chance of it slipping away is still mighty small as long as you're reasonably careful.

The hand strap is, as you discovered, a terrible way to pick it up. :)

Believe or not, I known someone who--despite my warnings against it--tends to pick up their accordion by both bellows straps. It exerts a force that's somewhat perpendicular to how the snaps unsnap, which is probably how they've avoided disaster so far. Still, not something I would recommend!
 

Tom

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Hi Chris,

I pick my accordions up by the straps too. Probably not recommended by the accordion police because if they breaks the accordion may fall. Btw, the bass strap screw has to unscrew all the way to access the bass mechanism (on some accordions). This allows adding the protective paper when shipping the instrument.
 

Chrisrayner

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Strangely enough the bass strap screw adjuster on my 1959 Hohner Lucia is 3/16" Whitworth.
And it's original - I got a genuine Hohner replacement strap.
Whitworth was the first screw thread standard in the world. As such it was widely disseminated and adopted outside of the United Kingdom, not least on account of its use in railway and marine engine exports. It is still in use as the standard thread for tripod mounts on cameras. The original screw mount for Leica interchangeable lenses is whitworth, and some manufacturers make cameras and lenses using this thread.
 

debra

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Most accordions have one or two strap lugs depending on weight. My bass accordion (nothing inside the lefthand part) just has one bracket and all other accordions have two. A Hohner Morino most often has one rod, fixed with 4 screws. Commonly called the "Gardinenstange" (curtain rod) I always wondered how strong it is, but it can bear the 18kg weight of my Hohner Artiste XS, at least until now.
There is one accordion I know that should *not* be lifted by the straps: the Pigini Peter Pan. The case is made of plastic (instead of wood) and the plastic will simply break around the strap lugs after a while. With the newer Hohners made in China I wouldn't place any bets on how strong the strap lugs and the case are...
 

Glenn

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If you can, support it at least partially from below as well as lifting by the straps. I once took my accordion teachers instrument from its case (one of her more elderly instruments) and one strap broke just as I was lifting. Fortunately I managed to save it from crashing to the floor by sacrificing my shin but it was a close call. In a playing position the straps do not take the whole weight of the instrument but support it in place. Even if you stand with an instrument I get the impression that the weight is more evenly distributed than that initial tug out of the case. Straps do wear and the leather can dry and become more brittle. If you are dead sure you have good straps then all is well (until it isn’t).
 

Dingo40

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Chris,
Like most things, refastening the bass strap gets easier with practice πŸ˜€

As for picking up the accordion by the shoulder straps, I don't do it, unless I rest 90% of the weight on my left hand and chiefly hold it to balance it (holding both shoulder straps) with my right.
To pick up or manipulate, I hold it by a corner of the body and the edge or a corner of the treble board.
Be careful not to snag the treble keys of a PA (not good).

Glenn makes an excellent point: shoulder straps also perish, which can lead to disaster!πŸ™‚πŸ‘
 
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JeffJetton

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If you can, support it at least partially from below as well as lifting by the straps.

You know, I was just now taking my accordion out of the case and thinking of this thread, and I discovered that I instinctively do that very thing out of habit. I guess I've always done that and hadn't paid enough attention to notice until now!

So I'll slightly revise my opinion that "by the straps" is the best way. How about: "by BOTH straps, near the top bracket(s) with one hand, while supporting from below with the other."
 

Frank Fusari

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If I'm carrying my accordion from one room or place to another, (and I'm not wearing it), I usually put my left hand in the left hand strap, and grab the main straps at the top with my right hand. Seems the safest way to me.
 

Dingo40

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Frank,

Jeff wrote:
"So I'll slightly revise my opinion that "by the straps" is the best way. How about: "by BOTH straps, near the top bracket(s) with one hand, while supporting from below with the other."

If you carefully examine the way the anchor points of the straps are affixed to your accordion, you may be surprised how relatively flimsy they may actually be 😐

So, I'm with Jeff on this one!πŸ™‚
 

JIM D.

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I've been for years picking up many accordion models with one hand holding the top of the shoulder straps and one hand
holding the accordion. I grab the top & bottom of the shoulder straps when taking one out of the case. If I need to travel a distance
with the accordion I put the shoulder straps in reverse on my right arm and wear the accordion like a backpack. In this fashion I
have both hands free. Even the "V" accordion models can be lifted & carried the same as the shoulder strap anchor's are bolted
on the inside body. Lifting an accordion by the bass strap is only an "accident waiting to happen". On "V" accordions lifting by
the bass strap will in most cases break the interior anchor points & require costly disassembly & repair. On acoustic accordion
models lifting by the bass strap in some cases will cause the top adjustment assembly to break loose and result again in costly
disassembly of the bass machine to give adequate space for repair.

Just a note:
Italian accordion models all have the same bass strap metric threads. German models have a metric thread but not the same.
The China models have a fine thread metric. On Russian accordions I'm unsure of the tread size used (any info Paul?).
When purchasing a new replacement bass strap always inquire on the thread size or nationality of manufacture.
 
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Keymn

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I never pick up the accordion by the straps. Set on it’s feet and pick up accordion, sit down, position it and then put on straps...on my fr7, the top strap holder actually broke...luckily will playing...
 

debra

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good to know

I was curious about the strength of the Roland hooks
The hooks should be very strong. The problem is always the case. The holes that are drilled to have the hooks go through the case make the case weaker at that point. A sufficiently large washer on the inside helps spread the load, but whether that is used and whether it is enough is always questionable.
 

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