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Treble key widths

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Aileron

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Hi,
I have been learning to play the PA for a year, I'm a slow learner. (Old age)! I started with a Gallini branded Chinese 72/34 instrument with 22mm wide treble keys, it weighs 9kg. I have a back problem (with which I will not bore you) & found this instrument too heavy. So I have bought a Weltmeister "Rubin", it is a 60/30 PA weighing 5.6kg. This lightweight is achieved by using a 48 size case & 18mm wide treble keys. I'm hoping that with the services of a good physiotherapist I will ultimately be able to upgrade to a 10.5kg, 96/37 instrument with 22mm wide keys. My question is; will months (maybe years!) of playing with the narrow keys be a handicap to reverting to standard widths?
Thanks in advance for useful guidance.
 

debra

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Once you get used to the narrow keys going back to wider will imply a learning curve, albeit not serious.
But... when you are ready for a somewhat heavier but still relatively small instrument called "lady's size" which may give you even 41 keys instead of 37 without adding any length to the keyboard.
 

jozz

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In my (limited) experience it's easier to go back from thin to wide with less problems than the other way around.
 

StargazerTony

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My 41/120 accordion has 18mm keys and is considered a "ladies" model. I take exception to that for I think that the only thing that makes an accordion, or car, or anything else, a "ladies", is that a lady owns it, but I digress. I'm a man with large hands and short fingers and have no problem with 18mm keys. If fact I prefer them. A couple of months ago, I had an occasion to play a standard size 20 or 22mm key (forgot which) accordion for a week or so. There was definitely an adjustment period of time until I was reasonably comfortable with it. Stretches were particularly uncomfortable and I had trouble maintaining the tempo I was used to with some tunes. Don't think I ever got completely comfortable with it but that was more of a weight issue than a key size issue. I simply don't enjoy the experience of playing those behemoth machines with more switches on it than the space shuttle.

Going back to my own 18mm lightweight accordion was like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes, or well worn in pair of jeans. Don't think I'll stray from 18mm and certainly there are lots of them around to be had. I learned that bigger, is not necessarily better. Its relative. Am considering the Rubin's bigger brother, the Juwel because my accordion is 20 pounds and has become an issue for me when standing
 
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Geronimo

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StargazerTony post_id=57344 time=1524075598 user_id=2434 said:
Going back to my own 18mm lightweight accordion was like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes, or well worn in pair of jeans. Dont think Ill stray from 18mm and certainly there are lots of them around to be had. I learned that bigger, is not necessarily better. Its relative. Am considering the Rubins bigger brother, the Juwel because my accordion is 20 pounds and has become an issue for me when standing
My main instrument is about 31lb which is pretty amazing for something with 120 full-size reed plates in the bass and 248 in the treble. I dont play it standing up. No way. I did short demos while standing, though, and I put my left foot up on a chair for that purpose. Not helpful for walking around, but definitely a whole lot better than standing with both feet on the floor.

When I did my shows with a lady-size 3-reed PA of probably 23lb, I found that the corset that was part of my later drag outfit did actually prevent the accordion from dragging on my spine as much. Unexpected side benefit.

No idea what kind of less dubious device would be good for the same effect. Even when worn under clothes, it would be pointless to insinuate a female figure for most performers, so one would not want the discomfort implied by a female shape as boundary when trying something akin to a body cast.
 
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Aileron

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Hi,
Thanks for the info. From your replies it would seem that learning on an instrument with 18mm keys will not be a great handicap should I wish to return to standard width. Thanks for your inputs.

Has anyone tried the the Murlstrap? Is it as good as it looks in the video?
 

StargazerTony

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Aileron post_id=57423 time=1524317210 user_id=2858 said:
Has anyone tried the the Murlstrap? Is it as good as it looks in the video?

My accordion teacher has one and uses it when playing large machines while standing. He told me the great Tony Lovitto, his teacher, recommend it to him. I have one on order and report back after Ive tried it
 

jozz

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curious about this strap too

I tried the hip strap from Hohner once but it's price was ridiculous
 
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Geronimo

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Just noticed that its easy to misread what I posted: I was only commenting on the price of the Hohner strap and put some personal unrelated anecdote about ridiculous pricing on it. I vaguely remember the Hohner strap being something like €150 (or that order of magnitude) including(?) some fixtures for traditional Morino accordion. I vaguely seem to remember even ordering it and sending it back because something was not quite right, probably with the fixture, and it unpredictably disengaged itself: wait, now I remember: I did not actually buy any of the optional fixtures but used it together with the existing Gardinenstange fixture as I interpreted this to be correct use from the description. Later I discovered that the prescribed fixture would not have used a straight bolt but a kinked one but it would have been embarrassing to reorder after already having sent it back. Basically you maybe were only to recycle the screw holes when owning a Morino (I think) rather than the whole shoulder strap mounting plate, and the ad/description was confusing enough that I thought I could just use the existing mounting plate with its straight bolt.

At any rate: From the amount of recollection I have, I might as well have dreamt it. I do remember its pricing being off the wall. Also I got used to dealing with my Morino.

But if I havent dreamt all of that, I must have been of the opinion that if it worked as hoped, it would be worth the amount of money I could expend at that point of time.

With regard to the Murlstrap, I have nothing to say, never having tried it and not even knowing its pricing. This is just the Hohner strap I was commenting on in the following:
jozz post_id=57493 time=1524510365 user_id=2600 said:
curious about this strap too

I tried the hip strap from Hohner once but its price was ridiculous
If it saves two visits to the doctor or one weekend in pain, it has paid for itself. Compared to the material cost, its ridiculous.

Ive just got a computer on Ebay and it has a modem connector where Id have wanted a Firewire one. So I pay something like 6€ to get the respective PCB with USB and Firewire connector on it. The Firewire connector is smaller than the modem connector, so one would need a piece of plastic with fitting hole and a little Firewire etching on it. Which is part of a small bunch of replacement plastic parts which you can buy for something like $50, about 40% of what I paid for that laptop.

Ill cut some piece of plastic garbage into proper shape and forego the Firewire symbol etching, thank you very much. Compared to the material cost, its even more ridiculous than the Hohner hip strap. But if some people werent buying it, the offer would not be there.
 
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Aileron

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Hi to those who have replied,
I look forward to feedback on the Murlstrap. It looks OK in the video clip. But?!!!
Regards,
Aileron.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hello Aileron,

Though I have never measured the key widths of my instruments, I know that one of them has narrower keys than the other two. It has never been a real problem, though the first few minutes after swapping instruments can be a bit of a fumble. There is, at least initially, a tendency to hit two keys simultaneously, though this is only for a short duration.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

debra

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Differences in the width of the white keys is only part of the problem of switching between instruments. The position of the black keys, their width and the room in between the black keys can all differ quite a bit making it harder to play, or easier. On one accordion fingers may fit in between two black keys (hitting the white key there) and on another they may suddenly not fit. Or then you get a Morino VI N with very narrow black keys and may find out that you sometimes just miss instead of hit the right key...
Most manufacturers will provide anything between 19 and 22 mm for white keys but not give a choice in black key position and width.
 

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