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 Post subject: Replacement for Strap?
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:03 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Howth Castle and Environs
I am currently woodshedding, learning rhythmic taps and chords on regulators. I have a full set and have used straps (in three different configurations) in order to accommodate playing a full set with minimal problems. Two problems regarding this are: (1) having the regulator keys accessible and (2) having the bag well-placed in your oxter so that you can maximize air flow to the set. While a strap will help alleviate these two problems to a certain extent, I've found that it does hinder movement and bag placement. All this got me thinking: why not add some mass underneath the bag and accomplish the same thing without the additional problems?

I first tried a larger bag. This worked, but the size of the inflated bag made it harder to get your top hand around it to play the chanter. What I'm now trying to a large degree of satisfaction is a small segment of what people call a water or pool "noodle" with a nylon webbing belt going through the hole with a wooden dowel holding it in place. I strap this on at around belt position and the foam rubber of the "noodle" forms a little ledge that the bag "sits" on. This gets the bag nicely fit in your arm pit area (as Mark Hillmann once put it, like a nut in a nutcracker) and, unlike a strap, you have free movement to get to all of the regulator keys. I would be amazed if no other uilleann piper in history tried a version of this (small pillow, rag, etc.), but the neat thing about what I've done is that the device stays in place and is barely noticeable. Another great thing about this is that anyone can make one of these for under ten bucks (and I specially ordered a black water "noodle" so that people won't think I'm weirder than I actually am already).

If anyone's interested, I can try to post pictures of this.


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