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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:17 pm
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Location: Everett, WA USA
I'm considering learning to play the button accordion.

How demanding is it on the right thumb?

In other words, how much strength and flexibility is required?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:27 pm 
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It depends upon several factors.

Size of the box, what straps you wear, whether you are standing or sitting, how you support the right hand end.

Personally, I play small melodeons (1 and 2 row). These days I play sitting down, with one strap and the right end against my leg. This means the the right thumb doesn't do much more than rest against the keyboard.

I just experimented with not using the thumb at all and the melodeon (my little 2 row Dino Baffetti) wobbled very slightly more, but not anything like enough to affect playing. My thumb just sits there as a guide for my hand it seems.

It may be possible to strap yourself up and stand and still not have much pressure on the thumb, but I've not really been very successful at that. I much prefer the control I can get over the instrument by sitting down and propping it up against my leg.

When I played for Morris I would still use one strap, but wrap my thumb around the back of the keyboard. That gives good control of the instrument, and you can get plenty of "punch" in the playing, though it restricts the finger movement somewhat. When playing for Rapper I'd stand, but put one foot on the instrument case so that I could put the right hand end against my leg so that I could get more control and freedom of movement for my fingers in the faster and more intricate tunes used.

I don't really know about the larger instruments, but for the way I play these days (sat down), the right-hand thumb is more of a guide than anything else.

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http://www.greenmanrising.co.uk


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Location: Everett, WA USA
Many thanks for the helpful info.

Best,

Walt


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