Treble key widths

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Aileron
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Treble key widths

Post by Aileron » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:19 pm

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.

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by debra » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:31 pm

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.
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jozz
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Re: Treble key widths

Post by jozz » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:38 pm

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

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StargazerTony
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Re: Treble key widths

Post by StargazerTony » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:19 pm

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
Last edited by StargazerTony on Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by Geronimo » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:23 pm

StargazerTony wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:19 pm
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
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 don't 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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Re: Treble key widths

Post by StargazerTony » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:29 pm

Well, there is this http://www.petosa.com/product/murlstrap-small/

Probably better than a ladies corset. Dont know is they send then to the UK though
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
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Re: Treble key widths

Post by Aileron » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:26 pm

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?

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by StargazerTony » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:45 pm

Aileron wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:26 pm
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 I've tried it
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by jozz » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:06 pm

curious about this strap too

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

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by Geronimo » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:57 pm

Just noticed that it's 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 haven't 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 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:06 pm
curious about this strap too

I tried the hip strap from Hohner once but it's 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, it's ridiculous.

I've just got a computer on Ebay and it has a modem connector where I'd 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.

I'll cut some piece of plastic garbage into proper shape and forego the Firewire symbol etching, thank you very much. Compared to the material cost, it's even more ridiculous than the Hohner hip strap. But if some people weren't buying it, the offer would not be there.
Last edited by Geronimo on Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Aileron
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Re: Treble key widths

Post by Aileron » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:13 pm

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

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:38 pm

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.

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Re: Treble key widths

Post by debra » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:02 am

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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