Do you know that feeling of playing for hours in summer and your bandoneon leather straps
are literally soaked in sweat?
Have you ever broken your straps a few days
or a few hours before a performance or recording?
Does it happens to you that you can never find "the best hole" for your hand
on the leather stripe, and you must "drill"
the leather to find a sufficiently good size?
if you've ever experienced any of these frustrating situations, the problem is not you but the leather straps. I have personally solved all this with the hitech bandoneón straps.
Hitech bandoneón straps: what exactly are they?
I call them hitech straps but in fact they are simply
strips of inextensible synthetic material (typically nylon).
So far I've always seen them made with the same material used for
In the simpler version these straps are just a cut out strip adapted to the size of your hand and screwed directly onto the cabezal. In this case, the size is fixed.
The more complex version (the one I tried and currently mounted on my bandoneón) consists of two pieces and has velcro to adjust and change the size.
How did I know about hitech straps
These straps were invented by some bandoneón teachers and students at the "Manuel de Falla" Conservatory, Buenos Aires. That's where I discovered and started using them. Here below you can see some "video tutorials" about them.
In my opinion, these are innovative straps with important advantages:
- they maximize the effectiveness of the "pull";
- are adjustable to the millimeter;
- are practically indestructible;
- are non-deformable;
- are inextensible;
- are washable.
Compared to the leather ones, these straps have only one disadvantage: they aren't available for sale: not yet. But I think they will be, sooner or later.
My personal experience
Due to the possibility to adjust the size of the strap and adapt it to my hand with millimeter precision, I've noticed an incredible comfort on the instrument. In the "velcro" model you can also change the size according to music's needs.
I also noticed greater efficiency during the pull (a fundamental aspect for whom plays according to the technique developed by P. Maffia and perfected by R. Daluisio) and consequently better sensitivity and sound performance.
Where to find them
For the moment the only way to get them is to build them by yourself. In the videos above there are some making ideas and suggestions.
Synthetic materials regularly supplant traditional ones
when they represent an innovation with undeniable
advantages. The bandoneón seems to resist innovation process
and to tie to "holy" and "inviolable" conventions.
However, the innovation process
When the bandoneon was invented, leather was the better material for straps, but today new materials can significantly improve the ergonomics and the playing technique.
I think it's normal that new materials supplant old ones. From my point of view, the hitech straps could (and should) replace the leather ones. The advantages are undeniable. And, last but not least, vegans will be happy.
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