Holding the luteback

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Holding the luteback

Postby conradin » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:31 am

I have trouble holding the luteback still. Wearing the belt, the luteback inevitably turns upside down if I do not hold it still by using my left arm/wrist pressing against the pegbox. And of course, if I need to move my hand to play some far away notes, I have to momentarily lift up my wrist/lower arm, and for that split second the luteback becomes free and immediately turns upside down again. If I do not lift up and merely slide to reach the far away notes, the luteback becomes upstable to hold on to.

I must have done something wrong, maybe wrong posture..can anyone give me some tips?

If I recall I have no such problems with a guitarback.
Tu fai bene che dove máca la natura bisogna che larte sia maestra
--Silvestro Ganassi del Fontego (Opera Intitulata Fontegara, Venise, 1535)
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Re: Holding the luteback

Postby paulsherwood6 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:27 am

the (admittedly unconventional) solution that was adopted by the previous owner of my gurdy (and which I have kept) is a triangle of chamois leather stretched across the back of the gurdy. It has three holes, two at the wheel end and one at the head end which attach it to the three standard strap pegs. People do make fun of it (saying that the gurdy has a nappy on!) but it works and also reduces the chance of scratching the back of the gurdy with belt buckles etc.
However, most people don't need such measures and I wonder if the gurdy is as quick to move as you say, whether you are getting the full benefit from the waist strap. Do you use the upper or lower peg on the right hand end? I'd suggest that the upper one should be better for a waist belt in the sitting position, and maybe it needs to be a bit tighter as well.
hope that helps a bit, best wishes
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Re: Holding the luteback

Postby gurdymaker » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:48 pm

'Twas I that fitted the nappy and it really does help make the instrument a part of you. Many french players carry a piece of chamois leather around with them and much in the manner of Irish pipers, spend an inordinate amount of time meticulously arranging said leather before playing. I'm of the opinion that life is too short for such affectations so the ever ready leather sheath is ideal. Assuming you have your strap attached to the nearest button at the lower bout, it's hard to envisage how the instrument could do a somersault but if it does, the only conclusion is that the strap button has been placed too far round the body. It should traditionally be on the second rib. Not an easy fix to change it ( internal reinforcement is needed ) but that would be the final solution.
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Re: Holding the luteback

Postby frankvic » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:52 pm

The most obvious solution is to try to tighten the strap. I always play with a very tight strap, started on a guitar shaped one and moved on to a lute back. As long as the strap is tight enough, you should not have a problem.
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Re: Holding the luteback

Postby halpin_bridget » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:30 pm

I've got a strap which attaches to both strap buttons on the wheel end of my luteback and I have it quite tight and around my hips rather than around my waist. My luteback sits securely in my lap this way and I have no problems with wobble (I always play seated).
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Re: Holding the luteback

Postby Scott Marshall » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:17 pm

I haven't had this trouble with a luteback, I always have the strap tight and it doesn't move. I have seen a few new players really struggle with a moving instrument, tighter strap and the chamois leather thing will solve it. (Maybe Paul or Neil could post a pic of the leather gurdy nappy?)

Also there were a couple of replies on the Yahoo group ( http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/HurdyGurdyForum/ ) :

Here in the US, there's a rubberized mesh material sold for lining cabinet drawers - I believe "Rubbermaid" is the recognizable brand. It's soft, and sticks enough to keep things from sliding around. Some lutenists use it to keep the lute from sliding around on a prosperous belly. (The player's, that is.)

Pete Heinlein

We sell it here in the UK in caravan shops and "Pondland". It is a caravan accessory as you say for stopping things sliding around. I use one as a lap cover to secure a mountain dulcimer. Paul Woodhead
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