And ahhhhh the endless search for the magic accordion begins. It is a long and lonely road.
I know of two Zydeco players that do not have a thumb strap on their Cajun accordions at all. Jeffery Broussard and Leroy Thomas. Jeffery plays a note or two using his thumb! Leroy uses his thumb around the back of the button block to grip the keyboard. Both however, use a shoulder strap to play the accordion.
That thumb strap was originally designed and fitted correctly Ryan. Now, it's up to you to adjust yourself to the accordion, or, begin the long and arduous trek of adjusting the accordion to fit to you.
You speak like there is an easy access accordion shop nearby. Which one is it? Is it a Louisiana Builder? What if he tells you that there is nothing wrong with the thumb strap? Are you prepared to argue with him and if need be commit to physical violence if necessary? Good luck my friend. Go forward carefully....Or you could just stay put right where you are and make do with what you got.
Let me told you a story about them thumb straps. When I was finished growing, in my early 20's, I ended up with a regular ole medium sized hand with medium length fingers. My old mentors in their 80's had the same sized hands and fingers more or less. I had my accordion thumb strap tight as o hell because I needed to feel dat security of tightness, lol like wit my women. But when the ole masters would hand me their old black accordions, every one of them had old, loose, and stretched out thumb straps. I feigned playing on them because they didn't feel right. And my songs came out mediocre in quality. But when I'd hand the accordion back to the old gents, every time without fail, they with their same size thumbs as me, would blow my mind with what was coming out of that same ole black accordion with the broken in thumb strap. They had long since gotten over needing a new, tight, and virile thumb strap. That had learned how to work around that by making do with what they had. One of them put a handkerchief over my thumb and told me to stick it in their accordion thumb strap to see how it would be. To my surprise, it changed the feeling of the looseness. LOL. He then proceeded to tell me that I should always keep a handkerchief with my accordion and to always wash my hands before playing my accordion. He also said to use the handkerchief to buff or wipe the accordion every once in a while to get the hand grease off of it's skin. LOL again.
Baloney. Thumb strap should be adjusted to the individual. It is definitely not a one size fits all. Thumb size and playing style come into play.
I know many play with no thumb strap. It's not for me. I made one for an Irish player who wanted a thumb groove. Those players don't use a thumb strap, they put their thumb in the groove and put the shoulder strap tight on their playing hand shoulder and push the thumb to put pressure on the shoulder strap, holding it in place. I see the attraction that it allows freer movement up and down the treble side. But I tried it, and it just isn't for me. Maybe if that's the way I started, it would work, but I'm pretty hooked on a thumb strap.
Even where the strap is placed can vary. There is at least one professional player I know of who puts his thumb strap one button higher than what is standard. I think I prefer mine that way, also. Allows the #1 button to be reached easier. For my accordions, I like a single screw attachment in the middle of the thumb strap, as opposed to 2 like the norm. It allows a bit of movement. There's room for all flavors.
Okay Greez, you belittle folks, of their playing, because why? Let's hear you Feck-Arse.
Well my approach is to do with what you got. It serves me well and saves me a lot of trips to the accordion maker in search of what I don't know and neither does the accordion maker know in many cases. Yes, I have been cutting and or moving my thumb straps since I began playing the accordion. Tried nylon, and what seems to be 3 different kinds of leather from 3 different old cows. Yes they all stretch except for the nylon. But I don't like the feel of nylon, it don't give enough. Meaning not flexible enough for me. I am at my best playing level at this time since I started and I stopped worrying over my thumb strap as of 5 years ago. That's the last time I had the thumb straps changed out by Greg Mouton. The guy never measured my thumb or my reach nor did he ask me to show him how I played at the time. He just took his best educated guess and put two leather thumb straps on those accordions. And I'll be ****ed if they didn't fit my thumb like a glove!
But imagine this. If a guy can play completely without a thumb strap like those few zydeco players, you gotta wonder just how tight or loose the thumb strap has to be when you do have the privilege of having one installed on your accordion. I say, as the old man adjust his techniques to keep old stretched out woman pleased, then so can the accordion player adjust themselves to make pleasing music on the old stretched out accordion and it's loose and wore out thumb strap. That was the direction I was leading to.
Jim, maybe you only perceive me as "belittling folks". Go back and re-read everything from my 1st post to my last since I began about the time you stormed off from the discussion. You will see, that I am on your side. You're just not familiar with how some Cajuns act toward their fellow man. Cajun men do speak to each other with a lot of irony, pun, friendly insults, chiding, pecker pulling, etc.
Maybe it's because I'm typing my comments and I'm not allowed to make gestures and subtle signals with my hands like Cajuns like to do, that makes it seem like I'm belittling folks. LOL. You know the old joke..."If you want to keep a Cajun from talking, tie his hands behind his back." LOL
Do yourself a favor Jim, and unring this bell between us. I've already apologized to you and asked you to come back to the "Discussion Board". Welcome back old friend. Besides, arguing with me will only serve to get you worked up and you'll end up injuring yourself more than what you already are. I know about those shoulder blades man. Bad lick. I cannot believe the accordion done that to you. It's not supposed to hurt a man in that way. Accordions only hurt a man's soul, not his shoulder blades.