Building a Better (Accordion) Backstrap

Despite its many charms, the accordion can be a physically taxing instrument to play. Most accordion players I know have experienced some degree of back or shoulder pain during their playing careers. One simple, useful tip for alleviating back pain is to use a back strap — a small strap that connects the accordion’s two shoulder straps across your back. The back strap helps support your back, distribute and balance the accordion’s weight between your shoulders, and keep the accordion and shoulder straps in place.

Elena Erber had trouble finding an easy-to-use back strap that would fit on each of her four accordions. So, like any good entrepreneur, she scratched her own itch and started making accordion back straps, which she now sells online.

“I couldn’t find the same style strap again, only leather ones with buckles or hooks or other connection contraptions that didn’t look nearly as easy to operate as a nylon strap and a quick-release buckle, like on a back pack, that allows me to snug it up or loosen it with total ease while I’m wearing it. So I made a few — some for me and some for my friends… I enjoy the process of making them, sewing them, packing them up and sending them off, hoping someday to collect some stories about where they’ve been.”

Her back straps are $19.99 and you can buy them directly from her website or wherever fine accordion accessories are sold.

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