The Glove

May 4, 2016

I was watching several online YouTube videos where an accordionist was using some kind of glove to help reduce friction and control perspiration.  Looking around I found one place in Europe that sold them for 50 Euros.  Another place taught you how to make a your own but it went from your wrist and was in leather. Not good!

I had a couple thoughts and ideas… first my Hohner is huge, and deeper, meaning the friction point is not just the wrist or fingers, but goes up as far as the forearm right up close to the elbow!  Second, I needed a fabric that stretched a lot, was great at perspiration control and strong.  

The answer to that one came easily to me.  In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we use rash guards to avoid scrapes by decreasing friction… generally they’re  very tight, stretchy, slippery and thin, strong and fantastic at wicking perspiration away from the skin.  In short, it is the perfect material for the accordion glove!

Now, my sewing skills are non-existent, however, my mother has certain skills in this area and helped me.  I also gladly volunteered an old rash guard and my left arm for a couple fittings.  The results in this “beta” project came out surprisingly well.

Let’s put up a couple pictures and show you the results:

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Michael Jackson has nothing on me! 🙂
I am going to be testing this glove out over the next series of weeks to see how it works, but I have to mention right now that this glove is extremely comfortable, and just tight enough to hug the entire arm in a very form-fitting manner.  

It doesn’t move or slip down and looks pretty good (ok. the glossy silver does stand out a bit, but that was the colour of my rash guard).  Obviously the colour chosen is based on the rash guard I had available.  In the future I could pick up pretty much any colour for around $10 and make another one easily enough.  Each rash guard can be used to make at least 2-3 (maybe even 4) gloves… enough for a lifetime supply.

I’ll post a small  video later of what it looks like in action and discuss wear, tear and feel over a longer period of time. For now, I can tell you the cost to make this for me was a nice big fat $0 and took about an hour of my mother’s time to make.  I love the results!

Addendum November 3, 2016

Back on the 27th of October 2016, my uncle who also plays a bit of accordion came to visit us today.  He showed us bruises on his left hand that he said came from the accordion strap, so as an act of kindness and a hope that it helps not give him any more bruising thanks to reduced friction, I gave him my glove and will have another one made soon.  I might add a couple of pictures of the new and improved version 2 glove.

Addendum December 7, 2016

I discovered that  this is my first experience with cloth straps and cloth bass wrist straps that come on the Roland FR-8x.  The straps in cloth interiors are cool, they hold very well, but that cloth bass strap… annoying because it chafes my wrist so much faster than leather, so my mom went through the exercise of making me two new gloves today, this time in black. 

It looks sharper, but you know what, that silver was kind of cool too, so later on we are making one more silver one, and that is about all we are going to be able to make from this one rash guard.  4 gloves… not bad!  Oh, and you know that one day, I am going to replace that bass strap with an all leather one, so that is another future project!

A few pics of this new set.  Basically  the same design, just a colour change:

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The black looks nice, and they fit me perfectly (of course it should, it was custom made for my wrist/arm size!), but most importantly, no chafing of the wrists because of the cloth side of the bass strap rubbing against the wrist anymore.  It makes playing so much more enjoyable and the reduced friction is so efficient and “slippery” that I initially found myself moving the hand too far and missing the bass buttons that I needed to hit, so some small adjustments were needed the first couple of times using the glove, and all is well now that I am used to it. Bottom line… I just love it!