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I hope I'm not developing a chronic problem, but every time I play my clarinet even for the least amount of time, my right hand really begins to hurt badly. The sax, thankfully, does not do that to me. Any ideas on how I could avoid the "clarinet pain?"
 

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I would first look at hand position to see if perhaps you are doing something to put your hand into an odd position and causing stress. I would also consider using a neckstrap to support the instrument and take the weight off. You would then be using your hand to play, but not so much for support. I know people who had had great success using http://www.tonkooiman.com/ products to distribute the weight over a larger potion of the hand.
 

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Two things to check: 1. Do you bend the tip of your thumb back? 2. Where on your thumb do you place the rest?

Even though a bent thumb is a hard habit to break, keeping the tip of your thumb as straight as possible will reduce the strain. It will also make it easier to place the thumb rest further toward the hand (away from the end of the thumb). Even a small change can have a large effect on comfort. See it you can't get the thumb rest to sit on your knuckle, or just a little further out. It's awkward at first, but comes with practice.

These tips come from my own experience with pain, mind you.
 

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The Tom Ridenour Thumb Saddle works for me, and it doesn't cost much.
 

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+1 on checking the hand position.
I've played for 40 years and only get pain in the hand after 2+ hours of practice, BUT, I'm primarily a clarinetist and had an amazing teacher that made sure I had everything 'right' at the very beginning.
If your thumbrest is adjustable experiment with it. Raise it, lower it. Give each new adjustment a day or 2 to see if it helps.
If it's not... have one put on, or try one of the Ridenour rests.
Using a strap is an option as previously stated but it doesn't cure discomfort from incorrect hand position.
 

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I just started using the BG neckstrap, & love it. I find I keep more mpc in my mouth, for a much fuller sound, as well as the added comfort on my thumb.
 

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+1 for using a strap. I suffered a major injury to my right elbow years ago (a large glass door was involved). Luckily for me, as I was recovering, the first practical clarinet straps were just coming to the music stores. I'm pretty sure I was the first person in my area to use one. I would not have been able to play clarinet without it.
 

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usefully bumped this thread, I've been experiencing some pain in my right elbow (I suffer from what I call scythers elbow, it's like tennis elbow, but I don't play tennis but do do a lot of scythe work) and was wondering if a strap would help. It's a bit shaming as I'm not a small chap, but needs must.
 

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I have a Selmer Series 9 with a Kooiman Etude3 thumb rest. When I got back into clarinet some years back I had pain in my right wrist/forearm and the Kooiman really helped. For one thing it allowed me to get my thumb high enough on the clarinet to put my large hand in a natural position. I have had all three of his Etude models; he continued to improve upon the basic design. I also have a Bakun Alpha with an adjustable thumb rest. I do not get any pain playing the Alpha, could be a combination of the lighter weight of the plastic Alpha and my having developed arm muscles playing the Selmer.

The Kooiman Etude3 is well worth the $40. I really enjoy using it.
 

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Ricardo Morales swears by the BG strap, and if you haven't seen him, he ain't a small guy. He also hits the gym regularly, lifts weights and espouses the need for clarinetists to have upper body strength.
My physio says the same thing- all the clients she has that have arms problems are all people with no upper body strength.......
 

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You might also consider a Tennis Elbow Strap, available at your local drugstore for about $15. Not directly intended for your thumb, but can help with hand fatigue in general.
 

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Ricardo Morales swears by the BG strap, and if you haven't seen him, he ain't a small guy. He also hits the gym regularly, lifts weights and espouses the need for clarinetists to have upper body strength.
My physio says the same thing- all the clients she has that have arms problems are all people with no upper body strength.......
Working out could certainly be a plus for a musician in otherwise good physical condition. But you can't exercise your way out of arthritis, tendinitis, traumatic injuries, etc.
 
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