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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend, who is no crazier than most sax players, who swears that his new gold thumb rests change his alto tone.

I wonder if he is just fooling himself, but would like some more informed opinions to wade in on this?

So please vote to help me win (or lose) this debate: the motion on the floor is

DO THUMB RESTS MODIFY SAXOPHONE TONE - YEA OR NAY?
 

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They cause a noticeable increase in volume readily perceptible when playing in a room with other saxophone players.


This is a direct result of attempting to compensate for all the ambient noise from the arguments over whether there was an effect from the thumb rest.





(and "nay")
 

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Let the games begin!!!!
 

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Here's what happened to me once. I was on a gig playing my Martin tenor, when the whole thumb rest assembly popped off. I noticed a big difference right away in the response of the horn. I duct-taped it back on at break because it's really hard to play without it, and I had it re-soldered the next week. But, I didn't believe that effect was real until I experienced it. As far as changing to a metal thumb piece from a plastic one, I think that effect would be very minor.
 

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I think that I have already said that there are faeries at the bottom of my garden.
 

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I took the thumb rest of my SML GM 1 alto as it was absolutely in the wrong place for my hand. I noticed a huge difference....my thumb didn't hurt when I played.
 

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Not to mention the effect of shades and a nice hat on the quality of your tone.
 

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I already own those and often wear them when playing. VERY COOL! I am not sure about the tone improvements either way though.
 

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I cannot imagine a mechanism by which a neckstrap, thumbrest, or other article could affect the sound produced by a saxophone.
 

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It's a psychological thing Andre.
Wearing shades, preferably with a beret & a goatee beard convinces the audience that you are the real thing, therefore your music, in their eyes is real jazz.....we all know that. :)
 

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I replaced the plastic one on my VI with a metal one and the horn played much better!! I can't explain it but it was better!
 

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I cannot imagine a mechanism by which a neckstrap, thumbrest, or other article could affect the sound produced by a saxophone.
you surprise me.........it is called saxontheweb :!

It's a psychological thing Andre.
Wearing shades, preferably with a beret & a goatee beard convinces the audience that you are the real thing, therefore your music, in their eyes is real jazz.....we all know that. :)


I am afraid that not even with all that paraphernalia I’d manage to do that, but I try! :)
 

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I cannot imagine a mechanism by which a neckstrap, thumbrest, or other article could affect the sound produced by a saxophone.
Well, it has to do with the thick lug that is soldered to the body. This was discussed here some years ago, and numerous players reported the positive effect of losing the thumb rest. Not just the thumb hook - the whole assembly. Nobody has taken one off on purpose as far as I know, but when it just happens the difference is very obvious - you wish you didn't have to put it back on. And don't forget, when we're talking about effects like this, we are not trying to say that a listener can tell the difference - that is ridiculous. The point is, the sax suddenly becomes more responsive to the player - more resonant. Typically that would make most of us play better, so perhaps a listener could detect that, but that is subjective. What I am telling you is not subjective - the sax becomes 'livelier' at the instant the thumb rest assembly falls off.
I could not care less if you believe that or not. It's simple enough to prove - just get a torch and cook that thing right off.
 

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epiphany ........ a moment of sudden revelation

 

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I believe that they make a large difference in tone quality. However I also think that the sound is more dependent on the material of the thumb rest, ie. hard rubber, plastic, metal etc. Not the plating used(Although this still has a small effect on the sound!) It's amazing what a little thumb rest cand do!
 

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If it comes off with a screwdriver, why not make a test by removing it temporarily, instead of talking and joking about it?
 
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