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Hello! I'm in my second year of High School marching band; last year I marched tenor (which wasn't that hard) and this year I've made the decision to march Bari. I am a 5'2", 125 lb. female and I'm playing a 'OLDS' bari sax. I've only really marched it once, and that was for the Memorial Day Parade. I had a lot of trouble marching it, I was using a regular neck strap and I was holding it where the end was at my right hip. I couldn't really keep holding it up, which really messed up my sound. It would bounce on my leg, causing some pads to go down. I now have a harness for it which I've also used once (but didn't march with it) and I feel like I will still have the same problem (having it bounce on my leg). Band camp begins next week and I would really like to be able to go through it, and the rest of the season, without having my sound messed up just because I'm not exactly "made" to march the bari. I have looked at other advice columns about it on the internet, and the "best" advice is to NOT march bari at all, which is not an option for me!!! :| I LOVE playing the bari and I would love to successfully be able to march it, too! So if you have any GOOD advice, please let me know!! :)
 

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I've marched bari and bass for years - but would never even try it with only a neckstrap. I've had a bunch of harnesses over the years and I've found they are not all created equal.
I don't know what you have but the Gemini is the one I bought years ago and stopped shopping. They even make one that fits a woman's physique (what a concept!).
Not the cheapest but you get what you pay for. The horn shouldn't have to be held up and it shouldn't be resting on your hip.
Take a look and I hope you find something that works for you!
http://www.saxharness.com/
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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This will move all of the weight to your hips. It's expensive, and I've found it a bit uncomfortable when sitting and a bit fiddly to set up right, but you just can't beat this for when you have to move around with a bari in a funk band (or marching).

http://www.robertoswinds.com/view_product.php?prod_id=10310
 

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This will move all of the weight to your hips. It's expensive, and I've found it a bit uncomfortable when sitting and a bit fiddly to set up right, but you just can't beat this for when you have to move around with a bari in a funk band (or marching).

http://www.robertoswinds.com/view_product.php?prod_id=10310
Oh.. Hm.. This looks a lot like my new Vandoren harness, which I can say is the greatest harness I have ever used. As a bari primarily, I spend hours with it every day and man, a neckstrap was killing me. I had an old version of the Yamaha Aircell strap which didn't do too bad until it was held together by a safety pin and resewn all over. Lasted 2 years though, and that's the strap I marched with. Well when I finally retired that thing, I upgraded to what looks a whole lot like this harness, but Vandoren's is only $100 and comes with a very nice storage pouch to slide right into your bell. I don't know if this one is better, but I have almost zero complaints for the Vandoren, other than this; I reglued all the cushions with superglue because they kept falling off. Not too big of a deal though. For the price I'd expect a decent glue. But overall it's much more than I expected, I feel almost no weight, maybe a slight bit on my shoulders, but certainly an improvement to a neckstrap. AND its main strap slides right out of the neck of your uniform and the rest stays hidden. Your marching uniform isn't all bunched up like with those other harnesses.

Here's the Amazon link
Vandoren FNH100 Universal Harness System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BP6BGFG/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_oWIWvbYV21P4K
 

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Interesting option. Kinda spendy (both of them) but nice to know things are still evolving..
 

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I had a friend who marched bari in high school....without a neck strap. He was a tough guy and a badass. He is now in the Marine Corps and recently made staff seargant!
(Just an unrelated side story)
 

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Definitely get a harness before you hurt yourself. I wouldn't worry too much about your marching 'sound'. After all, it's mainly 'oom-pah' in marching band. After about a year on bari in school, I talked the director into buying me a mouthpiece. I got a Brilhart Ebolin 5* which gave me more projection outdoors (indoors too, so you have to back off :)). I never had anything but a neck strap. I still just have the strap, but now I use one with a very wide neck pad to distribute the weight better. I now play bari as a side horn so it's not that much of a burden. But I guess yours is a low A, probably Chinese-made, and they are heavy.
 

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USE THE HARNESS. Make sure it's adjusted so that you DON'T have to hold the horn up.
If it's one of the NeoTec 'H-back' style harnesses it will have a LOT of annoying bounce, but if you have it adjusted snug enough it should be a bit more manageable.
Also the neck can be turned a little more to the side and you can push the bottom of the horn out and away from your leg with your thumb. Just be sure that you don't turn the neck so far that the octave mechanism doesn't work.
Marching bari and being 'short' is difficult, but not impossible once you get things adjusted and your strength/endurance built up.
I'm 5'2.5" on a tall day and know what you mean about the long rods getting hung up on your leg. I play a Buescher 400 bari with a NeoTec Super Harness. It's better than the old 'H-back' style harness as far as bounce goes, and it comes in a 'female/youth' size. It's not all that expensive either.
 

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While I strongly concur with what bandmommy has stated, there's also another trick to marching bari. As a 5'5'' guy, I'm more or less faced with the same problems as you. After a couple of seasons really struggling with the bulk of the bari all over my right thigh (at least that's how it felt), I've resorted to actually push it out in front far enough to minimise the area of contact (also moving it further down my right leg - no more conflicts with key movement at all). If you use a good harness(!) to distribute the weight and drag, it's actually not that hard to do and doesn't require a whole lot of (arm) power - the impact on finger agility of the right hand is actually minimal. The thumb needs to get strengthened a bit - but that comes naturally, with practice.

The only real hazard lies in the fact that the distance between the mouthpiece in walking and playing positions grows considerably, so swinging up the horn in order to start playing can be a little dangerous at first because the movement needs to be quicker and more precise.

M.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Besides using a harness (which every Bari player do), you want to use a extra wide thumb-rest like Goodson sells. The plastic one is $30. Just make sure your Bari has a removable thumb rest first.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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+1
 

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Use a forgiving mouthpiece and reed cause you're gonna move around on it. Push the horn forward and cinch the harness in real high. Get the horn up high and in front of you, where the mouthpiece is almost annoying you when you pull your mouth off cause it's still right there. I once had a bundy bari where the low Bb would stay down if I didn't hold my horn up. And I also had problems with my thigh hitting the keys. I didn't march, but this is the best advice I can give ya, aside from what everyone else has said already!

I also recently sold a Beaugnier bari, like a vito duke. The octave mechanism was after the neck, so there were no moving parts on the neck. This allowed me to tweak the neck in funny positions without compromising the octave mechanism. This way I could turn the horn out to the side a little so my leg wouldn't get in the way! It messes with your fingering just a little, but you wouldn't notice unless you played it like this for hours a day, days on end, and then you kinda get a carpal thing going on... but when I only did that for gigs where I had to move around a bit (funk), it didn't really cause much issues. I miss that horn...
 
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