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Interesting tenor modification

1236 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JerryJamz2
The other night at a local jam session I met a tenor player who was new to me; he came in with a Ref. 54 and when he jumped in he played quite well, with very good facility. When the break came around I went over to introduce myself and we were going through the usual gear conversation. He'd had the Ref. since January, he said, but then he told me the unusual thing: "I developed dystonia in the middle finger of my right hand," he said, "and it became useless, so I stopped playing." BUT: he figured out a way around it. He removed the pearl from the low D key and soldered a set of roller keys -- identical to the low C/C# pair -- set at an angle there. And he covers all three of the right hand home keys with two fingers, rolling his ring finger on and off the roller keys! And I'm telling you, he was playing very well this way! I was amazed.

"I just use my middle right finger," he said, "to gesture to the audience." And indeed when second set came, I walked round to the other side so I could see his right hand: clearly the middle finger was virtually paralyzed, and was in fact subtly (and unintentionally) giving the classic gesture toward whoever happened to be sitting there.

Kudos to this guy. He's made a huge adjustment and overcome a very difficult problem. (And he did the modification himself! I'd be terrified to do something like that to a new Ref. 54.)

Anyone ever seen any such thing? I wish I had photos of this.
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Wow. That instrument is super complex. Glad to know that it gives people a chance who otherwise wouldn't have one!
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