Sax on the Web Forum banner

Interesting tenor modification

1232 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.
1 - 3 of 9 Posts
littlemanbighorn said:
Towards the end of his life Roland Kirk was playing a modified Tenor one-handed due to the effects of a stroke he had suffered.
Well, of course, that's well known. Even more amazing. But he was Rasaan!
RootyTootoot said:
Paul Harvey's book "the Saxophone" includes a chapter on unusual and modified instruments. One is a "one-handed Conn mezzo soprano in F". There is a pic as well. All the pearls are down the bottom end. The entire range is played with RH only. Probably a special order for a vaudeville performer.
Very interesting. Never saw that! I'll track down that book. Thanks!

Wonder how that performer sounded playing mezzo with one hand. . . .:shock:
1 - 3 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.