Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted a review on the Saxholder day before yesterday, I thought. Now I can't find it. I'll try again.

I started asking questions about the Saxholder in an old thread about The Future of the Saxophone last week. I decided to start a new thread for my review because my original post was off topic but I tagged onto the end of it because there had been some discussions about sax straps and how the technology might be improved upon in teh context of building a better sax in the future.

I was doing my research for something to help with back pain. My question was whether or not it would be practical to use the Saxholder while sitting as it is designed to playing standing up. I received some qualified answers that reassured me enough to go ahead and buy one. I've already spent enough money on harnesses that didn't fit right. The Neotech harness I bought forced me to have to lean my neck forward to reach the mouthpiece. That may be because I play a Conn 10m and the placement of their strap ring is notorious for creating an out of balance situation where the mouthpiece wants to knock your front teeth loose. No matter, I tried a couple of times to use it but gave up and went back to my traditional strap.

Fitting the Saxholder to your body is important because we are shaped different. I was able to make very minor adjustments to the "handles" that go over the shoulder so that the sax sits comfortably while I sit on a small piano stool. The telescoping piece that rests on the belly was easy to move to a comfortable position and there is a string that adjusts the height of the mouthpiece like every other sax strap. I was concerned that, sitting down, the part that rests on the belly would slide off to the side or sit too low so it wouldn't support the sax. Happily, that's not a problem. You can move it up or down to find a comfortable spot, and the part that rests on your belly can rotate 90 degrees to fit your individual anatomy.

I also found that the claims in reviews I read, which said it made the sax feel almost weightless were true. Instead of resting all the weight on your neck it's distributed across both shoulders and on the abdomen. It weighs the same but the weight is spread out over a larger area. It also changed the angle the mouthpiece comes to the lips just a little, at least for me. I found my sound had some edge and buzzy-ness I didn't have before. Maybe it was the reed I chose but I like what I'm hearing.

My main concern, as I said, was to find something to take a load off my spine. I have an arthritic joint located directly between the shoulder blades and on bad days it can be totally disabling. After practicing two days, 1 hour one day and 1.5 hours the next, I'm happy to say it is making a difference. Playing sax is not aggravating my inflamed spine. The other concern was whether I could play sitting on my stool with the sax toward my right side. Some had said they felt like the sax holder might slip off. I don't think that's going to be a problem.

The only other thing I think I should comment on is the build quality. It appears to built out of super strong plastic and plastic covered soft aluminum rods that can be bend to fit the body. The shoulder "handles" are covered with a soft material to cushion it and I didn't notice any rubbing or irritation from them while wearing a tee shirt.

I have no financial interest in Jazzlab and I'm not being paid to promote their product. I bought mine through Amazon from a third party vendor. I'm only offering this review to the community here because I sought your help and I want to let you know how it turned out. I don't know why my original post was taken down. I hope this one stays up. I know I'm not the only one out there with spinal problems.

View attachment 229758
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Thanks for the review! I completely agree with nearly everything you wrote and it is a great summary. My experience on playing while sitting is not so positive, though, but it may have to do with the fact that I am very short and/or that my sax has left hand side bell keys. I simply could not find a stable position (yet).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I found on tenor playing seated with the horn between the legs works better with the sax holder. It also fixed all perceived ergonomic issues with my Conn New Wonder II. The sax holder is a real neck and carpal tunnel saver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Like yourself, I have found this to be a lifesaver for me as well. When I first began the instrument I was getting frustrated/nervous that I would not be able to keep at it due to the uncomfortably on my neck and back from the straps I tried.

Granted, I didn't 'test' all the various harness models that exist on the market. Once I tried the Jazzlab, my search was done. I do sit when I play with the horn to my right and I am not very tall. For me, it works no matter if I stand or sit equally well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
I agree with a lot of these comments, I find it comfortable and relatively easy to use. It does move about if you bend or move. However, the best thing for me is that it puts the mouthpiece in a better position, perhaps its because the cord projects from the body. I like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
For me, it does indeed make a big difference in terms of back/neck strain. I also noticed that, when I went back to a Ray Hyman strap on alto, I actually felt that strap closing off my airway somewhat (like a tight collar), as I had it adjusted quite "tight" to bring my Conn 6M alto up into my mouth.

That said, I have to point out that the Saxholder WILL NOT adjust high enough for the 6M (due to the Conn's high strap hook location), which is why I had to pull out the old Ray Hyman. I have since found a work-around, which is to loop the string/hook behind and over the junction of the Saxholder's "Y", sort of like tying a necktie... This is a royal pain, since, if it's not adjusted right, I have to very carefully un-loop it (without tangling/twisting the four strings and the hook), re-adjust it, re-loop/check/adjust/repeat... As i said, a royal pain and just not a workable solution for my 6M.

Another thing I hate is that one of the two side arms will often come unlatched, especially if I'm sitting down (I play with tenor/alto between my legs and I lean forward if I'm in a big band with the low stands). When this happens, the horn becomes very "insecure", as does the player. Re-latching makes for embarrassing stage moments. When this happens while I have the strings/hook in the aforementioned "necktie" configuration for the 6M, trying to re-latch it fails, as it pinches the strings, and I have to stop everything to meticulously re-do this 6M workaround.

One more thing is that I would never use this for a baritone, even if it did relieve baritone back strain (I don't think it sufficiently does). I simply don't trust the "spaghetti straps" to keep an expensive baritone safe.

Lastly, if you have long hair, the shoulder arms will snag it every time, and you need three hands to get things unsnagged, or else unhook the horn, set it down, unsnag the arms/hair, and re-do. This is in part due to the grippy rubber material on the arms, but mainly a result of the many "grippy comb" notches... which are there for some reason that is beyond me. Using it while wearing a hoodie presents similar issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
I am looking into the Freeneck device, which I think will work for baritone (truly taking a load off my neck/back) as well as alto/tenor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
That said, I have to point out that the Saxholder WILL NOT adjust high enough for the 6M (due to the Conn's high strap hook location), which is why I had to pull out the old Ray Hyman. I have since found a work-around, which is to loop the string/hook behind and over the junction of the Saxholder's "Y", sort of like tying a necktie... .
I've had a similar problem on my Yamaha YAS-23, but I just put an extra knot in the string to shorten it, see attached picture.
I hope this makes sense and helps you with your too-long-a-string problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Similar experience with my SaxHolder. It fixed my back problems from playing in 60 - 90 minute blocks - sitting down. Also helped my sound a lot due to the way it holds the sax and the resulting mouthpiece angle.

Unlike other experiences with Conn’s, I have a Shooting Star Tenor (16M) which has a very similar configuration to the 10M. I find that the SaxHolder balances the horn much better than a traditional strap does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
one thing to point out about the Sax holder is that the bottom plastic arm that the stomach rest is attached to will mark your saxophone around the hook ring when you have your sax hanging from it on your body when not playing. If you keep that particular arm as short as you possibly can, it won't rub on your sax. Couldn't work out what was chipping away at the lacquer on my new 82z, until I realized what it was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
+1 for the Saxholder, can switch between my Mk6 alto and tenor in seconds, just adjust the cord length, very good for relieving the back of course, and also the neck from the rubbing that conventional slings are bad for, no more neck acne!

Just need to bend those alloy arms to suit your particular body frame, and I would agree that it’s probably not the go-to solution for baritone, in the case of my Selmer super sax the cords aren’t long enough anyway.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,811 Posts
cords can be swapped and made longer, in the original kit there should be a replacement.

I did replace it and now I have a longer cord. When I played curved soprano I did use a second cord and hook (I modified this myself) on the same saxholder.

Pete Thomas uses this on bass saxophone, I used it also on bass clarinet, so I really think it can be used on almost anything. Never had anything scratching anything else, but it may depend from the playing position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,586 Posts
Good thread and I agree with the consensus here that the Saxholder is a good product. I got back into playing baritone sax 5 years ago and I made a point in getting something other than the conventional neck strap. I read Pete Thomas’ review of it and decided that was the way to go. It would be great if Jazz Lab made a dedicated aftermarket bass clarinet cord and hook(s) set that can also work on the holder’s frame.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
This strap saved me as well. A steady big band gig was becoming very frustrating because of my back and thought I would try this jazzlab strap. The saxophone does feel weightless and is comfortable both sitting and standing. I have also had great success doubling in pits with the strap. The hook is a perfect balance between security and speed while trading off horns. I also like the angle it puts my horn at.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,888 Posts
The problem with this strap is if you stand and play off to the side it is not practical and is uncomfortable
I play with the saxophone to the side, no problem at all if you adjust the sax holder correctly. It won't necessarily work for everyone out of the box.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
A friend's small daughter (freshman in high school) was looking for a strap for her baritone. I had BG harness types and the Jazzlab. The BG looked like some kind of S&M device on women. The Jazzlab worked on baritone and doesn't cause untoward wardrobe issues. The Jazzlab has now become my favorite as well.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
OK, well I just ordered one of these. Mainly as a last ditch attempt to play my tenor. I haven't played it much over the last couple years concentrating more on alto and soprano. When I picked it up the other day the neck pain I received was almost instantaneous! I was using my Cebulla strap that I've used on alto for the last few years and admittedly, it's too short for the tenor. Anyway, I haven't been all that pleased with my tenor sound so I decided to work on a solution for that, but if I can't even strap the horn on then that really doesn't matter. I hope this works!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top