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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says, and it's me that's got 'em. Lately I've been playing and practicing a lot more than usual - five six hours a day on tenor. Not much by some standards, but for me yes. And now I have a real stiff dull achey neck and can't do anything.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I'm not asking for medical advice, just if anyone else has experienced similar after an increase in playing output.

Thanks
 

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i still experience this actually. it happens more when i gig because i play sax and keys in my band. usually, with the way our songs go, i switch from sax to keys fairly quickly and often times i dont put my sax on its stand so its dangling from my neck while im playing keys. the horns i have now are just a tad bit lighter, but i did have some serious neck issues that would leave me walkin around like batman for a few days after. luckily my girlfriend is kind enough to massage the kinks out. having a sax around your neck could be a serious strain on your muscles, but adjusting the way you hold the sax could also help. maybe hold the sax with your arms more to lessen the weight around your neck. ive been trying to play holding the horn away from my body. it forces me to use just a little more arms and totally lessens the strain on my neck. i would rather have big muscular arms rather than an aching neck. theres also the option of doing neck exercises too. :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Constant issues. I have to practice with my tenor on a milk crate and use a double sling/neck strap configuration.

Let me ask a question - Do you sometimes get tingling feelings in your fingers?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses.

I'm resting from sax right now, can't do a thing at all actually, but when my neck is better I'm not going to change a thing. If it then continues, I'm buying a harness, nevermind how bad they look.

@ A Greene - no tingling whatsoever, just a debilatating sort of dull ache - which is a whole lot better after a day off I have to say. Sorry to hear about your problems there, must be very restrictive not to be able to move freely and naturally with the horn.
 

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A harness, or gimp strap as my SO call it will give better control on the smaller saxes and for me is essential for my bari.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I know they are expensive, but the Cebulla neck strap is the best money I have EVER spent on a sax accessory! I do not play 5-6 hours/ day...saxophone isn't how I make my living. I was having the same type of issues as the posters here and on other related threads: Muscle soreness/ fatigue from constant pressure on upper traps, and occasional tingling on longer sessions and gigs from nerve root compression at C5 and/ or C6.

I know a lot of the sales pitches for saxes and music products are a load of crap, but I work in physical therapy and can attest to everything the maker of the strap says on his site: http://cebulla-saxstrap.de/eng/index.htm

I ordered mine from Curt at MusicMedic, and I received it in about 4 days!

My main tenor is a Cannonball...they are very heavy when compared to most saxes (I know the weights only vary about a pound or so, but the feel on the neck is greater). I tried a harness and found that the sax was too close to my body to be comfortable playing, and it was impossible to get comfortable hand placement...Not to mention the not so flattering accenting of one's "man boobs" if you happen to be even the slightest bit heavy. :faceinpalm:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As the title says, and it's me that's got 'em. Lately I've been playing and practicing a lot more than usual - five six hours a day. Not much by some standards,

That's too much by any standard. Stop when your neck hurts.
Too much? Never stopped to really consider the "too much" angle. Makes sense in light of the fact that it's never happened before with only two, or maximum three hours a day. Also, my neck didn't start hurting till a few hours after I stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know they are expensive, but the Cebulla neck strap is the best money I have EVER spent on a sax accessory! I do not play 5-6 hours/ day...saxophone isn't how I make my living. I was having the same type of issues as the posters here and on other related threads: Muscle soreness/ fatigue from constant pressure on upper traps, and occasional tingling on longer sessions and gigs from nerve root compression at C5 and/ or C6.

I know a lot of the sales pitches for saxes and music products are a load of crap, but I work in physical therapy and can attest to everything the maker of the strap says on his site: http://cebulla-saxstrap.de/eng/index.htm

I ordered mine from Curt at MusicMedic, and I received it in about 4 days!

My main tenor is a Cannonball...they are very heavy when compared to most saxes (I know the weights only vary about a pound or so, but the feel on the neck is greater). I tried a harness and found that the sax was too close to my body to be comfortable playing, and it was impossible to get comfortable hand placement...Not to mention the not so flattering accenting of one's "man boobs" if you happen to be even the slightest bit heavy. :faceinpalm:
Thanks for the info on harnesses. I've been meaning to get a Cebulla for a long time now. Using a Neotech bungee strap at the moment and it's been great up to now.
 

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Get a harness. Seriously. They look dorky but if you wear a black shirt and just kill, people won't notice it or care. I mean, nobody makes fun of George Garzone, right? You can also wear it under a shirt if you'd like.

People like the $70 Gemini harness on this forum but I use the $35 BG and it's just fine. I actually like it better than the Gemini I ordered a while back. I also tried a Cebulla and IMHO, it's overpriced for just another neck strap and it didn't solve my neck problems.

I spend most of my day practicing and the only way I can make it through is by 1. using a harness 2. doing a long warmup with tone and slow scale / chords exercises 3. taking frequent breaks and putting the horn back on its stand 4. stretching and drinking a lot of water.

The one last thing I would mention is consistency. I took a whole week off the horn to tackle a serious mold problem / renovation in my bathroom and this last 2 weeks have been a drag. If you want to monster practice you have to get there gradually and you can't stop once you're there. If you're used to practicing an hour once in a while and suddenly start blowing 5 to 6 hours every day, you'll hurt yourself, have to stop, and be back to square one. Serious practice is in many ways similar to doing serious physical activity probably because it is.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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Cebulla strap for me too. The harness route is OK but they're a pain to get in and out of and they tangle up in your case. I had some success with a guitar style sling but there's no adjustment when playing both alto and tenor.

The Cebulla's way of taking the load on the muscles at the sides of the neck rather than on the vertabrae looked like mumbo-jumbo. Gotta say though - it works for me. Also, the adjusting mechanism is great and harks back to early slings that used cord rather than webbing.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have recently gone long periods without playing, then suddenly do a lot and it can get at your neck.

I hate harnesses, but I found the Cebulla works a treat.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Check your posture (ie stand up straight) and make sure your strap is adjusted tight enough would be my first thoughts. Harnesses are good many ways but they do restrict your movement a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Neck is good again after a couple days rest, and I'm going with the Cebulla. I've got this thing sorted now. Thank you for all the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Let us know how it works for you.
I'll be a couple of months. I need to really test if first - you know, stand there with a baritone swinging from my neck for half an hour at a time, stuff like that. Seriously though, yeah I'll write a short report.
 

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I need to really test if first - you know, stand there with a baritone swinging from my neck for half an hour at a time…
Yes, absolutely. I've been guilty myself of writing reviews too soon. But baritone? You mentioned tenor. Hopefully you're joking. Playing bari for long periods standing up without a harness is asking for neck and back problems.
 
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