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Hello

I'm in the middle of finding the best strap/harness for my bass clarinet. I was told the Oleg might work for me. I can't use a regular strap because the weight (low C bass) is too much for just my neck, and any harness I've tried until now (only a couple) held the instrument in an uncomfortable position (usually too close to the body). I'm looking for something that will hold the insrument in a good position, like a regular neck strap, but will also relieve the weight from the neck (probably to the shoulders).

I was told the Oleg regular strap actually doesn't put the weight as much on he neck as other regular straps (though I can't see how). Does anyone know if this is true?

How are the Oleg harnesses (I notice they have two models)?

Best would be photos of these. I couldn't find photos of this strap/harness actually on a person, so if anyone uses them and can take a photo that would be very helpful!

Thank you & best wishes!

Nitai
 

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I use the hybrid harness, I forget what it's called, and am happy with it. It has straps with hooks attached to the back of the ergonomic neck strap that you can use in one of two ways: You can either fasten them to your belt straps so that the strap is completely off your neck, or you can thread them under your arms and attach them to the main hook, which is what I do. The full blown harness is very tempting if all you do is play standing up, but I much prefer detaching the two straps and having a normal neck strap when I play sitting down. Just my personal preferences.
 

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Try the Ligaphone strap if you can, the weight sits on your neck but the padding makes it a bit more comfy. The Oleg will sit on your neck and it has no padding, I'm not sure why it's advertised as sitting on your shoulders, as it hangs on your neck. It's a good strap in all regards. For standard straps I can switch off between the ligaphone and Oleg with no problem.

Lately I've been using my Gemini Harness for tenor sax. If you let the thing all the way out it will provide a range of motion very simular to a traditional neck strap. What I did was adjust the height on the shoulders where I wanted it and then I let the back adjustment all the way out and this gives you the hang and freedom of a standard strap. This thing is the most comfortable strap I've ever used period. It's expensive at $54 dollars, but you can practice for hours and never give any thought to the weight of your instrument. Works best standing up, but it also works sitting down, much better than other harnesses as the hook slides to the side allowing the instrument to sit naturally. When sitting down though I practice with the tenor between my legs as I'm tall enough to pull this off.

Keep in mind I'm a tall skinny guy. Chest of about 38" 6'2" 163lbs. If you have a big chest or are carrying too many pounds harnesses like the Gemini won't work as well. I still perform with my ligaphone strap and keep the Gemini in the practice room. I'm like a lot of guys that kind of feel like I'm wearing a bra when I have a harness on.
 

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Thanks ranma!

Heath, where can I see the Gerimi harness? I couldn't find it searching google. I'm short, about 170cm (I think that's about 5'7") and I'm (very) thin, I'm not sure what my chest size is (I think it is about the same as yours, strange). I'm at a point where I don't mind wearing a harness (in my language we actually call it bra :) because it is the comfort that a problem, but I just can't stand the weigt of my low C bass on my neck.

Thanks again!
 

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You can find the harness through this site. http://www.studiospace.com/rcsq/index.htm





Notice the above picture the way the harness is centered on your back. I don't wear it like this. That leather divider is actually much closer to my neck. What I do is let out the bottom two straps all the way so the harness slides up closer to my neck and then shorten the top two straps so the height is right on my mouthpiece. What this does in affect is allow for a much greater range of motion making it comparable to a regular neck strap. I personally detest the feel of a harness when it forces the instrument into your face and chest, but the way I adjust it it allows for the horn to float freely in front on you and at your side.

Most harnesses don't have all the adjustments the Gemini has. As for your chest size being the same as mine. I compete in road racing(cycling) so when I say I'm very skinny I really mean it. The size I ordered was GM-300 with the PC-200 hook....in other words the medium with a closed plastic hook.
 

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Hey Heath,
Do you happen to play alto too? if so, can you use the same harness for going between alto and tenor? the website indicates there is one size that works for bari/tenor, and another that works for alto. I'd like to get one I can use for alto/tenor.
 

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I've never played mine with an alto. If you have it adjusted for your tenor then it's going to be a pain to readjust it for your alto. And if you have to shorten the harness up for the alto than I don't think the harness would work all that well.

Besides I don't think most people need a harness for alto. I do play alto and soprano, but I use a standard strap with alto and no strap with soprano.

Are you planing on gigging with the harness. I mentioned that I prefer to use a regular neck strap for performing.
 

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thanks for the response, Health. I need the harness for tenor because I've been dealing with shoulder and back issues related to sports/weightlifting injuries. I don't really need it for alto, but my orthopedic surgeon (who also happened to play sax up until he went to med school) really wants me to use the harness for both.

The types of gigs I do are big band dance gigs and legit community band stuff. About 90% of the time we wear suits or at least a sports jacket, so I'm actually hoping I could wear the harness under the jacket to eliminate the 'bondage' look. That won't work for outdoor Jazz combo gigs in the summer though, so I'll probably use a neck strap for those and tell my combo I can only play alto.

I've seen some professional doublers who keep a harness on for playing tenor or bari, but they also have strap hanging from their neck for alto and sop. I don't want to do that if I can avoid it... the standard brancher neck strap I use now only requires a slight moving up or down when switching between tenor and alto, I was hoping to find a harness that could accommodate both with a similar slight adjustment when switching.
 

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Hi Nitai,

I had the Oleg strap and wasn't thrilled with it - wound up selling it.
I found that although it was better than most straps it still put too much weight on the neck. I use a harness that works well - very simiar to the Gemeni pictured above. I got it for $15 off Ebay
Good luck,
John
 

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Sweetsax I think the Gemini might work for you. Maybe get a chord style strap with an open hook for quick changes when you switch to alto.

To tell you the truth though I still like a standard neck strap for gigging. Harness is great for putting in long hours every day, but the total freedom with a standard neck strap for gigs is the way to go. Unless your gigs are long ones and you're in pain.

I often wear two neck straps when performing with alto and tenor as the tenor strap is too long and forms a chock collar when shortened up for alto.

And I agree with the above poster that the Oleg may or may not work. I don't have any idea why they consider it ergonomic. It's just a high quality neck strap that works and does what it's supposed to. I don't think they really take any weight off your neck as the thing clearly wraps around your neck and doesn't touch much of your shoulder.
 

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Have a look on www.ba-sling.com > BA Sling, it's a total new concept for a saxophone "strap". It is not a strap, nor a harness but will devide the weight of your instrument between your neck and your back in any playing position at all times. Adjustable to any size of person or saxophone..
 
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