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The title of this thread explains my problem. I don't want to cripple myself and be unable to play. I notice pain in my wrists the morning after playing for hours the day before. I must be holding the horn wrong. I play a tenor. I watch how player hold their horn to get a clue as to how to hold it. What am I doing wrong? I resolved one problem. My left pinky finger was sending shooting pains from my wrist. I fixed that issue by relieving the spring tension on the low Db key. Perhaps this problem can only be resolved by having a sax teacher observe me play but I thought I would try asking here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What make horn are you playing on?
Conn 10M and it is new to me. I am having issues with holding it. It is different from my 22M.
 

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Chances are you are picking up the horn while playing. The horn needs to balance better. Moving the neck strap ring or adding one can help alot. Adding a more comfortable right hand thumb rest might help as well. Building up removeable rubber with sticky backing on the top of the pinky table might help.

I used to own a Conn Chu tenor and also added temporary pearl extensions on the right hand stack to be in the same position as my Buffet Dynaction tenor and it made it alot more comfortable. I might have made a custom thumbrest from Instamorph moldable plastic. It can be reshaped multiple times to experiment. I think I also added a plastic cap that went over the left hand thumb rest below the octave key. It covered much more thumb area and balanced much better as well.

I would also try a Jazzlab Saxholder and see if the helps as well. All the weight is transfered to the shoulders.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chances are you are picking up the horn while playing. The horn needs to balance better. Moving the neck strap ring or adding one can help alot. Adding a more comfortable right hand thumb rest might help as well. Building up removeable rubber with sticky backing on the top of the pinky table might help.

I used to own a Conn Chu tenor and also added temporary pearl extensions on the right hand stack to be in the same position as my Buffet Dynaction tenor and it made it alot more comfortable. I might have made a custom thumbrest from Instamorph moldable plastic. It can be reshaped multiple times to experiment.

I would also try a Jazzlab Saxholder and see if the helps as well. All the weight is transfered to the shoulders.
I have a Saxholder and it is great. I used to get bad pain from a regular neck strap.. not any more. I 'have' been holding the horn out from my body. Is it bad form to brace it against yourself? I have been thinking it is a bad habit to let the bottom of the horn rest against my body. I may have an adjustable right thumb rest installed but I seem to be getting used to it. I get no pain from that. I resolved the issue with the left hand pinky table by relieving the spring tension for the Db key. I watched a video by Matt Stohrer about setting up that table. Done right it should take very little pressure. With the spring tension relieved the table seems fine now. Maybe I will experiment with key risers. My 10M came to me with an additional neck strap ring... an add on with three holes, plus the original. So I have a choice of four positions. I will experiment with it. I think you are correct. it is a balance issue. As I played today I made myself be conscious of how I was balancing the horn. I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you.
 

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I may have also taken a small ball that is inflatable, taken a bit of air out, and used that as way to let the bow rest against my leg. I bought it at the dollar store. It is slightly bigger than a softball.

It is key to get the horn balanced so that both thumbs piviot together against roughly equal weight.

I am assuming there are no major leaks you are playing through. That would cause you to squeeze the horn harder to seal the pads better.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I may have also taken a small ball that is inflatable, taken a bit of air out, and used that as way to let the bow rest against my leg. I bought it at the dollar store. It is slightly bigger than a softball.

It was key to get the horn balanced so that both thumbs pivioted against roughly equal weight.

I am assuming there are no major leaks you are plaing through. That would cause you to squeeze the horn harder to sesl the pads better.
No major leaks. I just moved the neck strap down one hole and it is remarkable how much better it balances. That just may be the cure I am looking for. Come to think of it I was noticing that my left thumb was getting tired from pushing the horn to be less vertical. That slight change of strap ring has made a big difference. We'll see how it goes. Thanks again Saxland
 

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I have been experimenting with adding dense foam under the Saxholder's arms that rest on the shoulders. It raises up the sax in a way that seems to change the center of balance on the sax. No idea if it could help you but it may be worth trying. I took a childrens interlock play mat, sold at Walmart and cut a few pieces out. I also added a piece under the lower part that rests on the belly,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been experimenting with adding dense foam under the Saxholder's arms that rest on the shoulders. It raises up the sax in a way that seems to change the center of balance on the sax. No idea if it could help you but it may be worth trying. I took a childrens interlock play mat, sold at Walmart and cut a few pieces out. I also added a piece under the lower part that rests on the belly,
You are just chock full of good ideas. I'll have to check out that online radio station up in Canada. www.Jazz.FM I'm just across the border. I can see Victoria from the shore. I cycle through several stations myself.. always looking for more choices. Cheers mate
 

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I cant say from experience but i have heard many times that the 10m ergos lend themselves to the pain you are experiencing.

Other than that their owners adore them.
 

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I cant say from experience but i have heard many times that the 10m ergos lend themselves to the pain you are experiencing.

Other than that their owners adore them.
ha ha ha... you funny bradda
 

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Jazz.FM is broadcast live from Toronto. Its 91.1 on the dial.

Conn ergos on tenor do hurt my wrists without the modifications I listed. All easily reversablle. I also built up the right hand side keys with surgicial tape. I talked with a saxophonist years ago who had a Conn 10M with a Gloger neck. He said the neck angle on the Gloger made a big difference to him on how the sax balanced. I never saw the neck so I don't know what the difference was from the original neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jazz.FM is broadcast live from Toronto. Its 91.1 on the dial.

Conn ergos on tenor do hurt my wrists without the modifications I listed. All easily reversablle. I also built up the right hand side keys with surgicial tape. I talked with a saxophonist years ago who had a Conn 10M with a Gloger neck. He said the neck angle on the Gloger made a big difference to him on how the sax balanced. I never saw the neck so I don't know what the difference was from the original neck.
Mine has a double socket neck. I don't think I need to do anything to the right palm keys. They fit my hands like a glove, unlike my 22M. With the 22M I was always opening a pad by accident, not so with the 10M. I am trying to find a way to play that keeps my wrists straight, so those tendons don't have to take a sharp turn. I just need to keep my left arm in a more horizontal position. Friends who play guitar have found that the classical guitar posture helped them with their tendon pain. The 10M neck is certainly different.. it is at more of a right angle from the horn body. Lots of good ideas to try out.
 

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I had some challenges with my left wrist when I first started playing a "The Martin" tenor. I found that if I angled the horn (lower part of the horn more to the right) it straightened up my left wrist and alleviated the pain. I thought I'd have to give up playing that horn as the wrist pain was fairly intense.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had some challenges with my left wrist when I first started playing a "The Martin" tenor. I found that if I angled the horn (lower part of the horn more to the right) it straightened up my left wrist and alleviated the pain. I thought I'd have to give up playing that horn as the wrist pain was fairly intense.
That is a great suggestion. I'll give it a try. Thanks. There is a good reason that classical guitar players hold their instrument the way they do. I used to have a BMW motorcycle. I noticed that instead of having a wire cable for the throttle wrap around the hand grip there was a tiny chain instead. The cable was almost a straight line to the carbs... breakage unlikely. Tendons work like that too. I am thinking that once you toughen up your lip it should not hurt to play a sax.
 

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Two things that helped relieve any elbow/wrist pain with my 10M were:
1. I rotate the neck a few degrees left of center, this turns my hands to a more normal position. Octave key engagement was not affected.
2. When I started playing tenor, I had my elbows out and it created tension in my hand and wrist. I now play with my elbows in, and relaxed hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Two things that helped relieve any elbow/wrist pain with my 10M were:
1. I rotate the neck a few degrees left of center, this turns my hands to a more normal position. Octave key engagement was not affected.
2. When I started playing tenor, I had my elbows out and it created tension in my hand and wrist. I now play with my elbows in, and relaxed hands.
Well, at least now I know that it is not just me that has problems with this horn. I'll give your suggestion a try. I play with the horn more vertical and in front of me. Do you recommend I play off to the side? I just gave that a try and it does seem a more natural, relaxed posture. I have not experienced any pain in my elbows... yet. I do notice that the way I am holding the horn creates a lot of tension with my hands.

BTW.. I love that Link. You are the guy I was talking to about it, right? Junkdude sold it to me. Cheers
 
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