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Hi, I've learned so much from this site in the short time since I discovered it. This question has to do with positioning the horn for playing. I started playing 56 years ago - played in jr. hi and high school and took it up again 10 years ago in a community band. I have lots of technique problems, and I'm learning from the experts here on this site. I had a year of lessons when I was 10 - that's it - I had no idea how much was involved in making pretty music on the sax although I'm very proficient at fingering, timing, and reading. I'm also a singer and sight read music well. When I played as a young person, I did not have the problems I have with my neck (4 whip lash accidents later) I can no longer strap the horn around my neck and I have a sax harness I wear which puts the weight on my shoulders. I'm too short to sit with the alto sax between my legs resting on a chair. I find that the position of the horn as it is now puts a lot of strain on my left hand, and I cannot get a good tone. If I rest it on something (chair and stretch up high), it sounds better, seems like I'm sort of half holding the horn with my mouth when I play with the harness, which does not give me much freedom to use my mouth to improve tone. Any suggestions?
 

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mod: What size of saxophone are you asking about? Alto? Tenor?

If either of those, have you ever considered going to a soprano? Given your physical problems, maybe a curved sop would be easier to handle. DAVE
 

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Try sitting on the front of the chair with the sax in front. Hold the instrument out in front of you - a bit further out than the normal playing position, but not much - by using just your thumbs and the harness. Move the neck so the mouthpiece is pointed at your mouth while the pressure is evenly distributed between both thumbs. This is the most neutral position you will find for keeping wrist strain to a minimum.

What model saxophone are you playing? Some models are better suited to playing either to the side or in the middle. When you go to see Randy, ask if he would take a look at your playing position and offer any suggestions to minimize the discomfort.

Good luck.
 
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