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Starting out after an injury

1237 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  YveJ222
Hi guys. I'd like some advice about potentially trading in my alto for a soprano. Heres the history.

I bought an Elkhart Alto about 10 years ago. Picked it ap a few times but life got in the way and it has remained untouched for about 9 years 11 months! A couple of weeks ago I dusted it off to start again as I now have the time to commit to learning. My issue is that I broke both wrists just before Christmas. While they are both "healed" they are in no way what they were. I'm finding the Alto painful to play. It could just be bad technique or something I'm stuck with. I've bought a new neck strap but the weight on my right thumb causes so much pain. I'm also having issues stretching to the keys as my hands are tiny for an old bird.

I'm still very much a beginner and don't want to quit so I'm considering down sizing to a soprano. I'm hoping that the weight difference will be enough to ease the pain. I understand that its much harder to learn but figured im not so far down the alto path that it may not be so bad. If I did go for a soprano, would it be better to opt for a straight or curved model. Is the hand stretch required less than an alto? I've also seen an alphasax. Is this any good? In an ideal world I'd hop on a train and go shopping to try some out but its still not really an option. I've seen a few rental options but I'm just so confused. I'm uk based.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.
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Before you make the leap to soprano, check out the neck straps by protec and xinlink. They are more 'shoulder straps' than neck straps, and may help with the support of the horn while you're playing.

I broke my left hand a couple of years ago while moving into my new house. Fell down a flight of stairs while moving a gun safe, which dropped right onto my hand. I've since recovered and have full use of the hand, but my left pinky still has a permanent 'kink' in it right at the last knuckle. This made playing anything on the table virtually impossible for a while. Tenor was out of the question in the beginning, so I practiced on Alto. Once I got proficient there, I found that using the tenor was a bit easier than before. Continued practice has restored about 99% of my finger's ability.

It was pretty frustrating in the beginning for me, but if you keep at it you'll find that you'll adapt to playing much faster than you think. Try the shoulder type strap and try and work through the pain in very small increments. You might find that after a few weeks the pain might be completely gone.
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