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Thumb hooks are stupid

9411 Views 118 Replies 61 Participants Last post by  hakukani
So I took mine off. Cause when you have a crutch it's hard not to use it. So much better.
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Thumbs are stupid. The right thumb is just a freeloader. Does it play any keys? No! Get rid of it.
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I broke a bone in my wrist/ base of my thumb. I could barely play.
experimented with removing the thumb rest and it helped.
had an operation which fixed things, but just never went back to thumb rest.
been without on alto and tenor for about 12 years now

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While I grant you that occasionally a case of the Emperor's Clothes does arise, what's a lot more common is that Dunning-Krueger steps in and someone with about 10 hours total experience decides they know how to do it all better than those idiots that've been designing building and using these things for the last 180 years.
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Ridiculous!!! If used properly a thumb hook is one of ways in which you balance the horn.
As a relatively new player you don’t have enough experience to be taking parts off your horn but especially the thumb hook.
From what I’ve been observing is you already know exactly what your personal tone is and you don’t need a thumb rest. Those are mighty big things to be messing with. I guess after playing for what 6 months you know everything already. Seriously sad.
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The thumb references reminded me of this....Start at 18:09 . Smigel.......TV Funhouse........ Triumph the insult dog......Show was taken off the air for being too twisted..... That's an endangered lizard speaking. He needed "help" to get a sample NSFW 18:09
Save money, dont use ligatures. Just hold the reed in place :geek:

Just kidding...whaterver works.
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Actually the OP has a point. It shows his bad hand position is causing pain so he removed the thumb rest. I hope his embouchure isn’t bad then he will have to remove his teeth
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What brand of saxophone? I had a P Mauriat tenor and could not get the right hand comfortable due to the ill-conceived thumb rest position and/or key position. It was a happy day when I sold that thing. Haven't had a problem with any other sax.

Update: Eastern Music Ref 54 Unlacquered Tenor? Good luck.
Back when I played Alto in Marching Band (when I was a complete beginner) the thumbrest just broke off, a plastic one but still unexpected. It actually was a little better broken off in my opinion, no more thumb pain and when I did go and get a metal thumbrest (for the main competition), I learned to put less pressure on my thumb, which helped a lot. I don't really know how this would contribute to the conversation, but just my story on this.
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If your right thumb hurts you on any curved sax, you almost certainly need to shorten the neck strap and quit trying to hold the thing up with the right thumb. Once you do this, all the fiddly-dicking around with thumb hooks goes pretty much away.
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You better have a really good neck strap. A really, really good one.
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Risky. The thumb rest is really, really useful for when you forget your neck strap.
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Risky. The thumb rest is really, really useful for when you forget your neck strap.

lol….
that’s what the glove/neck strap compartment in your car is designed for….
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So I took mine off. Cause when you have a crutch it's hard not to use it. So much better.
View attachment 143665
Ditch the strap too, it's only a crutch.
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When I was starting out, I went through a period of removing the thumb hook, melting the plastic thumb hook into different shapes (not recommended!) etc. in a fruitless quest to reduce right hand thumb pain. Switching to an unpadded neck strap that doesn’t slip, in addition to installing a metal “comfort” thumb rest, made a lot of difference.
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Thumbs are stupid. The right thumb is just a freeloader. Does it play any keys? No! Get rid of it.
Bassoon thumbs are sooooo much smarter - both of 'em.
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So I took mine off. Cause when you have a crutch it's hard not to use it. So much better.
I look forward to your discovery of alternate/redundant Bb fingerings. I imagine your saxophone could be a lot lighter and, once those distracting options are removed, so much simpler. Even your fingering chart for the notes you don't want to read will be simplified.
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I removed the thumb hook on my bari, but I really meant to put it back on. I wanted to find a better spot for it and ended up not getting around to it. I still have it if I ever want to sell the horn, but I probably won't bother until that time comes. I don't miss it.

I did remove the thumb hook on my low C bass clarinet. Again, I initially meant to put it back on, but on that horn, the right thumb operates the extension keys, so it's not like you can really be lifting with the thumb at all or else you'd need to rebalance the whole horn every time you went for the lowest notes. The peg and/or strap are bearing the weight on that horn.

That said, I wouldn't advocate for everyone to go remove their thumb hooks. I especially wouldn't recommend it for beginners. I have 20-ish years of experience putting my hands on saxes and clarinets, so the muscle memory of "where does my thumb go" is automatic by now. When my brother, who hasn't played bari in over a decade, picked up my horn, he immediately put his right hand in a somewhat wrong position and kept putting his fingers down wrong because he was losing his bearings without the reference point of the thumb hook.

But if you know what you are doing as a player and aren't totally happy with the position your hand is in, a decent tech can move or remove that thumb hook pretty easily. If something isn't comfortable, even after spending time getting accustomed to it, I don't see why I wouldn't change it.
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Hadn't heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect before. It explains so much! A shallow, vain ad agency boss of my acquaintance regarded editing & proofreading as needless expenses because: a.) errors wouldn't reflect badly on the agency; b.) clients wouldn't even notice errors; c.) he never made errors; & d.) errors could always be blamed on somebody else.

Ignorance is not a sin. Willful ignorance is the worst.
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