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I find it a challenging to play soprano for long periods because of pain and tension that I sometimes get in my right hand when playing for a few hours. The other day I also noticed some nerve tingling so I know I have to be careful. I have found that the angle of the mouthpiece affects my comfort level and also consciously relaxing my body helps too. What are your health issues with playing soprano and how do you deal with them?
 

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If using a curved neck, a neckstrap is a must. If straight neck, holding the horn straight out like a trumpet is the best thing for your thumb and wrist. Also, I like the Lagan Wrist Saver. A little pricy, but worth it if you want to keep playing. Other than that, find a nice curved soprano.
 
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I agree, I can't hold the sax up even with a shoulder strap for very long. My most comfy position is sitting in my chair with the bell edge resting on top of my knee. It's not a perfect angle but I can play for hours. I will never play live so I can live with this setup perfectly (I just like to record my originals).
 
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Steve Lacy said he figured out that you just have to let the blood flow in your hand now and then otherwise you'll end up with problems.

Harvey Pittel got tendinitis and has to wear braces now. He designed and sells a support called the Hand-eze.

Many straight sop players use a strap and capture some of the weight on it, so their thumb is only pushing outward, not up against the hook.

You can build greater resilience by practicing carefully in timed but ever longer periods, but don't try to work through pain, you'll just set yourself back.
 

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I find the angle that John Coltrane holds his straight horn on the covers of his Impressions and Sun Ship albums, etc., to be the most comfortable for thumb and mouth. The afore mentioned trumpet analogy.
 

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I use a strap with my straight soprano and it works wonders. I got one of the Kolbl My Smooth Moose neck straps and it works wonders. Same thing as the Roberto’s Strap but, for half the price.
 

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Back in the day I never hooked a strap onto my ancient Buescher straight soprano. As my bones & joints have gone all haywire in recent years, I now find it necessary to strap on -- with a flange extending the horn's strap ring to widen the angle of the dangle.

And +1 for the Lagan Wrist Saver, which effectively widens your right-hand grip as if you were playing, say, an alto sax. You can use it with your regular right thumb hook or any hook you like. (Several different models of Wrist Saver are available, so contact Lagan before ordering -- together you can make sure the model you choose will be compatible with your horn & hook. He wants you to succeed.)

Despite these & other ergonomic tweaks, my venerable fish-horn can still induce hand cramps during long sessions. I've been focusing almost exclusively on alto sax lately as a result. Just the other night as I was dropping off to sleep, Sidney Bechet floated into the room & scornfully called me a duck of a pig-goat. In French, of course.
 

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Like I recently posted in your thread about .070 soprano mouthpieces (that we are all different and there is no standard for mouthpieces), I feel the same way about sopranos and neck-straps. I abhor neck straps for all sopranos, straight necks, curved necks, curved sopranos - neck straps just feel awkward to me and the constant rubbing of the strap on my thumbs bothers me.

I am now 82 years old and I've played soprano as my main instrument for over 65 years - and I have yet to experience hand-pain when playing soprano. But I realize others suffer such things, so to each his own. DAVE
 

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If using a curved neck, a neckstrap is a must. If straight neck, holding the horn straight out like a trumpet is the best thing for your thumb and wrist. Also, I like the Lagan Wrist Saver. A little pricy, but worth it if you want to keep playing. Other than that, find a nice curved soprano.
Totally agree. Had the same problem with my old cannonball sop. When I got my new Yani, I added the wrist saver. Worth every penny.
 

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Other than that, find a nice curved soprano.
This is by far the best solution for soprano pain, in two ways:
  1. It's almost universally effective; if you can play an alto with a strap comfortably, you can play a curved soprano with a strap.
  2. It relieves the greatest degree of weight/stress on the right hand and thumb.
Finding the optimal playing position for your straight soprano, with or without an add-on thumb hook, may help. Using a neck strap will help more. Playing a curved neck and using a strap with your straight sop should be even better. But a curved sop (especially with a Yany-style extra-curved neck) is an entirely different experience.
 

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I have experienced nerve damage with tingling in the forearms. Don't follow my example in that I ignored the pain and eventually had to give up playing for about 6 months to heal.

You might try alternating between soprano and tenor playing or just playing soprano in short increments. If I feel pain or tingling, I take a break as a rule. This path has worked me.
 

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“Doc, it hurts when I do this.”

“Don’t do that.”

Don’t play for hours at a time when you are starting a new horn. Clearly, you have not yet figured out the ergos, and are powering through despite pain. Make some adjustments. Take a rest. Don’t try to hard to develop bad habits.
 

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Super Action 80 Tenor, Buescher 156 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 , Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari
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I personally use a strap on a curved neck with a straight soprano. I won't try to defy gravity, and let most of the horn's weight rest on my right thumb. This keeps my hands in the same position as my alto, tenor, and bari. I am most certainly bringing my head down to meet the mouthpiece, but raise the neck strap to minimize an overtly odd neck angle. This method seems to work best for me, and I have had thumb tendonitis issues in the past.
 

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I like Dr G's 'don't do that' comment. But given that you are likely going to continue on the sop, use a neck strap. I've used one for years now, on a straight sop, and it doesn't interfere with my thumb, let's the horn balance nicely, and, as a bonus, it keeps the horn in the relative 'same' position to my mouth which is way better for tuning. Also, I don't play the sop for hours at a time.
 

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Simple fix. Neck strap. I had the same issue and using my (Just Joe) strap has helped my intonation and endurance.
 
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