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I wear a thumb brace now. Tendinitis of the thumb is common in old (I guess I’m there) adults. Sax certainly added to the problem. I look like I’m a bowler instead of a sax player but no more thumb pain. I have one in each case as well as one in my practice and exercise area.
 
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I used to wear a thumb brace but not any longer. Two things helped, one commonly recommended, and one most people on here avoid. One was getting a Jazzlab Saxholder. The other was adding a strap ring higher on my sax so the sax hangs more perpendicular. This makes it so less thumb pressure (almost none) is needed to push the sax into position. Yes, it's easier for the sax to attack my face, but being careful about that is second nature now.
 

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I received my Tenor a couple of days ago, but due to osteoarthritis, it is absolute agony to have the pressure from the neck strap on my neck, and it quickly hurts my back, and makes my hands cramp due to trying to take the weight with my hands, in particular, my right thumb. I can't handle it for even five minutes, and no way can I relax into the lowest octave while in that much pain. My wife however, practiced for about an hour and a half with no problems, even though the sax is almost as big as her!
It sounds like you too are trying to take the weight with your thumbs, so I thought I'd ask here.
Have people tried both a harness/backpack style holder, and a Jazzlab Saxholder style holder, and be able to give a recommendation or review? My concern is that the Jazzlab style looks like it still might touch/poke vertebrae.
Sorry to hijack then thread, but I think it's relevant to the post and of use to the Discussion Starter.
 

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Have people tried both a harness/backpack style holder...
helps me out. I have back trouble, and I use it for all my horns.
 
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I get thumb pain with my right thumb on my 10M. I feel I have to stretch too low for the thumb hook. I think it's not possible to move it without impinging on keys though.
 

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"
Vandoren Saxophone Support System Harness, Saxophone Gift Guide: Pro Winds
The universal saxophone harness The Vandoren universal harness makes even heavy instruments feel weightless, giving you the freedom to shine. That's because, with help from musicians and physiotherapists, it was designed with key features that help you feel better and play better. Features...
www.prowinds.com
helps me out. I have back trouble, and I use it for all my horns. "

Thanks! The featured one is well out of my price range, but I thought that might be the case, so it's the styles that I'm looking at, I need one asap, so it'll be a cheap version of the same thing initially. So disappointing to finally have a sax and not be able to play it. Today I'll try sitting, but I have my doubts, and doesn't help with learning correct posture.

Edit - I can't seem to insert a quote no matter which way I try. :/
 

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Have people tried both a harness/backpack style holder, and a Jazzlab Saxholder style holder, and be able to give a recommendation or review? My concern is that the Jazzlab style looks like it still might touch/poke vertebrae.
I haven't tried that particular system. I tried several harnesses but didn't like how close to my body the sax was positioned. The jazzlab holder doesn't poke or press on my vertebrae. It's aluminum and you bend it to fit your body and to where you want it to rest.
 

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I haven't tried that particular system. I tried several harnesses but didn't like how close to my body the sax was positioned. The jazzlab holder doesn't poke or press on my vertebrae. It's aluminum and you bend it to fit your body and to where you want it to rest.
Ah, I see, thanks for that insight, I didn't realise it could be adjusted that way. On some pictures it looks like it meets at the back of the neck, I was worried about it still touching vertebrae or poking in.
 

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We are all a bit different when it comes to posture, but all my problems actually disappeared when I stopped playing "cool" and just brought the sax at a higher position. Not like a Clarinet or even like some classical players, but definitely at the right position for me. Just like my picture now. I even do the same on soprano. The mouthpiece enters my mouth so the reed is placed related to my tongue position, the same way it does on tenor. I do use a neck strap , but I push it away from me. I don't lift it.
 
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I get thumb pain with my right thumb on my 10M. I feel I have to stretch too low for the thumb hook. I think it's not possible to move it without impinging on keys though.
I had the same issue which is why I just removed it altogether, and I don’t really miss it. Actually, when I try to grab the sax with my hand in arresting position and put my fingers on the keys my thumb wants to be on the back cup
 

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saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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One quick fix for this (and to test whether neck strap positioning was the problem) was to use a heavy-duty zip tie to attach a ring screw...
thank you. That is a very good method of positioning a strap ring. We did something similar years ago with Velcro. but I like your method better.
 

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Here's my cheap and not very wonderful solution for the uncomfortable thumb rest I have. It has no screw, so can't just be removed. Anyway, I have put a cushion you find in the packing from the top of a pack of CD-Roms around the sax hook. At least it provides a little variety and softness. Not ideal, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
I started having a similar problem a year or two ago with increased practice time. In addition to the pain I developed a lump on my knuckle. X-ray said it is a fluid sac which I sort of new because early on, sometimes I would squeeze it real hard and feel it squish. It grew and after a while I couldn’t fit my thumb in the thumb hole of my bowling ball.
After looking at things I figured out I was lifting up with my thumb and that probably wasn’t good. To stop I used the extreme solution of removing the thumb hook completely.
After 2 months there is still a small lump but I can bowl normal again. I was getting decent at the 2 finger technique though.
That's good news that things are getting back to normal. Having no thumb hook is the a great way of reminding yourself not to use one. I also bought both of the straps mentioned in this string (Saxholder and Just Joe) and they both work well also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Here's my cheap and not very wonderful solution for the uncomfortable thumb rest I have. It has no screw, so can't just be removed. Anyway, I have put a cushion you find in the packing from the top of a pack of CD-Roms around the sax hook. At least it provides a little variety and softness. Not ideal, however.
Great idea. Thanks for sending the pdf of the picture because it made it easier to imagine what you were referring to. I've made a jpg here of your original photo so it can be of use to others.

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 11.09.21 AM.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Some great ideas here. Here's a summary of some that I'm implemented.

[] Don't try lifting the saxophone, let the neck strap do the work
[] Move the neck hook so the sax hangs better (especially on old horns) or add an extra hook
[] Get a non-springy neck strap, like Saxholder or Just Joe
[] Use a spongy thumb cushion for the right-thumb hook
[] Remove the thumbhole to develop the habit of not relying on it

Thanks for the great insights. Here they are in action: Tossed the springy neckstrap, replaced it with a Saxholder and JustJoe neckstrap (JustJoe pictured here), bypassed the high neck strap ring by soldering a three-ring piece 19mm lower (the one in the photo is from SaxGourmet), and added a spongy thumb cushion.

Now if I could only sound better . . .

Photo on 3-2-21 at 8.11 PM.jpg
 

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This exists. I haven't used it and know nothing about it.
I ordered one, and I must not have measured well enough. I will need to make some modifications to use it on my Cannonball VR, probably will try drilling it in one spot to make room for it to nest around a screw that's in the way on my Eb key cup. I'm looking forward to seeing if it helps me out. I'll try to remember to post again after the modifications to tell of results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I ordered one, and I must not have measured well enough. I will need to make some modifications to use it on my Cannonball VR, probably will try drilling it in one spot to make room for it to nest around a screw that's in the way on my Eb key cup. I'm looking forward to seeing if it helps me out. I'll try to remember to post again after the modifications to tell of results.
I dropped mine down about 20mm and about 4 mm to the right (right up against a post). Sometimes I use the highest of the 3 rings and sometimes the middle one. Good luck.
 

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I ordered one, and I must not have measured well enough... I'll try to remember to post again after the modifications to tell of results.
All that needed to be done was expand the window for the screw to fit through so it could be pushed down a bit. Here it is, on my Cannonball VR
103212
 

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It might be worth trying the Jazzlab saxholder. For me, it feels like the sax is weightless and floating, freeing up tension in my hands and wrists, and making fingering faster.
What worries me with the Jazzlab saxholder is the flimsy looking cords that rests at near on 90 degrees out of the top of the eyelets. It just looks like it's under stress at those points, possibly causing a sudden unexpected break - is that why you get a spare cord with every purchase?
 
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