How would the left-hand pinky table on a Zephyr tenor of SN 240 xxx to 310 xxx compare with a modern Selmer-like horn for ease of play? I ask because I am somewhat arthritic but would sure love a Zephyr.
You will find the Zephyr/Super20 requires a LOT more gorilla grip strength than the Selmer.
I have adjusted mine by reducing the friction via the addition of Teflon in the strategic places, but you will still need to build up quite a bit of strength in this area.
This is one of the only weak points in an otherwise excellent horn. It can be overcome, but won't cut you too many breaks compared to the slicker Selmer style left hand pinkie table, especially since you are arthritic.
I have a ~280xxx Zephyr alto, so I can't speak to the tenor, but the pinky table is pretty old-school. It takes a strong pinky to use it right. One good option to consider, though, is to cut off the little metal tab that connects the b, c#, and Bb keys to the g# key. Once you do that they all depress much much easier, but then you lose the ability to play a g# with one of the other table keys, which is useful when you're playing in certain keys.
If you practice for 10 minutes a day you can train yourself to master a somewhat difficult table. Don't let your physical limitations act as an excuse
if you want a Zeph go get one and start playing it.
I once had a 394xxx Zephyr tenor on which the left-hand table keys (including the low c#) all actuated the G# when pressed. I've seen a 269xxx tenor that had no articulation tabs at all (military-issue horn, could that have been why?).
Low C# was a bit stiff on that late Zephyr tenor. The low B/Bb keytouches offer more leverage, though, and are not resistant enough to fuss about.
My 356*** Zephyr alto is quite tough in that area. It takes a ton of force. Mind you, I haven't done anything to try to decrease the resistance, but it has a very high natural resistance that I should probably deal with at some point.
I used to play a Zephyr with the gorilla C#. I did then and still do warm up with a GRIPMASTER. I gave up my Zephyr because I found that offset stacks were much less aggravation of my shoulder and elbow problems, not because of the LH table.
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