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Accessories Bari harness...for women...

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
I have a BG harness for my bari.
Whilst it accomodates my female attributes (if you get my drift...) it is quite uncomfortable on the shoulders where the neck joins the shoulders - after a while it starts to cut in. I have added some shoulder strap padding to help. BG harnesses are not exactly pretty to wear for a woman - you tend to look like a something out of a dubious movie!

I have recently purchased a RedStrap harness, which (their website suggests) alleviates the problem of the strap cutting in, as the weight is distributed further down the shoulders and across the scapulae. However.. this definitely does not accomodate my female attributes.

I am thinking of writing an information sheet (or maybe a blog - not that I've ever written one!) including photos to make the point about some of the female-specific problems, before I send the RedStrap back to where i purchsed it from (under the 14 day distance sales rules), it is definitely not "fit for purpose"

Would this be of any use (Pete?).
I'm guessing there are not too many female bari players, but I suspect some play tenor or even alto on a harness. I play my alto on a Cebulla neck strap, but at over 12lbs (2kgs) the bari is just too heavy for a neck strap for me.

Or can anyone suggest another harness to try?? (and include in my report??)
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Hi Mandy,

I use the Neotech Super Harness.
It has the 'lift and separate' effect of all harnesses :eek: but is very comfortable...... I have a spare one which I picked up as impulse buy in ebay, if you want to give it a try - will post!

Cheers,

Amanda
 

Luluna

Señora
Subscriber
Messages
693
I have been using a padded leather neckstrap, which I like for rehearsal, but is not comfortable when standing. That is a LOT of weight on your neck.

I am anxious to check out that Neotech Super Harness - it looks great!
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
The Neotech looks interesting - I wouldn't mind borrowing it for a try.

One of the reasons for trying the RedStrap is that I play in a number of bands, some standing and some sitting.
To go from one position to the other with the BG requires losening straps on the left and tightening on the right to play seated with the bari down my RHS, then re-adjusting to go back to standing, and it all sems to take rather a lot of adjustment to get back to comfortable in each position. Since the RedStrap has the hook running freely across the front, I thought it might be easier.
Maybe I just have to get 2 straps - one adjusted for standing and one adjusted for sitting.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Messages
21,947
Good luck Mandy. Looking forward to your investigation. Hope you find something suitable.

Might be worth contacting the Cebulla guy, maybe he's ready to branch out. There was an email address for him, probably in the 'Best Strap' thread.

Lets hope we don't get any salacious comments.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
The Neotech looks interesting - I wouldn't mind borrowing it for a try.
PM your address and I'll pop it in the post.

I only play bari whilst standing so haven't tried it when sitting. It'll be interesting to see how you get on.

Cheers,

Amanda
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
To go from one position to the other with the BG requires losening straps on the left and tightening on the right to play seated with the bari down my RHS,
Mandy,
You own the Royal Horticultural Society?

It's amazing what the ladies worry about in their pretty little heads.

Does this avoid the salacious comments you feared, Kev? Just make sure someone does not repeat Dot Parker's remark.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
OG...hmmm. >:)

I'm sending the RedStrap back.... I've taken some photos, but unless you get up close, it's not obvious what the problem is - a photo from a couple of metres away doesn't show the problem, and I'm not sure I'd want to publish such photos :w00t: but trust me, the RedStrap wasn't comfortable for me - and I'm a pretty normal shaped and sized woman :shocked:

I'd started with the adjustments recommended by them on their box, and then tried a host of adjustments - tighter and looser, but it definitly wasn't comfortable, so it's going back.

I'm hoping they'll refund as either: 1) unfit for purpose (It claimed to be unisex....show me the woman it would fit comfortably) or 2) distance sales rules that say you get 14 days to change your mind (I think).

I certainly wouldn't have bought it if I'd been able to try it in a shop. :crying:

I'd be surprised if there is a problem. So far, it's nothing the store has done wrong.

I might e-mail RedStrap directly and tell them I don't agree with their "unisex" description.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
OG...hmmm. >:)

I'm sending the RedStrap back.... I've taken some photos, but unless you get up close, it's not obvious what the problem is - a photo from a couple of metres away doesn't show the problem, and I'm not sure I'd want to publish such photos :w00t: but trust me, the RedStrap wasn't comfortable for me - and I'm a pretty normal shaped and sized woman :shocked:

I'd started with the adjustments recommended by them on their box, and then tried a host of adjustments - tighter and looser, but it definitly wasn't comfortable, so it's going back.

I'm hoping they'll refund as either: 1) unfit for purpose (It claimed to be unisex....show me the woman it would fit comfortably) or 2) distance sales rules that say you get 14 days to change your mind (I think).

I certainly wouldn't have bought it if I'd been able to try it in a shop. :crying:

I'd be surprised if there is a problem. So far, it's nothing the store has done wrong.

I might e-mail RedStrap directly and tell them I don't agree with their "unisex" description.

I wonder if my FreeNeck (or one of the more robust ones?) would be strong enough for a Bari? - it's fine with my tenor - worth asking Sax.co.uk? Not sure it would work sitting down though?.....
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
As an update....
While I was in London at the Paralympics, I took a trip out to sax.co.uk and tried the FreeNeck harness.
I went with the plan to look at a FreeNeck 3.1, but they had a FreeNeck 4.0 in stock, and they were really helpful, allowing me to fiddle and adjust it until I felt comfortable, and allowing me to borrow a Bari to carry around on it for a while to see if there were any problems.
They were also kind enough to fetch me a chair, as I needed to see if I could use the same adjustment for standing and sitting.

Anyway, I decided to buy it. Quite expensive, and still the risk that I wouldn't get on with it, but fortunately I can report that after a further 4 weeks of regular playing, including 2 3-hour rehearsal sessions, I am really pleased with my purchase.

I've adjusted it so that I can play both my Bari and tenor on it, but I couldn't make a suitable adjustment that worked for the alto too - for it to fit all 3 saxes, the spacer bar would need to be quite low on the tenor, meaning that the ends of the spacer bar were digging in a little. This wouldn't be a problem for a man, though.

All in all, I would happily recommend the harness, and the people at the shop, they were very patient.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
While I only play a weenie alto....i really like the Jazzlab Saxholder. If you get a chance to try one Mandy I would love to hear a womans thoughts on how well they work for women. I love mine. I only use my JustJoes if I am wearing a suit jacket when playing
 

What

Member
Messages
314
While I am asking for different reasons, I too am looking for a good harness. Years of carrying doors across my back that have a good 70 to 100 pounds on me have made me want to be carefull with my vertebra. So please let me know how the harness works out for you.
 

Zeus

Member
Messages
156
I would definitely recommend a neck free harness for women and kids as well, especially to those using heavier instruments.

Alone or a combination of muscle strain, ligament sprain, or spasm are the most common causes of mechanical neck pain, among others.
Thus after standing up right, sometimes for long practise or playing times, is a burden to the spine, that in the long run may have it's toll.
One reason i chose the alto over the tenor, was also, the weight of the saxophone, bearing hard on me, without a decent harness as well, it was an ordeal to practice. Having as well neck muscle tendency for injuries, when i purchased the H type harness i saw it was indeed a wise purchase, but rather complex when you put it on heh:).
I don't feel the need to use it for the alto, but if i want to practise more than an hour from a tenor and above, i would surely use one, and the better link to check first is
http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-straps.html to before you decide.
All the advice before is well said, and the Unisex looks very good, so does the saxholder too, i am also thinking of getting one too.
Cheers
Ted
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
With my BG harness, it tended to cut in on my shoulder/ neck. I put extra cushions onto the harness, which helped, but it would still be uncomfortable after a 3 hour rehearsal, even if I put the sax down at the end of every piece.
I have been lucky enough never to experience back ache (from anything in life) but whilst the BG harness was good for half an hour or so, extended playing became uncomfortable.

I describe my FreeNeck as my "second spine". Once set up, the weight is borne on your hips and not on your neck at all, there are 2 metal rods running from your hips to your neck, and the neck strap is wrapped around a small metal plate at the centre back, such that the neck strap doesn't actually sit on the neck at all. The two rods do rest on my back, either side of my spine, between my shoulder blades. Although the sensation was a little odd to start with, it doesn't hurt in any way. I have worn it over a thin shirt, or a thick fleece, there doesn't seem to be any adverse effects.

And I can easily go from standing to sitting, which was the original reason for looking for a suitable alternative.

One observation, if I were looking for negatives, is that once set up, it's rather long and doesn't fold, so it doesn't fit inside my Bari case. My tenor case has a long, shallow pocket on the outside, which it does fit in. It just means I have to carry it in a separate bag, but since I usually end up taking a bag for my music, they it just goes in there too. The positives about comfort and length of wearing far outweigh this negative, though.
 
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