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Saxophones How to play tenor without getting back probs

Jazzgirl

New Member
Messages
8
Hi there,
I am a tenor sax player and there isn't very much of me. Alas i am finding that it is taking its toll on my back which is a bit iffy. Can anyone recommend me a sling/harness that is good for ladies but will also help take the pressure off my poor neck? Thanks!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,666
Hi Jazzgirl, welcome to the Cafe from just around the corner. Have a look at this thread I've just bought one of these straps for my bari and it's great. I've still got the freedom of movement that I need for my style of playing but it gives me the comfort that I need with a heavy horn. I too suffer with back problems. Have a look at it, but I'm sure others will be along soon to give you their views too.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,923
I'm using shoulder strap or harness. BG has a harness for women and the model is called S41. I also think Neotech has a model for women. I guess all windstores carry them. I've not seen a female using a shoulder strap. I like move around while I'm playiig so I prefer a harness or shoulder strap to an ordinary strap. I think the neck should be "free"!!!!

Thomas
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
344
I used to have back problems with the tenor and tried several different harnesses to get the weight off my neck but was never happy with the position of the horn. The mouthpiece always seemed to want to move away from my mouth!

What got me over this problem in the end was going to a gym and doing specific exercises to strengthen my back, and in particular the machine which you sit on and press your back against a weight conrolled pad. I haven't been to the gym for several years now but the problem never recurred.

Pete
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,302
Hi there,
I am a tenor sax player and there isn't very much of me. Alas i am finding that it is taking its toll on my back which is a bit iffy. Can anyone recommend me a sling/harness that is good for ladies but will also help take the pressure off my poor neck? Thanks!

My teacher is Karen Sharp and she's knee-high to a grasshopper - plays tenor and bari professionally to a very high standard. Visit her site and drop her an email, sure she wouldn't mind giving her views.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
785
I too suffered when i started playing and posted a thread about this. I would suggest as Pete says, doing some specific back and neck exercises and also change your strap. I had a harness which i still use sometimes as my Mauriat weighs a ton but have been using the cebulla strap of which there are numerous threads here. It seems to direct the weight away from the body, very clever and extremely comfortable. Have been using mine now about three months. You can contact Johann directly, very prompt service. Let us know how you get on. Phil
 

Mikec

Member
Messages
196
I've been using the male BG harness for several years now, it sorted out my back problems completely.
 

Saxodent

Member
Messages
201
Hi Jazzgirl
I remember seeing a foot/spike thing with a rubber end for tenors that attached to the bell and was adjustable like a cello or bassoon. It might look a bit odd if you were standing but sitting down, it takes all the weight through the floor. Ideal for concert band and allows your fingers very free movement without shoulder or arm strain.
Otherwise for practicing try a table and some books it allows a very stable embouchure and your will fingers really fly!!
 

singlereed

Member
Messages
124
Also, it isn't just how you hang it round your neck, it also (perhaps more) depends on how you sit or stand. A lot of tenor players sit as if they are getting blown by the wind - I once spent a couple of days rehearsing in a huge concert band jointly with the Royal Artillery Band and had terrible back ache afterwards. We had a photo taken of the whole band and the 6 or so tenors must all have been leaning 20 degrees off vertical! The saxophone is designed to fit around you, so experiment with the crook position, mouthpiece placement etc and try playing it in front of you rather than to the side, ensuring your shoulders and head are level. Try it in front of a large mirror and make it second nature to think about it before you play. I play a lot of baritone sitting down and have it on an Adams stand and just have it so I can pull my chair up and make sure I am comfortable. The principles apply to all the saxophones and similar problems arise playing standing up.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I use a BG harness for tenor and a Gemini harness for baritone. Both seem to work well for me. I do a two-hour session first thing in the morning every day without adverse effects.
 
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