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Beginner Neck pain

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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France
I’m also scared of scratching my sax on the chair if the chair is not cushioned. Home chair is, concert band practice is not.
For scratches, I used to always carry a couple of accessories with me: A cloth to cover my belt buckle and a towel to sit on letting it hanging where the sax made contact with the chair to avoid scratching the horn.

Then, you can also consider what I was suggested by a member here: Tesa tape that's felt you can easily add and remove where required. Sorry it's the French version of it, but I'm struggling to search outside of France from my phone! :oops:
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
I think it is a combination of both. I had to rest it for a couple of days for it to get better.

I’ve tried my saxholder pro (which arrived so quickly) and am still getting used to it. Boy, they do make everything for taller people! I had to adjust the string part to the shortest possible level. Thank goodness it was just short enough for me. I’m a pretty average height female so wasn’t expecting that. And they say it’s good for kids too? I hope the string length can be further adjusted; otherwise I’m not sure how shorter kids can use it.

Anyway, I tried all the positions that were suggested by previous posters.

I tried playing standing up with sax in front. This resolved most issues. No pain. Best position for home practice but not for concert band. Best position for the saxholder pro.

I tried sitting down, playing the sax in front, with legs open. I think this is the 2nd most comfortable. I could rest my sax a tiny bit on/against my chair but not all the way because it would then be too high to fit the mpc in my mouth. This is also rather awkward too, as the sax is resting against both legs and is kind of muffled. I’m also scared of scratching my sax on the chair if the chair is not cushioned. Home chair is, concert band practice is not.

I think I won’t play to the side anymore because (1) the saxholder feels really awkward to the side; and (2) I do think the constant twisting of the neck is not good for me. I actually had similar pain happen when I had 2 computer monitors where I was constantly turning my head to the left or right. My neck didn’t like that so I had to go back to only 1 monitor straight in front.

One thing I noticed about playing in front is that the right arm needs to exert some pressure to push the sax away from me. In fact, I woke up with my right arm muscle aching like it had a good workout. Now I wonder if this is normal or not.

How about a tenor? Are tenors played in front or to the side? If to the side, do people also experience the aching neck (to one side) also? Just curious should I pick up the tenor in the future.

I played sax as a kid and did not notice any of these things!!! Is it age? Lol.
I'm sure mine came with two - a long and a short one... but my memory might be failing me...
 
OP
C
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92
Locality
Greater Toronto Area (Canada)
For scratches, I used to always carry a couple of accessories with me: A cloth to cover my belt buckle and a towel to sit on letting it hanging where the sax made contact with the chair to avoid scratching the horn.

Then, you can also consider what I was suggested by a member here: Tesa tape that's felt you can easily add and remove where required. Sorry it's the French version of it, but I'm struggling to search outside of France from my phone! :oops:
Good idea about the cloth! I will certainly need to bring one when concert band practice begins again.

I'm sure mine came with two - a long and a short one... but my memory might be failing me...
Yes, they provide you with two but I'm already using the shorter one adjusted to the shortest length available. I suspect that should I need even shorter, that I can disassemble and cut the cord, but I haven't tried that yet because the shortest length possible is just fine at the moment.

Erm...

There's no easy way to say it...
You don't need to say it...I'm pretty sure it's true. :(

… wot they said, plus lie on the floor (without the sax) for 5 or 10 minutes before and after practicing, to stretch and straighten yourself out. Check yourself in a full-length mirror when playing to see what wierderies are going on.

Saxholder pad moves to the right when playing seated (thank you @Targa ) and yes, I’m short and use the one for Alto on my tenor (but hardly ever play seated unless no option)
Do you mean the stomach portion? Move it to the right?

I've practiced with the saxholder, sitting in a chair, playing the sax in the front a couple more times now and am getting used to this position. No pain. I think I will stick to doing it this way from now on unless/until pain happens again. Thanks guys!

Oh, I've also registered my interest in The Sax Seat. (The Sax Seat – A chair designed specifically for saxophonists.) I think it will be very helpful for those of us who suffer from pain due to aging or otherwise.
 
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Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
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2,651
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Victoria BC Canada
@ChampagneBears, I have played on the right side all my life. I am 70 and have no ill effects from doing so.

Alto and gigging I use a strap that has a gap where the spine is, practicing Saxholder.
 

Vetinari

Senior Member
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East Manchester
That sax seat looks fine but it will be a pain to get in and out of the car to use other than at home. I have a drummers stool (no funny comments please) which is smaller than that one and it only makes loading and un-loading harder. The other possibility is that using the saxseat may promote a posture not suitable for playing on stage with the seat provided or when standing.
 
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Messages
5,899
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
That sax seat looks fine but it will be a pain to get in and out of the car to use other than at home. I have a drummers stool (no funny comments please) which is smaller than that one and it only makes loading and un-loading harder. The other possibility is that using the saxseat may promote a posture not suitable for playing on stage with the seat provided or when standing.
Cello playing is a real pain when it comes to choice of seat. Both seat height and angle are critical both for tuning (if your hand angle changes, so does tuning...) and pain - particularly cutting off blood supply in leg. One orchestra I used to be in rehearsed in a primary school. The school chairs were slightly lower than average by about 2 inches. They were unusable. I bought a drummer's stool for exactly that. - height was spot on and seat comfortable, but lack of a back wasn't ideal (playing cello like sax you don't sit back to play).
 
OP
C
Messages
92
Locality
Greater Toronto Area (Canada)
That sax seat looks fine but it will be a pain to get in and out of the car to use other than at home. I have a drummers stool (no funny comments please) which is smaller than that one and it only makes loading and un-loading harder. The other possibility is that using the saxseat may promote a posture not suitable for playing on stage with the seat provided or when standing.
I agree that it will be a pain in the behind bringing that thing to and from band practice. But on the other hand, I’ve seen our drummer lug her whole drum kit and stool back and forth to every band practice so it’s definitely doable. I probably won’t bring it to band practice though; will probably just use it for home practice, to take the strain off for my at-home practice time. I’ll just need to adapt to the other scenarios.

I just hope it’s not too expensive when the Kickstarter campaign starts. If you’ve got pain, anything that looks like it might help is worth a try. At least that’s my honest opinion.

@ChampagneBears, I have played on the right side all my life. I am 70 and have no ill effects from doing so.

Alto and gigging I use a strap that has a gap where the spine is, practicing Saxholder.
You are a lucky man and definitely doing something right! I got unlucky in the gene pool and many things require just a little extra adjustments for me. :(
 
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