Hi there, yes I had something similar with my left thumb when I started playing. They call it trigger finger (when the tendon gets inflamed and ceases to be able to pass through the joint properly and gets stuck (litereally stuck, like you have to pull your thumb to release the tendon - quite uncomfortable and very disconcerting) - It got really bad with me - as I work as a chef, so everytime I wanted to peel an onion or do something at all strenuous that required the use of both hands my thumb would seize up and I'd have to stop and pull it out of the joint to click it back - I went to see the doctor who told me I was allergic to wheat (!?$%) ended up seeing a specialist who told me to go away and see if it got better! I also did a few acupuncture sessions (which didnt seem to make any noticable difference so I stopped) eventually it cleared up by itself and I havent had a problem since. Bottom line is (IMHO) you may have to stop practising (try doing something really dilligent like practising on the piano r guitar) for while (I know its addictive, and while you're doing it you might even forget that your thumb is being 'semi-abused', cos you're so into what you're doing and you probabaly don't feel it when you're 'on the vibe') do you find that it is worse when you wake in the morning or when the joints are cold? No sax players seemed to have heard of anything similar when I asked by the way! I noticed that the joint at the base of the thumb got inflamed (and still is today 'lumpier' than the right thumb joint so I guess its some kind of build up of calcium or something that never goes away.Anyone else have this problem? Am getting painful joints in the base of my thumbs - but only from playing the sax. If I stop for a week or two it goes away, but a couple of practices and it's back again.
I assume that that would vary from person to person. My BH hangs at an angle of 45 degrees across my body when not holding it, and it swings easily into place with the mouthpiece perfectly aligned with very little pressure. My TJ hung almost vertically, and occasionally caught me in the eye if I wasn't careful.As for the strap ring position, any guides as to where it should be? Compared to say balance point, keys, angle at which the sax hangs from the strap? I'm a little loathe to have it moved (but will if necessary), the sax is an uncommon one, I'm guessing 60s manufacture, but in excellent condition, silver plated and I don't want to mess it up. The strap ring isn't directly attached to the body, but is on a small boss on the body.
That's the excellent thread I meant.maybe have a look at this
Moving neck strap rings, or, "why does my vintage sax hit me in the teeth?"
my left thumb is still in bad position, so i will move the rest.. and probably move the right thumb up a bit too
but moving the ring position down took a huge amount of strain off left thumb.. and probably saved my teeth!
can you measure the position of the ring and thumbrests, relative to the length of the horn?? (from bow to tenon)