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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000768.txt from 1997/09

From: GTGallant@-----.com
Subj: Re: Subject: Thumbrests & neck straps
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 03:02:28 -0400

Mr. Charette -

I used to have the same thumb problem about two years ago. When I practiced,
and for hours later, my right hand would get numb and I'd have shooting pains
up my forearm. I thought it was an early sign of carpal tunnel syndrome or
tendonitis and I paniced - those afflictions could potentially ruin your
career. The first thing I did in attempt to get rid of the pain was change
my practicing habbits. I used to practice two to two and a half hours in a
row, and by the end of that "first" session, my hand and arm would tingle and
sometimes "freeze" up. I broke the practice time up into one-hour intervals
and I also got rid of the standard thumbrest and changed the positioning
(higher than normal).

To show how un-ergonomic a standard thumbrest design/positioning is, do this
simple test. Relax your arms and hang them loosely by your side, do not
think about hand position,. Now look dow at your right hand. Where is your
thumb in relation to the other fingers when it is at rest? Exactly, that's
about where the thumbrest should be placed on the clarinet. Two pounds is a
lot of weight to support on one thumb so make an investment in a new rest.
The small metal thumbrest digs into your flesh and I believe, causes a third
of the problem. I designed my own thumbrest and built it out of grenadilla
(a-la-Rossi). It is sculptured to fit my thumb and provides enough support
and comfort to not need a strap. I haven't had a hand problem since. If you
are interested in this rest, give me an e-mail and I'll give you more info.

   
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