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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000769.txt from 1998/03

From: "Diane Karius, Ph.D." <>
Subj: NeckStraps & a related question
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 11:43:17 -0500

Roger wrote:
> I've a suspicion that using a strap could be a substitute for developing a
> good R. H. position.

Its also possible to develop bad R.H. position because the
joints/muscles of the right hand/arm are unable to deal with the
weight effectively. The human wrist (and ankle) can vary
tremendously from one person to another (from subtle changes in the
shapes of the bones to variations in the number of bones present -
any of which changes the way the tendons attach, changing the
mechanics of the entire system etc...). Because of this, the
decision to use a strap or not is one decision that everyone will
have to arrive at for themselves (hopefully with a teacher who can
help them maintain/develop proper positioning regardless).

Just a question out of curiousity - how many people currently using
neckstraps while playing the soprano clarinets (or teachers who
advise their students to use a neckstrap) tried/ advised the use of
adjustable thumb rests before making the move to the neckstrap?

Why I'm curious: One thing that has become apparent from the
research on repetitive use injuries (which most people using
neckstraps have described here) is that the hand/arm was often being
held in an inappropriate position for literally years before the
development of the injury. On the clarinet, an obvious contender
for forcing the wrist/thumb/hand into the wrong position would be the
physical relationship between the thumb rest and the position the
fingers have to be in to cover the tone holes. There is enough
variation in the shape of the hand and mobility of the wrist that I
find it hard to believe that the standard positioning of the thumb
rest will work for everyone (if it did there would be no market for
the adjustable thumb rests!).
Diane R. Karius, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
University of Health Sciences
2105 Independence Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64124
email: dikarius@-----.EDU

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