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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000377.txt from 2001/04

From: Sharon Collett <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Right Hand Thumb Position
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 02:05:41 -0400

I have had a student in the past that has the same problem - it never
affected her wrists in any way. I would suggest that the wrist soreness is
coming from the hours of long playing - which happens to me! I also get sore
in my inner elbow - I think this is RSI (repetative strain injury) my
teachers in the past have suggested a neck strap - I always find this
hinders my playing.

-----Original Message-----
Subject: [kl] Right Hand Thumb Position

Dear List,

I was talking to a friend of mine at orchestra practice tonight and she
brought up an interesting issue. First, however, I should give some
background. . .

I have double jointed thumbs, so that when I hold them out stiffly they bend

backward at an almost 90 degree angle. When I hold my clarinet, my right
thumb bends backward at the first knuckle, which causes my second knuckle
(closest to my palm) to jut out sharply. I have been playing for about 8
years now, and in the last year I have had some wrist soreness when I play
for more than a few hours at a time (such as at an all-day honor band
rehearsal). This problem is remedied with an Ace bandage or a neck strap.

Here is my question. My friend was telling me that her fifth grade student
uses the same thumb position and is already having wrist problems. Does
anyone have experience with this? Am I doing serious damage to my hands by
continuing to play this way? I have tried to curve my thumb the other way,
but this is very uncomfortable because my arm and fingers get very tense and

locked up. Is there another solution?

I would appreciate anyone's help and ideas. I am looking at playing
professionally, and I can't afford to damage my wrists.



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