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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000407.txt from 2001/04

From: "Carol Swann" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Right Hand Thumb Position
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 13:57:50 -0400

Try using a next strap...perhaps moving the thumb rest up so that it matches
the 1st finger of the right hand...Charles Bay($$$$$$) has a thumb rest that
cradles the thumb and it is also adjustable...I've seen players using a
wrist stabilizer, i.e.carpotunnel patients use... try a visit to a
performance/ergonomics expert/clinic. Northwestern Hospital has a great one
in Chicago...Only ideas, I'm not an expert...Do not give up or be

Musically yours,

>Subject: [kl] Right Hand Thumb Position
>Date: Tue, Apr 17, 2001, 12:55 AM

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Robyn
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