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 Instrument supports
Author: Cosmicjello 
Date:   2006-08-14 13:00

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the following products:

http://www.panclarinet.com.au/index.htm

http://www.quodlibet.com/FhredGen.htm.

Personally, I use my good ol' thumb but it's nice to know what's available besides the standard neckstrap.

(edited to make the links actual links)



Post Edited (2006-08-14 13:03)

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 13:09

A clarinet player recovering from a fractured right shoulder and humerus is using a Quodlibet FHRED after I recommended one, and she's doing well - better posture and more importantly, there's very little pressure on her right arm. She was using a sling before, but this lead to bad posture and still she needed to support the clarinet.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: BelgianClarinet 
Date:   2006-08-14 16:54

Sofar I only saw people using a neck strap, but somehow I don't get it. Why should a neck strap releave some of the pressure.

My intuition 'tells' me that most of the pressure is still on the thumb (with strap only) ?

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 17:05

Belgian,

IMHO, your intuition may be in error. I am not an engineer but have had a semester or two of physics when I was a young pup. It would seem that the total downward force on the thumb can be resolved into vertical and horizontal components. The neck strap would relieve a good bit of that total force

But I will yield to better math folks.

HRL

PS The Schmidt Clarinet Positioner was developed by the clarinet professor at Florida State about 40 years ago. It was much more elegant design in comparision to the Pan.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 17:06

You're right (BelgianClarinet) - even with a sling the right thumb still needs to support the clarinet, using a sling only makes the clarinet point downwards leading to bad posture.

You don't need maths to see it's not ideal, practice proves it's not ideal.

Chris.

Post Edited (2006-08-14 17:08)

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 17:34

Chris P wrote:

> You're right (BelgianClarinet) - even with a sling the right
> thumb still needs to support the clarinet, using a sling only
> makes the clarinet point downwards leading to bad posture.
>
> You don't need maths to see it's not ideal, practice proves
> it's not ideal.

I'm sorry, that's not correct. A vector diagram is trivial - including both the support point for the sling on the clarinet, the moments, and the differentials. The angle of the neckstrap will revieve a considerable amount of force in the vertical dimension and a will add a small amount in the horizontal force (towards the body), along with adding possibly a small moment (torque) depending on the center of gravity of the clarinet and the attachment position of the strap.

As to why the clarinet is supported (badly) by the thumb - I've played period clarinets with up to 4 keys, made of boxwood, with only a nail as a thumb support and have been perfectly comfortable - but they're incredibly lightweight. The modern systems, with all their keys and the requisite dense wood to support all that mechanism, are much heavier and the thumb is not engineered to support that much weight. Thus the systems (including neckstraps) to alleviate the excess weight.

Let's see - Ricardo Morales uses a neckstrap, as do many other fine players. If their "bad posture" is the source of their magic, give me that 'bad posture'. If it helps Bob Spring to wade through all that technique, give me two. If it doesn't help you ... that's fine too.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 17:43

Hi MarkC.

I'm not sure what you mean by "A vector diagram is trivial." Is trivial the correct word here?

HRL

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 17:48

Well, slings don't work for me (and don't work for other players that I've seen using them) - on clarinet or soprano sax. If they both had curved crooks (which neither of mine have as my soprano is one-piece) then slings would be more viable. But they don't, so I don't use slings for that reason.

But for seated players the FHRED will help the player achieve better posture (and much better than a sling will) with little strain on the right arm and shoulder.

Depends on what you believe good playing posture to be. That could be with the bell pointing straight down or at 45° in front of you, or anywhere between. I personally prefer the 45° angle which makes slings impractical for me.

Throw all your mathematics and theories at me as hard as you like, I'll just dodge them all. If I wanted a maths lesson I'd go to school.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 17:54

Hank Lehrer wrote:

> Hi MarkC.
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by "A vector diagram is trivial." Is
> trivial the correct word here?

Perhaps "'This' vector diagram is trivial" would be a better way to say it :) To a first approximation, the requisite vectors are essentially confined to one plane with one degree of freedom (radial) for motion and one (by definition radial) for torque around the connection point.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 17:57

All very well saying that, but I need to see a working model to believe it works.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 18:15

MarckC,

Thanks for the clarification. Man, I love this stuff. I might have said "this vector analysis is child's play" meaning very straight-forward and quite elementary.

ChrisP,

The "working model" that you seek is taught in any first physics class (even I could probably draw a rough sketch) when you deal with forces (as far as I know, f = ma is still valid). The vectors can also be resolved by the parallelogram method.

HRL



Post Edited (2006-08-14 18:25)

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 18:26

Chris P,

If you don't believe the neckstrap relieves some of the thumb pressure, then try this experiment (no vector analysis necessary):

Using a neckstrap, stick the mouthpiece in your mouth, and take your right hand away from the clarinet. The clarinet is still in your mouth, supported by your embouchure and the neckstrap, yes? No thumb pressure at all, because no thumb.

Now do the same without the neckstrap. Clarinet falls to the ground.

Q.E.D.

p.s. I used to be a mechanical engineer before I got stupid and went into management.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 18:28

Chris P wrote:

> Throw all your mathematics and theories at me as hard as you
> like, I'll just dodge them all. If I wanted a maths lesson I'd
> go to school.

Actually the vector analysis required here takes a ruler and protractor to formulate an answer ... going to school just tells you how to apply these simple instruments.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 18:32

Trigonometry? Vectors? Parallelogram method? My brain hurts! But I did know how to use a slide rule.

I've only heard of the rhythm method (well, I did go to a Roman Catholic school), but that's not reliable!

I did GCSE physics, but was graded X, and both times I did maths I got an E, same with English lit. And a G for Religious studies.

But I did get a B for Biology, C for Technical communication, English language (especially 4-letter words) and Music - as well as grade C for A-level Music. But the lack of decent grades in both Maths and English lit. kinda put a stop on going to music college.

So you see, mechanical reasoning is my forte.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-14 18:46

Hank Lehrer wrote:


> The vectors can also be resolved by the parallelogram method.

Or just head to tail, connect the resultant with a line, and measure it w/ a ruler (if we toss out radial measurements, and looking at the difference in angles, it'd be "good enough").

A badly adjusted neck strap could be a real problem, though ...

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: seafaris 
Date:   2006-08-14 18:58

I would think the correct way to say it would be the neckstrap just doesn't work for me, not just generalize. That always seems to get us into trouble here. :-)

I have used a neckstrap, and once I got it set up properly it helped a lot. I just thought that it got in the way, and you can't put the clarinet on your lap easily for a short rest when possible. I changed to the Kooiman thumbrest and that works better for me.


.....Jim

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 19:17

The problem I encounter with slings is that they're usually anchored to the thumbrest, causing the mouthpiece to tip away and the bell to drop, and most people that use them don't have them adjusted as well as they could, though there's only so much that can be done considering how and where they're attached to the clarinet.

If the attachment was fitted below the thumbrest (at a better point of balance) then it would get in the way of the right thumb, or the right thumb would get in the way, depending on your viewpoint.

Now it's totally impractical, but the best way is to suspend the clarinet from above - but that would involve either a hook in the ceiling with a rope-and-pulley type arrangement, or wearing a head brace or a chair back attachment with a crane-style arm from which the clarinet is suspended from, but then the sling would have to be attached on top of the clarinet, and probably at the same point as one of the RH fingerholes.

But I have tried the FHRED and found it much better in terms of both suppore and posture, and better for anyone recovering from a fractured arm, anyone with osteoporosis or any other condition where they'd find the weight and strain of simply holding a clarinet a challenge.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Wayne 
Date:   2006-08-15 02:03

Interesting thread. I recall a Pat Metheny concert where his guitar was attached to what looked like a mic stand. At the base was some kind of weight that really held the instrument firmly - he was able to press into the guitar quite firmly when he played. He's an extroardinary player and having his instrument so firmly " planted " really brought out his best.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Pathik 
Date:   2006-08-16 10:01

Whether or not it's possible to provide "scientific evidence" that a sling would take pressure and weight off the right thumb is a moot point. Practical experience is the only thing that will make a difference in matters like these, so I'll share my own experiences concerning this.

Last year I developed quite serious pains in my thumb/hand/arm and decided to try a sling. It may work for some people, but it certainly didn't for me. It did take a little bit of the weight off, but only if I held the clarinet in a very awkward position, pointing almost straight down, which was uncomfortable and felt rather unnatural. I also got the feeling of having the mouthpiece forced up into my mouth which was not a good feeling at all.

Next thing I tried was the Tom Kooiman Etude thumb rest. I can understand why some people find this helpful as it does distribute the weight more evenly across the thumb. However, it was no good for me, as it doesn't actually take any weight off the right arm and I also found that the clarinet tended to "wobble" a bit, as if it was about to fall over to one side.

Then somebody on this BB, I think it might have been Chris P, suggested trying the FHRED peg, which I did, and that proved to be the solution for me, because it carries nearly the entire weight of the instrument. After I started using this I have experienced no more pain in my right thumb/hand/arm, so I strongly recommend anyone with such problems to consider trying this wonderful little gadget.

It does require a thumb rest with a ring screw to clip onto though, so I had to have a special screw with ring on it made to fit my A clarinet. I have recently bought a new Leblanc Concerto II B flat clarinet, a wonderful instrument in all respects, and I am having a ring soldered onto the thumb rest screw so that I can use the FHRED peg with my super new clarinet. Once it's fitted though, that's it, so even if you have a clarinet with a standard thumb rest, it can be adjusted to fit the FHRED.

Best wishes,
Pathik

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2006-08-17 06:27

Hank Lehrer wrote:

>> It would seem that the total downward force on the thumb can be resolved into vertical and horizontal components.>>

I find it helpful to think rather of resolving PARALLEL TO and PERPENDICULAR TO the clarinet body. Then, the weight of the clarinet has two components, parallel to and perpendicular to the clarinet body: the presence of the sling means that you can reduce the one parallel to the clarinet body to zero, leaving a RH thumb push perpendicular to the clarinet to maintain equilibrium. Such a push is no strain for the thumb.

I once got into trouble practising a demanding piece (Henze's 'Miracle of the Rose') and found that a loop of knicker elastic round my neck and wrapped round the thumbrest helped me over the several intensive hours I needed to put in. You can choose the length so as to minimise any force at the embouchure when the instrument is in optimum playing position, and the elasticity of the support allows for minimal movement around that position.

The only slightly tricky bit is that the LH thumb can wind up rather close to the elastic.

Don't pull the instrument a long way down and then let go:-)

Tony

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-17 10:52

"Don't pull the instrument a long way down and then let go:-)"

Especially if it's a cor anglais - they can do some serious damage. I have an elastic sling I sometimes use if I'm playing cor for long periods, and I'm sure it'll do plenty of damage (to brass players) if stretched and let go. But I'm not going to sacrifice a cor anglais for the sake of putting an end to an egotistical trumpet player's career.

"The only slightly tricky bit is that the LH thumb can wind up rather close to the elastic."

This is also why I don't get on with slings on clarinet or soprano sax.

Chris.

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: BobD 
Date:   2006-08-17 14:30

I've tried a couple of different slings on Bb s and my experiences were similar to Pathiks. So...expert T&AM guys.. why do they work -are practically a necessity- on saxophones?

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Instrument supports
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2006-08-19 02:01

Draz,

It goes back to the center of gravity (mass) issue. I know you are aware of this but there may be some readers that do not have a physics/mechanics background. With a bass sax, I have been able to play it best with the instrument sitting on an oboe case (no strap and the center of mass goes straight down though the instrument).

On an alto or tenor sax, we are back to the issue that Mark C. pointed out very clearly above. A neck strap is needed as there is rotation about a point (the hook ring) with vector resolution as the answer. To demontstrate this, take a sax, hang it on the neck strap, and note that the instrument is most probabaly not parallel with the ground but is rather "bottom-heavy." IMHO this phenomena is intentional to balance forces that will occur when the instrument is in the playing position with mouthpiece contacting the embouchure and the thumb in place.

I'm sure there are several people that have just gone to sleep ZZZZzzzzzz

Here is a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_mass

HRL



Post Edited (2006-08-20 12:37)

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