The students of Eugene Rousseau present...
The Music of Don Freund
Sky Scrapings - David Kahn
ON AGAIN, off again - Benjamin Cold
Sunscapes - CJ Longabaugh
Louder Than Words - Jeffery Kyle Hutchins and Alexander Richards
Assisted by Jerrod Wendland, piano
November 18, 2013 7:30PM
University of Minnesota
Several months ago, I purchased a Saxholder from Jazzlab. I have been using this product quite a bit, both in my practice and performance during that time, and have found it to be a great alternative to a neckstrap or harness. I have been using a harness for several years now, as I am not a fan of neckstraps in general because of the weight and tension they put on the neck. The saxholder does an excellent job of keeping weight and tension away from the neck and upper back area by displacing the weight between the shoulders and the stomach. It is surprisingly comfortable to use and is fantastic for anyone experiencing pain from practicing or performing regularly. For me, it is a great alternative for the harness when I need to make quick instrument changes. While it is not difficult to adjust the straps to switch from alto to tenor to baritone usually, it is quite a labor to do in the middle of a performance and is often impossible depending on how quick the change may be; if I am wearing a jacket then it is out of the question. The saxholder adjusts in the front with the ease and quickness of a neckstrap while keeping me pain free and comfortable while I play. The hook is also another surprise for me as I did not expect it to be that secure from the photo. I prefer a hook with a closure on it, and while the hook on the saxholder is open, there is a device to keep the instrument securely fastened.
The main disadvantage for me in using this device is that I do not always perform standing. When holding a heavy instrument to the side while seated puts too much weight on one shoulder causing the center bar and brace that goes against the stomach to be uneven. It feels too unstable for my taste to use in that situation. Additionally, because of how the rope that attaches to the saxophone is suspended from the center of the chest instead of from around the neck, it causes the saxophone to have a weird center of gravity. It is not necessarily bad, but did take a little time for me to get used to the feel (and to figure out which way the saxophone was going to swing if I leaned over). Finally, although the device folds up and comes with a nice felt bag to store it in, there is no getting over the fact that it is a larger and harder to store than a regular neckstrap. It is designed to fit inside the saxophone bell, but if storing it in that manner is not an option or not desirable, it takes up a significant amount of space to store because of its irregular shape.
This holder has recently been living inside of my tenor case and is currently my regular device when I use that instrument. I would highly recommend it, but for me it is not for every situation and instrument.
If you are in Twin Cities, don't miss out on the great lineup at the Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret at Studio Z in St. Paul! On Friday night 11/8 at 7:30PM, RenegadeEnsemble will be performing a fun program featuring works from our Fall concert, Poppies in October. Works by Randy Bauer, Roshanne Etezady, Ned Rorem, and Miriama Young! Full for the full schedule of the cabaret, go here.
Saxophonist, Artist, Listener, Thinker, Teacher, Performer, Curator, Veggie, Reader, Lover of Contemporary Music