Different take on a Hand Brace

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Carter1016
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Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:58 pm

Hi everyone, I'm looking for some recommendations on a new kind of hand brace. I've tried all of the prominent brands right now, bullet, protec, get a grip, ergobone, earth hand support, etc. but I still have some pretty bad cramping going on. I have a double valve bass so it gets heavy. I'm a freshman in college, so I've been talking to my professor about some ideas but we haven't thought of one yet. I'm hoping to go to a hand specialist soon because I really shouldn't have cramping as bad as I do at my age. Nonetheless, I'm just searching for some ideas for a new brace. Ideally, most of the weight of the horn would be taken off of all of my fingers. I just can't think of anything that would solve a little bit of the problem at the moment. Thanks!
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tbathras
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by tbathras » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:13 pm

Have you tried a Hagmann brace? You can literally hold the horn with no fingers, so the only strain on them is to operate the valves. I used to use one but found the Shires thumbrest works well enough for me now.
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Carter1016
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:27 pm

tbathras wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:13 pm
Have you tried a Hagmann brace? You can literally hold the horn with no fingers, so the only strain on them is to operate the valves. I used to use one but found the Shires thumbrest works well enough for me now.
I've heard of it, but is it like the Rath support at all? I couldn't use the rath support because it didn't support my wrist enough
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tbathras
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by tbathras » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:25 pm

It is similar, but the pad that rests on your hand is much larger and more comfortable and the amount of adjustments is pretty much infinite.

That said, nothing short of an ergobone or the like will support your wrist. I found holding my left arm in closer to my body (think bringing your elbow in towards your ribs) makes the weight on my wrist more of a downward force and less rotational. That way the bone is holding more than the muscle.
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Specialk3700
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Specialk3700 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:43 pm

Have you tried the neotech grip? That worked great for me.
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EZSlider
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by EZSlider » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 am

I run the Rath and like tbathras said keep my elbow in.. Works alright for me.. The pad could be a bit larger and more comfy. I might mod at some point.
Carter1016
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:55 pm

tbathras wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:25 pm
It is similar, but the pad that rests on your hand is much larger and more comfortable and the amount of adjustments is pretty much infinite.

That said, nothing short of an ergobone or the like will support your wrist. I found holding my left arm in closer to my body (think bringing your elbow in towards your ribs) makes the weight on my wrist more of a downward force and less rotational. That way the bone is holding more than the muscle.
I like ergobone, but playing with it feels so awkward. I've been messing with it for almost 2 months now and I can't find it completely comfortable while playing. I love not having any weight, but the almost locked position it puts you in vertically is awkward. I would like to try the Hagmann, but I don't have $385 laying around at the moment!
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:06 pm

EZSlider wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 am
I run the Rath and like tbathras said keep my elbow in.. Works alright for me.. The pad could be a bit larger and more comfy. I might mod at some point.
The University I go to has a good engineering school that is rumored to have free 3D printing which might let me have some liberty to design something of my own. I want something that's like a bullet, rath/Hagmann, and some kind of wrist support that goes under and around like a U shape. Just so much to think about!!
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by EZSlider » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:23 pm

I am beginning a leather pad adaption on my Rath.. Will post pics if I like it.
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tctb
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by tctb » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:57 am

+1 for the Neotech . I find it comfortable and supportive . The wide range of adjustments means it will fit all of my
instruments .
If I had known trombones were this much fun , I would have got one sooner! :cool:
peteedwards
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by peteedwards » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:06 am

Another vote for Neotech
Its cheap, low risk, fully adjustable
it takes all the support stress off the fingers & allows me to play with a straight wrist transferring all the weight in a straight line down the wrist/forearm.
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by GabeLangfur » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:48 am

I developed some tendinitis in my left wrist, and I've found it's most important for me to keep the wrist straight. I like Sheridan's Get a Grip, but I can't find a way to keep my wrist straight with it. I like the Rath support, but I don't like the way it affects the response of my instrument. What works for me is the combination of a Shires hand rest and a Leather Specialties strap. The Yamaha strap is too thick, forcing my wrist out of the straight position.

Cramping seems like a different problem, though. Do you have large hands? I have friends who have things added to their instruments so that the fingers are not crunched together. Contact Dr. Joshua Hauser at Tennessee Tech University if that seems to be the problem; his father-in-law makes them.

You might also bring your instrument to a good repair tech, who can adjust your levers to get them into the best position for you.
Carter1016
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:18 pm

GabeLangfur wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:48 am
I developed some tendinitis in my left wrist, and I've found it's most important for me to keep the wrist straight. I like Sheridan's Get a Grip, but I can't find a way to keep my wrist straight with it. I like the Rath support, but I don't like the way it affects the response of my instrument. What works for me is the combination of a Shires hand rest and a Leather Specialties strap. The Yamaha strap is too thick, forcing my wrist out of the straight position.

Cramping seems like a different problem, though. Do you have large hands? I have friends who have things added to their instruments so that the fingers are not crunched together. Contact Dr. Joshua Hauser at Tennessee Tech University if that seems to be the problem; his father-in-law makes them.

You might also bring your instrument to a good repair tech, who can adjust your levers to get them into the best position for you.

I have an appointment with a hand doctor this coming week, so I'm going to hope they have an idea of what might be wrong. I do have big hands though which prevents me from using the get a grip, and really the Neo tech effectively. The neo tech sags too much with how far I have to set it. I'll have to see what the specialist says then contact Dr. Hauser and see what some ideas might be
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:29 pm

I just installed a Neotech on my instrument and I am impressed so far. I was concerned it would deaden the feeling of the instrument vibrating in my hands but that is not the case. It puts all the weight into my bicep and I am finding that my bicep needs some strengthening. I just wonder how long it'll last as it is made from plastic. We'll see how I like it after a few weeks.
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:29 pm

BTW, I am using it on my Yamaha Xeno YSL-882go.
timothy42b
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by timothy42b » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:06 am

Carter1016 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:55 pm
tbathras wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:25 pm
It is similar, but the pad that rests on your hand is much larger and more comfortable and the amount of adjustments is pretty much infinite.

That said, nothing short of an ergobone or the like will support your wrist. I found holding my left arm in closer to my body (think bringing your elbow in towards your ribs) makes the weight on my wrist more of a downward force and less rotational. That way the bone is holding more than the muscle.
I like ergobone, but playing with it feels so awkward. I've been messing with it for almost 2 months now and I can't find it completely comfortable while playing. I love not having any weight, but the almost locked position it puts you in vertically is awkward. I would like to try the Hagmann, but I don't have $385 laying around at the moment!
Ken's cantilever support does allow vertical movement.
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ghmerrill
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by ghmerrill » Thu May 03, 2018 12:23 pm

It may be that just a brace won't solve your problem. After I got my 7B clone it took be about 6 months of trying various things to make holding the horn a comfortable experience. A well-adjusted bullet brace was the first important step -- but even then I had to keep tinkering with exactly how it should be adjusted. Using a wine cork instead of the the original foam thumb thing on the Bullet Brace definitely helped some.

I finally got a big part of the problem down to the fact that I wasn't getting any useful support/leverage at all from my left index finger. Hooking it over the mouthpiece didn't do anything and was uncomfortable, and so was trying to put it anywhere else (like on the brace). It almost worked well to hook it around the stationary slide brace, but it tended to slip there and not provide any stability.

Finally, after some thought and experimentation, I ended up soldering a "finger hook" (from Votaw -- I think its for a French horn thumb hook) on the front of that slide brace. With that and the bullet brace, the horn now sits very comfortably in my left hand and has almost perfect front/back neutral balance.

So you may want to think outside the box in terms of bracing and support. I recall reading somewhere (Doug Yeo?) that bass trombones were not designed for humans to hold. Even though I'm 6'2", I do not have large hands (my children make fun of my "tiny hands"), and this arrangement just works wonderfully for me.

Attached is a picture of my setup. That's a French 5 centime piece I soldered on as my Gb valve paddle. Classy, eh?
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Driswood » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:55 am

Doug Yeo has some suggestions on changing your grip. Here’s the link

http://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/fa ... nsion.html
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by BaritoneJack » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:07 am

I have the opposite problem to Gary - hands like shovels! Funnily enough, most people look at them and say "But they aren't big!" - yet the only gloves I can get to fit are extra large, and when I was working for a shoeing smith many years ago, I had to make my own hammer handles out of ash, because all the stock hammer shafts were too small, and after a few hours shoeing horses, I'd get terrible wrist cramps.
Re. Driswood's post; oddly enough, I spotted the suggestion shown in the second picture of Doug Yeo's article, earlier this week on YouTube, uploaded by a bass trombonist who also has big hands. Sure enough, when I tried both ways on my tenor, which arrived yesterday morning, trying to fit three fingers in front of the brace was horribly cramped; putting two fingers each side was far more comfortable, and felt more natural.
But another point I noticed was how awkward it felt putting my thumb up the same side as my index finger, which felt like it was putting all the load on my fingers (and let's face it; a straight Bb tenor is as light as you can get!)
So I tried swinging my thumb round so that it was facing my index finger - in the classic 'opposed thumb' position that our hands evolved into when our forebears came down out of the trees.
When I did that, all the strain seemed to go off my fingers, and my wrist felt less twisted, too - as though the load was going straight down my forearm, with the bones of my forearm being in a nice straight line, and directly underneath the supporting cup formed by my opposed thumb and index finger.
@Carter1016 I wonder if it also might be worth seeing a sports physiotherapist, who will be used to assessing how specific people's bodies can be used most effectively in their chosen activity, without harming themselves. You only need read through the comments above to see how widely we vary in our build and proportions - and then have to cope with a 'one size fits all' instrument!
When are bodies are feeling pain, as yours is, they're telling us "Stop doing that, before it does permanent damage!" I'd hate for you to struggle on as you are, and maybe end up not being able to play at all.
Take care of yourself, mate - just as you do your instrument! - and best regards,

Jack
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by BaritoneJack » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:25 am

Further to my post, above, I just tried holding my arm and hand in the position shown in Doug Yeo's second photo, and then swivelling my thumb round to the the same side as my cheek - with my right hand gently holding my left wrist. Sure enough, when I moved my thumb round to the same side as my index finger, the tendons in my left wrist tensed up - when I swung my thumb round so it was next to my cheek, they slacked off.
But, as always, 'your mileage may vary'! I'd be interested to know, though, if anybody else tries it out, how it felt for them.

Jack
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by tctb » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:44 am

norbie2018 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:29 pm
I just installed a Neotech on my instrument and I am impressed so far. I was concerned it would deaden the feeling of the instrument vibrating in my hands but that is not the case. It puts all the weight into my bicep and I am finding that my bicep needs some strengthening. I just wonder how long it'll last as it is made from plastic. We'll see how I like it after a few weeks.
I have had mine for 4 + years without a problem!
If I had known trombones were this much fun , I would have got one sooner! :cool:
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by 2bobone » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:54 pm

I agree that the "ErgoBone" takes quite a while to be really comfortable, but have found it to be a great solution for my inability to shoulder the weight of a bass trombone at this point in my chronological decline. I have a trick to share with those of us who find the ErgoBone useful : Remove the spring from the rod attached to the hand grip. What !! Isn't that a clever feature of the ErgoBone that allows us some vertical latitude in mouthpiece placement ? Yes, it is --- but --- I discovered quite accidentally that as I played I would unconsciously pull the horn downwards to the point that I was, in effect, turning that thoughtful feature into a solid rod anyway. By removing the spring I replaced a variable starting point with a guaranteed starting point . Accuracy [such as I still have ] improved immediately and I was able to remove the variability of vertical motion from the overall calculation of either producing a heart-wrenchingly beautiful bass trombone sound or my usual bovine bleat. Take it for what it is ----- give it a try ----- if it doesn't work for you please don't send any nasty letters [unless they contain cash] but continue to keep the faith ! BTW -- I have found the Neotech to work great on my relatively puny Elkhart 88H and appreciate why it is so popular. Cheers !! Bob
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:45 pm

I had cramping problems when I started playing a lot of bass in the run-up to my undergrad recital, and the school bass was one of the older and ridiculously heavy Courtois 500 with dual Hagmanns, metal plate tuning slide resonator/counterweight and heavy gage, detachable bell. I found that using both my Greenhoe thumb brace and Yamaha leather strap together gave me plenty of support.
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Carter1016
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Re: Different take on a Hand Brace

Post by Carter1016 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:14 pm

After going to the Hand Doctor two months back, They told me I have something called Musician's Hand, that they said they really don't know anything about. A wrist brace and physical therapy was all they could do, along with a Cortisone shot. The therapist looked at my records and told me that the doctor later diagnosed me with Cubital Tunnel syndrome in both arms. The therapist really didn't help, and I became too strong willed to let myself hurt, which somehow worked? But recently, I've had to play Euphonium more, which has brought back some of the pain. I'm waiting for paychecks to clear after this weekend to buy the Ergobone system, as I'm sure that'll help most of the problems. I guess all I have to do is wait and take everything as it comes. Thanks much to everyone who has commented thus far, it's quite interesting to see what others have done to help!
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