Best left hand support option for bass trombone

ttf_musicofnote
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:26 pm

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_musicofnote » Sun May 14, 2017 10:54 pm

Here is my journey through the left-hand-support jungle:

I have or have tried almost all of them. My take:
NeoTech
ErgoBone
Trombone Stick
Hagmann
Rath
Ax Handle
Curtis thumb rest
Get-A-Grip

ErgoBone - was excellent for me at the time. Takes all the weight off the left hand. Whle using it, I heard that when that tension is gone, how free my tone can be, so became my measure of how free my left hand was with other supports. But it made my Yamaha 822g very nose heavy, so I bought 2 counterweights, which mostly helped. Rather a nuisance with mute changes and I found it difficult to achieve micro-movement necessary for accuracy, especially setting on. When I stopped using this, I also took off the counterweights.

Trombone Stick - a product similar to the ErgoBone, also in concept, but instead of resting in a harness, it rests on your knee. The trombone sits on top of a spring. It didn't work so well for me, because you still need to somehow keep the trombone from bobbing around on that spring on top of the stick. This still caused a degree of tension in my left hand that was very difficult to counter, especially further out than 3rd position.
Rath hand support and Hagmann hand support: Both were impossible for me to adjust, that they supported the weight without slippage and without unpleasant pressure points on the back of my left hand. Hagmann gave me a 10 day trial period so I was able to send it back. It's more configurable than Rath, but it was too small.

Get-A-Grip - Sheridan Brass - wasn't able to bend it to a position that worked for me. I'm not a tool sort of guy and the metal wasn't so pliable.
Ax Handle: Mr. Olsen tried his best, but it just didn't work with my horn. The balance point is too far forward, which made the instrument very nose heavy and the attachment clamp is too thick to go optimally on the brace. Sold.

Curtis thumb rest – similar to the Ax Handle/Bullet Brace, but attaches to the trombone on the body just below the valve section to fit under the f-trigger. But on my Yamaha the balance point as farther forward by the slide grip, so this made my instrument VERY nose heavy and demanded I counter this diving ... with the left hand. Like the Ax Handle, it then didn’t really support much weight at all.

Ax-Handle - simply did not fit my Yamaha 822G and would need to be totally re-engineered to do so. My Rath R400 has something similar to it and the Curtis thing, but doesn't really do anything to actually take weight off my fingers. Nor does it really disturb, so I've left it on.

NeoTech: Comes the closest to what I need. Not easy to adjust, simply because you have so many possible positions. But it's working now for me. BUT ... the velcro attachment points tend to want to open if I don't periodically give them a squeeze to make sure they sit well. It works best on my bass bone when I use the Yeo hand grip, but on my tenor when I use the tradition left hand grip. I now use this exclusively on the bass trombone. I don't use anything on my Rath R400

Especially with the NeoTech, but also with the Rath and Hagmann, they do not relieve all the tension from the hand-lower arm-shoulder, but do so for much of it. I've found that approaching it like weight training has been a huge help. No problems getting through rehearsals and concerts as there are enough pauses to take the horn down and straighten my left arm. But when practicing, especially longer etudes, where you're in playing position for minutes at a time, I play until I begin to feel an ache in my left shoulder, then I play for 10-15 seconds more and ... take a break for 30-45 seconds. This regenerates the muscles and I can continue. I don't try to play through a lot of pain, but simply push the envelope. I also go to the gym twice a week and do exercises there for my wrist and forearm, but also shoulder. All this combined has improved my strength and stamina. Even at my age of 64, it's still possible.



ttf_Stan
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:36 pm

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_Stan » Mon May 15, 2017 4:05 am

I play an 822G and I have small hands.  I use one of Gary Greenhoe's rest bars, hose clamped to the horn.  I can literally let go of the horn and have it balance on my hand.  Maybe see if a forum member has an extra one to try?
ttf_Full Pedal Trombonist
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_Full Pedal Trombonist » Wed May 17, 2017 3:49 pm

I cut down one of my horns to a G-att and in addition to the bass slide I've been experimenting with on it it was quite nose heavy. The design of the cork barrels are a little short of my hands especially with the hand support that is perfect for me and my main bass trombone ( which also has shorter cork barrels than my hands would like, but was fixed my some tubing I slipped over and covered in leather and notched to clear the outer slide brace ). I didn't have tubing the right size to make another sleeve in time for rehearsal so just adding another counter weight solved the problem. I also changed my grip style. It's not always going to be perfect but I've found solutions for every horn I use so I can hold it comfortably for a couple hours at the very least.
ttf_anonymous
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:09 pm

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_anonymous » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:02 am

Is there a dealer in UK who carries the Sheridan Get-a-Grip, or would I have to pay shipping from US?
ttf_ronnies
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:35 pm

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_ronnies » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:57 am

Update to my earlier post.

I'm now using a 3D printed thumb rest that my brother-in-law made for me.  Currently on the Mk2 version.

ImageBass trombone thumb rest by F4ronnie, on Flickr

Ronnie
ttf_crazytrombonist505
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_crazytrombonist505 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:13 am

Quote from: silverslideman on Jan 15, 2018, 08:02AMIs there a dealer in UK who carries the Sheridan Get-a-Grip, or would I have to pay shipping from US?

As far as I know, the only place you can buy the Sheridan get-a-grip new is directly from Sheridan brass.
ttf_crazytrombonist505
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Best left hand support option for bass trombone

Post by ttf_crazytrombonist505 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:13 am

Quote from: silverslideman on Jan 15, 2018, 08:02AMIs there a dealer in UK who carries the Sheridan Get-a-Grip, or would I have to pay shipping from US?

As far as I know, the only place you can buy the Sheridan get-a-grip new is directly from Sheridan brass.
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