i have a question concerning my righr hand thumb………….after many years of playing my right hand thumb pains me consideraby in the joint by the wrist ,,,,,,,,,,,,is this because of fatique after playing the clarinet for such a long time?? hand position? placement of the clarinet?………….i do not know…………..i have ordered the thumb saddle from tom ridenour hoping this will diminish the pain……………any thoughts? Thank you.
Concerning the clarinet and the right thumb, it is the resting place for the horn and there are many people who experience discomfort in that area from many things.
I have had experience with people who have had their thumbrests moved slightly which totally alleviated the problem.
I have had many who now use support straps going under or through the thumbrest helping to displace te weight of the clarinet, similar to a saxophone neck strap.
I have had personal experience with difficulty in my left hand which I had fixed by a surgeon who simply made a cut in my wrist. The healing made scar tissue which allowed all of the stuff in the hand to go through easier. And then there is the famous carpal tunnel syndrome which requires a slightly more complicated procedure than did my problem but is still curable.
There are many who have experienced fatigue of every description from every instrument out there, and there is greater attention paid to disorders of this type now.
When I was young, it was the fashion to simply play the horn; if you had discomfort, you either got over it or fixed it in some way yourself, however presently, the thing to do is diagnoses, then prognoses, treatment.
I would suggest first, the thumbrest that Ridenour has is inexpensive and supposed to be very good.
I would also try any kind of the many different kinds of cushions available to help bear the weight of the clarinet.
I had a student, (whom you actually knew) who brought me several tubes cut off the milk machines they have in school cafeterias. They make a terrific cushion for the clarinet. She let hers extend further from the horn than the rest itself, kind of distributing the weight in a better manner.
I used mine for years, and now use a simply plastic sleeve around the rest.
I hope that some of this helps. Good luck, and play well.