Being of a considerable age, and with what can only be called an abundance of professional experience, in every possible genre, I venture forth with the information that I have had both difficulties with my teeth and pain in both hands while playing. Teeth are a very special problem indeed because they vary as much as fingerprints and some of the problems of teeth and the clarinet have been discussed, at least on a partial basis. However, the problem of pain in both or in either hand, while discussed as far as possible illness within the hand, (deQuervains Synfrome), just plain inordinatnt fatigue have lead me to speak in more detail. These problems of discomfort in either or in both hands can occur at any time in ones development, but are usually easily fixed by an instructor with real clarinet saavy, or even better, by a medical doctor, but a special MD, one who is a woodwind player, clarinet, oboe or bassoon, or flute.. If not a hoddyist or an actual professional musician who is also an MD, you are barking up the wrong tree, or, to put it succinctly, you will be given vague unresponsive replies. Why? Because , unless you play, and I mean play in a serious manner, you cannot recommend technics, exercises or other varia for a young or an older player with pain in these appendages.
As stated earlier, I had had such difficulties, namely tendintitus in the right elbow, deQuairvains Syndrome, in the left hand, and nameless pain in my right hand. The neckstrap is a great addition to your repertoire of easement of discomfort or fatigue, but for many, the strap does not suffice, or is of minimal assistance.
offer , a possible introduction to something else, a new way to distrbute the weight of the clarinet on the right thumb, and for some a possible real solution. I mention a real solution because instead of holding the clarinet on the first joint of the right thumb, you hold it on the second joint of the thumb,closer to the wrist a point which ca
n easily hold more weight, transferring the weight to a stronger part of the wrist.
This is the so-called Etude, or Etude 2 thumbrest offered by Tan Koiman. There is also a more complicated version, with many more possible adjustments, but for now, let us picture and discuss the first of the possibilitiies, the Etude 2, pictured here.( to be continued) What is of considerable interest is that the devise can be self-installed in exactly the same two drilled holes of your current thumb rest, and with the packaging of the Etude comes a plate with four or 5 slightly different positions at which you may wish to install the thumb rest. This is an immediate interest from the standpoint of flexibility
Upcoming. I will be installing this device on a clarinet, as per the instructions, and subsequently be testing it and reporting on all procedures. With the proliferation of both the awareness of fatigue in the hands, and the various neckstraps, thunb rests of all shapes and sizes, this may be a possible solution. If you will put your index finger on the first joint of the thumb, and then the inner joint, there is much more apparent strength in the latter. If the clarinet can be held and played flexibly with this device it may be worth ones while to consider. Stay tuned. (pun, sorry)