Thumb supports or pads
The correct position is important to prevent pain and long-term damage. Read more about this at the end of this article. First an overview of the variants offered:
1. Plastic: They are not adjustable, black and were used both for the student B 12 and for the professional elite clarinet (due to the low weight).
2. Galvanized plastic: They are adjustable and are used with newer B12 clarinets and their successors.
3. Metal: Most of the others are made of cast, galvanized metal.
They are characterized by their function
1. Celebrations They are very cheap and stable. They can often cause problems for your hand position. On request, we can put the thumb rest in a better position.
2. Adjustable They are adjustable for the musician, but in most cases only downwards. We usually recommend moving the hand rest 12 mm higher to get a better hand position.
We advise against the temptation to implement the hand rest yourself. Grenadilla is very hard and brittle. It requires some knowledge and the right tools to move the hand rest.
3. With ring There are rings on some palm rests so you can play with a strap.
4. With additional support There are some fairly expensive and expensive palm rests on the market that can help reduce hand strain by increasing the supported palm.
Hand and wrist problems:
Traditionally, the hand rest is about 12 mm as the position of the index finger. Here is the center of gravity of the instrument, which means that you can turn it in any direction without effort.
This unfortunately forces the hand into an uncomfortable position. To demonstrate this, simply let your hand hang down relaxed. Now the thumb and forefinger are exactly opposite. But as soon as you move your thumb towards the middle finger, you feel the tension in your forearm.
If you tense a muscle for a long time and maintain this position, you are doing a static job and creating a static load. Blood is transported to the muscle, which burns the energy and waste products remain there, so to speak. If the muscle were moved, the waste products could be washed away. Since this is not the case, your hand or forearm will start to hurt at some point.
However, if you could hold your thumb at the level of your forefinger, the tension would be largely eliminated. In order to be able to do this on the instrument, the hand rest must be moved upwards by approx. 12 mm. This is a quick procedure that can remove a lot of pain.
When moving the handrest upwards, the center of gravity is also shifted. The instrument is now beaker-heavy, which means that it wants to tip forward. We have the LP-Balance pears for this, which restore the balance through a higher weight on the top piece. Despite the additional total weight, the instrument can now be held more relaxed.
There are various special hand supports that allow the weight to be distributed over larger thumb racks or on the palm. Adjustable in height or even have an additional spacer plate. This is particularly convenient for large hands or very thin instruments. (Picture)
If the pain becomes chronic, you can also consider a specially made instrument holder. The instrument is then supported on the body or on the floor.