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The INCLINE Adjustable Left-Hand Thumb Rest

Incline Thumb Rest by Peak Performance Woodwinds

This is a project I have been wanting to bring to life for years, and I’m so excited to finally make this available to saxophone players publicly.  The idea behind this thumb rest is to position the player’s left thumb at the ideal angle, facilitating natural and effortless operation of the octave key.  The angle and rotation of the thumb rest is completely customizable, allowing each player to dial in the thumb rest to their preferences.  Once the best position is found, the player’s thumb is supported in its most natural position, preventing inefficient and oftentimes uncomfortable hyper extension of joints in the thumb.  This is a concept that originated due to personal issues I had years ago when playing soprano sax and clarinet (stay tuned for the clarinet application—it’s in the works!).  My initial solution for my own instruments led me to craft similar add-ons for other players who visited my repair shop, which I spent hours crafting by hand and customizing to suit their unique physiology. But I wanted to craft a more elegant version which a player could easily adjust by themselves as they practice and get a sense of what feels best for them. The result is the INCLINE thumb rest.

The INCLINE thumb rest is adjustable in two ways:  The degree of tilt can be easily changed by lifting the hinged “lid” of the thumb rest and turning the screw in either direction.

The overall rotation of the thumb rest is also easily adjustable.  Since due to the bottom of the thumb rest is flat, the thumb rest can be oriented on the saxophone however the player chooses.  The set screws can be loosened allowing the player to set the thumb rest to whatever rotation feels best for them before tightening the set screws to hold the thumb rest in place.

Incline Thumb Rest Ad by Peak Performance Woodwinds


The INCLINE  thumb rest is particularly helpful on soprano saxophone, but many players also find it helpful on alto. Individuals with especially large hands may even find it comfortable on tenor, and in rarer cases even baritone (I recommend for low A baritones to have the low A key touch raised a considerable amount if this thumb rest is used).

Currently, the thumb rest is available in four sizes: S1, S2, S3, and S4.  Each size is designed to function and feel the same, but they are made to fit different makes and models of saxophone.  Size S1 is made to fit all modern Selmer Paris saxophones including the Mark VI.  Size S1 also fits modern Yamaha saxophones (including the 62, 82 Custom Z and ZII, original 875 Custom, Custom EX and EXII, 675, 475, and other similar models).  Size S2 fits modern Yanagisawa saxophones including the WO series, 900 series, and the model 880.  It does not fit the S6 sopranos, and likely does not fit the B6 baritones. Size S3 fits the modern Buffet Senzo model saxophone, and also fits many Keilwerth models. Size S4 is made to fit all vintage and modern Yanigasawa models, along with many Taiwanese imported models.

The INCLINE thumb rest can be customized aesthetically.  Players can choose between a debossed and a smooth lid (the surface your thumb contacts). The debossed lid offers a unique look as well as a slightly textured feel under the thumb, while the smooth lid option offers a more traditional look.

The lid shape of the INCLINE Mk. 2 can now also be customized.  The partial lid is the original lid shape of the INCLINE Mk. 2, and was developed with versatility in mind.  The lid is slightly shorter front-to-back and features an elliptical curve to provide clearance for the back edge of the first joint of the player's thumb.  This lid shape feels great in many different positions for a variety of hand shapes and sizes.  

For players who would prefer more surface area for their thumb, the full lid is a new option they may prefer.  The difference in feel between the full and partial lid is subtle.  Generally, the full lid is better suited for use with a more conservative incline setting (lower angle), and in some cases may be more comfortable for players with larger thumbs.
Various materials and surface finishes are also available. Unlacquered brass will blend well with unlacquered and vintage saxophones as it will naturally oxidize with use.  A clear lacquered finish will offer additional protection and help maintain the polished look of the thumb rest.  The matte finish uses the same clear lacquer coating, but the brass itself receives a gently abrasive finish for an unpolished look prior to lacquering.  The gold tinted lacquer provides a closer match to Yamaha and Selmer Paris Jubilee lacquer.  Brass thumb rests also are available in various precious metal plating options such as 18k gold, rose gold, and chrome.  These finishes are generally more durable than lacquered finishes, but it’s worth noting 18k gold and rose gold can tarnish.  Chrome plating is a very durable and tarnish-resistant finish, and the chrome increases the surface hardness of the thumb rest. It’s a great option for players with acidic body chemistry (it is also a good match aesthetically on silver and nickel plated saxophones). It should be noted that those allergic to nickel are advised against the chrome plating.Thumb rests are also available in Solid Silver, which are intentionally left unlacquered so that they can be polished if they begin to tarnish.  Refer to the price list to compare the costs of available finishes and materials.
To provide additional protection to the finish of your Incline thumb rest, we are now including a clear protective polyurethane patch with every thumb rest, which can be easily adhered to the surface of the thumb rest by the player.  

Gold Plate Incline Thumb Rest by Peak Performance Woodwinds
Gold Plating

Lacquered Brass Incline Thumb Rest by Peak Performance Woodwinds
Lacquered Brass

Matte Brass Incline Thumb Rest by Peak Performance Woodwinds
Matte Brass

Solid Silver Incline Thumb Rest by Peak Performance Woodwinds
Solid Silver