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.
The INCLINE thumb rest can also be customized aesthetically. For all materials other than plastic, players can choose between a debossed and a smooth lid (the surface your thumb contacts). The debossed lid offers an aesthetic that stands out as well as a slightly textured feel under the thumb, while the smooth lid option offers a more traditional look.
Various materials and surface finishes are also available. Plastic is the least expensive material option and is great for those who want to experience the ergonomic benefit of the INCLINE thumb rest for the lowest available price. These thumb rests are made from a semi-translucent resin and are reasonably durable. For players who would prefer a metal thumb rest, there are many options 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 rhodium. These finishes are generally more durable than lacquered finishes, but it’s worth noting 18k gold and rose gold can tarnish. Rhodium is a very durable and tarnish-resistant finish, so it’s a great option for players with exceptionally acidic body chemistry (it is also a good match aesthetically on silver and nickel plated saxophones). 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.