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 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 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.