First I tried with Neotech harness, but I felt always uncomfortable when I was sitting. Also I didn’t like being tightly held against my chest. It teared so tensely to the right side when I was sitting and it turned my body too much to the right, that it was “I realized NOT healthy to my back anyway” – so I needed STILL to go to see physiotherapist. He explained me, that shoulders and hips: they are like a box I need to keep straight and NOT TO TURN.
Every movement that is rotation to your back is bad for discs and makes a lot of tension on the nervs that are between! Which I have felt of course. Trust me, you won’t gonna like it! All My back pain came from not respecting that simple advice – “keep the shoulders- hips straightforward, do not bend them”!. And I thank him until today, as I am teaching everybody how to prevent back pains while we play saxophone!
The harness itself comes in 3 parts. The main bit is a normal looking neck strap string and hook from which projects a pair of long metal rods which extend down your back.
The end of these then connect into a pocket on a separate belt which clips around your waist (picture on the right).
Pocket is behind.
The back of the neck has a metal plate , in the middle you have screws you need to adjust (picture on the left).
They come across the width of your column vertebral/back which runs down the length of your spine.
You wear a belt around your waist, more around your hips I should precise, it has a pocket that is part of the harness and you put the bottom of the rods tuck into the pocket. The rod length is adjustable, as is the cord that the hook is on.
How did I prevent back pains while playing tenor, bariton or bass saxophones?
1. I do play a lot in sitting, BUT tenor I keep saxophone straight forward also in sitting, I just found the position if I push the right leg more aside, It suits for me and therefore I DO NOT CAUSE any back pains while playing tenor. When I can, I stand up for a while and play, because it is huge gratitude to my back! In case of course baryton and basse I place them aside, but still keeping shoulders-hips as straight as possible.
2. Keep it balanced, sit and stand up regularly. Do some exercises and especially bendings for arms and shoulders and back!
Harnesses packing problems!!!
For tenor sax it was always difficult to take Freeneck separately with my sax case, then notes, stands etc, and therefore I started to use Vandoren Harness, which has exactly the same principles as Freeneck, but Vandoren Harness I can pack together so little, that it goes to the belly of sax easily.
Review Vandoren Harness
Freeneck goes easily to the baryton and bass sax belly. And is really good to play the heavy instruments. Good value for the money. With jazzlab saxholder I can pack well into the case that has not saxophone shape, but when travelling, I take Vandoren Harness with me.