The saxophone neckstrap has traditionally been anchored on the neck.
If we think about this, we’re placing a weight of 2-6kg from our instruments onto our necks for a prolonged period of time which in hindsight can’t be good for our bodies. This is even more relevant with heavier instruments such as the bassoon and bass clarinet. In recent years, the weight of clarinet on the right thumb and arm has been a point of focus for experiential stress. Increased load and stress on the body may lead to hernia, sleeplessness, chronic aches and pains, difficulty in everyday tasks, etc. The daily act of practicing and performing our instruments may be taking a toll on our bodies unbeknown to us.
A harmonically full and resonant sound is one that maximizes the capacity for technique, articulation, vibrato, etc. As a result, the potential for musical expression is greatly enhanced. At the root of a good sound is good posture, one that facilitates good breathing. Avoiding limitations on the natural movements and functions of the body is of utmost importance to deliver resonance that’s characteristic of a good sound.
Good posture leads to good breathing. The posture required in performance is not necessarily one where the back is straight, but one that allows the facile movement of all joints and muscles, resulting from ample relaxation. Allowing the weight of the instrument to alter the balance of the body or induce excess tension is a deterrent to performance.
When we breathe, our primary and auxiliary muscles and joints move along with our entire body. Allowing this to occur smoothly without hindrance is how we efficiently deliver air to the lungs. This process of good breathing results in a good sound. In performance, the weight of the instrument on the body, nerves, and body tension can greatly hinder the overall freedom of the body. Reducing these stressors can facilitate deeper breaths.
The BREATHTAKING Strap was developed with musician health and performance as the primary focus. This is achieved by greatly reducing the overall stress on the body. To protect each musician’s health and aid in sonic resonance, our deepest wish is for as many musicians to perform with their best sound in good health, enjoying every moment in music. We hope to contribute further with continued research in the connection between the body and the instrument(s).