A compilation of musicians’ voices from around the world.
In previous years, by the time I get deep into recital performances I would feel lots of fatigue in the right thumb which lead to suspect movement and motion. At the after party's I wouldn't able to hold utensils with the right hand and resot to using a fork with my left hand. This was a given for clarinetists, something that I forced myself to accept.
When BREATHTAKING released a clarinet strap in 2018, I was able to try one and I not only realized just how much the weight of the instrument was reduced but things I compromised when using other straps, such as freedom of movement, natural breathing, and resonant sounds all were made possible.
It has now become my most precious partner from long practice sessions, to rehearsals, to the last note of performances, supporting an uncompromising level of performance.
For any clarinetists who have even the slightest discomfort in their hands or arms, I highly recommend tou check them out!
I first encountered the BREATHTAKING strap in 2016, right as I started developing a weird sensation on my entire right side.
Trying to avoid placing strain on my right hand, I tried many differetn straps and as a result, the BREATHTAKING strap was the one that didn't force the mouthpiece in the embouchure, while not being too loose. Rather, the strap more naturally guided the clarinet to my ideal holding position.
Of course, the strap helped reduce strain on the right hand but more shocking was the unexpected increase in the resonance of sound from simply using the strap.
Most performers are typically accustomed to powering through any difficulties with the body or instrument, focusing on the music alone.
In other words, we unknowingly may be putting our bodies through hardhsips and stress while accepting that as something that's a given.
This is especially the case for clarinet players where the option of utilizing a neck strap was nonexistent.
I've learned just how much strain I was putting on the body after using the BREATHTAKING strap.
And when I perform with the BREATHTAKING strap, I can spread my wings further and travel more freely in the musical realm.
I wish for everyone to gain this degree of freedom and spread their wings with the help of the BREATHTAKING strap.
I've always thought that neck straps were disconnected from the required playing position of the clarinet that hinges so much on carrying it with our right thumb.
Years of clarinet playing has piled up stress on my right thumb and made the clarinet feel heavier, that I've turned to trying out various neck straps but the fundamental design of straps placed strain on the neck and the cord(s) got in the way of fingers and open-hand technique. That is until I met the BREATHTAKING strap,
The Lithe Premium model resolves all of the aforementioned issues and when paired with a Wraplift Attachment, the strain on the neck virtually disapperas. The thumb accessory BREATHTAKING Thumb helps hold and stabilize the clarinet due to its shape and everything works in tandem with each other to promote a realxed and proper playin position (the bump on my right thumb I've had for decades is mostly gone now).
Aside from the obvious relief of stress on the body, I was most surpsied by how much more resonant the sound became. I'm not sure if its due to the body being more free that the body itself resonates more or if the materials and design of the strap just synchornizes with the body to the point it increases overall resonance. Probably both. As an orchestral musician who performs in large halls filled with many people, its a blessing to have gained more resonance in my sound.
The BREATHTAKING strap, a strap that makes playing the instrument easier and maximizes inherent natural resonance of the body and instrument, is an item of utmost importance that helps connect myslef to the instrument.
I recall asking for a clarinet version of the strap to the CEO exaclty 6 years ago, subesquently going through many trials and errors.
After a while, I saw that BREATHTAKING was exhibiting at the Nagoya Sax Festival and approached their booth.
I tried the most recent prototype of the clarinet strap and was immediately impressed by its evolution.
Having gathered the input of various clarinetists, I felt that the original intention of the BREATHTAKING strap was amply expressed; reducing the majority of the stress on the body and also alleviating strain on the right thumb. I thought it was most successfuly when using it with an A clarinet.
When playing bass clarinet while standing, I always thought that playing with an endpin in a fixed position was delimiting, but the bass clarinet version of the strap allows the instrument to fit and move freely with the body while also supporting a resonant sound what it has become a personal favorite.
You wouldn't believe that I can now play the contra-alto clarinet while standing now!
Please do give them a try.