Last week was quite busy. On Wednesday, I performed the Villa-Lobos Duo and Willard Elliot's Six French Songs from the 15th Century with Frank Rosenwein and Jerry Wong, piano. The day of the performance I had a double rehearsal of Schumann Symphony #3 with the Orchestra.
The weekend contained two concerts with heavy programs. In addition to the Schumann program, the other concert had Mozart Piano Concerto in c minor, No. 24 and Rachmaninov's Symphony #2.
In the weeks leading up to the performances, I was beginning to feel some pain in my left hand and thumb. I should note that we rehearsed and played the Villa-Lobos standing up, partly due to the lack of good places to turn pages. This added to the weight on my left hand.
Using a balance hanger when standing up is helpful to redistribute the weight because it relocates the fulcrum of balance so that the left hand carries less of it.
However, I was also looking for a way to take some of the weight off the left hand when sitting down. Using a neck strap in concert with a seat strap can work. The neck strap is tied to the back of the chair and hooked in the ring on the boot.
I wanted to show you something even better.
Chicago Symphony bassoonist, Dennis Michel gave this to me when we meet on our tour this January.
It consists of a clamp (available at any hardware store) with two holes drilled in it for an elastic band. The two holes are in addition to the factory drilled hole, which is in an inconvenient spot.The clamp fastens to the back of a chair.