A Saxophone Neckstrap is, as the name implies, a kind of belt or cloth strap that goes around one’s neck and latches via a simple hook to the metal strap hook on the body of the saxophone. When playing the saxophone, a form of support must be available other than your hands (which will be busy doing finger work). This is sole the purpose of the strap.
Most new saxophones come with a cheap Saxophone Neckstrap to get you started, but it is worth the extra money to get a strap that is comfortable for you. Many quality straps feature better cloth, foam padding, a strong strap, and a hook that is either spring loaded or covered in a protective layer of thin rubber or plastic to keep the horn from being scratched by the hook. It is also wise to check that the hook itself is shaped to match your saxophone as well as your playing style so you are not worried about the saxophone falling off the hook when you least expect it. Some hooks are spring-loaded and fully encapsulate the metalhook on the saxophone, which can be great if you plan on moving and playing at the same time.
The increased durability and comfort of a quality neck strap can make a big difference in your endurance as a saxophone player. You can find many kinds of support straps through Neotech,Protec, and other wind instrument Saxophone Neckstrap manufacturers.
The neckstrap, aside from providing support, is also a factor in balancing the player’s embouchure. If a player brings the saxophone too close by over-tightening the neckstrap, playing can become difficult – even painful! Therefore, always take a moment to properly adjust the strap so that the mouthpieceeffortlessly moves into your mouth with a comfortable embouchure. If the neckstrap doesn’t adjust enough to do this, consider purchasing a better strap as soon as possible.
Below are a few tips to remember when using a neckstrap:
- Do not rely entirely on the strap to support the saxophone. When walking or sitting with the saxophone, remember to support the sax with at least one hand to prevent it from knocking into objects. Also, you want to have your hand on the saxophone you are about to play at all times just in case your neckstrap’s hook breaks – at least it will already be in your hand for you to hold on to.
- In active playing scenarios, such as a marching band or involved stage show, it may be easier to use a harness, double-strap, or swing strap system to keep your instrument in position while you move around. It is also a worthwhile investment if you have back or shoulder problems that are otherwise exacerbated by using a neckstrap. Usually, these straps also offer a swivel joint that will keep the hook from twisting the strap if you are moving around.
Good luck finding a great strap to accompany your saxophone adventures!