While visiting the MACSAX booth at the 2013 NAMM show, the booth to the left was that of the saxophone accessory company, Jazzlab. At this booth, I found a new neck strap called the saXholder (yes, that’s the spelling that the company uses).
Benefits of the saXholder
I was able to talk to Silvin Jancic, who is Jazzlab’s CEO. He was explaining to me the benefit of the saXholder when compared to a traditional neck strap and recommended that I go back and forth between his saXholder and the strap I had been using up until that point. Silvin told me that I would see the benefit of the saXholder the more I practiced on a daily basis.
According to the Jazzlab’s web site, the saXholder will transfer the weight of the sax evenly to both shoulders, with no stress on your neck. Upon playing my horn with it, this strap feels stable while standing up or sitting down, and fits soprano, alto, tenor, and bari saxophone as well as bass clarinet.
A Unique Design
As you see in the picture at the top of this article, the bottom part is positioned on your stomach and can be adjusted based on your preference. The hook, that comes with the strap is made of stainless steel and coated with plastic, which is great because metal hooks can wear down the strap hook on your horn and the plastic on the saXholder prevents this from happening.
I found the saXholder very easy to put on, take off, and adjust. I did enjoy standing when using the saXholder and noticed that unlike a saxophone harness, the saXholder gave me much more mobility while holding the saxophone.
At first sight, the saXholder reminded me of a strap or harness that a snare drum player would use in marching band. I know that some musicians find the saXholder a bit odd looking, but when you place the strap under a jacket, it is not that obvious to others when you are playing on a gig. I decided to purchase this saXholder to see what the benefit would be after practicing between 1 to 1.5 hours a day. I currently use a Kolbl neckstrap, and after switching between the two for the past two weeks, I can definitely see the benefits of the saXholder.
The one thing I did notice about this strap is when you sit down and play the horn to your side, the strap does shift a bit, But generally speaking, the saXholder stays snug on your shoulders.
My overall thoughts on this strap are that it is definitely unlike anything else on the market, and will defintely remove pressure from your neck. I would recommend the saXholder to any student or advanced saxophonist looking to relieve pressure from their neck. If you prefer another neck strap, at least when you go out for gigs, then I still recommend the saXholder for practicing because when shedding for so many hours a week, this unique strap will relieve pressure on your neck, allowing you to shed longer.
or check out the full list of dealers at http://www.jazzlab.com/en/dealers.