So today, I received in the mail a new saxophone harness from the the Miller Marketing company. Like saxophone mouthpieces, I have bought several different ones, trying to relieve the stress on my neck. I believe this to be the best saxophone harness on the market.
I used typical neck straps right up to the year 2016; the year I had neck surgery. I was not playing the sax at all from about 2011. And if I did happen to pull it out, it was the alto. When I did get a new tenor sax in 2017 (post surgery), I could I could no longer tolerate the weight of any saxophone. Over 30 years hanging a hunk of metal around my neck through concerts, marching at football games, marching parades, and hours upon hours of practice had taken its toll. I needed a solution.
For a while, I was using the BG France Saxophone Harness. It worked for the most part, but I always had trouble with comfort, and on me, it looked sloppy. It fit kind of like a bra on me because I’m a fat man. The comfort issue had to do with the way it fit. I didn’t put pressure on my neck, but it was sometimes hard to get the sax into a position to play.
Next, I discovered the JazzLab Saxholder. It is a type of shoulder harness. It actually works pretty well. I have a small issue of getting the front of the harness, a rod with a rubber mount which is supposed rest against your torso to stabilize the harness. With my big belly, I have a hard time getting it placed in a good position. One other issue is the harness hooks that fit over your shoulders. They dig into my flesh once the saxophone is attached. After an hour or so it becomes neck pain. Until today, I was using the JazzLab harness 99% of the time.
I first saw the Synthesis harness by Zappatini in a youtube video of Eden Bareket playing the baritone sax, one of the heaviest saxophones. After I commented on it, he told me the name of it. I found out where I could get one after a google search. You can order from the company that makes it or from Millermareketingco.com
So my prized harness arrived by mail this morning. It is Swiss-made, by a company called Zappatini. The name of the harness is Synthesis. The claim was that the harness would provide full mobility while playing and wearing the instrument. They were absolutely correct.
I practiced today using my new harness. For more than an hour, I played the sax comfortably, with no pressure on my shoulders or neck. The weight is somehow transferred to the lower end of the harness. It is in no way uncomfortable, nor does it make it hard to get the saxophone into a comfortable playing position. It is the very best saxophone harness I have ever used.
If you’re a sax player and have difficulty with the weight of the instrument hanging from your neck, you should definitely try the Synthesis from Zappatini. It comes in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. It is made in Switzerland but can be purchased through, millermarketingco.com, or the manufacturing company, Zappatini.