Yesterday’s job brought me a bit of agony. We were doing an outdoor concert and I was playing a wee bit of oboe and a lot of English horn. I had no issues the night before, so didn’t think to bring my W.R.I.S.T accessory.

My right thumb decided it no longer would like to hold the English horn. It simply couldn’t. At. All.

I don’t know if I tweaked it, or if the previous night’s rehearsal did the thumb in (we were playing Ride of the Valkyries which does require holding the instrument for quite some time). Or maybe it’s just age. But no matter the cause, I was concerned. For most of the first part of the concert (three Gershwin works) I could “cheat” and hold the bell between my crossed ankles. For solos, though, I don’t like to do that: I think it dampens the sound a bit too much, and it just feels so darn confining. Fortunately I made it through those three works, and the solos were okay.

Then I had an hour to wait until we went back to the stage to do the “Symphony Spooktacular” bit. For that I had less to play, so I wasn’t terrifically concerned. Just annoyed that my thumb decided to rebel. Funny though: by the time we began again my thumb was just fine!

The issue, though, was a good reminder: I MUST carry the W.R.I.S.T. accessory with me at all times. Period.

Today I ordered a microphone stand that will allow me to to have the accessory a bit closer to me: connecting it to the music stand sometimes works, but because of how we are set up, and because sometimes we use different stands that don’t even allow for attaching the device, I have decided to be better prepared. Had my thumb continued to rebel I’d have been in tears by the end, I think.

I can highly recommend the W.R.I.S.T. and I can also tell you you’d be paying much less than I did. As the inventor Robert Morgan writes: “Please note: The price of the WRIST has gone down considerably as we launch a new manufacturer relationship.” Nice!

This coming week I have some important bits on our Symphony Silicon Valley concert. If my thumb is disobedient I will simply ignore the darn thing!

2 Comments

  1. Love this, Patty. I have been using a neck strap, and bandaid on the thumb callous when it gets so, so sore. I will check out Mr. Morgan’s new prices. His reeds are still the gold standard of EH reeds, BTW. My reputation as an EH player is all due to the reeds he has sent me!

  2. Ah, I should check out his reeds, Susan … if I haven’t already. (I should keep a list, but I’ve not been doing that.)

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