Best Neck Straps for Alto Saxophone
It is common to hear saxophonists complain about neck pain. This is despite using a neck strap when playing their horn.
Neck straps seem like simple accessories and many alto saxophonists reason that any neck strap will do.
So, they end up buying neck straps that are cheap, yet uncomfortable and those that do not give them the support they need.
In this article, we make it easier for you to find a comfortable strap. We examine the factors you need to consider before buying a good neck strap.
Quick Links: Best Neck Straps for Alto Saxophone
- Best Overall: Jazzlab Saxholder Saxophone harness
- Runner Up: Rico Padded Saxophone Strap
- Best Affordable: BG S40SH Harness Strap for alto/Tenor/Baritone Saxophone
- Movo MS-20J-R Neoprene instrument Neck Strap
- Neotech 1901162 Soft Sax Strap
Best Rated Neck Straps for Alto Saxophone Reviews.
Jazzlab Saxholder Saxophone harness
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Rico Padded Saxophone Strap
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BG S40SH Harness Strap for alto/Tenor/Baritone Saxophone
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Movo MS-20J-R Neoprene instrument Neck Strap
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Neotech 1901162 Soft Sax Strap
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Choosing a neck strap that is comfortable when playing your alto sax is easier said than done. Many neck straps in the market will give you neck pain or even chaff your neck.
This can consequently discourage you from ever playing your saxophone.
Below are five of our top recommended neck straps for alto saxophones. You can never go wrong if you choose to buy one of these items.
The Jazzlab Saxholder is more of a harness than a neck strap. It comes highly recommended by both saxophonists and medical practitioners.
This harness does not come into contact with your neck. Therefore, you can wave neck pain goodbye.
The straps of the saxholder harness rest on the saxophonist’s shoulders. The harness has a pad on the stomach that carries most of the weight.
As a result, this distributes the weight of your alto saxophone to the shoulders and the stomach area. The aluminum handles and the cord are adjustable for greater comfort. All in all, this harness has a pleasing design making it ideal for both men and women alto saxophonists.
Also Read: Best Saxophone Brands
The Rico padded saxophone strap comes in two lengths. For the alto/soprano sax players and for the baritone/tenor sax players.
The strap has a padded memory foam that provides extra comfort. It also prevents the strap from digging in the neck. The strap is of a durable velvet-like material that is soft and breathable.
Moreover, the strap is long enough to accommodate a tall player and can be easily adjusted. This strap comes in both metal and snaps hooks.
Also Read: Best Soprano Saxophones
The BG S40SH Harness Strap is made from leather and cloth material. It distributes the weight of the sax uniformly providing relief from back and neck pain.
Since it is a harness, it does not restrain the player’s movement. It is also easy to adjust and comes highly recommended for those with heavy saxophones.
There is a male and female version of the harness for enhanced comfort for both genders.
The Movo MS-20J-R Neoprene instrument neck strap comes with a neoprene neck strap that is stretchable and comfortable.
The padded neck strap that comes in stylish colors distributes the weight of the sax from your neck to other parts of the shoulders.
Moreover, the straps are easy to adjust to a maximum length of 26.8 inches. The neck strap also has a swivel hook that will not snap or break keeping your saxophone safe.
The Neotech 1901162 Soft neck Strap comes in three sizes; the regular, junior, and extra-long loop. The regular loop is the best for alto saxophones.
The strap is of a neoprene padding that is stretchable and very comfortable minimizing any strain on the neck.
This neck strap has a swivel on-and-off-hook, which keeps your sax securely in place. Moreover, the straps are easily adjustable and it is comfortable for both male and female saxophonists.
Why Is A Neck Strap So Important?
A saxophone neck strap’s main purpose is to reduce the strain on your neck and back caused by the weight of the sax.
The neck strap does this by distributing the weight evenly to your shoulders, neck, and the back. There are also other benefits that an alto saxophone neck strap can provide.
- Supports your sax and keeps it securely in place protecting it against falls.
- Allows you to play your sax longer. You will not have to keep on adjusting your posture or your horn due to the strain on your body.
- The distribution of the saxophone weight to various body parts makes the sax feel lighter in your hands.
- A neck strap protects your neck. It also prevents other serious health complications such as damaged neck nerves, a poor posture, and compressed spine discs.
- A quality neck strap makes you comfortable which helps to produce a quality and more focused sound while playing your alto sax.
Also Read: 10 Best Saxophones for Beginners
Key Considerations When Buying the Best Neck Strap for Alto Saxophone
Many alto saxophonists tend to overlook the benefits of a quality neck strap.
A good neck strap can make the difference when it comes to your health and your career as a saxophonist.
Therefore, it is essential that you know what to look for before you purchase a neck strap.
The considerations below will help you make a better choice that can save you years of neck pain.
- Comfort matters – If you are already a sax player you might find that some straps work better on you than others. For instance, if you suffer from neck pain after playing you might find that a padded strap or a harness gives you the comfort you need. Additionally, those who play the sax for long periods are better off with a harness rather than a neck strap for enhanced comfort. Tall sax players will need straps that are longer and easy to adjust.
- A strap that fits your needs – There are different neck straps in the market to meet the varying needs of alto sax players. For instance, a player who is constantly playing his alto sax in a rock band and one who is a pro might need different straps. The former will need a neck strap or harness that does not restrain movement. On the other hand, the latter will need a strap that is easy to disassemble or one that can fit in a backpack.
- The material used – Many neck straps use webbing construction that is made of nylon or cotton. A nylon webbed neck strap will appear shiny while cotton is dull. Nylon is often cheaper. The durability of a webbed strap will depend on the thickness of the strap. Thicker is better. Some straps will be made of leather. Leather straps are more durable compared to the webbed straps. It also enhances comfort. The best grade leather will have a rough texture and will smell like leather.
- Is the hook or clasp strong – A strong hook will keep your sax safe from a fall. Poor-quality hooks can snap or break which can damage your sax. Young children who are just starting out to learn to play the sax need hooks that can clasp in place. Additionally, players who play the sax for long periods in rehearsals or bands also need quality hooks to protect the sax from a fall. Plastic hooks can snap so metal hooks are better. Furthermore, swivel hooks with safety hatches are preferable since they are less likely to snap or break.
- Length of the strap – Adjustable long neck straps is the best since they are easy to lengthen or shorten according to your height. Neck straps that are extremely long will make you slouch forward as your body tries to adjust. This will affect your airflow and your ability to play the sax. On the other hand, a strap that is too short will change the angle of your mouthpiece resulting to poor tome. Additionally, more weight will be added to your neck, which may leave you in pain.
- Style of the neck strap – Neck straps are manufactured in different styles. You will find that some are padded while others are not. The padded neck straps offer more comfort. This is because the padded strap distributes the weight of the sax to the shoulders or the back. A new style of neck strap that is gaining popularity is the use of the harness. A harness will not come into contact with your neck. Moreover, the harness distributes the weight of your sax to your shoulders, the back and some cases the stomach. Many people recommend these sort of harnesses, especially for sax players who suffer from neck pain.
Also Read: Best Saxophone VST
In summary, neck pain from uncomfortable neck straps is very common among alto saxophonists. Many end up hating playing the saxophone.
However, it does not have to be this way. Finding the best neck strap for your alto saxophone is possible.
When shopping for one, you should consider the material, if your needs are met by the neck strap and the overall strength of the hook.
The length and style of the neck strap are other important factors to consider. Furthermore, a neck strap that offers you maximum comfort will protect you from pain and strain.