Instrument Modification

Boyette, Jennifer. “Splinting for Adaptation of Musical Instruments.” Work 25, no. 2 (2005): 99-106.

Boyette explores the use of splinting to aid the thumb in supporting the oboe, forcing the thumb into greater supination where the full pad of the thumb is against the bore of the instrument. She discusses the thumb rest alternative design which extends to follow the length of the thumb to the second phalanx and also nerve and ligament aggravation due to thumb rest pressure or incorrect splint placement.

Caplan, Stephen. Oboemotions. Chicago: GIA Publications Inc, 2009.

In chapter 7, Caplan discusses many alternatives to traditional thumbrests and the benefits of each.  Included are the Dutch thumbrest, the Finger and Hand Retraining Device (FHRED), MUTS, bell support pegs, Weight Reduction Instrumental System (WRIST), neck straps, and Kooiman thumbrests.

Dawson, William J. “A New Oboe Thumb Support.” The Double Reed 22, no. 1 (1999): 88-90.

Dawson addresses the problem of right hand positioning for oboists and the injuries and pain that can result from extensive playing. He constructed a thumb rest using a bottle cork stopper to aid in better hand positioning and the need for less holding force. Included are diagrams, dimensions and instructions for constructing a cork thumb rest.

Simon, Robert H.M. “A Simple Device for Supporting the English Horn.” The Double Reed 21, no. 1 (1998): 91-92.

Simon shares a seat strap he has designed, made and used successfully for supporting English Horns to help alleviate the weight of the instrument on the body. He includes instructions on how to make the support and includes photos for better visual understanding.

Smith, Kathryn. “Finally, It Doesn’t Hurt to Play the Melody.” The Double Reed 18, no. 2 (Fall 1995): 60.

Smith shares her personal challenge with a repetitive stress injury in her right thumb and her process of finding a solution. Her primary source of relief was the FHRED device.

Smutz, W. Paul, Allen Bishop, Howard Niblock, Maria Drexler, and Kai-Nan An. “Load on the Right Thumb of the Oboist.” Medical Problems of Performing Artists 10 (September 1995): 94-99.

Doctors and oboists combined efforts to measure the direction and magnitude of force placed on an oboist’s right thumb. In testing the used a simulated oboe and both standard and alternative thumb rests offered in 1995 (Dutch and Loree.) By attaching sensors to specific points on oboists’ hands they tested to see if thumb rest alternative made a significant improvement on joint functionality and pain levels.