Review: Finger Pads for your Valve Levers

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In Horns on the Recital III I noted that I had to make a couple minor changes to the Hoyer. The ergonomics of this vintage double horn are a bit different and in short I could not get the valve levers high enough to suit my big hands. To solve this problem it occurred to me to try a set of finger pads.

I had seen these on several horns recently and basically they are exactly as described in the listing I found at Osmun:

Rubber pads add height and provide a positive contact point for rotary valve levers. They slip right on and offer a choice of two heights.

This photo is of the set I purchased from them, and I am sure there are other sources for these out there. Basically you could use these for several reasons as they not only change the height of the end of the valve lever (one side of the pad being thicker than the other) but also extend it a bit. So for example for players with small hands they could use these to reach the ends of the valve levers easier. In my case they allowed me to make the lever contact point higher to meet the natural place I felt my fingers needed to go. The extra “bump” on the set I have is a nice touch.

These are a great alternate to the traditional “dimes” seen soldered onto valve levers and are certainly a product some Horn Matters readers should consider.

As a final note I should also mention that I also added a strap on “Fhrap” as well to the Hoyer, also visible in the photo, which combined with the pads has helped make it quite comfortable to hold. I may decide to just keep on playing this horn for a while.

UPDATE: For a few more comments on finger pads and on an alternate type of finger pad (Saxophone palm key risers) see this article.

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