Back almost five years ago I posted a brief review of a product called “finger pads.” These are sold as an alternate to soldering dimes on the valve paddles (more here) when they can’t be adjusted into a comfortable position.
Those finger pads, truth be known, were/are probably clarinet thumb rest pads but sold in sets of three for use by horn players. The negatives for me after extended use of these was that they were not quite tall enough and they tended to work off the end of the valve paddle.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I picked up a tip from the Horn People group that there was another woodwind product to try as finger pads for horn; Saxophone palm key risers. They come in sets of three and can be obtained very inexpensively. So I bought a set.
When they arrived I was a little worried they would not fit on the valve paddles, but I did manage to carefully push them on. They are a tight fit, but remember that the clarinet thumb rests tend to work off? These won’t work off as I play for sure. Someday the rubber material may fail, but hopefully they will last for quite some time.
To the second photo, the other big plus with these are they are taller than the height I was getting with the thumb rests as finger pads. The height is roughly that of three dimes and on this horn certainly I need that much extra height with my big hands. These will be staying on this horn.
I should note as well that the pads extend the valves to a point as well. If you need to change the valve paddle position, and have an instrument such as this one with mechanical linkage valves that can’t be adjusted easily, this is a product certainly worth trying, especially if it would take stacks of dimes to adjust the height properly for your hands.