Jazzlab Saxholder Neckstrap Review

Today, I will be reviewing a new neckstrap by Jazzlab called the saxholder.  This is a revolutionary neckstrap that is designed so that there is no pressure whatsoever on the neck and upper spine of the player.

A few years ago, I started having numbness and tingling in my hands and arms.  I would get really bad pains in my upper back and my right shoulder also.  After months of just trying to grin and bear it, I went to a Neurologist and had an MRI done.  Afterward, the Neurologist told me that I had some herniated discs at C4 and C5 and that I would need surgery to have them fixed.   I never did have surgery in that area because the issues come and go but ever since that time, I have been looking for an alternative to my saxophone neckstrap. Many times I would feel  pain in the center of my upper back after I had been playing for an hour or two so I thought a new neckstrap might help.

Over the coming months I tried a variety of neckstraps but they were all different varieties of a strap that hung around your neck.   Some were more comfortable than others but in the end I still felt the back pain after playing for a while.

Around this time,  I heard of the Saxholder neckstrap on SOTW (Sax on the Web).  Players were raving about how great it was and how it took the weight of the sax off of the neck.   I saw a used one for sale on that Forum and bought it immediately.

Now, I have to admit that when I first got the Saxholder,  it felt very strange to me.   I have had over 33 years of sax weight hanging from my neck when I play.  It felt strange to not have that weight there around my neck.   Over the next few days though,  I started to feel comfortable with the Saxholder.   Most of all, I wasn’t feeling any upper back or neck pain!

The way the Saxholder works is by putting the weight of the sax  on your shoulders and traps rather than your neck.  There is a bar that hangs down and presses slightly into your stomach area to also help support the weight.   This is a little strange at first but you get used to it.  You can adjust the length of that bar just by pulling it out or pushing it in.

The bars that go over your shoulder are padded with thick rubber.  You can also bend them easily so that they form to the shape of your shoulders.  Even though the weight is on your shoulder, it feels evenly distributed between the two shoulder bars and the stomach bar.

The one downside to the Saxholder is that the strap does not work well when you are sitting down and have the horn to the side.   It throws the balanced weight on your shoulders off and everything feels a bit unstable and lopsided.  I do most of my practicing and gigging standing up so this isn’t a big negative for me but some of you who are in big bands or sit a lot when you are playing will find this to be a big negative.   I would have given the Saxholder 5 stars but I deducted one star for the unstable feeling while sitting.

The model I have is clearly for the tenor saxophone as I can’t pull it high enough to play my alto sax with it.  I’m not sure if they make one model for both horns.  I hope so as I don’t want to lug around two Saxholders every where I go.  A new  Saxholder model that works for both tenor and alto is on my Christmas list this year…………..

If your are interested in learning more about this great strap you can visit the Jazzlab website to read the great reviews and testimonials.   There are number of retailors who are selling the Jazzlab Saxholder now so if you do a search online you will be able to order one easily.

I have included a video below so you can see how the Saxholder works in action.     Thanks,    Steve

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. I purchased one of these weird contraptions from Eric Falcon a few months ago while attending a sax masterclass in Houston. Most of my gigs these days are 4hour gigs where Im standing. The traditional neck strap would wear me out by the end of the gig but this contraption distributes the load of the tenor from the neck to the shoulders and chest. I love it. I also switch to alto and I just have to adjust the string for the alto and it works fine. I highly suggest that you consider this neck strap!

  2. Avatar Heath Watts says

    Hi Steve,
    Will the Saxholder work with a straight soprano saxophone?

  3. Heath, I use my Saxholder with my straight soprano and it works fine. I don’t like using the Saxholder when I’m sitting down with a tenor to the side but anything out in front is fine. Steve

  4. That’s great! Thanks for replying, Steve. I need to try one of these straps.

  5. I have been using the Saxholder about a year and love it. I have always been most comfortable playing with the sax between my legs. My problem with the lop-sided balance as you described for players who play to the side mainly comes into play for me when it’s time to swab my horn. As usual Steve, your review is much more thorough than what I posted on my website.

  6. Avatar Norman Walsh says

    This strap is great. I have mild arthritis in my neck, therefore this strap is worth every penny. there is also a Free Form strap. Really great for relieving pressure. Unfortunately I rejected it because of the harness.

  7. Thanks for the review, Steve. I’m going to look into the Jazz Lab holder. I like their sound Deflector product, good design and an improvement on the Ploeger Sound Mirror that’s been around for decades to reflect your sound back to you when playing. I’ve got back trouble so I got one of those harness type straps, perhaps by BG. Two problems with the harness: because it’s all one strap, if you’re a large person, once you adjust the harness to fit your body, there’s only so much strap available to slide the horn up closer to your mouth. The horn was either too low, or too close to your body, with not enough strap to pull up to an adequate height for playing. Also, every breath you take, every slight move of your shoulders means the horn is constantly moving around. I couldn’t get used to it at all. The Sax Holder seems different, with the actual sax strap independant from the shoulder part, so am I correct in assuming you can slide the horn up as high as you like?

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