How to fit your hand support

hand support 26hand support 24hand support 22hand support 23hand support 25

hand support 21hand support 27hand support 28hand support 29

The Michael Rath hand support is very easy to fit to your trombone. This is a short step-by-step guide to fitting and adjusting your hand support correctly so that you get the best possible support.

This is the hand support kit. In it you'll find the two piece bracket which attaches to the main bell stay of your trombone, the hand support pad which will rest on the back of your left hand, four plastic rings, two "L" shaped arms and an allen key.

The first step is check to see if you need to fit one of the plastic rings to your bell stay before attaching the hand support. To do this, take the four allen screws out of the bracket and fit this around your bell stay.

Check to see if there is a gap between the circular hole in the hand support bracket and the bell stay. You can see that there is a gap on this trombone.

If there is a gap then select the appropriate ring to fill the gap and fit in around the main bell stay.

Rath alto, tenor, bass and contrabass trombones shouldn't need a ring. but the JP/Rath student trombones will need a ring fitting to them.

With the ring in place check the bracket again as before - if there's a gap, try fitting a different ring, if the bracket is a snug fit then you can fit the rest of the allen screws back into the bracket as shown. Don't tighten the screws up all the way at this stage.

Once you have the bracket in place on your bell section connect one of the L shaped arms to the main hand support pad. The choice of which L shaped arm to use will depend on the position of the bracket that you've just fitted.

As a general guide, the squarer of the the L arms is usually better for bass trombones, and the other L arm is generally better with tenor trombones, but you may need to try both to get the best position for the hand support on your trombone.

Now you can insert the other end of the L arm into the receving hole on the bell stay bracket and tighten up the receiving screw.

Tighten the screws up to fasten the two pieces of the bracket back together taking care to tighten them evenly and not to overtighten. The hand support should be secure on the bell stay with very little or no movement in the bracket.

At this stage you should have the hand support fully assembled, ready to adjust it to suit you.

The hand support is designed to give you as much flexbility as possible with the position of the pad on the back of your left hand. The pad can be rotated through 360° and moved up and down the L arm.

You need to adjust the position of the hand support pad so that it sits across the back of your left hand when you hold your trombone in the playing position. Your hand should fit snugly between the pad and your slide.

If the pad isn't fitting snugly across the back of your left hand, it won't give you the best support when you come to play your trombone. You might find that you need to loosen the screw on the bell stay bracket which connects to the L arm so that you can move the pad closer to your hand.

When the hand support is in the correct position you should be able to let go of the slide stay with the fingers of your left hand, leaving the hand support to take your trombone.

It's worth spending some time doing this and experimenting with various positions for your hand support as experience with lots of players and different instruments has shown there is an optimal position which will dramatically increase your comfort when holding and playing your trombone.

Michael Rath hand supports have been designed and successfully tested with a number of different makes and models of trombone in addition to all Rath instruments. Aside from perhaps more obvious applications with bass and contra bass trombones, has proven to be equally as successful with Bb/F tenor and Bb tenor trombones particularly for younger players.