Saxophone Thumbs

Do you get sore thumbs when playing your saxophone ?  Saxophone thumbs are a thing. But they don’t have to be.

Saxophone thumbs are a real condition.  If you do not hold your saxophone correctly, you may potentially experience sore and aching thumbs while playing your saxophone.

And we don’t want that !!

One of our Members here at – Pete – was experiencing aching thumbs and thumb pain, especially his right thumb.

Pete asked me in the forums inside the Members Area about the troubles he was having with his saxophone thumbs, so I thought the easiest way to answer him was to record a little video 🙂

How are your saxophone thumbs ?

If you are experiencing thumb pain when playing your saxophone, chances are high that you may not be holding your saxophone properly.


Your saxophone NECK STRAP takes all of the weight of your sax.  Your THUMBS do not.

Saxophone Thumbs

Your THUMBS are there purely for balance.  They do NOT take any weight of your saxophone what-so-ever.

As a simplistic summary, your thumbs both PUSH your saxophone at the same time.  Because your sax is on a pivot ( ie your neck strap ) your left thumb and your right thumb are pushing your saxophone in opposite directions….which essentially balance and cancel each other out.

Your saxophone thumbs therefore help you to hold your saxophone in place.  But, again, they do not and should not take any weight.  Your thumbs are there for balance only.

You do not need Thumbs Of Steel to play the saxophone.  Your thumbs should not hurt, ache, complain, or carry on.

Your thumbs are there to help you to have fun, play saxophone, be awesome and repeat !

Have you got any questions about your saxophone, or about learning how to play the sax, like Pete ?  Become a Member and ask in the Members Forums, like Pete did !

Thank you so much for joining me here today at .

I will see you in another lesson, at another time, either here at the How To Play The Sax Blog or inside the Members Area.



Matthew 🎷


Not a member at yet ?  Really ?  Join us and get access to the always increasing library of saxophone lessons, our Members forums and PDF cheat sheets.

P.S.  If you would like simple step by step instructions to help you learn how to play your favourite Rock, Soul, Funk and Blues songs on the saxophone:

  • all neatly organised in the one convenient location,
  • all provided by an experienced saxophone teacher who can help you to play the music that YOU want to play quickly and easily,
  • all available when ever it suits YOU (rather than when it suits someone else),
  • with a forum community to ask questions and receive (and give) answers

then check out our saxophone lessons membership options.  Get started on your saxophone journey today !

Remember – I can help you learn How To Play The Sax 🙂

YES – I want to Have Fun, Play Sax, Be Awesome and Repeat ! – where saxophone lessons come to YOU !


Saxophone Lessons at


Enter your name and email address and we'll send you some useful sax hints, tips - and your 7 free beginner saxophone lessons - delivered directly to your email inbox :-)

You are on your way to becoming AWESOME ! Please check your inbox :-)