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QHR Euphonium Hand Strap - Review

Rating: 11 votes, 4.82 average.
Bill Ricker is a doer. He sees a need in the realm of brass instruments and his mind starts working on solutions. He is the inventor of the very useful Quick Horn Rinse (QHR) for encouraging us to keep our horns clean by making it more painless. Now he has come up with a solution for those who struggle holding the horn securely without straining their left wrist over the long term.

I have in the past used a "Duck Foot" that was custom made for Glenn Call. It was a curved metal brace the was inserted into the lyre box on my horn. It worked well and gave me better security with the horn, but was fussy to tighten adequately and required a lyre box in a certain place on the horn. Many horns exclude the lyre holder altogether or have it mounted in the "wrong" place (for a Duck Foot). I never found a good way to mount it to my triggered Sterling. Also, it needed to be removed before you put the horn in the case.

Now Bill has come up with a solution that is cheaper and more practical for general use. His "Euphonium Hand Strap" uses hook & loop fasteners (i.e. Velcro) for attaching to the instrument and for adjusting the hand loop. He uses cotton duck fabric, which is very comfortable on the hand (that was one concern I had before actually trying the device). I have been using the EHS for about a week and found it a friendly option with no downside.

On a strictly personal note, the need for me is much less than it used to be. My Adams Custom has been modified for a grip that suits my left hand very well, and it is lighter than many other instruments. Because I don't need a trigger, the strain on my left hand is less. Even so, and surprisingly, the EHS seemed to help me as much when I was seated as when I was standing! While sitting, I use a pad under the horn to help support it and to keep the angle to my chops more ideal. But the EHS makes that easier to do when I don't wish to use the pad or when I need to keep the horn free (such as when I need to do some conducting with my horn as I play).

I recommend you try this device. The cost is reasonable and there is nothing to damage your horn. Its adjustability should make it work with any of the upright 3+1 side-valve euphoniums. More specifics can be found on Bill's website, along with the QHR:

One of the Forum moderators has tried one as well and you can read his review in the post below:

EHS in place on my horn, top view:
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EHS in place on my horn, bottom view:
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EHS in playing positing:
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  1. ChristianeSparkle's Avatar
    I have a question about the strap being secured at that location. The part where the hand strap is, it will usually rub against the horn as you hold it, right? It's happening in my case and I notice tarnish developing as a result (hopefully no scratches on that part). How do you get around that?
  2. davewerden's Avatar
    ChristianeSparkle: The euphonium I play is lacquered, so I could not have had a problem with tarnish. However, I don't see why the strap would cause tarnish on silver. But I'm not sure of the material used in the current QHR strap. The original, made by Valerie Wells, was made of cotton duck fabric. Then QHR found a maker to build it for them, and that strap had a much more open weave and felt "harder" to the touch. If you are using one of those, perhaps there is a material that accelerates tarnish.

    I'll guess it's easy to solve, though. Take off the strap and polish that whole area with Hagerty polish, with the added tarnish inhibitor. It's possible that is all you need.