All Thumbs

Clarinet and oboe players - does your right thumb hurt and look red after you've been practicing?  Flute players - does your left index finger feel sore, or does the flute feel like it rolls in your hands when you try to play?  Sounds like a case for… a pencil grip.  Yup, a humble little pencil grip.  Here's how:  

Clarinet and oboe players, take a pencil grip and cut it in three equal pieces (photo 1).  Slightly flatten one piece between your fingers, and slide onto the thumb rest of your instrument (photo 2).  Ta-da!  A thumb rest cushion! 

Flute players, take a pencil grip and cut it open lengthwise (photo 3).  Use your fingers to open it up a bit, then place it on your flute where your left index finger rests (photos 4&5) or where your right thumb makes contact with the instrument.  Voila!  A cushion for your left hand, or a grippy thumb port to help steady your instrument in your right hand.  

So, go find whatever color or pattern you want and make an inexpensive, one-of-a-kind cushion for your thumb!  *Note: I find that the gel or "gummy" ones are a bit more tactile and hold up better than the foam kind.