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.