Mounting an Adjustable Thumb Rest

When playing larger instruments feels uncomfortable or tiring, thumb rests can make a huge difference. Many of the the tenor, bass and contrabass instruments we sell come with adjustable thumb rests already installed. However, should you choose to install a thumb rest yourself, we've included instructions for you:

  • Find your thumb position: Attach a piece of tape to your instrument and hold the instrument as if you were playing. Draw a line to mark the position of the upper edge of your thumb. 

  • Find the thumb rest placement: Adjust the thumb rest so that the bar is centered on the attaching hardware, providing you maximal adjustment in both directions.  Position the thumb rest on the instrument so that the cork is even with the line marked on the tape. Check that the thumb rest is in line with the thumbhole above.

  • Drill the first hole: When you are sure the thumb rest is centered properly, mark one point where a screw will be positioned, and drill a hole at the marked position using a ~0.0385” diameter wire drill.  If you go through the bore, don’t worry. The hole will be filled by the screw and the sound will not be affected. 

  • Drill second hole: Slightly enlarge the top of the hole with an awl and mount the thumb rest with one of the screws.  Remove the adjustable part of the thumb rest to give access to the other mounting hole.  Then check the alignment of the mounting hardware, mark the hole, and drill and enlarge as before.

  • Install the thumb rest: Install the other screw, tighten both screws, remount thumb rest bar and position to your liking.  Use a wooden dowel to rub off any splinters in the bore resulting from the drilling.

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