Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
minorkey
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Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by minorkey » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:55 pm

I need a new guitar stool/seat and went looking for suggestions from the good folks here at DC. I found suggestions for chairs with and without backs, with people talking about getting back support while they play. I was taught that the correct playing position (no foot stool--using support) is with my back straight or leaning very slight forward, with my primary weight over my hips. This allows for an ergonomic position with little stress on the upper back, neck, and shoulders. But in this position, which works well for me, my back does not touch the back of a chair.

So, my question is, what is the back support for? Do other players sit back while they play?

By the way, I'm looking for a very well-padded stool/bench that can be adjusted to as low as 16" off the ground. My current keyboard bench works well, but my boney bottom needs a little more padding. :oops:

I'm really curious whether other players sit back while they play.

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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:23 am

I am currently sitting forward whenever I play. Although, sometimes, especially if I play for longer periods of time, my back starts to hurt a little and I lean back on my chair just to relax my back. This does sacrifice correct playing position though.

kmurdick
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by kmurdick » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:29 am

Here's what Aaron Shearer recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxR_esE ... 59&index=1

Luis_Br
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:08 am

Here Carlevaro's view:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYMsWuOqyE
Important to notice the feet/legs position reasoning to search for correct back equilibrium without tension.

minorkey
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by minorkey » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:09 am

Thanks for the responses and for those links to YouTube. Both use footstools and neither sit back.

I understand sitting back to rest occasionally, but a player's body would be out of whack if they played that way, as spanishguitarmusic points out. So I really don't need a seat back in my new chair, I don't think. Thanks!

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Aucaman
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by Aucaman » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:55 pm

I have to sit forward (and occasionally bend forward) to play.
It would be very difficult (at least for me) to play leaning back on a chair. I have reduced back pain substantially by using a chair that does give me great support on my lower back (kidney level). It's called: "The Original Guitar Chair." The design is perfect. Moreover, it totally folds and can be put into a neat bag to take it wherever.
This chair and a Barnett guitar support -which allows me to sit straight with both feet on the floor- have helped me a lot.

minorkey
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by minorkey » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:22 pm

Aucaman wrote:I have to sit forward (and occasionally bend forward) to play.
It would be very difficult (at least for me) to play leaning back on a chair. I have reduced back pain substantially by using a chair that does give me great support on my lower back (kidney level). It's called: "The Original Guitar Chair." The design is perfect. Moreover, it totally folds and can be put into a neat bag to take it wherever.
This chair and a Barnett guitar support -which allows me to sit straight with both feet on the floor- have helped me a lot.
I've seen the many recommendations for the Original Guitar Chair and wish it could work for me. But aside from the high price, it's not height adjustable. For someone short like me -- 5'2" -- who sits about 16" off the ground, it's not ideal. But I appreciate your suggestion!

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:49 pm

I use a (height adjustable) piano bench and a Dynarette cushion. It enables me to sit upright and balance my guitar without using arms/hands.
All I have to do, is wrap my arms around the guitar. When I use a foot stool, I lean (a little) forward and need both arms to balance my guitar. Doesn't feel comfortable. Try it yourself, can you balance your guitar on your left leg without your arms or hands? A Dynarette or Ergoplay will make it possible. Gabriel Bianco taught me this 'look, no hands' trick. He said: a guitar needs to be properly balanced. Any pressure from arms or hands on a guitar influences your tone.
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:03 pm

"it's not height adjustable. For someone short like me -- 5'2" -- who sits about 16" off the ground, it's not ideal."

These chairs are made individually. It's possible--I don't know--that one could be made to your height specifications. I don't want to beat this to death, but I also find this chair gives great support for my lower back and is highly ergonomic overall.
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robin loops
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by robin loops » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:10 pm

Any wooden chair is height adjustable with a ruler and a saw.
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hesson11
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by hesson11 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:00 am

robin loops wrote:Any wooden chair is height adjustable with a ruler and a saw.
As is any metal-tube chair with a tube cutter. Takes about five minutes. If I can do it, anyone can do it.
-Bob

minorkey
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by minorkey » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:11 am

Thanks, Robin and Bob. Please come to my house with your saw and tube cutter to adjust my chairs. :D
Last edited by minorkey on Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:51 pm

I have been using an adjustable office chair (inexpensive from office deepeaux) with back and no arms. I don't mind the casters on carpet. And if you get casters with breaks on them it should work on hard floors too. I use the back to rest occaisionally.
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robin loops
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by robin loops » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:55 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:I have been using an adjustable office chair (inexpensive from office deepeaux) with back and no arms. I don't mind the casters on carpet. And if you get casters with breaks on them it should work on hard floors too. I use the back to rest occaisionally.
For myself I find spinning chairs to be too unstable to use for classical playing. But there are ways to make them not spin, like using clamps or drilling a hole for a cotter pin (just make sure it doesn't compromise the gas seal in the piston that controls the height) etc. I do use one for casual playing that has removable armrests. That way I can leave the right armrest in place for more comfort when working in the music studio.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
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bear
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Re: Correct Sitting Position - Leaning Back or Not?

Post by bear » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:20 pm

Everyone is different. Find something comfortable and do that.
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