Are footstools or supports the standard?

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
jhawes

Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by jhawes » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:09 pm

When I first started learning I used a footstool and that was the norm at that time. I've been using an A-Frame with suction cups for years and feel very comfortable with it. It hasn't effected the finish on my guitar at all. Most of time when I practice I sit in a normal height wooden chair. I don't like sitting really low, but at 5'9" tall, my thighs are not parallel to the floor. I also like to have my guitar up a little higher. I have the A-frame as high as it will go. What I usually do is put my heel up some against the leg of the chair which raises up my leg a little bit. This is probably unusual, but I feel comfortable that way. I've grown accustomed to thinking that a little bit of back pain just comes with the territory for classical guitar players. I've thought about using a footstool on a low setting together with the A-frame, but think that might look silly.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:43 pm

jhawes wrote: I've grown accustomed to thinking that a little bit of back pain just comes with the territory for classical guitar players. I've thought about using a footstool on a low setting together with the A-frame, but think that might look silly.
No back pain is not unavoidable -
Please try to play standing with guitar.
No back pain at all when you play standing...
Please check this topic here:
viewtopic.php?f=71&t=35855&start=165
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

Rich_Carulli

Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Rich_Carulli » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:24 pm

I use both a footstool and a Dynarette cushion support to get the best angle for me. Very comfortable.

Karl Markis

Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Karl Markis » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:58 am

I have yet to purchase my first classical guitar, but I plan on trying out the Kris Barnett guitar support and armrest when I do. The ergonomics of a footstool seem irrefutably poor for spine alignment; how the overwhelming majority of classical guitarists still continue to use them in this day and age seems illogical. Perhaps it is to maintain a conventional appearance on stage, I couldn't think of any other reason why.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:21 am

For a long time I used a guitar support of some kinda (Murata clap support, litchfield support, troster support) and I used to swear by them. I still suggest them to students who have back/posture issues. Starting about 2 years ago, I started experimenting with my sitting position, pretty much stemming from the touring I was doing and how unhappy I was when I encountered low chair at venues. At my job (and at certain concerts that I had), I had lower then usual chairs to use. This made using a support a pain, and at my teaching job, I wound up using a footstool out of convenience. After I graduated from my masters program I found myself using the footstool (or case) more and more.

Then during the summer of 2011, I was doing a lot of practicing on my living room couch. This couch allowed me to practice without the need of a support or footstool. My couch is quite low, yet very comfortable. What I found is that my sitting on my couch, it placed the guitar in a very desirable position. With the soundhole position right in the middle of my chest. Whenever I used a support the guitar was always pushed to the left, which I began to dislike more and more. I realized that on my couch, I had little to no back issues and would play for hours on end, but when I'd use my support my back would start to twist. Maybe it's all the cushion in the couch, or the low height and not displacing my legs, but I liked it.

So I went from playing with a guitar support with a relatively high chair, to sitting in lower chairs with a footstool. For my to relieve the back issues, a lower chair is best so that I don't need to raise the footstool too high. However, for me to place the guitar comfortable with a guitar support, I need the chair much higher to align the guitar properly, and even then I didn't like it. I always left my right shoulder was pushed out way too much. Also, with the footstool, I hold the guitar slightly lower as I don't like the body close to my neck/chin, with was another reason to drop the support.

One last thing, I use a footstool that does not angle upwards, it's one of those old 60's/70's metal contraptions that'll take off your finger if you look at it the wrong way. I find those the most comfortable for my foot.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Luis_Br
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:35 pm

Nick Cutroneo wrote:For a long time I used a guitar support of some kinda (Murata clap support, litchfield support, troster support) and I used to swear by them. I still suggest them to students who have back/posture issues. Starting about 2 years ago, I started experimenting with my sitting position, pretty much stemming from the touring I was doing and how unhappy I was when I encountered low chair at venues. At my job (and at certain concerts that I had), I had lower then usual chairs to use. This made using a support a pain, and at my teaching job, I wound up using a footstool out of convenience. After I graduated from my masters program I found myself using the footstool (or case) more and more.

Then during the summer of 2011, I was doing a lot of practicing on my living room couch. This couch allowed me to practice without the need of a support or footstool. My couch is quite low, yet very comfortable. What I found is that my sitting on my couch, it placed the guitar in a very desirable position. With the soundhole position right in the middle of my chest. Whenever I used a support the guitar was always pushed to the left, which I began to dislike more and more. I realized that on my couch, I had little to no back issues and would play for hours on end, but when I'd use my support my back would start to twist. Maybe it's all the cushion in the couch, or the low height and not displacing my legs, but I liked it.

So I went from playing with a guitar support with a relatively high chair, to sitting in lower chairs with a footstool. For my to relieve the back issues, a lower chair is best so that I don't need to raise the footstool too high. However, for me to place the guitar comfortable with a guitar support, I need the chair much higher to align the guitar properly, and even then I didn't like it. I always left my right shoulder was pushed out way too much. Also, with the footstool, I hold the guitar slightly lower as I don't like the body close to my neck/chin, with was another reason to drop the support.

One last thing, I use a footstool that does not angle upwards, it's one of those old 60's/70's metal contraptions that'll take off your finger if you look at it the wrong way. I find those the most comfortable for my foot.
My teacher sais the same about regular low chairs in concerts. Sometimes he travels with some wood pieces he can put under chair legs and raise it up if necessary.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:51 pm

Well, right now the footstool is doing its job. However, I haven't ruled out using a support again.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Luis_Br
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:57 pm

If footstool is ok, I think there is no problem. My intention was just to give a tip about another possible solution that might be helpful.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:53 am

I understand, I don't like high chairs all that much (right now) even with a support. Mainly because not matter what I use, the support/guitar always is slipping down off my leg.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

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vinhngo
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by vinhngo » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:54 am

Has anyone tried to turn the footstool around so that the heel is higher than the toes? :) I find it more comfortable this way. Anyway I usually sit at the side of my bed with my legs crossed when I simply try to learn the music. Only when I need to take it to performance level that I use the footstool. I don't seem to have much problem with it though (just being lazy lol). In my opinion sometimes we need to stop and be aware of the tension in our bodies when playing. If your leg and back is tense when playing, it is important to be aware of that and reduce it. Minimizing the tension should be almost as important for the other parts of the body as for the hands.

@AndreiKrylov I did play some non classical music in the standing position with the strap on. For some reason I don't find it secure enough playing classical music. My left and right hand have to keep the guitar from swinging. When there's a big change of position it is a lot more likely for me to miss the note. Things get worse when I have to do artificial harmonics or play something beyond the 12th fret.
Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.

-Andres Segovia-

Check out my youtube channel for more performances: http://www.youtube.com/user/ffgghhj77

Luis_Br
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:01 am

vinhngo wrote: @AndreiKrylov I did play some non classical music in the standing position with the strap on. For some reason I don't find it secure enough playing classical music. My left and right hand have to keep the guitar from swinging. When there's a big change of position it is a lot more likely for me to miss the note. Things get worse when I have to do artificial harmonics or play something beyond the 12th fret.
I have a friend that plays in standing position and his solution to that was to pass a second strap around the waist. The guitar seems very secure this way and he does not have any problem with guitar slipping. Here he plays Giuliani concerto:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtaxxhhovT0
There are other videos you may be able to see better his solution, but I cannot point them directly here, due to forum rules...
Nick Cutroneo wrote:I understand, I don't like high chairs all that much (right now) even with a support. Mainly because not matter what I use, the support/guitar always is slipping down off my leg.
Even with the solution you posted in some thread long ago, about using strings and suction cups, or something like that, to prevent the slipping? I use two suction cups attached to the side of the guitar, tied to my pants loops with a shoe rope, to prevent the slipping. But I know depending on the guitar finishing, suction cups might not be so reliable...

amezcua
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by amezcua » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:55 pm

This week I started to make a guitar support with 2 feet planted and using reconstituted foam rubber . A sharp breadknife is useful to carve away at the foam . Number one was the thickness between guitar and thigh. It needs a tilt towards the body . A flat bottom surface is wrong as that will allow rolling forwards and backwards . So extra foam glued to front and back edges .ie running left to right. Then 2 more pieces along the sides to control side rolling. A square cut near the body is wrong .That needs an angle to allow for tummies . Front to back width has to be more than the guitar thickness to allow for the best holding angle . A mild tendency to creep forwards needs an extra blob of foam on top where there is a triangular space nearest the body . The foam addition will be restrained by touching the back of the guitar . Finally (I hope) a connection below the guitar reaching the right leg can have a wedge of foam that will lock itself securely and hold the contraption on the left side in place .The last 2 improvements ,when I make them ,should be very secure and relaxed . Then I have to hide it all in something black .
There is one useful review of guitar supports on the net but comments like "It looks dumb" don`t move us forward at all . That particular "dumb" model can be seen in a Pirai Vaca video . I would not tangle with him. He looks very hard . But he has a sensitive side and real tears when playing the Scottish piece Neil Gow`s Lament . Pure magic .

amezcua
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by amezcua » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:15 pm

The guitar support I made above out of reconstituted foam is the right shape but it has it`s drawbacks. Well that creation took less than 2 days from start to finish at odd moments between other things . The basic fault is that it`s all made of foam. The movements of the guitar gradually start it going walkabout. Only slowly . The useful idea occured to attach a pocket to the front left leg just where the support sits . Then a firm plastic card shaped addition to the bottom of the support could slide into the pocket before sitting down . You may have seen the knee pockets that builders ,electricians etc use for knee protection . That`s a similar thing .It would stop forwards and sideways drifting. A frame inside the foam would keep the top steadier. I have already solved the problem of slipping at the shiny surface of a guitar.
In the Pirai Vaca video playing Neil Gow`s Lament I noticed he uses a footstool and also a knee pad . That`s very unusual . For a very comfortable seat I read once that the best design is a metal tractor seat .How would you like that facing you on a lonely stage platform ?

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Matthew Stidham
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Matthew Stidham » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:38 pm

As far as the back is concerned, the hamstring muscles connect in your back around the L4-L3 area. When you raise your foot on a footstool you stretch the hamstring muscles, which in turn pull in your lower/mid back.

Now, I have sever back problems, but still use a footstool. But as soon as I can save up the money, I'll be purchasing one of the Barnett guitar supports!
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Kevin L Benbow
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Post by Kevin L Benbow » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:34 am

Nick Cutroneo wrote:For a long time I used a guitar support of some kinda (Murata clap support, litchfield support, troster support) and I used to swear by them. I still suggest them to students who have back/posture issues. Starting about 2 years ago, I started experimenting with my sitting position, pretty much stemming from the touring I was doing and how unhappy I was when I encountered low chair at venues. At my job (and at certain concerts that I had), I had lower then usual chairs to use. This made using a support a pain, and at my teaching job, I wound up using a footstool out of convenience. After I graduated from my masters program I found myself using the footstool (or case) more and more.

I find that when I play on my couch or low chairs I am most comfortable with no support. I use a drummer 's throne most of the time when practicing or performing. The footstool is kept in the low poisition. No back issues yet and I'm pushing 50. I really dont like the appearance of the support pillows or modern stands, but if they are needed to prevent injury that is more important than appearance.

Then during the summer of 2011, I was doing a lot of practicing on my living room couch. This couch allowed me to practice without the need of a support or footstool. My couch is quite low, yet very comfortable. What I found is that my sitting on my couch, it placed the guitar in a very desirable position. With the soundhole position right in the middle of my chest. Whenever I used a support the guitar was always pushed to the left, which I began to dislike more and more. I realized that on my couch, I had little to no back issues and would play for hours on end, but when I'd use my support my back would start to twist. Maybe it's all the cushion in the couch, or the low height and not displacing my legs, but I liked it.

So I went from playing with a guitar support with a relatively high chair, to sitting in lower chairs with a footstool. For my to relieve the back issues, a lower chair is best so that I don't need to raise the footstool too high. However, for me to place the guitar comfortable with a guitar support, I need the chair much higher to align the guitar properly, and even then I didn't like it. I always left my right shoulder was pushed out way too much. Also, with the footstool, I hold the guitar slightly lower as I don't like the body close to my neck/chin, with was another reason to drop the support.

One last thing, I use a footstool that does not angle upwards, it's one of those old 60's/70's metal contraptions that'll take off your finger if you look at it the wrong way. I find those the most comfortable for my foot.
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