Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripoydium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:39 pm

Matthew Masail wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:27 am
Interesting problem. If the way your holding it on your right leg is comfortable to play with it shouldnt be hard to make a stand to hold it in that position and take the weight off. I would make a wooden tripod (nicely turned like the Agudo picture) with a heavy base possibly weighted at the center near the legs, then a bent laminate to match the guitar (think 6* guitar sides laminated together) with firm foam and upholstered is a black soft breathable fabric. This will attach to the tripod with s strong steel swivel. So now you have height and angle adjustment, the lower bout cannot slip back and the upper bout exactly over your leg floating on the support.

* correctly designed the base might not need to be heavy, as long as one of the tripod legs can fit under your chair inline with the guitar.
Hello Matthew,

Thank you for your comments. After a two hour rehearsal this morning, I'm back to the idea of trying to get a stand built to support the guitar. I played most of the rehearsal with the guitar on my left leg but the body of the guitar is so big that it forces my legs open to such a wide angle that my right hip flexor is killing me now. I'm jealous of Aguado's ability to sit with the guitar and keep his legs closed!

I tried playing for a little bit with the guitar on my right leg but it's not stable enough there for me, forces my right shoulder too high, and pushes the neck too flat, so I just couldn't play it that way and went back to the left leg.

I wonder if the stand would allow me to hold the guitar between my legs, hovering there, that might be the best playing position.

If you're up for trying to help me, send me a PM and we can discuss the details. My dream is to play the monster in a guitar orchestra starting this September so I think I need to make my peace with the guitar by then.

Matthew Masail
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:57 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripoydium or other device

Post by Matthew Masail » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:11 pm

larryguitar wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:39 pm
Matthew Masail wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:27 am
Interesting problem. If the way your holding it on your right leg is comfortable to play with it shouldnt be hard to make a stand to hold it in that position and take the weight off. I would make a wooden tripod (nicely turned like the Agudo picture) with a heavy base possibly weighted at the center near the legs, then a bent laminate to match the guitar (think 6* guitar sides laminated together) with firm foam and upholstered is a black soft breathable fabric. This will attach to the tripod with s strong steel swivel. So now you have height and angle adjustment, the lower bout cannot slip back and the upper bout exactly over your leg floating on the support.

* correctly designed the base might not need to be heavy, as long as one of the tripod legs can fit under your chair inline with the guitar.
Hello Matthew,

Thank you for your comments. After a two hour rehearsal this morning, I'm back to the idea of trying to get a stand built to support the guitar. I played most of the rehearsal with the guitar on my left leg but the body of the guitar is so big that it forces my legs open to such a wide angle that my right hip flexor is killing me now. I'm jealous of Aguado's ability to sit with the guitar and keep his legs closed!

I tried playing for a little bit with the guitar on my right leg but it's not stable enough there for me, forces my right shoulder too high, and pushes the neck too flat, so I just couldn't play it that way and went back to the left leg.

I wonder if the stand would allow me to hold the guitar between my legs, hovering there, that might be the best playing position.

If you're up for trying to help me, send me a PM and we can discuss the details. My dream is to play the monster in a guitar orchestra starting this September so I think I need to make my peace with the guitar by then.
Hi Larry, I would truly love to help, I appreciate how much you are dedicated to the instrument. I'm afraid the most I can offer are my thoughts since I am about 3000miles (maybe more) away from you.... But finding a woodworker shouldn't be hard once you have the design idea.

For the lower bout be supported between the legs a simple cradle (again upholstered) connected to the pedestal with a locking steel ball joint makes sense. This should allow you to tilt the guitar towards you (or anywhere) and thus have it located a little more forward so you could close your legs a little bit. The pedestal itself can height adjust with a large screw like a swivel chair, The feet will need some non skid feet or better yet a small folding arm to clamp the whole thing to the front of your chair so it doesn't slip forward. Have you considered standing ? A stand like this one could accommodate that too with enough height adjustment, it'll be up to you to support the neck though.

larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripoydium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:50 pm

Matthew Masail wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:11 pm
larryguitar wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:39 pm
Matthew Masail wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:27 am
Interesting problem. If the way your holding it on your right leg is comfortable to play with it shouldnt be hard to make a stand to hold it in that position and take the weight off. I would make a wooden tripod (nicely turned like the Agudo picture) with a heavy base possibly weighted at the center near the legs, then a bent laminate to match the guitar (think 6* guitar sides laminated together) with firm foam and upholstered is a black soft breathable fabric. This will attach to the tripod with s strong steel swivel. So now you have height and angle adjustment, the lower bout cannot slip back and the upper bout exactly over your leg floating on the support.

* correctly designed the base might not need to be heavy, as long as one of the tripod legs can fit under your chair inline with the guitar.
Hello Matthew,

Thank you for your comments. After a two hour rehearsal this morning, I'm back to the idea of trying to get a stand built to support the guitar. I played most of the rehearsal with the guitar on my left leg but the body of the guitar is so big that it forces my legs open to such a wide angle that my right hip flexor is killing me now. I'm jealous of Aguado's ability to sit with the guitar and keep his legs closed!

I tried playing for a little bit with the guitar on my right leg but it's not stable enough there for me, forces my right shoulder too high, and pushes the neck too flat, so I just couldn't play it that way and went back to the left leg.

I wonder if the stand would allow me to hold the guitar between my legs, hovering there, that might be the best playing position.

If you're up for trying to help me, send me a PM and we can discuss the details. My dream is to play the monster in a guitar orchestra starting this September so I think I need to make my peace with the guitar by then.
Hi Larry, I would truly love to help, I appreciate how much you are dedicated to the instrument. I'm afraid the most I can offer are my thoughts since I am about 3000miles (maybe more) away from you.... But finding a woodworker shouldn't be hard once you have the design idea.

For the lower bout be supported between the legs a simple cradle (again upholstered) connected to the pedestal with a locking steel ball joint makes sense. This should allow you to tilt the guitar towards you (or anywhere) and thus have it located a little more forward so you could close your legs a little bit. The pedestal itself can height adjust with a large screw like a swivel chair, The feet will need some non skid feet or better yet a small folding arm to clamp the whole thing to the front of your chair so it doesn't slip forward. Have you considered standing ? A stand like this one could accommodate that too with enough height adjustment, it'll be up to you to support the neck though.
Hello Matthew,

I understand, I started to have some second thoughts about the idea as soon as I made this post. I think I need find someone locally, in New York City, to try to devise a solution. I've reached out to a luthier and will see if he's interested in helping. If not, I'll ask some other people I know.

I appreciate your thoughts! I'm open to any suggestions. Perhaps a simple cradle and pedestal held between my legs, as you described, would work. I'll have to think about it some more.

I don't think I'll be able to play standing up. I'm not used to playing the guitar while standing up.

I suppose it might seem crazy to be dedicated to this instrument, but, oh, I think it is worth it because the sound is amazing! This guitar has the same range as a double bass in a much smaller package. It is amazingly loud for a plucked string instrument, mainly because the body is so large and the top is a spruce/cedar double top.

I think the contra guitar will be wonderful in an ensemble. Guitar orchestras are usually stuck with all of the instruments in the same register, and this gets around that problem. Everybody in my current ensemble appreciates hearing my bass, it helps a lot. It's nice that I don't have to be a virtuoso soloist to play the bass, as the bass lines should be relatively simple.

Matthew Masail
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:57 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripoydium or other device

Post by Matthew Masail » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:14 pm

larryguitar wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:50 pm

I suppose it might seem crazy to be dedicated to this instrument, but, oh, I think it is worth it because the sound is amazing! This guitar has the same range as a double bass in a much smaller package. It is amazingly loud for a plucked string instrument, mainly because the body is so large and the top is a spruce/cedar double top.

I think the contra guitar will be wonderful in an ensemble. Guitar orchestras are usually stuck with all of the instruments in the same register, and this gets around that problem. Everybody in my current ensemble appreciates hearing my bass, it helps a lot. It's nice that I don't have to be a virtuoso soloist to play the bass, as the bass lines should be relatively simple.
I think it's wonderful, not crazy. Guitar ensembles can sound a little one dimensional, so I have no doubt this is worth pursuing. Would be nice if you could post a clip one day, so we can hear this instrument.

larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:14 am

I’ve ordered the complete Mundo guitar shoulder strap and leg brace system. Google for it, I’m not to allowed post a commercial link. The system attaches the leg brace or strap to a sucker head which has three suction cups and is rated for 13kg/28lbs. I’ve ordered an extra sucker head so I can use the brace and shoulder strap at the same time. Check out the videos on their website for info on how it works. I will not be doing any ZZ Top guitar spins but it is tempting!

Matthew Masail
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:57 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by Matthew Masail » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:26 pm

Look on the video site for your luthier there is a guy there playing the same model guitar as you, he is holding it between his legs tilted back, camera won't show the stand but you could contact him.

astro64
Posts: 1134
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: American Southwest

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by astro64 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:39 pm

Maybe this has already been brought up here, but if not, have you thought about installing an end pin like a cello and play it the way Paul Galbraith holds his guitar? It just seems too big to be comfortable in any traditional position even with a support. You might not want to drill holes but is getting injured instead a better alternative?

larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:52 pm

Matthew Masail wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:26 pm
Look on the video site for your luthier there is a guy there playing the same model guitar as you, he is holding it between his legs tilted back, camera won't show the stand but you could contact him.
I think you mean the videos of Peter Constant on YouTube. In one video he has his legs crossed. I tried it that way, with a drawer liner, but it’s not stable for me and it requires that I lock my right arm to hold the guitar in place, something I don’t like.

In the other video, he has it between his legs, tilted back, that’s the way I’m playing it now. Peter is a big guy, bigger than I am, so perhaps it is more comfortable for him in that position.

I have exchanged emails with Peter to try to get some tips on holding it. He didn’t really have any advice for me besides explaining how he held it. I also asked him why he didn’t buy it to keep it from me. :-) He said he already has his hands full with an 880mm bass and that this one is a handful. There is only one of these contra guitars by that luthier.
Last edited by larryguitar on Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:59 pm

astro64 wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:39 pm
Maybe this has already been brought up here, but if not, have you thought about installing an end pin like a cello and play it the way Paul Galbraith holds his guitar? It just seems too big to be comfortable in any traditional position even with a support. You might not want to drill holes but is getting injured instead a better alternative?
I believe other people have suggested installing an end pin. I just don’t think I’ll be able to get my head around playing vertically. It would require a huge learning curve and would cause its own physical difficulties.

As for a spike, funny you mention that. The nice guys behind Mundo seem willing to work with me to fabricate a spike that I can attach anywhere, if it comes to that. My idea is that the spike would go vertically between my legs. I’m going to first try the complete kit to see if I can get that to work.

On YouTube, you can find Peter Constant playing his 880mm four string bass, with a spike, here:



but you still wind up holding the instrument between your legs which has got to hurt after a while. I wish I had the flexibility of a gymnast. I certainly don’t want to injure myself which is why I’m going to such lengths to figure out how to play it comfortably. You could write a book on the physical toll imposed by various instruments.

larryguitar
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:38 pm

Yesterday, I received my Mundo support kit. The kit includes a strap and leg support, both of which attach to a sucker head. After trying it for about half an hour, I'm cautiously optimistic that this will solve my problem. The main advantage of the system is that it allows me to move with the instrument. I think the worst thing about playing the contra guitar was being stuck in the same position for hours.

I used both the shoulder strap and leg support at the same time so I can divide the weight between them. I bought an extra sucker head so that I could use both supports. The contra guitar weighs 12 lbs. Les Pauls weigh 10.5lbs so they're not light and rock guitarists throw them around. YouTube is full of hilarious videos of guitar spins that have gone wrong. No guitar spins with this monster.

I can put the leg support on either my right or my left leg, and with two supports, I'm confident that the guitar will not drop to the floor. Most importantly, I can play with my legs closed and not spread wide open.

The two straps for the shoulder strap can be looped through my belt a couple of times so the guitar holds up my pants! Nice feature.

This guitar will never be as comfortable to play as a standard sized classical guitar but I think I can make my peace with it.

Here are a couple of pictures:
ContraGuitarOnStrapSmall.jpg
ContraGuitarLegSupportSmall.jpg
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