Why not stand with the guitar?

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
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robin loops
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by robin loops » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:45 am

Scot Tremblay wrote:
robin loops wrote:Here's a little experiment: Barre the E, A, and D string at the first fret with the first finger while barring the G, B, and E at the fifth fret with the forth finger....
There is absolutely no difference in the relationship of the guitar to the body/limbs when I try your experiment. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I play a 19th century guitar with quite different proportions from a modern...or perhaps because, I play standing with strap, sitting with strap-both feet flat on ground, sitting with foot stool no strap and a couple other variations, I am accustomed to many different playing positions.

So, I'm afraid your little experiment doesn't really help the argument from either side as far as it relates to me. I'd be interested to know what others experience.
It wasn't an argument it was an experiment. And given that you are capable of recreating the same position while sitting or standing, you are one of the people I said would have no problems standing. I did say traditional classical position though, so you really haven't tried my experiment yet. And since my only frame of reference is with a standard sized guitar I'm also only referring to them. I can recreate the same variables standing and sitting in non classical form. It's the traditional classical form that has a particular benefit for me that can't be achieved while standing. I did forget to mention to also not use the thumb. Not that I don't play with the thumb but I use it to stabilize the hand not the guitar. But again, for anyone that can recreate the same relationship between the guitar and body (position) while standing, I would never suggest it was a bad idea.

For purpose of clarification: Do above mentioned test with a full size guitar. Ukeleles and other instruments may not be applicable. Also standing with a piccolo should never be problem (just in case it's necessary to mention... :wink:). And yes, I'm only referring to standard classical posture (with either a footstool or support though). But my only point is that the guitar should be in a particular relationship to the body and if this can be achieved there's no problem with standing. In my case there is absolutely no method I can devise to get the ideal position. BUT, I did not spend much time experimenting with methods to keep the guitar back from being against and paralel to the torso and for the guitar to stay immobile while not touching it with the left hand.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

lramirez

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by lramirez » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:32 am

I have recently put a strap on my Ramirez and am so glad to read that I am not the only Classical Guitarist to stand up, although I only stand sometimes to play and concentrated focused practice I still do sitting down, however I am using the strap to keep the guitar in position as opposed to a footstool or any other means. So I am sitting with the strap. Its easier to get up and get more coffee too!

lramirez

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by lramirez » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:46 am

Andre, you are incredible player! I was watching some of your performances and I am wondering where is the strap attached. And what kind is it? I sort of strung up one makeshift and could use some advice on it.
thanks,
Linda

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:52 am

Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

JohnPierce

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by JohnPierce » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:53 pm

lramirez wrote:I have recently put a strap on my Ramirez and am so glad to read that I am not the only Classical Guitarist to stand up...
Not only are you in the company of Andrei and Scott, but it seems from the link posted by Erik Zurcher that Gaëlle Solal also stands - high class company indeed!
lramirez wrote:... focused practice I still do sitting down, however I am using the strap to keep the guitar in position as opposed to a footstool or any other means. So I am sitting with the strap. Its easier to get up and get more coffee too!
As do I, and besides making it easier to get coffee, the strap means I don't have to worry about dropping the guitar, which I did once long ago... a rather unpleasant experience. Though after trying robin's experiment, I may try standing more often; it hadn't occurred to me that it might actually make some things easier.
lramirez wrote:Andre, you are incredible player! I was watching some of your performances and I am wondering where is the strap attached. And what kind is it? I sort of strung up one makeshift and could use some advice on it.
One strap button is on the end of the guitar where acoustic steel strings and electrics normally have them, and the other is on the treble side of the heel, where some steel strings have them. Mine's about as low on the heel and as far from the body as I feel it's safe to put it. Andrei has a short video on YouTube showing exactly where his is; I believe it's about the same location. I've been unable to find a picture of Ms Solal standing, so I don't know how she attaches the strap.

The type of strap doesn't matter much. On the acoustic steel string I use a quite wide leather one, but as light as a classical guitar is, the cheap soft nylon ones around a couple of inches wide should work fine. I use the latter for my electric guitar but with a gel pad that attaches to the strap where it goes over my shoulder.

You can experiment with suction cups if they will stick to your guitar (they won't hold on all finishes) and if they won't mar the finish. One goes where the normal end strap button would go, and the other should be as close to the heel and as low on the body as possible. In my opinion, however, they do not work as well as strap buttons because the location and angle of the one near the heel isn't as good.

Dogonjon created a sort of cradle using two straps that requires neither strap buttons nor suction cups, but I don't believe he's posted pictures of it, and I don't think I understood his description well enough to attempt to attempt to reproduce it.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:09 pm

Thanks Linda for your compliment and Erik and John for your interesting links and comments!
I have a very short video showing right position for the buttons and stability of guitar.
it is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDT0wvpkKM
Good luck!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

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robin loops
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by robin loops » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:36 pm

There's also a type of strap that kind of looks like a saxophone type strap. Goes around the neck and has a clip that comes under the guitar around to the front and clips in to the bottom edge of the sound hole and then something that goes the other way around the guitar to the other side of the sound hole.

They look interesting and like they might work well but I don't think they would keep the guitar held solidly and stable using only the right arm and without the use of left (not even touching the guitar), the back of guitar not touching the torso/belly (so it can vibrate freely and not 'choke' the sound), and the neck slightly forward. The same three factors are why other standing methods didn't work for me.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:22 am

robin loops wrote:There's also a type of strap that kind of looks like a saxophone type strap. Goes around the neck and has a clip that comes under the guitar around to the front and clips in to the bottom edge of the sound hole and then something that goes the other way around the guitar to the other side of the sound hole...
I would not recommend those for a player...for a luthier/repair person, they are great...Work! A version of those were popular in the late '70s early '80s with some of my buddies until they all damaged their guitars by twisting wrong or letting go of their guitar and a chunk of the wood around the soundhole got ripped out. Maybe they have better ones now...
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

JohnPierce

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by JohnPierce » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:36 am

Aaron Shearer's strap should probably be mentioned for completeness, if nothing else. You can see it by searching Google for "Shearer guitar strap".

In his later years, Shearer promoted playing standing with a strap and also using a strap instead of a footstool while sitting. Given the concern for player health that is evident in later editions of his books, he must have felt that this was ergonomically superior to the footstool. Given his insistence on correct technique in all editions of his books, he must have felt that technique did not suffer from using a strap either sitting or standing. What I don't understand is why he designed the attachment the way he did. My problem with it is that it precludes using a standard guitar strap while providing no benefit that I can see over the "treble side of the heel" method.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:57 am

Nice eyebolt!
jwp wrote:... providing no benefit that I can see over the "treble side of the heel" method.
The only thing I can think of is from a structural point of view the neck material is more substantial than the heel (more material) so there would be less of a chance of breakage. Although the way Andrei holds his guitar (shown in his video) in the upright position there's not that much stress on the heel anyways.
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:24 pm

Thanks for your link, Erik!

I was thinking about some people who wrote in this topic that it is very difficult for them to play standing.
There probably several reasons for that.
1. Strap not fixed in the proper position.
2. Length of the strap is not right (too short or too long)

3. Probably most important point - as anything else it probably take some time to get use to it.
For some people it will be faster, for some longer...
Myself, I played with the strap from 1971...
For a long time I played both sitting with the footstool and standing with the strap.
Now I almost always play standing.
It is funny that I started to use strap not because of ergonomics (when I was young I could play in any position with no pain) but because of convenience...
I wanted to impress other teenagers in my neighborhood but it was very inconvenient there, on the street, to play sitting, therefore I started to use strap then :)
Another factor helped me with my guitar at that time: there were no portable taperecorders around in USSR, no portable radios and even there could be some, they played boring Soviet pop-music...and I could play for other teenagers something lot more interesting, classical or rock... :)
Nowadays it will be hard to young guitarists to compete with all kind of portable audio devices with unlimited repertoire and good sound...
Life have changed... I 'm not sure if my reasons to play standing then will be applicable for teenagers of today.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

Supperconductor
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Supperconductor » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:12 pm

Sitting or standing, I think a strap is worth experimenting with. (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!) I'm going to try with temporary anchors on my guitar. Can anyone suggest what's worked for them? I saw mention of suction cups - anything else?
- Kam

2012 Hippner Hauser SP/IR
[Savarez Corum 500R Normal Basses
La Bella RN-L Rectified Nylon Light Trebles]

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:45 pm

It does not look that your guitars are worth big big $$$ - maybe you could simply try buttons on one of your guitars? Or find somewhere guitar with buttons for a few days and try if you'll like it.
The only problem that buttons on many guitars are not installed in the proper places ...
and this lead people to think that it is not convenient to play with the strap.
Please check my videos and fotos in this topic.
Good luck!
Supperconductor wrote:Sitting or standing, I think a strap is worth experimenting with. (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!) I'm going to try with temporary anchors on my guitar. Can anyone suggest what's worked for them? I saw mention of suction cups - anything else?
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

Supperconductor
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Supperconductor » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:59 pm

HA! They were BIG money to ME. I've seen you're videos on placement, they were very helpful, thanks for that.
- Kam

2012 Hippner Hauser SP/IR
[Savarez Corum 500R Normal Basses
La Bella RN-L Rectified Nylon Light Trebles]

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:41 pm

Supperconductor wrote:HA! They were BIG money to ME. I've seen you're videos on placement, they were very helpful, thanks for that.
Then maybe you could try guitar in the store (some have buttons already installed).
Standing, in free position, to be able and move at any time, not standing like sculpture with no movement at all, - Standing, so far is the best option (for people who could stand) for relieve of back pain and other pains and ergonomic problems connected with classical guitar playing.
Myself, 54, with serious octheochodrosis from 40, I have no pain, no any problem with my back, hands, shoulders, neck etc. playing every day several hours a day...

Please consider it!
It could help... with ergonomic problems...

using strap is the different subject, but related to standing too.

If it is done properly - it could help too.
Good luck with your classical guitar playing!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen my guitar at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

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