How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

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

How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Snickerbar » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:17 am

Hi, I just purchased the dynarette cushion because of severe back pain. Now the cushion has arrived, I don't really know how to use it. Where in the leg do you place it? Now that my legs are on the ground, where do I put them? Should they be level? Is it normal that my right arm now has to keep the guitar from falling off now with the use of the cushion? Anyone got some pointers on how I can better acquaint myself with this new device? P.S. I must be doing something wrong using it, because the pain is still there.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby simonm » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:26 am

I have my feet flat on the ground and slightly spread and the cushion on my left side thigh fairly close to my body but so that the guitar slopes slightly backwards. The tops of my thighs are more or less parallel to the floor. I use an office type height adjustable chair which is also what my guitar teacher uses.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Snickerbar » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:34 am

thank you very much! Is it unnatural with the dynarette to have to hold the guitar down with the right arm? I must be doing something wrong.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby muirtan » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:52 am

Hi snikerbar I'm pretty much the same as simonm but sometimes, depending on the height of the chair I'm using, I also need to raise my left foot an inch or so, I use a yoga block for this. Most of the time I use a piece of anti slip fabric as well ( the sort used to stop rugs from slipping), but it depends on the fabric type of the clothes I'm wearing, otherwise I find that the guitar slips away from me.
I've had a Dynarette cushion now for about 6 years and wouldn't be without it. I originally bought it to help with my arthritis problems and it seems to have worked.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby simonm » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:02 pm

My teacher always likes me to use an anti-slip cloth (in fact a chamois leather of the type used on car windows) on my right thigh to prevent slipping. (also with a footstool). I sometimes raise my left foot a little by putting my heel on the horizontal "leg/foot" of the office chair I am using. I often do this in the office anyway so it is more habit than something I started as a result of playing guitar.

To be quite honest I am getting a bit tired of the Dynarette and will get one of the other supports to try sooner or later.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby FrankBlack » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:10 pm

Like any ergonomics, I think you have to try different positions and see what works. I try to have the guitar leaning slightly backward. I have not had an issue with the guitar slipping, but I am sure it is possible (with or without a Dynarette). The Dynarette gives you some wiggle room, which is nice, but that certainly can make it confusing. If you use the same height chair/bench all the time it shouldn't take long to find what works. But, if you often change your chair (like when going to a performance) you might need to elevate the left foot a bit or make other changes. I have to say that playing with both feet firmly on the ground is pleasant in many ways (especially for an aching back).

Good luck with it.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Snickerbar » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:53 pm

So would everyone advise against placing my front foot a bit ahead and placing my back foot further back? It's possible that the dynarette will help me with back pain, but I'm starting to think that either I'm not using it right, or I have some sort of problem with my back that I need to get checked out. Thanks everyone. I'll try raising my left foot a bit and see how that works out.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Lorette » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi Snickerbar,

I recententy purchased a dynarette large cushion and was as confused as you at first. I googled "dynarette guitar cushion photos" and saw how to use it. Scroll downto mathewmcallister's link. He shows a few shots using the cushion.

For myself, I sit on a low chair with both feet on floor. I find the cushion quite comfortable with less strain on my back. I hope this works for you.

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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Snickerbar » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:22 am

Thanks Lorette. Those pictures on google gave me a pretty good idea on how I should adjust my body accordingly to the dynarette.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Sean » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:54 pm

I also use a Dynarette, but I use it in conjunction with a footstool - I love the particular angle the neck is at and playing is very comfortable.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Nick Cutroneo » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:13 pm

Snickerbar wrote:P.S. I must be doing something wrong using it, because the pain is still there.


To be honest, there is probably something wrong with your sitting position. The Dynarette (or any guitar support) wont' help until you find out what you are doing wrong in your back and figure out a way of correcting it. Guitar supports are merely tools to aid you AFTER you resolve the problem.

For example, the reason why I went to a guitar support was because of 2 factors.

1) My footstool was so high, that when I played, my left foot was at such as steep angle that I started to hurt. Also, I was leaning over to my left, a lot.
2) I was experiencing lower back issues while practicing.

I went to a flat footstool to rectify in the issue with my foot, because after one intense practice session I was in a lot of pain. It was then my teacher suggested a guitar support. I continued to work on my posture using the support.

Now after using a support for about 5 years, I find that I can go back to a footstool and apply those same concepts when I use it (I use it in lessons a lot of times). However, I notice that I still get back issues. And I've attributed it to the fact that when my left foot is up, I'm actually creating tension in the lower left part of my back (where I feel the discomfort).

Long story short, the support itself is NOT the solution, rather a tool in your solution. You need to find out where and how to deal with the pain you have.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby jaylynch » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:26 pm

I have used the Dynarette and an adjustable office chair with arms removed. By adjusting the height and tilt, I can find a comfortable position. I agree with the previous post that you need to evaluate your sitting position and correct it so you are comfortable.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby Erik Zurcher » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:35 pm

The Dynarette is available in two sizes. I prefer the biggest one. Before anyone orders one, I suggest to try both before buying.
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby dbeau » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:14 pm

I have been using the larger dynarette for about 2 years now and have tried others too.
The dynarette suits me best and does lend flexibility in adapting the guitar position to your preference.
I can drop both arms down/off the guitar and it is quite stable, therefore lessens the concern of it changing during shifts of either right or left hand/arm(s).
I do use a non-slip cloth with most clothes except denims.
Of note: Recently I was priveleged to watch/hear Pavel Steidl play at the La Guitarra Festival in San Luis Obispo, and twice during his performance he unobtrusively reached down and pulled his dynarette back into position closer to his body - he does move about a a bit while playing :wink:
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Re: How to correctly use the Dynarette cushion.

Postby mk49 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:03 pm

I'd never felt comfortable with the dynarette, until 2 days ago. I've tried both sizes. On Sat, I just set my foot stool at the lowest height, and increased the chair height. The smaller dynarette felt pretty comfortable for the first time. I think the height of the chair was the key. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it comfortable without a foot stool.
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