robin loops wrote:I don't know why you would assume that I only practice and hour a day because I use a footstool. I play at least 5-6 hours a day and oftentimes more. I'm guessing John Williams practices for more than an hour a day too and he uses one... SEgovia practiced more than 8 hours and well, enough of that... I try to play for at least 1 hour stretches between breaks and often get distracted enough to go for 2 or 3 (playing through the pain/discomfort rather than stopping). If you re-read my post you'll see that I talk about how difficult it is to use a footstool and ways of making them more comfortable if one uses them (and also was addressing the original topic of the thread, and ignoring the topic of standing versus sitting which I think is a discussion left for a different thread since this one is actually about 'ways' of using a footstool to improve comfort)
I'm 42 and have back problems from an auto accident a little over a year ago. I have to use a footstool as it's the only option for me. Standing for 5 hour practice sessions is definitely not an option. As far as standing versus sitting goes: I've had jobs where I worked standing on my feet for 8 hours and others working at a desk. I prefer the latter. Supports don't feel natural to me, and straps cause the guitar to be parallel to my body which cause major problems with my right hand, aside from destroying my tone (partly due to hand angle and maybe in part to the back of the guitar being against the body causing it to sound muffled). I love standing while singing and strumming classic rock stuff but I think there's an ergonomic reason we don't find strap buttons on classical guitars... It's called carpel tunnel syndrome. And when faced with the choice of carpel tunnel syndrome or leg falling asleep/discomfort, I much prefer the latter. I'm also guessing that's why I've never seen a standing classical guitarist.
Anyway back on topic:
I mentioned memory foam in my last post... Well, I went and picked one up today. Basic twenty dollar car cushion with memory foam inside (level 3 hard). Combined that with my $20 stool and WOW! Have a chair I wouldn't trade for one of the $300 specialty chairs I've seen.
I played for up to 4x longer between breaks. Not once did my back hurt. Standard back fatigue but no pain. Also almost completely eliminated circulation issues with left leg and allowed for much greater enjoyment of my practice time. today was a little different kind of practice day though so I'll post an update when I get a chance to get back to the normal routine.
Thanks for your answer Robin Loops!
1. I have nothing against personal choice - somebody like to smoke, somebody don't like smoke...or to eat not to eat junk food or else and it is their choice. The same with footstool - if you like it - it is great for you but...!
2. Look on this forum - it is filled with complains about back pain and other health problems connected with sitting with footstool and sitting...
3. There are some people who smoke and live 110 years - what does it prove? That smoking is good for you?
Science definitely say NO. My grandmother smoked all her life and laughed then she was told that smoking was not good , but then at 72 she had throat cancer...she immediately stoped smoking and was scared... but it was too late...
4. A couple of links to scientific research about sitting for long periods with breaks or not breaks...
- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/hea ... inglepage/
another - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/hea ... le2229466/
5. About buttons on guitar (you say it is a special reason) post from other forum by specialist in guitar history (PhD Jason Priset ) Jason Priset • "For the whole argument about whether or not to use a strap, one important thing about the guitar's history should be considered: Prior to the 20th century the "classical guitar" tradition did not necessarily mean using a footstool with the guitar on your left leg. In fact, guitar in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and (sometimes) the19th centuries had buttons on the instrument so it could be held using a strap. The renaissance and baroque guitar were much too small to hold on the leg, and even the 19th century guitar was much smaller than what we have today. The tripod Aguado created in the 19th century was to keep the instrument firmly in place, much like a pianist would sit down to play the piano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionisio_Aguado
Sometime between the end of the 19th and into the 20th century the footstool became the standard way to play. So, when considering whether or not to use the footstool, remember it has only been used exclusively for the past 120+ years. Guitar has been around for 500+ years! This, of course, doesn't even consider that today acoustic and electric players almost always use the strap . I think whatever is the most comfortable way to play is the best way, as long as the instrument is in the most natural playing position (close to the body with the neck raised). Don't sacrifice your back for the sake of a teacher insisting you use the footstool because it is the "proper" way to play. If the footstool is the most comfortable way, use it. If not, find another way. I prefer the Dynarette support cushion."
- I agree 100%
6. How memory foam under someone butt could help to his back? It will definitely help to his butt to feel better!
It will not change the fact that sitting with footstool is very non ergonomic position by itself...it is tense and demanding position ...
7. Standing or sitting my hands are in exactly the same position - then how you came to idea of carpal tunnel because of standing? I play guitar 4-6-8 hours a day for more than you've been living and have no problems with my hands...
Yes I agree - you could improve your sitting, but you could not make it ergonomic... but if you choose sitting - then good for you! Enjoy your guitar playing!
And yes, there are many people who could not stand by health reasons, car accidents, extra weight, etc. so sitting for them is good solution for their love to guitar music ! I agree on 100%.
But for average person the "Solution to back problems from foot stool use" just to get rid of footstool completely and play standing/moving, or at least with guitar support.
P.S. I just listened the news and they say that it is about 60% or more people living in Australia, USA, UK overweight or obese... then yes - standing is not a solution for majority... sitting is definitely easier...and they say in the news that one of the reason people gain weight is sedentary lifestyle... circle ...yes, I'm in minority - it is so easy for me to stand with guitar or not... therefore unfortunately my solution for back pain is not a solution for majority of guitar players...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at CDbaby, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. Thanks!