Are footstools or supports the standard?

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

Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby FatStrat890 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:46 pm

I'm somewhat new to classical guitar especially when it comes to posture. My question is, is it generally accepted that one should play with a footstool or guitar support? I always imagined that it would be standard to use neither. Just a chair and your guitar.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby lagartija » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:28 am

Hello fatstrat890 , Welcome to Delcamp forum!
Perhaps you could take the time to introduce yourself to the forum here and get a true Delcamp welcome. To learn more about this forum and its rules, please have a look at our welcome page.

The reason people use a footstool or guitar support is because of position we hold the guitar for best access for both the right and the left hand. Most people find that using a footstool or support is necessary to put the guitar in the best place without twisting or crossing a leg over the other. Many positions are possible, and the exact position one holds the guitar depends on your body proportions.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby FatStrat890 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:26 am

Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I'll be sure to introduce myself and check out the rules(I'm sorry if I've broken any in this thread). And thank you for such a thorough answer to my question!
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby lagartija » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:31 am

FatStrat890 wrote:Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I'll be sure to introduce myself and check out the rules(I'm sorry if I've broken any in this thread). And thank you for such a thorough answer to my question!

You are quite welcome. You haven't broken any rules, so don't worry! I look forward to reading your intro and seeing you around the forum. :bye:
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby oski79 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:37 am

Welcome to Delcamp, FatStrat...

Yeah, footstools or supports, which is better... Personally, I use both. (Not at the same time of course.) I like the position and feel of using a footstool, but it's not the most ergonomically safe position to sit in for extended periods. After I started having some back problems I bought a support and found almost immediate relief. Sitting with both feet on the ground is a good neutral position that should cause no problems. The other thing to watch for is that you don't hunch your right side over the guitar.

As I said, I still like the footstool, and I use it probably about 25% of the time. When I use it for more than about 15-20 minutes, I start to feel it.

Good luck with your choice. As always, your results may vary...
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby JQ. » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:54 am

Welcome to Delcamp, FatStrat! :)

Footstools are generally seen to be the "standard." The popular supports currently available are a fairly recent invention.

Some CG players seem to think using a footstool on its highest possible setting is like some badge of honor.

Oh, my aching back! Using a footstool is very non-ergonomic and puts your spine out of alignment from a normal sitting position.

I switched to a Dynarette cushion many years ago and never looked back.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby Luis_Br » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:07 pm

FatStrat890 wrote:I'm somewhat new to classical guitar especially when it comes to posture. My question is, is it generally accepted that one should play with a footstool or guitar support? I always imagined that it would be standard to use neither. Just a chair and your guitar.

Since the first classical guitar methods there are supports and devices to help holding it the most efficient and ergonomical way.
Fernando Sor uses a table, Aguado has his tripod.
Baroque guitar uses a strap.
Most instruments gradually built up ergonomical supports: the cello has the endpin, the violin has a support to hold it wih the chin and so on.
I think the final music result is what matters. Whatever you can use to make it easier to play and to get the best musical result, the audience will certainly appreciate.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby Kenbobpdx » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:14 pm

I have used a footstool, a support, and both in combo. I deviate from the "standard" position by placing the guitar on my right leg instead of the left (I am right handed). I learned the standard position but my left shoulder was injured in aikido and I find bringing my left elbow in closer to my body alleviates discomfort in my shoulder.

My preferred position at this time is my right foot on a low set footstool with an Ergoplay support. I use a piano bench but if I use a lower chair I dispense with the footstool. Sometimes I dispense with support and raise the footstool higher. Depends on how much effort I want to make at a given time.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby Toccata » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:40 pm

I use a footstool on a low setting with a large Dynarette cushion. The footstool alone causes my back to ache, and the cushion alone is too low. I've tried a few suction cup devices, but they damage the finish, as do the Oasis/Kling-on "protective" sheets.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby willi » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:06 pm

What works for me is an adjustable office chair,foot supports give me back pain,my neighbour who was going to throw it out offered me it first.I have positioned it 17 inches[43cm] high and the guitar just falls into a good comfortable playing position
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby George Crocket » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:30 pm

It used to be footstools that were standard, but I think guitar supports are taking over.

Myself, I always used a footstool until recently. Because of back pain I got a cushion. I still like the footstool, but only use it the minority of the time. The cushion works fine for me. I don't want suction cups or anything to affect the finish of my guitar.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby kurt guitar » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:46 pm

I like using a foot stool best. But let's not forget to give fatstrat the other alternative...a tripodium! ;)
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby Brian Brock » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:39 pm

i find a strap works well, though I only use one (a hay-string at that!) on my alternate classical which has a pickup - I can't bring myself to drill into the other one...
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby jaradgiese » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:46 pm

When I started playing footstools were the standard and anything else seemed less authentic. Today I see more and more videos made with the performer using a Dynarette or other device. I can say I have had a lot less back pain since switching to playing with feet flat on the floor and using something else to prop up the guitar and would recommend this more ergonomic method to anyone starting out.
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Re: Are footstools or supports the standard?

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:35 pm

Yes - footstool is standard, but it is a wrong standard ... it is like cosmetics of medieval times - like lipstick made from mercury..girls used that for beauty... it was standard...
Almost everybody (except youngest and strongest) have a back pain (according to answers in this theme ) but almost all continue to use it and to sit instead of standing/moving with guitar...Many people told me that they will sit because they would never put buttons for the strap on their expensive guitars...
Yes , we love our guitars! but...
I think it is in our eyes... it is been accepted that for the violinist or trumpet player it is normal to stand, but if guitarist will stand - then he will look... unclassical...folkish...amateurish... real classical guitarists are sitting, mot standing - it is how they should LOOK...
And we care about our look ... like women would use high heels (who cares that most of them will have problems with feet around age 50 years and older)
look is more important because it made us accepted...
I accept this. It is standard and normal for us... BUT,
Myself I care more about me feeling comfortable and been able to concentrate on music and not on the pain/discomfort in my back etc.
I would not sit if I could, but this my personal preference ... and my advice to you will be - why not to stand? why not to try? :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at CDbaby, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. Thanks!
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