Sitting Position, crossleg vs foot rest

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

Post by patricio » Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:10 pm

... I've been a keyboard player all my adult life and am often accused of driving guitar players nuts.

feel gifted. compared to the range of a piano keyboard, you only have to deal with 3.5 octaves instead of seven+ (i think).


Crossed legs vs foot rest

Post by citizen110 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:57 pm

As everyone knows position is all important, not only for playing but also for your long term health. Sit upright with your shoulders level, hips level, both feet flat on the floor, and relax! If you want to watch your hands, use a mirror instead of bending your neck. This kind of position requires the use of some kind of rest that either attaches to the guitar or rests between your leg and the side of the guitar. Experiment with different types of rests until you find one that works for you.


Post by Khando » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:52 pm

From a beginners perspective, the left leg position, with head more or less elevated, reduces ulnar deviation (away from the thumb) and flexion of the right wrist, so bringing the biomechanics of the arm back to a position favouring control, stamina, accuracy and reducing tendon and muscle injuries. As far as I read, this is a fairly basic biomechanical principle, and affects musicians other than guitarists too.


SIT!.....good dog!

Post by tremolo_jones » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:10 pm

Lots of classical guitarists will, when relaxing, have the guitar on their right leg. They will often play a few licks in the lower positions with it in that position when discussing pieces etc. But when the going gets tough the tough switch to standard position (footstool or guitar-prop).

Habits that are adequate enough to play simple stuff will often cause problems when you get into more advanced material. I can play a lot of Sor studies in either position but Concierto de Aranjuez? For that I NEED the standard position.

Michael Lorimer once mentioned that he, at the end of an impromptu "lesson" with Segovia, asked if there was anything he should know about the sitting position. He expected a sentence or two. Segovia lectured him for half an hour.

The standard position feels unnatural at first. The guitar-on-right-leg position is more like the sitting around having a few beers with the guys. However anything you do regularly for a while starts to feel natural. Just make sure it is also mechanically sound and efficient.




Post by pszabla » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:05 pm

I find using the footrest strains the lower back (since it pushes it sideways out of line) Do those who play crosslegged find this more comfortable for long term play?


Post by bones » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:27 pm

dk wrote:The most healthy way is with foot rest. Now you may not have difficultys playing any other way. But you have to think 20 years ahead. The guitar playing is unnatural enough.
Not really, using a foot stool is certainly a proven effective way of getting the required playing position but it is not the most healthy, the pelvis is tilted, if you spend many hours a day for many years you may cause lower back problems for yourself. There are many famous players around who have used foot stools for years without any apparent problems, this may be because they are immortal like Segovia :wink: , never mention the fact in interviews or have gone to great lengths to keep fit and exercise and stretch during practice sessions. I still teach with pupils using the foorstool but I recommend they switch to a Gitano to start with (cheapest support, very effective) because both feet will be flat on the floor with good shoulder and pelvic alignment and it is easy to find a very good peg-head height for the guitar aiding the positioning of both hands. Guitar supports are the future I think, plus - they are more cool looking for younger players, always a factor with today's kids.
For players experiencing lower back aches when playing whilst using a foot stool, fine tune the chair height as well as the stool height, this should help, if not give a Gitano a try, you have nothing to lose and you can probably sell it for what you payed for it on e - b a y or somewhere like here.


Post by pszabla » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:54 pm

Thanks, I ordered a Gitano today! I'll let all know how it works.


Post by weberty » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:59 pm

I post the same topic some days back. I have tried the standard position with left foot on a footrest, but this cause lower backache, since then I tried to have footrest on my right as well as the left, my back is slight less strain, I wonder if any one does this as well ?

By the way what is a Dynarette ?

fugue for the win

Post by fugue for the win » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:30 pm

iv tried crossing legs but im a guy son its kind of hard any suggestions?


Post by kylekoch » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:36 pm

I have always been looking for a more comfortable way to use the classical position. It is no question the most solid and steady way to hold the guitar since there are 3 separate points of contact as opposed to two on the rt leg position. I however get much pain after a while with a footrest. Heres how I solved it(I stole this Idea but cant remember from where). I have a strap button in the end block, I run the strap from there along the bottom side of the guitar , over the left leg and under my lt thigh where I sit on it. Even without any kind of cushion I can put the guitar at the perfect height on any chair by putting more or less under the thigh. The best though is withe strap over a coushion like a dynarette then under the thigh, makes the whole thing solid and the guitar goes nowhere!
Actually it helps steady the guitar no matter what position you use.
my opinion anyway

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