Why not stand with the guitar?

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

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:15 pm

Les Backshall wrote:IMHO anyone who advocates playing standing up is talking claptrap.

Les
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/claptrap
clap·trap (klptrp)
n. Pretentious, insincere, or empty language:

All my links about standing versus sitting taken from reliable sources.
To say that it is -
Pretentious, insincere, or empty
?

When I started this I thought that maybe this (playing standing/moving)would help to many people who has back pain etc.
But now it get involve a lot of moral characteristics...personals attacks etc.
That is very sad...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888

AndreiKrylov

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:28 pm

I never wrote that "standard position is incorrect".
There is no difference for hands sitting or standing.
Therefore in both cases one could achieve best possible technique.
There is a difference for back, ergonomics, - yes.
History?

From my birth I was taught (in USSR) that certain things must be done only certain ways and that there is only one "truth" and everybody must follow it.
But I always doubt it and tend to rely on logic and science data more than on words of "leaders" and try to look at things from different angles and points of view.
Also I would always try to use as much statistics and data as I could rather than rely on anyone's personal opinion.

people could play fine sitting or standing. no difference. just for the health. and for ability to do certain amount of work in this or that position without been tired or feeling pain...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888
robin loops wrote:After having tendonitis issues due to not having the correct angle for the left hand because I took a rock guitar approach and played sitting cross legged or standing while attempting the demanding positions and stretches of classical technique/repertoire I'd have to say I agree with you. I also tend to use history as a guide... If sitting was such a fantastic alternative why did classical guitar evolve from a standing instrument to a sitting one? Could it be that sitting became a necessity due to more advanced technique demanding more from the hands/body? And why in over a hundred years has it not come to light that the standard posture is 'incorrect'?

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Les Backshall
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Les Backshall » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:40 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:...I was silenced in other theme so I'm not going to answer here either...
Thank you - just testing.

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

JohnPierce

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by JohnPierce » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:38 pm

robin loops wrote:After having tendonitis issues due to not having the correct angle for the left hand because I took a rock guitar approach and played sitting cross legged or standing ...
What does standing or sitting (legs crossed or not) have to do with the position in which the guitar is held? It's simple to hold the guitar stably at a classical height and angle while doing either; nor does it matter whether the guitar is a classical one, acoustic steel string, or electric.

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Steven Joseph
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Steven Joseph » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:03 pm

Hi andrei,

thought i'd come here to discuss with you as this debate wasnt quite appropriate for my AT experience thread (though i hope you didnt take anything said by myself or others personally!).

Continuing on the general AT/good posture theme, I think the problem many people have with your well put argument is that you make it seem that sitting is inherently bad, whereas, as with most things, if done properly will cause you no harm at all. Just as playing standing if done badly, would cause you harm. And as you said yourself in the AT thread, many, if not most people go their whole life playing sitting down without any issues.

In regards to your links to facts about sitting down for long periods of time being bad for you, which I think we all knew anyway, I know of very few guitarists who practice for more than 90 mins straight, and of even less who practice for more than 3 hours a day total. Also, many of the articles you link to are generic and in reference to average office workers sitting still at a desk for 5+ hours a day.

Perhaps what is needed isn't a new way of holding the guitar, but better tuition of how to sit with it properly. One thing Ive learnt from my AT lessons is that most people, pro's included, dont know how to sit properly with their instruments and so they pass their misconceptions on to their students; The most common piece of bad information being 'sit up straight'!

No doubt that standing is better for you overall, but the issue is not how the guitar is held, but how the player holds themself.
Steven Joseph
Professional guitarist, composer and performer.

AndreiKrylov

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:12 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888

Hi Steven,
1. It is not my opinion that sitting in general is bad.
It is what scientific data describes...
Sitting with guitar is not good for your back and else...
- this is my opinion, sure.

2. Yes
many, (no not most people) go their whole life playing sitting down without any issues.
, but many do have "issues"
how many?
we need data, study for that, but from people I know most of them complain to back pain etc. related to guitar playing.

3. If your guitar properly on strap and you not standing like a sculpture but moves a little from time to time, or all the time, it is not likely you would have similar back problems as with sitting. But because of the shape of guitar and ways how your body, hands, wrap around it you still could have a problem, unrelated to standing by itself.

4. I know guitarists who practice 10 minutes a day... but for developing professional - 90 minutes a day maximum? is not long enough amount of time...
I play 3-4 hours a day now.
When I was younger I played from 4 to 8 hours...
But everybody have their own goals etc. - I play because I enjoy that and because I have a lot of work to do.

5. When you are young and healthy it is easy to play in any position for long time.
Then you get older it is not like that anymore...
Most young people understand aging as a kind of abstract conception - some believe they always will be the same and have same flexibility, ability to learn new physical things and basically the same health etc.
Please understand - your physical experience of 20 year old man not the same as someone who is 50-60-70.

Please do not take it as an offence but,
it is a bit strange for me that you could come into topic which I started and argue with me but I could not come to yours and argue with you...
is it really the way like all discussions should be?
stevenhickeyguitar wrote:Hi andrei,

thought i'd come here to discuss with you as this debate wasnt quite appropriate for my AT experience thread (though i hope you didnt take anything said by myself or others personally!).

Continuing on the general AT/good posture theme, I think the problem many people have with your well put argument is that you make it seem that sitting is inherently bad, whereas, as with most things, if done properly will cause you no harm at all. Just as playing standing if done badly, would cause you harm. And as you said yourself in the AT thread, many, if not most people go their whole life playing sitting down without any issues.

In regards to your links to facts about sitting down for long periods of time being bad for you, which I think we all knew anyway, I know of very few guitarists who practice for more than 90 mins straight, and of even less who practice for more than 3 hours a day total. Also, many of the articles you link to are generic and in reference to average office workers sitting still at a desk for 5+ hours a day.

Perhaps what is needed isn't a new way of holding the guitar, but better tuition of how to sit with it properly. One thing Ive learnt from my AT lessons is that most people, pro's included, dont know how to sit properly with their instruments and so they pass their misconceptions on to their students; The most common piece of bad information being 'sit up straight'!

No doubt that standing is better for you overall, but the issue is not how the guitar is held, but how the player holds themself.

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Steven Joseph
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Steven Joseph » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:04 am

Hi Andrei,

I think the reason why 'I can come debate here' and why you were rebuffed for your comments in my thread, is that in essence there was nothing to debate in my thread. It was merely an anecdote about my personal experience of AT which I wanted to share with guitarists who were interested in someone with first hand experience; there was no debate because I posed no questions. You came in and went off on a tangent an attacked AT for not asking people to stand whilst playing guitar, which didnt really match the tone of the thread.

The fact the title of this thread is a question makes it very different. And hopefully you can see from my first post here Im actually all for standing, but have no issue with sitting as well, and I (and it seems many other members on this forum from the posts ive read here) dont believe there is anything inherently wrong with sitting if done properly.

Plus, as ive said before, for better or worse you are fighting against decades of tradition, stereotypes and expectation. I cant deny that to see a classical guitarist playing standing up, for me, takes away from the seriousness and intimacy of the performance. For less formal styles such as acoustic, rock, folk etc. it is the norm. And guitarists are some of the most open minded musicians. Countless people have tried to introduce new products and ideas into other instruments - violin, cello etc. whether it be new instrument designs, bows, chairs, postures etc. and how many well known cellists or violinists do you see using them? Not many.

Im not saying this is a good thing, in fact the opposite. Close mindedness is never a good thing. But it exists very much in classical music. And it is possible to play pretty much every instrument in a traditional style and hold yourself properly. thanks
Steven Joseph
Professional guitarist, composer and performer.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:06 am

Wow!!! :shock: 13 pages discussing playing the guitar standing! Unbelievable!

All I can add to this discussion is to quote Frank Zappa:


Mod Edit: link to copyright protected material removed. Search youtube for Frank Zappa - Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar
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 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:38 am

Thanks for posting that, Scott. I'd forgotten how really great it is. To keep this on topic: I think Zappa was standing up while playing that.

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Steven Joseph
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Steven Joseph » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:38 am

haha, how right you are scot. but what would delcamp be without long inane debates on hyper nerdy guitar subjects?!

Its just discussion thats opening the door to some new, more interesting topics i feel.
Steven Joseph
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Scot Tremblay
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:52 am

Sorry guys. I hope you know it wasn't my intention to be rude...there appeared a need to break the cycle a little.

I read the whole thing (and yes, I often play standing up) and I felt like I was stuck in some long forgotten episode of "The Twilight Zone" going around and around and around and....at times like these I turn to those immortal words of that holy sage Frank...and go play my guitar.
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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robin loops
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Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by robin loops » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:12 am

stevenhickeyguitar wrote:Hi Andrei,

I think the reason why 'I can come debate here' and why you were rebuffed for your comments in my thread, is that in essence there was nothing to debate in my thread. It was merely an anecdote about my personal experience of AT which I wanted to share with guitarists who were interested in someone with first hand experience; there was no debate because I posed no questions. You came in and went off on a tangent an attacked AT for not asking people to stand whilst playing guitar, which didnt really match the tone of the thread.

The fact the title of this thread is a question makes it very different. And hopefully you can see from my first post here Im actually all for standing, but have no issue with sitting as well, and I (and it seems many other members on this forum from the posts ive read here) dont believe there is anything inherently wrong with sitting if done properly.

Plus, as ive said before, for better or worse you are fighting against decades of tradition, stereotypes and expectation. I cant deny that to see a classical guitarist playing standing up, for me, takes away from the seriousness and intimacy of the performance. For less formal styles such as acoustic, rock, folk etc. it is the norm. And guitarists are some of the most open minded musicians. Countless people have tried to introduce new products and ideas into other instruments - violin, cello etc. whether it be new instrument designs, bows, chairs, postures etc. and how many well known cellists or violinists do you see using them? Not many.

Im not saying this is a good thing, in fact the opposite. Close mindedness is never a good thing. But it exists very much in classical music. And it is possible to play pretty much every instrument in a traditional style and hold yourself properly. thanks
And in the other thread it would be completely appropriate to add comments disputing the benefits of Alexandria Technique becuase that thread was about 'Alexandria technique' It however was not about standing or sitting whilst playing CG. Therefore the change of theme to yet another discussion about standing versus sitting, while there is still a healthy debate about it here, was what was inappropriate, rather than disagreeing. Here the discussion is about standing versus sitting so any feedback (whether in agreement or disagreement) would be appropriate to this conversation. It only becomes problematic when every single discussion about footstools, chairs, guitar supports, Alexandria Technique, and a few more, become debates about the merits of standing while playing and a somewhat disparaging attitude toward original posters and contributors to those discussions for not standing while playing or conceding that standing is best.

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, while sitting in traditional classical position. Have whatever strap system you would use for standing in place before doing that. Now stand up without letting the anlge or position of the guitar in relation to the arms and upper body and while maintaining the same double barre with stretch. If one is capable of doing this exercise without the position of the guitar in relation to the arms and upper body changing at all, or if there is change, the barre becomes 'more' comfortable, then standing is a fantastic option for you and I would never suggest otherwise. I for one do not have the physiogy to make that possible and for anyone else that shares that same 'limitation' of anatomy I also highly suggest not varying from traditional posture (that as I mentioned evolved with the technique and was not some arbitrary 'stylistic' choice). It must be that whatever particular anatomical limitation I have that makes sitting by far the best option for me is a quite common malady.
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 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:31 am

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.
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 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:10 am

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, while sitting in traditional classical position....
If by "traditional classical position" you mean "with a footstool", then I can't do this because I don't use a footstool to begin with. I use a strap to position the guitar in essentially this
NugsClassical-150.jpg
position (without the NeckUp support) or perhaps a little more vertical, and my legs are wider apart (acoustic steel string, so the lower bout is wider). While I normally play sitting, I was pleasantly surprised to find the barre easier when standing. When sitting, my stomach pushes the bottom of the guitar forward some and that goes away when standing, flattening the guitar and making the reach a little easier. The nice thing about the strap is that the guitar's always in the same (correct) position without regard to the height of whatever I'm sitting on (nor, it turns out, does standing make a difference).

I play the electric in the same position except that for it I now use the NeckUp guitar support when sitting (my normal position). Positioning the guitar with the strap and not the NeckUp isn't a problem, but I found that at 67 my neck and upper back don't really appreciate the weight of an electric guitar hanging from my shoulder for very long. I do practice 15 or 20 minutes a day standing with the strap in hopes that eventually the muscles will get used to handling the weight, but I think that may take a while.
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AndreiKrylov

Re: Why not stand with the guitar?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:39 am

Thanks Scott, Steven, John, Robin for your interesting comments!
I like Zappa a lot and he is also very funny sometimes!

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