foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

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

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Impy » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:42 pm

mmapag wrote:
graceman wrote:Maybe it's just me.. but I actually don't like the look of this Mobius Strap - (going across the guitars sounbdboard?) It may be working fine but I think it's ugly to disturb the look of a beautiful guitar like that...And if this strap actually has any direct connection to the soundboard - will that not affect the ressonance from the soundboard?
Nope, it's not just you. I thought the same. I don't like it visually and can't see how it would not have a damping effect.
It's me too.

Stephen Graham

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Stephen Graham » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:46 pm

Impy wrote:
mmapag wrote:
graceman wrote:Maybe it's just me.. but I actually don't like the look of this Mobius Strap - (going across the guitars sounbdboard?) It may be working fine but I think it's ugly to disturb the look of a beautiful guitar like that...And if this strap actually has any direct connection to the soundboard - will that not affect the ressonance from the soundboard?
Nope, it's not just you. I thought the same. I don't like it visually and can't see how it would not have a damping effect.
It's me too.
I'm no pro , but I thought the same thing too, however I have seen a strap mechanism somewhere online with a gentleman, who plays standing up, he had strap mounts put on his guitar and a cup mechanism attached to the back to keep it off of his torso. The guitar kind of "clipped" into place. Pretty ingenious, , but I don't have a link to it, but his strap did not touch the body of the guitar.

User avatar
Aucaman
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:15 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, California

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Aucaman » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:18 pm

graceman wrote:I think there is no doubt that using a footstool - in the long run could inflict some back pains. The most ergonomically correct sitting position is with both feets solidly planted in the ground in approx. a 90 degree angle. - This also allows you to maintain the best (straight) position for your back. Try to imagine that you are walking with two different shoes - high heels on you left foot and - flat heels on you right... yeah - you are going to hump a bit I think. Basically i'ts the same with a footstool. Eventually you are going to skew your back spine. - If you are practising a lot, and don't pay attention to the pain-signals you recieve from your back.

On the other hand...I think an old fashioned footstool is brilliant because it allows you to change the elevation. I have tried (and also regurlarly use) a cushion - but lack the flexibility in adjustment. Or maybe there are things around that allows this?
I also favor the footstool approach. But -for all the good reasons pointed above- during my practice time,
I USE TWO FOOTSTOOLS: ONE FOR EACH FOOT.
That way, to follow grace man's comparison, I wear high heels on both shoes.

To supplement this approach,
-- I never practice more than one hour non-stop. I use my iPhone alarm not to let me get carried away (which I tend to do).
-- I stretch a lot before, in-between, and after practice.
-- I use rubber bands and dumbbells too keep good guitar playing muscles.

Tim Mullins

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Tim Mullins » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:20 pm

graceman wrote:Maybe it's just me.. but I actually don't like the look of this Mobius Strap - (going across the guitars sounbdboard?) It may be working fine but I think it's ugly to disturb the look of a beautiful guitar like that...And if this strap actually has any direct connection to the soundboard - will that not affect the ressonance from the soundboard?
Hi graceman,

The strap is visible across the face of the guitar, but the people who use the ukulele version (which has been available for about a year) seem to find that the trade-off in functionality is worth it. I also tested the volume output of instruments with and without the strap with a dB meter with no difference in results. The strap actually touches at the two edges and lays, barely touching (with some daylight visible underneath) across the face. I don't find it has any effect on tone or volume. When you think about it, the part of your forearm that rests on the top probably would have more of a dampening effect.

What it does accomplish is to hold the guitar in a comfortable, stable playing position without strap buttons, foot rests, suction cups, adhesive patches, sound-hole hooks, clamps, mechanical props or cushions. But I realize that -- being a novel concept-- it may take some time to gain acceptance (if ever!).

And thanks, I actually appreciate any discussion and feedback on it!

AndreiKrylov

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:27 pm

Whiteagle wrote:i would encourage a new player to use a foot stool. Its cheap. portable, adaptable.
and it will bring a lot of pain to your back too :)
certainly if someone would play 15 minutes a day - footstool is fine.
4 hours a day or more? - back problems are guaranteed...
My guitars and lute are all luthiers made and I simply put buttons for strap to all of them and play standing. Certainly someone could play sitting with the strap too or change positions - 10 minutes sitting, 10 standing etc.
I work many hours a day for years and it saved my back - I still can play and enjoy it.
Many professional guitarists played standing (with the strap) long time ago, centuries ago and just lately in 20th century footstool became a standard for classical guitar.
It looks nice and possible for young and healthy player (still even some young players according to this forum messages have back problems because of it), but for older folks back pain and problems because of footstool position are guaranteed.
Seems that we care about our guitars so much that we would rather have back problems than buttons on the guitar :)
But later on we spending money on doctors, medicine, physiotherapy, massages and a lot of other things which resulting from sitting in this very bad (ergonomically) position with footstool.
Two buttons (but in the proper places) and good strap - guitar in a stable, safe and ergonomically best possible position...

mmapag
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia Area

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by mmapag » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:26 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Whiteagle wrote:i would encourage a new player to use a foot stool. Its cheap. portable, adaptable.
and it will bring a lot of pain to your back too :)
certainly if someone would play 15 minutes a day - footstool is fine.
4 hours a day or more? - back problems are guaranteed...

My guitars and lute are all luthiers made and I simply put buttons for strap to all of them and play standing. Certainly someone could play sitting with the strap too or change positions - 10 minutes sitting, 10 standing etc.
I work many hours a day for years and it saved my back - I still can play and enjoy it.
Many professional guitarists played standing (with the strap) long time ago, centuries ago and just lately in 20th century footstool became a standard for classical guitar.
It looks nice and possible for young and healthy player (still even some young players according to this forum messages have back problems because of it), but for older folks back pain and problems because of footstool position are guaranteed.
Seems that we care about our guitars so much that we would rather have back problems than buttons on the guitar :)
But later on we spending money on doctors, medicine, physiotherapy, massages and a lot of other things which resulting from sitting in this very bad (ergonomically) position with footstool.
Two buttons (but in the proper places) and good strap - guitar in a stable, safe and ergonomically best possible position...
With respect, I don't agree with your blanket assertions show above. I am 62 years old. I practice 2 to 4 hours per day. I use a footstool. I don't have even the hint of a back problem.
I exercise regularly and have very good muscle tone. Possibly that is a factor. I also am very focused on any tension or discomfort and work hard at relaxation while playing. I can play for 2+ hours without any discomfort. My concentration flags, requiring a break, before my back does.

I also built a practice/ performance chair for myself based on the design of The Original Guitar Chair and I'm sure that helps as it is extremely ergonomic. (If anyone wants the plans, I'll forward you a copy) I have empathy for those who do get back pain but I'm don't really believe blanket statements that it is inevitable and I'm not really convinced that the footstool is the sole cause when back pain occurs.
'13 Esteve 7 SM
'75 Takamine 132 S

AndreiKrylov

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:46 pm

mmapag wrote:
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Whiteagle wrote:i would encourage a new player to use a foot stool. Its cheap. portable, adaptable.
and it will bring a lot of pain to your back too :)
certainly if someone would play 15 minutes a day - footstool is fine.
4 hours a day or more? - back problems are guaranteed...

My guitars and lute are all luthiers made and I simply put buttons for strap to all of them and play standing. Certainly someone could play sitting with the strap too or change positions - 10 minutes sitting, 10 standing etc.
I work many hours a day for years and it saved my back - I still can play and enjoy it.
Many professional guitarists played standing (with the strap) long time ago, centuries ago and just lately in 20th century footstool became a standard for classical guitar.
It looks nice and possible for young and healthy player (still even some young players according to this forum messages have back problems because of it), but for older folks back pain and problems because of footstool position are guaranteed.
Seems that we care about our guitars so much that we would rather have back problems than buttons on the guitar :)
But later on we spending money on doctors, medicine, physiotherapy, massages and a lot of other things which resulting from sitting in this very bad (ergonomically) position with footstool.
Two buttons (but in the proper places) and good strap - guitar in a stable, safe and ergonomically best possible position...
With respect, I don't agree with your blanket assertions show above. I am 62 years old. I practice 2 to 4 hours per day. I use a footstool. I don't have even the hint of a back problem.
I exercise regularly and have very good muscle tone. Possibly that is a factor. I also am very focused on any tension or discomfort and work hard at relaxation while playing. I can play for 2+ hours without any discomfort. My concentration flags, requiring a break, before my back does.

I also built a practice/ performance chair for myself based on the design of The Original Guitar Chair and I'm sure that helps as it is extremely ergonomic. (If anyone wants the plans, I'll forward you a copy) I have empathy for those who do get back pain but I'm don't really believe blanket statements that it is inevitable and I'm not really convinced that the footstool is the sole cause when back pain occurs.
That is great to have a healthy lifestyle, good genes and exercise regularly!
And there are all kind of people who could do all kind of difficult things and still been able to ... play classical guitar.
I'm sorry if it sounds like a blanket statement, but from my experience - yes as you wrote, it is ALMOST inevitable...
But please take a look at messages and themes on this forum - there are so many people who complain about their back, shoulders, neck and other problems which they quickly developing since they started to play guitar (with footstool in standard position)
sitting with guitar is not good for your back... it seems that science confirms it... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/healt ... ice=mobile

mmapag
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia Area

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by mmapag » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:02 pm

With respect, I don't agree with your blanket assertions show above. I am 62 years old. I practice 2 to 4 hours per day. I use a footstool. I don't have even the hint of a back problem.
I exercise regularly and have very good muscle tone. Possibly that is a factor. I also am very focused on any tension or discomfort and work hard at relaxation while playing. I can play for 2+ hours without any discomfort. My concentration flags, requiring a break, before my back does.

I also built a practice/ performance chair for myself based on the design of The Original Guitar Chair and I'm sure that helps as it is extremely ergonomic. (If anyone wants the plans, I'll forward you a copy) I have empathy for those who do get back pain but I'm don't really believe blanket statements that it is inevitable and I'm not really convinced that the footstool is the sole cause when back pain occurs.
That is great to have a healthy lifestyle, good genes and exercise regularly!
And there are all kind of people who could do all kind of difficult things and still been able to ... play classical guitar.
I'm sorry if it sounds like a blanket statement, but from my experience - yes as you wrote, it is ALMOST inevitable...
But please take a look at messages and themes on this forum - there are so many people who complain about their back, shoulders, neck and other problems which they quickly developing since they started to play guitar (with footstool in standard position)
sitting with guitar is not good for your back... it seems that science confirms it... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/healt ... ice=mobile
I see them Andrei, and I'm sure it CAN happen, as the evidence shows. I often wonder sometimes when I see these posts from people who take up the CG, what other factors in their posture and position might be contributing to this phenomena. And I do have empathy for those folks. I encourage them to find whatever solution allows their study and progress to continue. As I said, I'm not convinced the footstool in the culprit in all cases. Just the easiest factor to change to get improvement.

Personally, after playing acoustic guitar for many years in the right leg resting position before CG, I find the footstool and the left leg resting position very comfortable and really like the kind of embracing feeling I get with the guitar. A kind of intimacy. But believe me, If I had pain that I couldn't make an adjustment to stop, I'd be getting a strap or support in a flash. Cheers!
'13 Esteve 7 SM
'75 Takamine 132 S

AndreiKrylov

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:17 pm

mmapag wrote:
With respect, I don't agree with your blanket assertions show above. I am 62 years old. I practice 2 to 4 hours per day. I use a footstool. I don't have even the hint of a back problem.
I exercise regularly and have very good muscle tone. Possibly that is a factor. I also am very focused on any tension or discomfort and work hard at relaxation while playing. I can play for 2+ hours without any discomfort. My concentration flags, requiring a break, before my back does.

I also built a practice/ performance chair for myself based on the design of The Original Guitar Chair and I'm sure that helps as it is extremely ergonomic. (If anyone wants the plans, I'll forward you a copy) I have empathy for those who do get back pain but I'm don't really believe blanket statements that it is inevitable and I'm not really convinced that the footstool is the sole cause when back pain occurs.
That is great to have a healthy lifestyle, good genes and exercise regularly!
And there are all kind of people who could do all kind of difficult things and still been able to ... play classical guitar.
I'm sorry if it sounds like a blanket statement, but from my experience - yes as you wrote, it is ALMOST inevitable...
But please take a look at messages and themes on this forum - there are so many people who complain about their back, shoulders, neck and other problems which they quickly developing since they started to play guitar (with footstool in standard position)
sitting with guitar is not good for your back... it seems that science confirms it... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6187080.stm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/healt ... ice=mobile
I see them Andrei, and I'm sure it CAN happen, as the evidence shows. I often wonder sometimes when I see these posts from people who take up the CG, what other factors in their posture and position might be contributing to this phenomena. And I do have empathy for those folks. I encourage them to find whatever solution allows their study and progress to continue. As I said, I'm not convinced the footstool in the culprit in all cases. Just the easiest factor to change to get improvement.

Personally, after playing acoustic guitar for many years in the right leg resting position before CG, I find the footstool and the left leg resting position very comfortable and really like the kind of embracing feeling I get with the guitar. A kind of intimacy. But believe me, If I had pain that I couldn't make an adjustment to stop, I'd be getting a strap or support in a flash. Cheers!
It is nice that it works for you and you could enjoy doing it!
People are different and it is not easy to find one solution that fits all...
I did play sitting with footstool for a long time too...
25 years maybe? I play guitar 45 years now and work as a guitarist for almost 40 years...
When I was young - I felt comfortable playing sitting with footstool, but later I started to have more and more pain.
Eventually I had such pain that sometimes I could not a walk for week...
And I had to work, to play gigs to provide bread for my family of four... my wife and two sons... so I have to find solution for myself, because my back was in very bad shape (sure, not only because of guitar playing, but because many things, hereditary, hard life and labour etc)
But since I started to do many things standing, not only guitar playing, but working on computer too - my pain retreated and I still can work a lot.
But sure - for many people standing would not work by reasons of leg problems, because of extra weight and other problems.
But in many many situations standing would be the best solution for problems and if someone would rather have pain (instead of putting a couple of buttons in guitar) that is regrettable...

graceman
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:44 am
Location: Århus - Denmark

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by graceman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:43 am

Aucaman wrote:
graceman wrote:I think there is no doubt that using a footstool - in the long run could inflict some back pains. The most ergonomically correct sitting position is with both feets solidly planted in the ground in approx. a 90 degree angle. - This also allows you to maintain the best (straight) position for your back. Try to imagine that you are walking with two different shoes - high heels on you left foot and - flat heels on you right... yeah - you are going to hump a bit I think. Basically i'ts the same with a footstool. Eventually you are going to skew your back spine. - If you are practising a lot, and don't pay attention to the pain-signals you recieve from your back.

On the other hand...I think an old fashioned footstool is brilliant because it allows you to change the elevation. I have tried (and also regurlarly use) a cushion - but lack the flexibility in adjustment. Or maybe there are things around that allows this?
I also favor the footstool approach. But -for all the good reasons pointed above- during my practice time,
I USE TWO FOOTSTOOLS: ONE FOR EACH FOOT.
That way, to follow grace man's comparison, I wear high heels on both shoes.

To supplement this approach,
-- I never practice more than one hour non-stop. I use my iPhone alarm not to let me get carried away (which I tend to do).
-- I stretch a lot before, in-between, and after practice.
-- I use rubber bands and dumbbells too keep good guitar playing muscles.
Instead of two footstools you could also consider sitting in a lower Chair :-) (same effect i would think) -
"..don't be afraid to miss a note. Being afraid is the only way you are sure to miss it.."

graceman
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:44 am
Location: Århus - Denmark

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by graceman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:53 am

Tim Mullins wrote:
graceman wrote:Maybe it's just me.. but I actually don't like the look of this Mobius Strap - (going across the guitars sounbdboard?) It may be working fine but I think it's ugly to disturb the look of a beautiful guitar like that...And if this strap actually has any direct connection to the soundboard - will that not affect the ressonance from the soundboard?
Hi graceman,

The strap is visible across the face of the guitar, but the people who use the ukulele version (which has been available for about a year) seem to find that the trade-off in functionality is worth it. I also tested the volume output of instruments with and without the strap with a dB meter with no difference in results. The strap actually touches at the two edges and lays, barely touching (with some daylight visible underneath) across the face. I don't find it has any effect on tone or volume. When you think about it, the part of your forearm that rests on the top probably would have more of a dampening effect.

What it does accomplish is to hold the guitar in a comfortable, stable playing position without strap buttons, foot rests, suction cups, adhesive patches, sound-hole hooks, clamps, mechanical props or cushions. But I realize that -- being a novel concept-- it may take some time to gain acceptance (if ever!).

And thanks, I actually appreciate any discussion and feedback on it!
OK - if the strap is actually not interfering with the soundboard. that's OK then (hard to tell when looking at your picture). So that only leaves the problem with "the look". It's still not pretty - but I wish it were, because we really need devices to solve these ergonomical problems. And even if I don't like the look of it - you should be praised for trying to develop something new!
"..don't be afraid to miss a note. Being afraid is the only way you are sure to miss it.."

Tim Mullins

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Tim Mullins » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:41 pm

graceman wrote:
Tim Mullins wrote:
graceman wrote:Maybe it's just me.. but I actually don't like the look of this Mobius Strap - (going across the guitars sounbdboard?) It may be working fine but I think it's ugly to disturb the look of a beautiful guitar like that...And if this strap actually has any direct connection to the soundboard - will that not affect the ressonance from the soundboard?
Hi graceman,

The strap is visible across the face of the guitar, but the people who use the ukulele version (which has been available for about a year) seem to find that the trade-off in functionality is worth it. I also tested the volume output of instruments with and without the strap with a dB meter with no difference in results. The strap actually touches at the two edges and lays, barely touching (with some daylight visible underneath) across the face. I don't find it has any effect on tone or volume. When you think about it, the part of your forearm that rests on the top probably would have more of a dampening effect.

What it does accomplish is to hold the guitar in a comfortable, stable playing position without strap buttons, foot rests, suction cups, adhesive patches, sound-hole hooks, clamps, mechanical props or cushions. But I realize that -- being a novel concept-- it may take some time to gain acceptance (if ever!).

And thanks, I actually appreciate any discussion and feedback on it!
OK - if the strap is actually not interfering with the soundboard. that's OK then (hard to tell when looking at your picture). So that only leaves the problem with "the look". It's still not pretty - but I wish it were, because we really need devices to solve these ergonomical problems. And even if I don't like the look of it - you should be praised for trying to develop something new!
Thanks, graceman! :)

stumbo

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by stumbo » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:06 pm

in my experience the footstool thing just causes problems. I agree with the comment above about maintaining a strong core. I'm mid 50's but active in triathlon of which includes a couple days/week of core work. if your core muscles support your body and you practice in as natural position as possible which for me is both feet flat on the floor, dynarette to raise the guitar so neck positioning is good and frequent breaks during long practice and I have no issues. I've had teachers try to force me to use the footstool and my left leg/foot goes to sleep and my body just feels tense, I learned to refused that. I'm better off in flamenco position that traditional classical w/footstool.

Pede
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:01 am
Location: Friesland, Holland

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by Pede » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:18 pm

I am playing CG for 35 years, some years I studied 8 hours a day. I never had problems with my back.
And always using the footstool.
I have no problems because I always alternate resting the guitar on the left and right leg.
Now I am curious how it is to use other things than the footstool. I just don't like those strange ugly things clamping on my instruments. Playing in standing position...is that possible for all the guitarrepertoire?
Does anyone have experience with the cushions?
Gert Petersen 2000, Spr-BRW, Felipe Conde FP17 Negro, Santos Hernandez 1932 S-BRW, Asturias 10 string s-IRW, Ramirez 1a Especial 2014, Bernabe M5 S, Bert Kwakkel Merula 1982, Baroque guitar by Martin de Witte

AndreiKrylov

Re: foot stool ergoplay or dynarette etc.,

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:44 pm

Pede wrote:I am playing CG for 35 years, some years I studied 8 hours a day. I never had problems with my back.
And always using the footstool.
I have no problems because I always alternate resting the guitar on the left and right leg.
Now I am curious how it is to use other things than the footstool. I just don't like those strange ugly things clamping on my instruments. Playing in standing position...is that possible for all the guitarrepertoire?
Does anyone have experience with the cushions?
99% of recordings I made in standing position.

Please take a look here -
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/andr ... d157639260

When I perform it mostly in standing position too.

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