Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
larryguitar
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Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:14 pm

As some of you know, I have bought a beast of a guitar, a 900mm contra guitar. Here is a picture for those who have not seen it.
ContraInCase.jpg
I have been struggling with how to play the instrument comfortably. The guitar weighs twelve pounds and is very heavy to hold on my legs for any period of time. Plus, the body is so large that it forces my legs apart at a wide angle, adding to the discomfort.

The luthier suggests trying to find some kind of adjustable tripod that might support the guitar at the waist, or maybe at the lower bout. He sent me a picture of Aguado's Tripodium, shown here:

http://earlyguitar.ning.com/forum/topic ... -tripodium

and here is a picture:
AguadoTripodium.jpg
I like what this device does, namely, it removes all of the weight of the guitar from the player's legs, and it shifts the guitar to the right, which would make it easier for me to see my hand in first position.

Short of commissioning one of these, which is not completely out of the question, can anybody think of a way to achieve the same effect with something I can buy off of the shelf?
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David Norton
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by David Norton » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:34 pm

I've also wondered if there's such a thing as a "replica tripodium" available. After all, there are many many replica guitars from several eras.
David Norton
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First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:58 pm

David Norton wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:34 pm
I've also wondered if there's such a thing as a "replica tripodium" available. After all, there are many many replica guitars from several eras.
That's an interesting thought, I have no idea. The one I linked to looks like it was machined out of steel. I would need a very strong Tripodium to hold the contra guitar and I don't think I would ever leave the guitar on it, but, if I could play using one, that would be enough.

I have written to Daniel, maybe he can offer some insight.

I'm keen to figure out some device which would hold the lower bout of the guitar when I'm playing. I thought of sling stools but I think I need something that had a height adjustment, some kind of tripod.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:03 am

I found these performer stands:

http://graciestands.com/performance-stands/

but I am not sure they're strong enough to hold my guitar or will open wide enough to accommodate it. I want to play to play sitting down, so it also has to go pretty low.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:34 am

and this one:

https://vikingguitarstands.com

which the guy says he will build custom for a $50 extra charge based on a tracing from the guitar.

Thoughts on this one or the other one?

RobMacKillop
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:51 am

I was going to mention the Viking stands. I've never seen one in the flesh, as it were, but they do look well made.

Congratulations on the guitar. Let us know when you record a video or soundfile.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:28 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:51 am
I was going to mention the Viking stands. I've never seen one in the flesh, as it were, but they do look well made.

Congratulations on the guitar. Let us know when you record a video or soundfile.
Thanks Rob! I’m working on a bass part and solo intro for the Baden Powell piece, Valsa Sem Nome. The bass part is pretty easy and I did record it during a rehearsal but want to get a better take.

It’s unusual to hear those deep bass notes along with a regular classical guitar, I’m quite taken with the effect.

How did you hear about the Viking stands? I think I’m leaning towards that one because the builder will build a custom stand if I send in a tracing of the guitar.

After some discussions with my luthier, I think I would like to get rid of the clamps and just have flat brackets to hold the back and end of the guitar, like the Tripodium. Since the guitar will always be angled back. I think that will be ok. I can’t risk damaging the soundboard with a clamp, especially the lower part near the bridge.

I don’t think I would ever have the courage to leave the guitar on the stand and walk away so it will only be used to play the beast. Playing the regular way feels like having a 5.5kg/12lb block of cement on my legs. That is to say nothing of the problem of holding the thing between my legs. I fear for my hip joints because of how wide I have to spread my legs.

Oh, I need to figure out if the Viking stand will go low enough since I will be playing seared.

All suggestions welcome.

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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:44 am

I actually can't remember where I heard about Viking stands, but they seem to have a good reputation.

You think a contra guitar is hard to hold. Try a large theorbo!
Sweeney.jpg
That's Richard Sweeney playing a large Dm baroque theorbo, not the Italian type.
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larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:04 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:44 am
I actually can't remember where I heard about Viking stands, but they seem to have a good reputation.

You think a contra guitar is hard to hold. Try a large theorbo!

Sweeney.jpg

That's Richard Sweeney playing a large Dm baroque theorbo, not the Italian type.
Ha, he seems to be questioning his life choices.

I’m jealous of theorbo’s short neck, at least, the playable part. The first fret is in another postal code than the body of my guitar. What is the length of the playable part of a theorbo?

The strap is a thought but don’t think I want all of the weight on my right leg and I’m not sure it would be stable enough.

I’m glad to hear that Viking has a good reputation. I’m not buying a piece of junk that will collapse and destroy the instrument or injure me.

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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:24 am

Theorbo fretted string lengths range from low 80s to over 100cms for the opera instruments. You might be interested in the galichon, a little-discussed lute variant. They often had six to nine courses, however, the great German maker, Edlinger, made them of six single strings only, with a string length of around 94 to 96. In other words, not a million miles away from your contra. Bach inherited two such instruments when he took over at St. Thomas's. The problem with theorbos is that below the fretted notes, they cannot play chromatic bass lines, and even if the could they would have a hard time stopping semitonal clashes. So, the six-string galichon was developed. There are only two modern copies in Europe, I believe, and none elsewhere. It has been neglected, I believe, as there is no solo repertoire for the larger instruments, though I'd love to have one to try out Bach's cello suites on.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:41 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:24 am
Theorbo fretted string lengths range from low 80s to over 100cms for the opera instruments. You might be interested in the galichon, a little-discussed lute variant. They often had six to nine courses, however, the great German maker, Edlinger, made them of six single strings only, with a string length of around 94 to 96. In other words, not a million miles away from your contra. Bach inherited two such instruments when he took over at St. Thomas's. The problem with theorbos is that below the fretted notes, they cannot play chromatic bass lines, and even if the could they would have a hard time stopping semitonal clashes. So, the six-string galichon was developed. There are only two modern copies in Europe, I believe, and none elsewhere. It has been neglected, I believe, as there is no solo repertoire for the larger instruments, though I'd love to have one to try out Bach's cello suites on.
Rob,

That’s fascinating! The Wikipedia entry for the Mandora or Gallichon is quite good, and has a lot of information about those instruments:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandora?wprov=sfti1

Of course, the cello suites were also on my mind when I bought this guitar, as a long term project. I’m too old to start on the cello, this is as close as I will get.

In the meantime, it is fun to play simple, single lines on this instrument. Narrow chord voicings do not work well on bass instruments. I’ve been told that this is because of the notion of “critical bands” in the ear that will perceive two tones as beating when they are a certain Hertz apart. That interval at a higher frequency would be farther apart and would sound fine.

One of my guitar teachers is going to help me learn how to play this contra guitar. He is excited to arrange pieces that include the instrument. I think he has a Vivaldi piece in mind.

Who does Hannabach sell their 90cm string sets to? I have yet to find another 90cm contra bass, yet, it is an off the shelf item at Strings by Mail. I’m stocking up.

es335
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by es335 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:59 am

K&M is offering a guitar holder similar to the Viking stand. A bit pricey (app. 200 €) but considering this is to securely hold your valuable guitar she will deserve it. I’ve seen it in practical use and found it very convincing, reliable and secure. Search for K&M 14761 and you’ll find corresponding pictures.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:00 am

It just occurred to me that the Viking stand holds the guitar on the opposite side than the Tripodium. Maybe it could still work with the stand against my right leg or maybe I can hold the stand between my legs. I want to be able to play comfortably with my legs closed, though, I’m not sure the latter would let me do that.

larryguitar
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by larryguitar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:04 am

es335 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:59 am
K&M is offering a guitar holder similar to the Viking stand. A bit pricey (app. 200 €) but considering this is to securely hold your valuable guitar she will deserve it. I’ve seen it in practical use and found it very convincing, reliable and secure. Search for K&M 14761 and you’ll find corresponding pictures.
Thanks, I saw that one but it is significantly lighter than the Viking, 7lbs vs 13lbs. Plus, I want a custom head piece and I don’t think I can do that with K&M. I have no problem with paying more to get the stronger, better stand.

es335
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Re: Guitar support for large guitar - Tripodium or other device

Post by es335 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:21 am

I’m glad if this was of use for you. I wouldn’t care about the weight. Ligther doesn‘t alway mean less rigid or secure. Considering that the head is just a shaped metal tape, it should be possible to have it modified if you would provide a paper template of the body. BTW the K&M holder is Made in Germany, why they should be able to modify the shape accordingly.

Here is a link to the instruction FYI! :wink:

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