Foot stool vs leg rest

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

Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by StreetCornerTalking » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:29 am

So I'm about 6 weeks into the classical guitar, and was a bit befuddled by how guitarist hold the guitar in place. It doesn't use a strap! After viewing many You Tube videos a stumbled upon a leg rest. Cool, I ordered one from Ergoplay. Recently I went to a music store looking for a different guitar and saw a shoe shine stand! I realized from my You Tube viewing that it must be the stand folks use. They both offer advantages and present disadvantages.

I know the 'right' thing is what feels best to the player, but would there be drawbacks to using both? Not at the same time of course!

Rick

cpike

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by cpike » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:55 am

There are indeed players who use both - experiment and find what works for you.
Chris

Emil Krasich
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Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Emil Krasich » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:40 am

From what I've experienced using both (I used an a-frame back in the day which is a similar support) is that the leg rest is easier on your back hands down. However, I found that there was/is unwanted neck movement that happens when using one so the left hand has to exert some effort keeping it stabilized where as it is very steady using a foot stool. However, the foot stool is very damaging to your body over time in my opinion. Maybe practice with the ergo and perform with the foot stool? That might be the best compromise. I've found using a strap to work the best (tied at the headstock) as far as position, stability, and comfort being equal. I'll parrot the previous post and say "experiment" as well.

Kris

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Kris » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:16 pm

I always used a foot stool, even before I started playing CG. Yes, I always used a footstool even with my steel string acoustic and my electrics. I know, unusual :)

So I never had a problem with a foot stool...until I started with CG. I got pains in the mid-right side of my back sometimes. I bought an Ergoplay, the "improved" one, which is more adjustable. I intended to use both; one day the Ergoplay, the other day a foot stool. But I just can't use it. I've tried, really. Hours and hours of fiddling and testing. The problem I have is that it simply pushes the guitar out towards my right leg too much. The cheaper, less adjustable model would probably have been better, judging from the pics.

I found out something else though. The pain in the back comes with tension. When I'm learning new pieces or working on difficult parts, my back aches. When I'm nice and relaxed, playing "easier" stuff, then I get no back pain. The pain comes pretty quickly too, so it has become quite a good indicator of tension. So, now, whenever I feel the pain sneaking up I sway around a bit with my upper body (while playing), consciously relax, and the pain goes away.

I'm 100% convinced that an apparatus such as the Ergoplay is much more ergonomically sound than a foot stool. But I think the foot stool is not as bad as people make it out to be. I think the major contributor to the back pain with a foot stool is tension coupled with a foot stool, not the foot stool itself.

Rainwater

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Rainwater » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:05 pm

There are obviously players who use foot stools without any physical problems.......I think the foot stool is more convenient, but I experience back pain when I use one, so I have a mirata guitar support which solves all my problems. This concept isn't new. Sor played on the edge of a table sometimes, and Aquado designed a guitar stand which allowed him to play in an almost standing position in the 19th century.

Olarte

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Olarte » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:20 pm

StreetCornerTalking wrote:So I'm about 6 weeks into the classical guitar, and was a bit befuddled by how guitarist hold the guitar in place. It doesn't use a strap! After viewing many You Tube videos a stumbled upon a leg rest. Cool, I ordered one from Ergoplay. Recently I went to a music store looking for a different guitar and saw a shoe shine stand! I realized from my You Tube viewing that it must be the stand folks use. They both offer advantages and present disadvantages.

I know the 'right' thing is what feels best to the player, but would there be drawbacks to using both? Not at the same time of course!

Rick

if you already own the Ergoplay than stay with it. It's a great support alternative to the foot stool, and one that many performers switch to.

I use one and love the stability and adjustability of it.

JeffR

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by JeffR » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:16 am

I was using a stool and liked it but it was starting to give me some back pain.
So I made my own foam support like a Dynarette with some dense 4" foam I had. I made a few different ones to get the height just where I wanted it. I have one that is a bit taller for when I am not wearing shoes.
The foam cuts really well with an electric carving knife. I tilted the cut over the leg so the top of the cushion leans in towards me at the correct angle to hold the guitar where it would be with a stool. Maybe I will cover them with some fabric.

Bonita

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Bonita » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:48 am

I used a footstool for a really long time (on and off for decades) without problems, but now as I reach a more advanced stage of my life I find that using the footstool hurts my back and hip and shortens my playing time.

So I have moved to a Dynarette cushion that works very well for me. I also use a small square of rubber shelf cushion on my right leg where the back bout of the guitar rests and this combination is stable and gives me a good playing position.

The cushion is well made and has a rubber strip on the bottom that gives good traction on one's clothing.

Rainwater

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Rainwater » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:24 am

I viewed a video of Bream in his golden years, and he was using a guitar support.....

StreetCornerTalking

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by StreetCornerTalking » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:03 pm

Well there is good input here! The Dynarette looks more comfortable than the Ergo, and probably will prevent the guitar from slipping away. The advantage I see with the Ergo over the Dynarette is adjustability. Before I got the Ergo I used a 6lb. sand-filled pliable rubber hand weight. It worked well! The biggest drawback so far with the Ergo is portability as compared to a folding foot stool.

The Murata does not appeal to me due to its strap and buckle design.

Experimentation!

dkpwv

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by dkpwv » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:35 pm

I use the Dynarette now after putting up with troublesome back pain for years. Best money ever spent. Now I have zero back pain while playing.

jammy

Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by jammy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:48 pm

Rainwater wrote:I viewed a video of Bream in his golden years, and he was using a guitar support.....
hi rain, do you have the link of that video? I'd like to see the guitar support. 8) Thanks

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Vito Simplicio
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Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Vito Simplicio » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:44 am

Hi jammy,

Welcome to Delcamp!

Please take the time to introduce yourself here.

:merci: Vito
( vitO )===:::

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Classical Guitar Forum

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Foot stool vs leg rest

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:31 pm

Personally there are only two supports that I would suggest to students, either the Murata GR-1 or 2 or Lance Litchfield's support. I have found others to be less versatile (especially the cushion and the original ergoplay). There have been a number of interesting supports that I haven't had the opportunity to try out (due to not needing a new one). I like the idea of the Ponticello support, also Kris Barnett's magnetic support. However the Ponticello support is rather small (like the Gitano (?) and I feel that such a small footprint to hold the instrument on the leg might not be enough. Kris' support looks very interesting, I've even approached him to see if I could try one, however he stated that he doesn't have any "manufactured", which was unfortunate.

Potential negatives of Kris' support, the Gitano, and the neck up are that the part that rests on the leg is cloth/leather. I'm not convinced that cloth/leather should support the instrument. When I've tried both the Gitano and Neck Up, I've been unimpressed with the cloth/leather to hold the instrument on the leg.

I've often gone back to a footstool every once and a while. I moved away from it 4-5 years ago due to back and foot pain. And I still don't use it because of that reason. Typically when I'm teaching, I am too lazy to set up my guitar support (and accessories) so I just break out a foot stool. Also, for teaching, I use the footstool as an aid for teaching (as it allows me to show students sitting techniques that I'm talking about). In the past week, I've developed bad pain in my lower back. I say it's due to 1) using the footstool continually since September when I practice and 2) shoveling the massive amounts of snow dumped on New England.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

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