Ergonomic Guitar Rests, Supports, Cushions

47

How many types of ergonomic guitar supports are there? A ton of them! Here’s just a few. What’s your favorite type listed or not listed here? Leave comment below. The point behind using supports is to put the guitar into an optimal position for ease of playing but also to allow for correct posture and a physically healthy playing style. Having one foot up on a foot stool can strain the back, leg, and neck muscles. However, this is not to say that foot-stools are on their way out, I for one still use a foot-stool regularly.

Also see these specific reviews:

Video of five different guitar supports

The Ergoplay Guitar Support

There are a slew of Ergoplay Guitar Support types out there and this is just one of the more traditional looking ones. The Ergoplay device fastens on via suction-cups. Get some static cling wrap (Suction-Cup Protector) if need be as any tiny grooves in your polish can un-suction the suction. These feel pretty good, places the guitar in a nice spot and allows the guitar to be movable. Only problem might be if you have suction-cup problems during a concert #nofun. If the suction cup comes off on this one at least you still have gravity to help you.

I’ve seen many people using these in combination with the footstool, very likely to get the perfect position. That’s the key with these things: getting the position you want not the one it sets you up with. Not that foot-stools are any different.

Barnett Guitar Supports

Barnett Guitar Support

Say goodbye to suction cups or clamps! This guitar support uses magnets to keep your guitar support in place. You can read the full Review: Barnett Guitar Support Here. Sometimes available on Amazon. Innovative and one of the best solutions with altering the guitar.

Pros: It will not come off in performance. Clean and beautiful aesthetic. Very adjustable. Great design and build quality. The cork will not damage your finish. It is generally cooler than the other guitar supports out there.

Cons: Maybe the adhesive thing. You might have to bit careful when placing and removing the support but you should with any product near your guitar. Otherwise, none that I can see.

The Gitano Guitar Support

gitano

The Gitano Guitar Support is ultra simple. It also just feels more natural to me as my right shoulder isn’t elevated too much. It’s simple, small, and can fit in your guitar case. If the suction cups comes off in a concert you’re finished! The Tenuto has four suction cups which makes me feel safer. However, I love the small compact nature of the Gitano and love it for practicing. However, I’m too scared to perform with this one. If the suction cup comes loose there is no gravity to keep your guitar up, everything will crumble. Still a great buy though and I would buy it again for teaching and practicing. I use this support regularly and more than any other on this page because simple is good.

Tenuto Guitar Support 

I like! Looks similar to the above models but, hey, lets add more suction cups. It’s an improvement for sure.  Four suction cups is better than two! I like how it folds over so it might fit in some cases. Order them from their website (tenuto.ca) via Calgary up here in Canada. I like the above model but they have another model that looks hideous… Also good is that the strap is adjustable so you can get micro adjustments going. As far as these types of supports go this is a WINNER.

Oasis Guitar Support (apparently also the Flanger Guitar Support)

oasis

flanger

I recently bought the Oasis Guitar Support but also found the identical product (for a fraction of the price too) called the Flanger Guitar Support ($10), or ‘utility guitar accessory.’ Anyway, regardless of the name, this support has a locking mechanism that really super sucks your suction cup onto the guitar. Be careful to not push the suction cup on hard and then use the clamp as it’s a lot of pressure on the guitar. Just lightly place the suction cup on the guitar and then use the clamp. Too bad the clamp is made of cheap plastic, although mine has not broken. There is more flex compared to the Gitano as there is a spring attached to the suction cup that bends, however, I kind of like that despite some small instability.  The Oasis Guitar Support is a step up but if the suction cup comes off in a concert you’re finished! Having only one suction cup means that in that one comes off you are in big trouble. The Tenuto has four! Overall, I think we can do better than this one but I appreciate the innovation and effort. Sorry! Still love my Gitano.

Murata GR-2B, Guitar Rest

Murata GR-2B, Guitar Rest

I’ve written a review of these: Review: Murata Guitar Rests (Ergonomic Guitar Support). Overall this is one of the better ones I’ve tried but I don’t much like the fastening device which constantly frightens me into thinking I’m crushing my guitar. Plus, if you have a raised fingerboard where the body of your guitar is not uniform then this is a pain. Here’s the quick of it:

Pros: simple, small, durable (metal all around), ergonomic sitting position, clamps are better than suction-cups

Cons: not highly adjustable (can’t seem to get a steep enough angle), heavy, the body of my guitar is not an even width due to my raised fingerboard so I had to place foam supports on one side to make it work. Might wear down my french polish. Comes off sometimes. However, if you have a normal guitar it should work very well.

Dynarette Guitar Cushion (Small)

People seem to love the Dynarette & Other Brands of Guitar Cushion but it’s not for me personally. All I can say is I don’t like the idea of having a loose object sandwiched between my guitar and my leg. I want to move the guitar up and down and side to side and not worry about loosing the cushion. Plus walking out on stage with it could be awkward. And it I think it looks dumb. It also makes squeeky sounds against the guitar polish. There should be a Seinfeld episode: “The Cushion”. Nevertheless they are popular with everyone from professionals to students and I think it’s a great solution for practicing. It’s also super simple so WILL work.

EFEL guitar support

Again, there are many varieties of these and this is just one. The EFEL guitar support seems like a good idea although I mistrust anything that doesn’t rely on gravity to some extent. If the suction-cup comes off on this one your finished! However, many players have told me this is the most optimal for their positions making it an option for players that the ergoplay does not agree with. I haven’t tried this one and probably won’t unless they send me one.

NeckUp Guitar Support

Looks similar to the two above but has a cow attached, that is, something classier than plastic. Haven’t tried it, looks like it might be too flimsy but can’t tell from the picture. Would leather make me cool? Can find this online anymore…hmmm..

A-Frame Guitar Support

I have to say that this looks as though it could be a poor choice. However, I’ve never tried the A-Frame Guitar Support so I shouldn’t judge. That said, I will say that it looks a bit flimsy, not very adjustable, and like it takes up too much space. I don’t know anyone who recommends these. If you’ve used one please leave a comment below.

Update: see comment section below for two people who like the A-frame and pretty much counter all the comments I said. They are say it’s very adjustable and folds up nicely. 

Good Ol’ Foot-Stool

Here’s a nice wooden foot-stool for guitar. Classic. It can hurt your back if you play for hours but many us grew up with them so we are warped enough now that it has no affect!  I think the security we feel with a foot-stool comes from the four contact points (leg, leg, chest, arm)…I still use them despite the occasional use of my Murata.

What’s your favorite type listed or not listed here? Leave comment below.



47 Comments

  1. Dr. Jean-François Desrosby on

    My favorite type is the Ergoplay Tröster (Fully Adjustable, 4 suctions cups)
    In second place the Murata

  2. Bruno Bertucci on

    I am older (67) and have serious back priblems so i cannot use the footstool. I’ve used the cushion (large) but did not like it: it falls off; does not give enough rise for upper bout so I still needed foot-stool. Used something similar to the EFEL and the Tenuto, but it didn’t support the upper bout AND the suction cups would fail. My teacher uses the Neck-Up support and it’s ok but difficult to get the adjustment I needed. So so far, the support that works best for me is…the A-Frame! I like the way I can adjust the angel of the neck and the placement to the left or right. And the four suction cups are secure.

    • Bruno Bertucci on

      I have also tried the ErgoPlay and found I like it the best. But there is a big problem with the suction cups leaving large marks on the finish. Beside being unsightly, the roughened surface then causes the cups to not adhere to the guitar.

  3. What a great comprehensive article! Thanks for putting all of these options together in one place.

    I would highly recommend the A-Frame above all the other supports. As stated above, the suction cups are secure (but not if the sides are french polished) and you can get a drastically, varied angle of the neck depending on your placement of the suction cups. I switched from a footstool to an A-Frame over 10 years ago with no regrets, except that the sides of my guitar are French polished and I have to constantly remember to press them firmly after each piece or movement (it has become second nature in performance).

    I have tried the cushion (didn’t like it) and the ergo play (suction cups on this didn’t work with my guitar at all). I did like the ergo play but it was unreliable as the suction cups were not strong enough and would fall of in the middle of a piece. I have seen many students with the EFEL and Murata supports and wonder why not just use the A-Frame? It is really easy to set up and is very easy to fold up and store conveniently in your bag (probably won’t fit in your guitar case though)

    I tend to play with the head really high up over my head while my duo partner plays at a standard angle, here’s a video to see the different angles

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDq96SOq9bo

    For the last year I have been using the top 2 suctions cups only on the upper bout. This gets the neck and head up even higher, which I prefer. I hope my experience with the A-Frame sheds some light on it quality and possibilities. Great website! I truly enjoy reading these articles daily!

    • Wow, that’s a great contribution to this article Wesley. Thanks. Another vote for the A-Frame, I’ll have to try it out.

  4. HI Guys! I’m a classical guitarist from Perth Western Australia – been playing since 1969 & teaching since 1974. Have battled with upper back problems & R.S.I. & am in consequence a fully trained Alexander Technique Teacher as well. At the age of 56 found my lower back didn’t like a foot stool any more. Have already tried various suction type supports – no freedom of movement and made my shoulders very tense. Now have a Dynarette and am able to practice without pain – more mobility and security than a footstool. I have a short torso, which may be why the other devices didn’t suit me, but with the Dynarette I can alter the angle of the guitar any way I want (for high position work or artificial harmonics) and it doesn’t budge – i also use a “grip mat”. but the sticky strip on the bottom is really sticky – as an added precaution, you can wear velvet, cords or bare legs. I love dynarettes.

    • Hello Jane – I had a few lessons with you in the 80s but only recently started having postural back problems with a foot stool.Your comments are interesting.I will try a dynrete but the Mutara looks sensible! best wishes, John Spencer (now 77)

      • Hi Joh! Good to hear from you – I think I remember you; did you live in the hills? Let me know how you go with the Dynarette. My physio likes it; some other guitarists in Perth really like them, some don’t…

        • No, Lived in Applecross, Heathcote Hospital Super. One of our patients was a competent player.Look after your spine! John

  5. Neil Browning on

    I use a ‘Gitano’ support, which suits me. It is small, attaches with two suckers, and folds flat– so you don’t even need to take it off to put the instrument in a normal hard case. I always hated footstools as too cumbersome to carry round, and the same goes for all those big ‘frame’ things that attach in various ways. I’ve tried the EFEL, which doesn’t fold flat, and relies on a single sucker (not a good idea).

  6. Wolfgang Fritz

    I use Hagi Rest http://www.hagi-guitar.com It really works great due to 3M glue technologie. After half a year I removed the glue pads for control, no glue on the nitro lacqeur at all.
    I made bad experience with suction based rests.

  7. Peter Robert on

    This is an intersting discussion.I started classical guitar as a complete musical novice.I started out with a footstool but found Iit uncomfortable and was persuaded by a different teacher to try an ergo.I liked it immediately.It seemed to really help me but after approx 10 years of 3 hours practice a night I developed aching and burning in my upper body worst of allin my forearms.I stopped playing for 7 years and have recently started playing again, determined this time to avoid injury.After reading your article I have been reassessing my posture and the effect of using the ergo.I realised that in my attempts to prevent slippage of the rest on my knee or the suckers on the guitar I have been inadvertently tensing up all the time as I play. I have discovered that by setting the ergo at about a 60 degree angle and allowing the guitar to sit 4 inches further forward than what seems to be the usual position I have complete stability and am able to use gravity to advantage whereas before I was fighting it.I can’t help wondering if this has been the source of my injuries and pain?

  8. Dominique Blatti on

    I have been using footstools, ErgoPlay and for the last few years the Neck-Up which I found the best, and easy to adjust, handy when playing different guitars, using different seat heights, or wearing different heels! The only negative to report is the suction cups which can come off, though in my experience only with one of my guitars, which I suspect comes from the finish lacquer. Several of my fellow players and students use the Neck-Up, and all rave about it.
    Great website by the way, most informative. Thanks.

  9. Rafael Vicente Nieves Robles on

    Hello. Great website. I just wanted to express how grateful I am for you guys having this information up. I’m 18, have been playing guitar for 8 years and have been concentrating on classical for about 4 years. At a young age it’s funny to be concerning about back problems and in doing is I discovered with the help of my chiropractor that it was due to the footstool position. I have no information to share, since I was looking precisely due to my problem, but now I have a much better perspective about where I should be headed with my guitar support purchase. Again, thanks for the information and I am looking forward to share my experience and being a part of this community.

  10. The video and discussion has been very helpful. It has helped me choose an ergoplay because it adjusts both for height and orientation of the fret board – making it easier to see than many other choices which do not allow for that. Brad, FYI, I wanted to order this through Amazon so you would get a fee, but Amazon does not ship this product to Canada. Ordering direct from Ergoplay would cost $35.00 for shipping. Has anyone found a viable alternative?

  11. I have been using a dynarette (see previous comment). Unfortunately, I have had some back and left arm problems, including tenosynuvitis and a bursitis in my elbow. I think these are age related, (57) not connected to using the dynarette. I am experimenting with playing the guitar the other way around to balance out my body, and because it’s a very interesting intellectual exercise. So far it’s going well, but I can feel that my back really doesn’t like the footstool. Does anyone know of a guitar cushion made for left handed players?

  12. Regarding the new one, “Kris Barnett Adjustable Magnetic Guitar Support”, if you go to stringsbymail website and check guitar support section, this is being sold there for $96 and there is a video that clearly explains how it works. I have not used this, so am not best judge here. My experience with guitar support is only a small Dynarette cushion that I am not happy with. It is not adjustable and guitar slides on it, and is short for my taste.

    Back to the Kris Barnett, based on the video, this device looks sturdy, very adjustable and reliable. But firstly it is too expensive, secondly you have to stick the magnets inside your guitar which is a bit scary as to if it might damage the wood, although it is apparently using a safe and easily removable adhesive, thirdly I don’t know how much the whole thing weighs, it seems to be rather heavy.

    • My gut reaction to this was that it looks too big and clunky. When s guitar maker spends so muvh time snd expertise producing the instrument he does not anticipate someone tampering with the inside.I would expect some kind of non musical reverberation ftom it!

  13. Thank you for this article. I had my first lesson today and know that the footstool is going to kill my back (I’m 68). Haven’t decided which option to choose, but this will make my researching a whole lot easier!

  14. I have a Dynarette which I like. I reduced the slippage problem by adding a Velcro strip on the pillow on the side that faces the guitar. Guitar and pillow are attached to each other, eliminating some of the slippage.

  15. What a great, comprehensive article! Really well done.

    I have used several of these over the years and have settled on the Gitano. I just like that it’s so small and elegant, and easy to travel with. The cups did take off my french polish finish. I redid it, but it took it off again, so I just slapped a 3M adhesive golpe guard on it and now it sticks fine. (I realize this is sacrilege to some, but for me, it’s just got to work.)

    As much as I like the Gitano, it will slip on some pants (I’ve seen people tie a string to it and sit on the string, which works.) And it has burned me in performance and popped off (hair-raising excitement that is!).
    Still, I haven’t found anything I like better, so I take the good with the bad.

    Thanks again for all the work you put in,
    Cheers,
    Allen

  16. I bought the A-Frame a few days ago. I had never used any support before but my back was starting to act up with the footstool.

    Well, the A-Frame didn’t work at all. The suction cups come off too easily, I was never able to keep them on for more than 15 minutes no matter how I place them and how hard I pressed them. I will have to find something different. Maybe the Neck Up, Dynarette or Murata. No more suction cups for me.

  17. A-Frame Guitar Support is the best I have used, but the suction cups could be much better and in diffrent sizes. Make it better and we have a wonderful choice. Dynarette Guitar Cushion are nice for practice.

  18. I have been using the Gitano for many years but on my new guitar i have just noticed it has reacted with the lacquer causing it to come off. My luthier thinks it is because the lacquer has not had enough time to settle in properly but i am going to try a cushion asthis seems to bethe only one that won’t damage the finish. The Dynarette seems to be the one everyone uses but for only £11.99 instead of £35 there is one on Amazon called the Anself Contoured Guitar Cushion so might try that first – has anyone tried it?

    • I haven’t – I really like the Dynarette – but would be very interested to hear more about it when you have tried it.

  19. Thanks for this excellent discussion. i have been using the Dynarette for several years — it allowed me to resume playing after a 10 year hiatus due to back issues. Thus far I have been unable to find a good alternative; I really don’t want to put a suction cup on my good guitars. I perform several nights a week so I need a solution that can be installed and removed easily and frequently without damaging the finish. I had dismissed the Barnett based on a first blush reaction, but your review has convinced me to try one, if I can find one. They seem to be out of production at present, presumably because of the shortage of rare-earh magnets. Like you, I am also concerned about the internal adhesive. If it is not strong enough, the magnets could detach during shipping or transport, which would be a disaster. If it is difficult to remove, then the guitar is permanently altered and that has various negative ramifications. I am not concerned about acoustic effects (Torres showed us that the back and sides really don’t impact the guitar’s sound) and the strong magnets certainly won’t rattle. So on balance it seems worth the try, though applying adhesive to a hand-made guitar always gives me the shivers.

  20. I’m concerned about succion cups. I bought Gitano and let it stuck on my Martin custom shop guitar for a few weeks. Very bad idea: the plastic from the succion cup react badly with the guitar polish !

  21. Pemain Gitar on

    Hi all, I’ve tried the dynarette cushion after years of using a foot stool. I have to say the cushion is a real disappointment. It does not offer enough height on the guitar (even though) I am by no means tall. I also use the “large” cushion. The angle of the guitar is too low to comfortably play anything from the twelfth fret upwards. Lately I find that I use it in conjunction with a foot stool, which absolutely defeats the entire purpose! This thing sucks, and it doesn’t even have suction cups!

    • Interesting. I also use it in conjunction with a (low) footstool. By doing so, the cushion alleviated my extreme spinal problems, and allowed me to resume guitar playing that otherwise had become impossible. I do agree with you that the cushion is not ideal, and I found that some experimentation was needed with choice of chair, elevation of feet, angle of cushion, etc. But in my experience, the cushion has proven the best and most useful solution. I guess as usual, “Your mileage may vary.” I am a full-time musician playing 200+ performances a year, so for me it has been a lifesaver.

  22. I am short, and use the Dynarette because my lower back tells me it has had enough of footstools. (I have been playing pretty regularly since 1969). I use a “grip mat” both under and on top of the Dynarette to increase stability, and also to stop it squeaking, which can be audible in concerts during quiet pieces. Combined with yoga and Alexander Technique the Dynarette keeps me playing and performing at 59.

  23. How about a bespoke (classy ?) chair that has a swivel support from the right side to support the guitar?
    Sit on the chair –swivel support in front and place guitar on support.
    Adjustable parts to suit any instrument . Pivots , hinges and catches have already been invented.
    Seat is used as per normal and will not twist the spine .

    • I’ve been looking for one of these for some time. I haven’t found a design that really works. In my case it absolutely must be easily portable, and just finding a well-designed portable chair is hard enough. Adding the guitar support is another whole level of complexity. But if anybody does this I’d sure be interested.

Leave a Reply