Classical Guitar Supports, Ergoplays, Cushions

70

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.

Video of five different guitar supports


The Ergoplay Guitar Support (Most Popular)
Info/buy via Amazon: Ergoplay Guitar Supports

There are a number of Ergoplay guitar supports 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. If the suction cup comes off on this one at least you still have gravity to help you compared to the Gitano et al.

 

The Gitano Guitar Support (My Favorite)
Info/buy via Amazon: Gitano Guitar Support

gitanoThe Gitano Guitar Support is ultra simple and low profile so therefore my favorite and most used support. 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. I love it for practicing but 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. It actually only rarely comes off with my static suction cup protector mentioned above… Still a great buy 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. The Tenuto has four suction cups which might be slightly safer…
Tenuto Guitar Support 
Looks similar to the above model but, hey, lets add more suction cups. 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. For some reason two of the four suction cups don’t say on as well as the others. Maybe because the wood of the guitar curves there is more pressure or not the correct angle on some of them? I’m happy enough with my Gitano but some people might like the added safety of two more cups.

 

Barnett Guitar Supports (Best Design)

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.

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.

Also see these specific reviews:

 

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


More from This is Classical Guitar

Free Sheet Music Page | Lesson Archive Page | Weekly Email Newsletter


70 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.

  24. I would like to introduce you to the the most simple and effective support,- the Guitarlift…
    It’s hooked at the back, has enormous stability and looks cool too.
    Already chosen by many players. Such as Margarita Escarpa, Dr. Eva Beneke, Thomas Müller-Pering, Jozsef Eötvös, Michael Langer, Kostas Tosidis, Johannes Monno, Paolo Pergoraro, Arturo Tallini, Woody Man
    And many more …
    Check it out ….Guitarlift.de it’s available in transparent and black …soon in transparent black as well…

  25. Do we need a short hand way to define the different guitar positions that we can see these days? The upright John Williams position tells us of his violin training and friendship at college with violinist Alan Loveday . I think I`m right about that . Nice straight tendons in the left hand . Straight back and neck too .Julian Bream had a slightly lower intense relationship with the guitar shape .But derogatory comments about the appearance of a rest have a negative effect on possible solutions .Nothing is set in concrete but many people are too keen to reach for their shovels and start to load the ingredients into the mixer.
    I can add a different element to controlling a slippery guitar but I need to work through a few details first .I will always avoid footstools and suction cups though .

    • For me, the Shearer attachment methods are totally unacceptable. Eye screw? Velcro? No thanks, not on my beautiful guitars. I use conventional strap buttons on most of my working guitars, and this approach is adequate when standing or for a little extra support while sitting and using a Dynarette cushion. (As I said above, the Dynarette was what let me resume playing after a long hiatus due to back problems. It’s the only real solution for my particular body configuration, although it’s not ideal.)

      • Aguado was on the right track there .He wanted the support to take away the puzzle of securing a lopsided , slippery weight . In the victorian era a toilet would be flushed with a clanking water container high up on the wall with a chain dangling down .Today there is a different approach .Hide it away and pretend it`s not there . Problem? What problem. The audience cannot see your discomfort so it does not exist . That`s why these instrumental aches and pains are never solved .We have raised the bar too high .Be ashamed of your problem .This is the modern theme .
        But a survey of guitar chair designs provided by impressarios might give us a clue to the fixing methods we could evolve to hold a vertical pole strong enough to hold up the end of a guitar . Maybe bring on a cast iron street lamp , Art Deco ,with a convenient curved arm to complete the ensemble. A cheeky tilted trilby hat would match the scene. Cigarettes would be optional
        But what is a guitar chair? Is there such a thing? I saw a picture of a guitar factory yesterday with endless rows of unfinished instruments in long rows .Just a few years before the wood runs out we could wake up a Rip van Winkle chairmaker and tell him what we need .
        Imagine a sunflower in front of a tasteful curtain concealing the pole and all the audience glued to the mystery behind it. “Watch the sunflower children and tell me me when it grows”.Who needs music with that kind of excitement ?

        • Very amusing ideas. However, for me at least, the problem would not be solved by a static guitar holder. I must move around a good deal when I’m playing, and I’m pretty sure that having to wrap myself around a fixed instrument would not work for very long. I think all of our support options involve tradeoffs. I do agree that we can and should do better; but I’m sure that there won’t be a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Our body geometries and idiosyncrasies, our playing techniques, and the physical demands of the instrument (involving very different approaches to the top and bottom of the neck) ensure that somebody will hate every solution, and everybody will hate some solutions.

          • This question is like a daft game you can play when you ask “Guess what number I`m thinking of between 1 and 10 “. So you guess and the answer is “Wrong. Do you want to try again ?” There will never be a right answer. If we got very close the questioner with a guitar will turn out to be a trapeze artist wanting to play in mid air and won`t want to drop it . Is that right? Wrong ! Want another go ?
            The game was “How do you hold a guitar ?” IE sitting still on a chair . Not standing up . Not moving around . Start again .
            I think the ideal would be one of those large cane sofas where you are almost laying down. Then the guitar cannot have it`s wicked way and commit suicide by ending up on the floor. There was a Suzuki motorcycle made once with brand new disc brakes .They were not fully developed and the label stuck to the tank said “Do not ride this machine in the rain”. The pads were changed later with copper in the material .(True).
            So a simple label on a guitar “Do not play this instrument unless you are laying flat on a sofa “.
            Sofas with wheels ? Good game .Not frequently asked question —“Can guitarists ever play on a sofa ? ” The phrase Sofa /Guitar has probably been promoted to a dictionary .

          • John Cadd, you again make some amusing points but I don’t think this discussion has been fruitless. I at least find it helpful to know what other people have tried. FYI when I say I move around, I don’t mean I walk around the stage, I mean I can’t stay rooted in one fixed position on the chair, or my back goes berserk. I need to keep shifting my angles. I also need to change my posture when I go high up on the neck above the body join. I don’t think either of those behaviors is unusual. That’s why a rigid guitar stand hasn’t worked too well for me. YMMV.

          • Oh we are getting closer then. For a moment I pictured one of those Mexican Marriachi Hooks that fit round the neck and then come under the guitar and come up to hook inside the sound hole. That must be hard on a nice guitar . So replace the leather with elastic at the tuning area and a swivel to follow your movements. Still mechanically simple and bombproof. The feet can both be on the floor .The footstool can grow to become a nightmare monster if you think too much about it . Maybe the idea of it suddenly tilting sideways could become a new phobia . Maybe elastic is not serious enough for serious music. Elastic does all it can to adapt to our wishes and we spurn it`s efforts to help us .

          • Let us try (both of us ) to separate the elements of holding a guitar. The left hand is required to hold the neck up as well as finger the notes. We should not expect the neck to support our left hand .It`s important to spell that out first .
            The guitar is a large thing and we need to look at what different parts are liable to do. Look first at the top of the lower curve .Some guitars have an extra protective cover for the edge (or for the right arm comfort). We may get used to using it as if it`s an arm rest on a chair. The rest is not to protect the appearace of the edge as we cannot see it with a cover on. So how does that contact interact with the player?If the arm became uncomfortable then there was maybe too much pressure being placed there .That would transfer to the bottom of the guitar where slipping can begin . The right arm will generally be a secure enough controller for the top edge of a guitar .The bottom of the guitar will tend to slip outwards as the top is held in .The guitar body is not held exactly vertical so the bottom side will contact the inner guitar edge against the right leg. If the leg surface is “horizontal ” there may be slipping as the guitar bottom ( side) will not match this angle of the leg.
            So most control is made by the left leg in a raised position for the guitar side to have a stable neutral contact. Neutral means the planes of side and leg mostly match their angles . So where is the problem in this position? There will still be some sliding effect along the guitar length if the guitar curves do not hook onto the left leg (as it were ).(so to speak ).This would require some type of grip (non slip ) surface either at the hook curve or at the right leg contact.
            Out of those elements of a guitar hold which ones cause the most trouble? Let me know if I have left out anything. The footstool here is being used for the time being as a starting point. Any change from this is allowed but must be explained and reasoned through .
            There is a type of material that will not allow shiny varnished surfaces to slide and which is not sticky is not velcro and does not use suction .. Would that be of interest ? That may be new to you .
            Let me see if you have a clear ,precise understanding of why you are unhappy with your guitar hold . Left hand ,right arm ,right leg ,left leg ,your body ,the guitar`s body . Contact with the seat , spine alignment ,ischeal tuberosities all come into this. Even perching on the edge of a chair (ouch) can make you numb .

          • Yes, agreed. The whole point of traditional classical guitar position (and alternative improvements) is to anchor the guitar so that the left hand is totally free.

          • If you sit on a chair with both feet on the floor the thigh surfaces ,although not flat can be relatively flat if the chair matches your leg size .Already a variable has crept in .Worst would be a higher chair that allows the guitar to tilt and slide forwards . One simple element of the equation .
            Where is the centre of gravity of a guitar? Does it vary from one guitar to another? Will the lengthways tilt of a guitar unsettle that fine balance without any help from the left hand ?
            Feet on the floor time now .Some kind of support at the lower curve is needed .A shaped pad or cushion?Or a frame which is as invisible as we can make it .Completely invisible would be perfect .Cushions or pads tend to slip /roll or squirm out of position. One way is to fix it on the guitar. The other way is to attach it to the player or to a mythical object called a guitar chair . Unless it is invisible the player will need to haul it on stage and set it up first .
            If you had a word with the management they could pull back a curtain when you are ready .No uncomfortable walking out on stage beforehand .
            Ask questions till you are blue in the face and total resistance to every solution will be the result .

          • Thanks again for your detailed thoughtful comments. I should begin by saying that the whole point of this give and take has not been (in my mind) to present arguments or refutations or problems, but to air the issues. I think this has been successful. We’ve addressed a wide range of guitar support topics.

            I did not view this as an exchange of “please suggest…” and “…no that’s not right because…” posts. It may have seemed that way, though. But I really wasn’t criticizing your suggestions, but just providing feedback. You’ll see that I have been chiming in on this discussion for a long time, because the issue is very important to me, and because my particular point of view sometimes gets overlooked when manufacturers consider user requirements (sometimes by looking at threads like this). So I try to pipe up whenever the topic appears.

            My specific situation is unusual although not unique. Since you’re asking about details, I will mention that I cannot use a normal footstool configuration, because that causes my body…to explode, It is why I had to stop playing for ten years. So this is not a trivial matter for me. I am quite aware of the various nonslip materials you refer to, and they are helpful, and I’ve tried many of them, along with many of the other approaches discussed here. (Some of the nonslip pads dissolved my guitar finish, despite promises to the contrary, so be aware that those sales claims are not always to believed.)

            In my particular case, I have experimented with many supports in an attempt to come up with a comfortable, efficient position that I can use for my normal work (often 5+ hour gigs, several days a week…so the solution has to be really effective).

            As I’ve mentioned earlier, the most practical (for me) has proven to be a low footstool plus a Dynarette or similar cushion. It’s not ideal, but it works for me. Lately I have been anchoring the cushion with cords that attach to the guitar’s strap buttons (on those instruments that have strap buttons); and this is helpful. Occasionally, I use a normal strap, either standing or sitting, and when sitting sometimes with stool/cushion and sometimes not.

            I should add that a robust stool has been very important. I’ve settled on the K&M stool plus backrest (http://products.k-m.de/us/Drummer-s-ThronesBenches-and-Stools/Stools/14046-Pneumatic-stool-black-fabric) as the most effective for my own needs. Lumbar support is critical for me.

            Another theme in my comments has been that suction cups, adhesives, and other things that might damage a valuable instrument’s finish are not of interest except when I’m playing a “beach guitar.” Most of the commercial solutions use these, and they’re great for many people. But I remain in search of really good alternatives for stabilizing a valuable instrument that don’t require me to elevate my left leg (much) nor assume a too-rigid position nor involve altering or risk damaging the guitar.

            I think that the “Brahms Guitar” cello-like approach is probably closest to my ideal; but of course this doesn’t work with a conventional instrument. I still think that a better device can be designed than what we have today, sort of a hybrid between a cushion and a Barnett support — one that provides a mix of stability, adjustability, safety, and comfort; and I’ve put some thought into how this might work. But we’re not there yet, and my particular set of problems are not so common — I don’t think anybody is going to build them for me. But I pipe up in case it happens. I’ve been wrong before.

            Thanks again for your helpful suggestions and comments. I really don’t think this is a question of my rejecting your ideas, nor of your ignoring my needs. It’s a complex problem, and it needs a lot of discussion. I expect that some readers will find what they need from your suggestions; and that others will see my comments and realize that they might have some problems using the standard products.

    • I tried to make a guitar support which clamped to a wooden dining chair . The makeshift best was clamped to the left side . The idea was to make a support pad to copy the shape of my left leg.If the only thing being supported is the guitar it would not need to be tremendously heavy .It could allow some movement and flexibility for a natural feeling. That would rely on support below the curve of the body .
      If you want to avoid guitar body contact maybe there is a way to look at the tuning area and (half ) suspend the guitar from that with the guitar simply resting in your lap and the arms controlling the position. How would a flexible curved pole clamped to the chair leg feel . It could have useful kink in it like a ski pole . Attach with a leather strap loop through the tuner slots.Just sit down , hook on and away you go.
      There was a Victorian reading support on tv yesterday .Made of brass tubing with adjustable joints to hold a book in place. Inventive Victorians could have sorted out this problem years ago . There might be a design hidden in a library somewhere .

  26. Jacob Butler on

    I scrolled through couldn’t see anything so sorry if this has already been covered.
    What is wrong with a strap?
    I’ve tried various alternatives;
    the foot stool is the most inconvenient,
    crossing legs works except for the loss of feeling,
    the Flanger with suckers is good but can pop off spontaneously – might take a bit of varnish off too?

    Now using a strap. Buttons in the usual places – mid bottom and on treble side of heel.
    This seems ideal – easy to adjust to the classic position and it stays in situ with hands off – the two ends of the straps are close to straight up and down so there is little tendency to swing around. But you can easily adjust to another position, depending on what you are playing.
    Slightly mystified as to why they are deprecated on a classical guitar.

    • Jacob you have a good case with straps. One solid reason for straps is when reaching out for sheet music or even just standing up . The guitar will come up with you and not suffer some random collision ..The guitar is a slippery thing and we only have two hands . Maybe the idea of screws being drilled into the guitar by players would be less of a problem if the makers fitted neat brass inserts .No guilt feelings needed then.
      Mexico has plenty of guitar players but we have not listed the strap around the neck which comes under the guitar and then hooks into the soundhole. Hopefully it has some padding there .Maybe a bit rough on the most sensitive part of a guitar .
      The visual impact of a strap seems to repel anyone who wants to “look” like Julian Bream .But if John Williams got a strap the problem would vanish .Image is the new reality and we need to fight against it.
      Steel string players use straps. Is that the root of this question ? Let`s be different from them?
      Appearance can put you off . One thing that puts me off is affectation in the face pulling way . Expressions that too obviously look as if a player has just entered Heaven . All kinds of in between hand movements meant to show sensitivity etc etc .Is there a correographer to write all these extras down . Ballet teachers show how hands and fingers should move for a graceful effect. But it`s out of place when a musician starts it too . It`s a version of Air Guitar I suppose. Steel players can do it and still look Hard . But it`s still Daft .

  27. There seems to be now a Gitano Guitar Support with 3 suction cups. It’s called “Gitano Guitar Support 2017”. Haven’t seen many places who sell it, at least Thomann has it.

Leave a Reply