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Possibly unconventional thought on posture and guitar playing technique   You are logged in as Guest
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Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

Possibly unconventional thought on p... 

Some will know that I propagate standing as best posture. Moreover with the guitar not suspended by a strap, but by a harness with a soundhole hook, in order to allow for single-point suspension.

The latter again allowing for a fully flexible holding, resulting in a just the more firm playing technique ( which on first sight might appear like a paradox prospect).

Even though practicing and appreciating the benefits of it since years, I am still learning and noticing ( while mainly occupied with correcting certain general issues, that are not related to this threads topic).

And here are some of benefits and apparently little discussed points that seem to become increasingly evident the more one takes advantage of above mentioned suspension and posture:

#
First thing to note will be how standing contributes to developing and keeping rhythm. Without the lower body locked, the swing is being supported with the whole body from toe to head, which simultaneously makes maintaining rhythm much more natural.

#
As mentioned lately on a thread somewhere, another ergonomical advantage with this kind of suspension is that it enables to largely reduce left shoulder / hand strain when distancing / going up the neck ( towards the nut).
It allows for your left hand to almost fully stay on same height. This as you swap from vertical to horizontal range.

How?
Precondition is that the guitar is being held as it were wedged between your arms with the `bending point´ presented by your torso / belly. ( Imagine a see-saw with L/R arms being rocking kids, and your torso being the support point of the see-saw.)
On this `see-saw´ the closer your left hands goes towards the nut it shall further pull the neck towards your body and vice versa / the further down the neck towards the bridge the more the right hand takes over with the gear head wandering ahead / horizontally away from you.

That way your targeted fret will stay in similar distance for your left hand, independently from where on the neck.

A substantial ergonomical relief and the more noticable the longer sessions are, of which you come out significantly less tired and less stressed in the upper back.

#
Think of taking the guitar playing from largely determined by sensing the guitar ( dealing with its body) to instead dealing with the string(s).

The guitar instead becoming mere holder of the string, with your technique so to say bypassing / ignoring the guitar as tactile object and working out the string. Both hands mainly feeling the string, not the corpus and neck.

I don´t know if I can semantically convey that condition, but it ought to present perfection. A state that is greatly supported / enhanced by the standing single-point situation.

In ideal practice ( which I only reach to every other time yet) you end up sensing only your right hand striking the string ( of a very freely resonating guitar, besides / already different from a rather clamped / damped one with sitting posture) and your left one feeling just the fretting of the string. ( The hands feel each other through the string.)

More over, this is not only refined sensation but truely magnified control.

Even pitch control on sustain / decay becomes so clearly determined ( when either enhancing tension by pulling towards you / `bending´ the guitar [sharp] or releasing / giving in to RH elbow [flat]) when you play the string instead of the `string holder´ / guitar).
-


I want to compare a one-point suspension and resulting technique to the common sitting and rather fixating situation with the crash compensation in car construction.

As you know the car building industry learned from the formula 1 racing. In regard of crash deformation builders originally set on deformation of a hit object. Thus they would try to arm cars body, basically like you do with a tank.

This concept to my understanding basically resembles the sitting and fixating concept with guitar playing.

Over time however for car builders it turned out that instead of arming cabins, engaging the exact opposite principle as crumple zones is being helpful, and has preserved many a lives to date.

This setting on flexibility and adaption to demand to my understanding quite parallels the ergonomics with the playing upright and with ideal suspension.

Just as food for thought and suggestion to try out by chance.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 17:07:58
 
rombsix

Posts: 7602
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Some will know that I propagate standing as best posture. Moreover with the guitar not suspended by a strap, but by a harness with a soundhole hook, in order to allow for single-point suspension.


Why do you LOVE this concept so much? Ruphus, have you ever posted a video of your playing? I would love to see you in action with the posture & suspension technique you always endorse.

Cheers!

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 18:06:22
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Proof is indeed in the pudding.
I've got a neighbor who, when I first moved in would come over and talk to me about guitars all the time with so much knowledge you'd swear he was Joe Satriani. MONTHS later, I heard him play, it was total beginner form. It became really hard to listen to him talk after that.....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 18:51:12
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

This way of responding to sincere intention must be what fellow members had in mind when saying that there would be too much pissing contest.

You do not understand how this thread is meant. It is not meant to prove you something, but to suggest helpful detail that you could potentially be thankful for.
If you are interested in least investment at most result, you can check out the things I mentioned above.
If you don´t on the other hand, I will not mind one bit.

This posting is meant for who appreciates useful information, respectively is interested in trying out whether it could be useful info.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 19:08:35
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus, do you mean a harness like this?



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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 19:15:57
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Yes, only with the upper hook not engaged ( it would fixate too much / reduce the see-saw).

The advantage of the harness compared to a sling is that it helps keeping the hook centered, which is the only beneficial fixation for the situation I propose. ( With the soundhole / upper rim of it largely staying close to the solar plexus.)

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 19:21:51
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

So it is not that illustrated in the video I posted. Can you find/film a clip where we can see exactly what you are trying to describe?

I am really interested in this topic. I have changed posture so often and end up shifting frequently also while I am playing. My favorite position, however, remains this, as recommended by Anders Eliason (with a rubber rag placed on your lap to hold the instrument in place and prevent it from slipping away from the desired inclination -Thank you, again, Anders):



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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 19:32:23
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

YT is blocked from here ( can only be accessed large-scaled with VPN).
I only saw the harness for a second when the page was refreshed ( oddly enough, as there must have happened a quick access without VPN / never had such before).

Unfortunately I have never seen a video with someone engaging such a harness. ( Actually never seen anyone live either, except for a guitar student whom I gave the harness for to experience the posture.)

I suppose however - provided harness adjusted to the individual´s size -, that most will find the optimal use naturally after a short while.
From what I remember personally, there was a positive sensation from the get go, despite of at first a certain insecurity with the freely `wobbling´guitar.
It took only a few days however until the pros clearly prevailed the new challenge, and after maybe a week there were only benefits left over. Most notably the involuntary security of planting ( like with a firmly walking sailor, so to say).

The wandering around and keeping the body moving wasn´t exatly detrimental either.

Only true hindrance to overcome was the laziness. My butt was all longing back for the armchair, but with a bit of will that issue was overcomned as well.
-

What you describe certainly is an improvement as well, as it allows your left ellbow to stay close to your body and thus require much less of shoulder engagement.
But nothing beats swapping from vertical level to horizontal one. This gives the most of relief, as your arm can almost stand still while close to the torso ( while it is the guitar that gives way / moves around ).

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 19:58:38
 
aeolus

Posts: 765
Joined: Oct. 30 2009
From: Mier

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

The only classical guitarist I know of that regularly uses a shoulder strap is David Starobin. In his younger days he stood. I have never tried one but it seems to be as good anyway as the numerous contractions most use. Can't see much of the strap in this clip but the music is preferable to the 18th century snoozers he has on line.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 20:36:00
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3289
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus,

I'm trying to understand your concept, and what I am visualizing is that with the single-point suspension and the guitar operating like a horizontal "see-saw" as the left hand goes up and down the frets, it is the guitar that does most of the movement horizontally, while the hands, arms, and shoulders remain pretty much (though not entirely) in place. And that in so doing, it is less stressful than playing in the sitting position where it is the guitar that remains pretty much in place, while the hands, arms, and shoulders do most of the movement. Is this what you mean?

Bill

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With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 21:08:50
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Yes, Bill,

That is perfectly nailed.
Thank you for putting it so well into words / helping to make it understood!

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 23:08:39
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Aeolus,

With double-point suspension you still have the guitar relatively statically in place, with the body due to wrap itself around it.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 23:15:41
 
rombsix

Posts: 7602
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

This way of responding to sincere intention must be what fellow members had in mind when saying that there would be too much pissing contest.

You do not understand how this thread is meant. It is not meant to prove you something, but to suggest helpful detail that you could potentially be thankful for.
If you are interested in least investment at most result, you can check out the things I mentioned above.
If you don´t on the other hand, I will not mind one bit.

This posting is meant for who appreciates useful information, respectively is interested in trying out whether it could be useful info.

Ruphus


I'm not trying to diss you, but I was merely making a comment. I'm sincerely curious to see you in action with your setup...

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 9 2014 23:49:24
 
hamia

 

Posts: 380
Joined: Jun. 25 2004
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador

Proof is indeed in the pudding.
I've got a neighbor who, when I first moved in would come over and talk to me about guitars all the time with so much knowledge you'd swear he was Joe Satriani. MONTHS later, I heard him play, it was total beginner form. It became really hard to listen to him talk after that.....


No, the proof is in the eating!

And we've had quite a few on this forum over the years who fit this description.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2014 0:19:45
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Fair enough Ruphus, apologies.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2014 7:04:17
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Never mind, Lenny. :O)

Ramsi,

I have no experience with videos, but suppose with the connection that I have and what is left from it when going VPN, uploading of even lowest resolution / frame video would not work. ( Also not wanting to register with YT, FB etc.)
On top of it, it´s two weeks or so now that the connection gets disrupted all the time.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2014 9:15:28
 
rombsix

Posts: 7602
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Ramsi,

I have no experience with videos, but suppose with the connection that I have and what is left from it when going VPN, uploading of even lowest resolution / frame video would not work. ( Also not wanting to register with YT, FB etc.)
On top of it, it´s two weeks or so now that the connection gets disrupted all the time.


Alright...

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2014 14:48:23
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1800
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Do you still use this system Ruphus? Could I request you post a photo or two of the system, I'm all for trying unconventional ideas - without them there is no inovation. A picture speaks one thousand words as they say.

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tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2016 2:34:24
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Hi Dude,

Yes, I still use it.
And everytime that I do, regretting the lazy time spent sitting.
Sitting compares like cramped sessions.

It is a Neotech harness for saxophones.


which I removed the spring hook from and inserted a flamnco sling / hook into.

Basically ending up like in this drawing:


Ruphus

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2016 10:07:00
 
Mark2

Posts: 1688
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

[image][/image]



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2016 15:39:12
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1800
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Mark2

Thanks guys!! I'm pretty tempted to try something like this, all the sitting I do in a day is giving my legs jip. I'll be in Bay Area in a few weeks, perhaps I can find somewhere there that deals with such items.

Any thoughts on Ruphus' design vs this?
http://www.guitarfromspain.com/en/guitar-stands-for-sale/390-luthier-strap-lustr-01-classical-and-flamenco-guitar-strap.html


By the way, which hooks are people using?

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Ay compañerita de mi alma
tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2016 22:00:13
 
Blondie#2

 

Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 14 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Dudnote

There are lots of options with this kind of thing:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=stagg+classical+guitar+strap&tbm=isch&imgil=OmZYJpVSWHiuaM%253A%253BiV8_KHMzpdRhkM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.tasset.com%25252Fcordon-bg-gc-l-comfort-pour-guitare-classique-p-9773.html%25253Flanguage%2525253Den&source=iu&pf=m&fir=OmZYJpVSWHiuaM%253A%252CiV8_KHMzpdRhkM%252C_&usg=__gSnwywckL-GgfSoFAnRxmgWhdrk%3D&biw=1280&bih=863&ved=0ahUKEwiO0rfP8djLAhXLXhoKHU8oCAkQyjcIZA&ei=_6LzVs7WOcu9ac_QoEg#imgrc=OmZYJpVSWHiuaM%3A

Stagg do a heap guitar harness;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stagg-Classical-Guitar-Ukulele-SNCL001-BK/dp/B00LO6B40E

... I found it too unstable and the guitar falls forward away from your body at the top unless it is held at all times.

Then there's the more expensive Mundo system, great if you like ZZ top


I tried that too.

Like several here though I settled on the De Oro guitar support (although obviously if your goal is to play/practice standing up this won't work).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2016 7:30:21
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

The best hook I have seen was of a sturdy yet soft plastic with felt glued to its inner surface. Can´t tell however where such may be found. (In fact I´m positively surprised to see how many flamenco slings are available now. Some years back there were none offered even on the internet.)
The hook I own is without frills and of hard plastic, but there has beeen no harm to finishes of my guitars.
(It is essential however for it to clamp / be tight enough to not fall off. Otherwise you be in for accidents / guitar dropping.)

The best alternative to a harness seems to be presented in the link you posted. Not bad, however if you lift your right arm from the lower bout the guitar will tilt to the left and everything be slipping towards the side. Also in respect of longer sessions you might rather appreciate comfort of weight distributed over both shoulders in a padded way.

Orthopedically worst being suspension at the neck like with slings. Also ergonomically it is not like having suspension near solar plexus.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2016 10:10:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13229
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Dudnote

Playing standing up with strap constitutes more than 50% of my career. Rumba band, or when I fuse a flamenco show with rumba I have to do this. I need to say that the elaborate harness or the simple around the neck hook harness are both no good. The thing that works is a strap from the tail (where you might plug in a 1/4" jack) and at the heel of the neck with strap lock. Nothing to that arrangement is superior I must say. If you can not have both hands free to hold over your head while moving your body, then you will be using your hands to hold the guitar in place, some how, and that is the physical problem.

I will agree that being standing is better than sitting, but for flamenco style it is simply outside of the traditional. I admit when I stand and play for a dancer I feel I am being sort of disrespectful to the artform. I do it out of necessity only, and fact that if I am there to do rumba too, the performance is already a sort of corruption of the tradition. So for what it's worth, either learn to sit and play trad style like all the maestros have done, or don't be shy about drilling some holes in your guitar.

For what it's worth.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2016 16:36:05
 
Mark2

Posts: 1688
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Dudnote

This one looks pretty good. I'm tempted but 40.00 is a lot for a strap....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2016 17:16:58
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Possibly unconventional thought ... (in reply to Ruphus

Ricardo,

Frankly, have you experienced the arrangement suggested; and for long enough to get used to it?

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2016 10:19:56
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