Originally Posted by Schmorgy
No one intentionally designed an instrument to feel uncomfortable to play and definitely not in a way that will cause damage to your body.
Instruments were designed to have the physcal capabilities to produce the pitches, tones, characteristics, etc of music. Design was the modifying of its looks to be pleasing to the eye. Simply put, the understanding of the physical problems that existed or could be developed from a sustained use of the instrument were not important.
By not important I mean every instrument had a physical requirement that match a certain physique profile to the instrument. Regardless of the instrument that a player may wants to play, he was not given the overt unity, or dis-suaded from perusing it.
As a rule, if you could not play your instrument needed in a performance through illness or injury then you were replaced....end of problem as far as the performance is concerned it was performed.
OK was centuries ago and was a main concern or orchestral or ensemble players, but that was the start of the in-graining that it was never an instruments fault it was the player. Look at the Double bass, its lines and symmetry are a thing of beauty..Stradavarios help set instruments on this course. The instruments construction, design and looks never changed for centuries.
Violin, viola, cello etc are all of the same design. The chambers, bouts, necks, heel, tuners, fingerboard etc, are just differing sizes of the same design. But if a violin or viola plays on a sort of horizontal plane to the ground, and a double bass plays of a vertical plane then the ergonomics should be different. The size of the instrument means the ergonomics should be different. An ergonomic design on a double bass would have the chamber that is the same volume so as to produce the depth of tone. Strings of compatible thickness so the tension and pitch can be attained. But the design would have a cut-a-way in the body to allow the player to access the fingerboard in the body, not use a different technique to reach it. But that instrument would not have pleasing proportions....it would be considerd ugly, and also un-necessary because they were not concerned with the needs of a player, on the needs of the music.
Through the centuries a teaching pedogy evolved to teach players how to best handle the instrument, as it did with all instruments.
To this end musicians would not admitt to physical problems or illness for fear of losing their jobs....this is as true today as it was then, the psychology of a player can be his own worst enemy.
So there was no feed back about design, no collective info on good ideas and practices and bad ones.
I mean if two schools of use appeared over the use of a bow, (German or French ) this could only happen because the two came together at some point so a comparison could be made.
Each one has it pros and cons, but it was either one or the other. A student would normally be taught what the teacher used, regardless if it was best for student or not.
Failure to master the technique was the students fault, not that of the teacher or instrument. Employment was refused or players sacked for using the wrong one, it was just no acceptable regardless of situation or circumstance. But these day both are used, a player can exploit the tones, use of ease etc of both, they can use the pros and loss the cons if you will.
But come to modern times with modern materials, constructions etc, basses are now guitars so the body has no need for mass of volume as electronics do the work, ( I understand about wood, tone and resonance, but all that is about tone...and tone is subjective ), wound strings now have cores to support the string across the loading points of nut and bridge to hold the sting up with reduced tension, but still produce a usable pitch. Leo Fender done to bass guitar, as far as design appearance is concerned, as to what Stradavarios done to the double bass......
Fender's template design was used by many regardlessly.
So the first bass encouraged the use of the thumb, the bass could be played with a pick or fingers....just look at the way camps here on TB seem to split in to a " one or the other " camp rather than a combined use of any if the situation can use it. Even some of the ideas about playing the bass guitar were associated with the word "bass" rather than the word guitar. I have yet to see a guitarist use his fingers in the way a bassist is taught for their plucking technique..a two/three/four finger technique that hangs down on the strings more vertical than horizontal is just not taught to guitarist from any era of guitar going back centuries, so why when the bass guitar evolved did it not use guitar technique rather double bass technique.... as i said, the key focus was the word bass rather than guitar.
But so long as a design can please the eye there will be a market for them, and some of today's instruments are both beautifull and full of ergonomic benifits, but this is a true ergonomic bass.......but will this design ever become the adopted standard.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLi8pOa6zYk&sns=em
I don't think so...but it is a cool bass and one that could help a lot of players suffering a lot of problems that physically limit them.....worth considering if you are one of those players......but what wait till that problem has become a reality? Use a bass like this and maybe reduce the chance of it ever developing in the first place, prevention is as good as cure in this situation.