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Using a stool?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Nick Ioannucci, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. i took a lesson with a new guy 2 weeks ago and he said that i should consider using a stool when i play. is there any advantage to this? wat would using a stool help me to do better if anything. also, is it detrimental to anything? please and thank you
  2. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I find a stool useful in some situations. Right now I am learning a Bach prelude, and it is almost always in thumb position. So I sit. Access to the higher registers of the instrument is easier when seated... there is no doubt about it.

    Honestly left hand facility is the big reason to make the switch. Sitting, for me, has made it harder to bow the G string, since I now have to reach around a bit further to get to it. Also, sitting on a stool with a bass is only slightly more comfortable than standing with a bass. Neither is good for one's back.

    It's entirely an issue of facility. No one sits in order to have a better tone. If anything, having your knee on the back of the instrument might dampen things a little bit. As I said, the huge benefit is that it frees up your left hand and brings you closer to the thumb position. But you have to work a bit harder to reach around and bow the G string.

    I can't say one is better than the other. I will say that I think it's a mistake for a bassist to learn sitting from the very beginning.
  3. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    I'm a smaller guy, it helps me get into the higher areas of the bass a bit easier. It's useful if your bass has a large upper bout, that way you get a bit easier access. Also, for orchestral work it's important to be relaxed when playing. I personally find when playing seated you can command the instrument easier. The bass is just so big as it is, why not be comfortable while playing it?
  4. I started using a stool a number of years ago and haven't looked back. I found that it almost instantly improved my playing. I didn't have to think about holding the instrument, and the pain I was getting from bad posture and putting so much weight on my left thumb went away. If standing hasn't been good to you, sitting is something you should try for a few months.

    Not everyone likes it, though. It can be uncomfortable at first, and some people have a hard time getting used to that. Certainly changes a few things. It's also hard to find a comfortable stool. If you decide you like sitting, it might be worth it to invest in a good stool. I highly recommend the Concert Design gig stool. The padding is very nice and it looks more professional than a cheap wood stool.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  6. chicabass


    Mar 18, 2006
    I find I feel more centered, have a better posture and am freer with my left hand, when I sit.
    But I'm a newbie, and just trying to learn habits that won't have me crippled in ten years' time.

    Maybe you need to be 'taught' how to stand by the right person.

  7. thanks alot for the info... my bad on not searching, but ill look into it and see how it feels, because when ever i see people in the orchestras around ct they almost always seem to be sitting, and the last teacher i saw said that i should soon switch to stool like it was something that was going to greatly help me. ill have to nab a couple of different stools from around the school to try out. thanks alot.
  8. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    Hi NIck and everybody else.
    Sit or stand?
    I do both... I find that sitting is a more precise way to play
    (easier to hold the instrument), but I seem to play with more 'vitality' when I stand. Consequently, when I'm playing solo, I always stand... In fact, I find myself stand most of the time these days. Holding the instrument is like holding a dance partner... I like to let the bass feel free to move a bit.
    I decided a while ago that I would keep both options open.
    I don't like sitting on a high stool (no head for heights) so I bought a comfortable old metal legged stool and spent ages with a hack saw until I was happy.
    Although I mainly play arco these days, my sitting position is not unlike my hero... the great Dane NHOP... may he rest in peace.
  9. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    it is just a comfortable setup...
    1.) proper posture
    2.) sort of like standing up (your bass should rest on your knee so when you stand up the bass remains in the same spot)
    3.) ability to reach all notes on the bass with ease
  10. welll i had another lesson with the same guy, and really makes a difference. moving around the instrument was so much easier. i get it would be more comfortable if my back hadnt been bothering me all week. i cant play jazz sitting down though, i like to move with it. it works out well. thanks for the replies guys

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