Sitting and Chairs
Can anyone recommend a good cello bench or chair? I believe there
are several types available, but the Shar catalog I have doesn't
list any, and the one in the Southwest Strings catalog may not be
tall enough for me (it adjusts to 18"). At present, I sit perched
on a pillow on the edge of a chair; believe me, this is not good for
the old back! Please help, this may be a medical emergency!
Chairs are one of my pet peeves when performing. The available chairs are
usually those aweful metal folding chairs that slope backwards, or chairs
that are too low. I know tall cellists that sit on cushions to gain the
extra height unavailable on standard chairs.
I would like to point out that, though sitting back in the chair helps with
back support, it also restricts your freedom of movement and therefore your
ability to express yourself. The chair restricts the movement of the legs
as well as the upper body. I would suggest that you try other options
first. Find better chairs, one's that slope forward instead of backward,
and one's that are high enough to allow your knees to be below your waist.
Some put blocks under the back legs of the chair to create the needed
slope. Also, make sure your posture is healthy. You may want to do
exercises to strengthen your stomach and lower back muscles too.
Some violinists sit back in their chairs. This practice is a point of
controversy in the music world. These violinists look so lackadaisical
when they play. Often, the looks match how they play, unfortunately. I
have seen one violinist who puts a black cushion on the back of the chair
so that he can still sit on the edge of his chair.
For those who spend hours in rehearsals every day, like the professional
orchestral musicians, sitting back in the chair may be done for mere
survival. But the rest of us should look for other options first.
I second Robyn Gallimore's advice re posture and end pin length.
In addition, I recommend looking into a "Music Posture" chair from the
Wenger Corp., Owatonna, Minn. 55060. They supply a variety of equipment
and furniture used on stages for plays, concerts,etc.. I've found their chairs
to be quite good - even purchased one myself. They make several models.
I would advise asking them where one can find one to try out.