The Sitting Musician
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Hotel Manners
Travelling with Equipment
You and Your Agent
The Sitting Musician
Open Mic - friend or foe
The Mustache Cup
Stage Lighting
Vintage Instruments
Creating a Press Kit

     If you are an acoustic player, performing with a guitar or banjo, you may be aware of how uncomfortable and problematic it can be when the height of your stool or chair is different from what you are used to.  If you are not using a strap - and you shouldn’t need to if you are sitting - you may have found that your instrument slides off your knee. This happens when the thing you are sitting on lifts you up high enough that your thigh is no longer horizontal. When this problem occurs on stage it can throw you off your game, or at least be an irritant. 

     This situation can be exacerbated  by  wearing new stage pants that are of a smooth fibre allowing your instrument to slide away from you now that your knee is lower than your hip. A quick fix, if you notice the problem in time, is to just put your key ring in your pocket and it will provide a lump that hopefully will stop that sliding instrument.

     Another issue that may adversely affect the sitting musician is if  you arrive at a gig to find that the only chairs they have are chairs with arms, giving you no room to hold your instrument in the position you are accustomed to. Perhaps you always play sitting on a high stool with a foot support and you arrive at a gig only to find that they have nothing at all like that. At one time I used to ask for the proper stool in my rider. Supplying a full description with dimensions and photographs only to arrive and be told,

           “Oh, we thought that this would do just as well.”

    The answer is to bring everything that you intend to use on stage with you. Leave nothing out with the assumption that “they will have one”. This way there are no surprises that can throw you off. You won’t have that feeling gnawing away at you, making you think that things just don’t feel right on stage.

     So yes, bring something to sit on. Use it every time you play, even if you are just “sitting in”. Use it during rehearsals especially so that your on-stage feel is just what you anticipated.

     Let’s look at the options: Carrying a chair or stool will really become cumbersome. What you really want is something that will fold up and carry as easy as possible. That problem was solved years ago in the percussive world of drummers.

drum stool

    I  use a drum stool myself.  You can adjust the height, select the amount of padding you will be comfortable with and even go for one with a back support if you like. The back support makes them a bit bulkier in transport but once you are sitting in it the choice will feel worthwhile. If you are using effects pedals always bring a throw rug with you in case the stage is not carpeted, otherwise you may find your pedals sliding away from you. Just put one or more of the stool legs on the carpet to anchor it and you are all set.


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