Do you have problems like this?
- When you practice for a long time, your legs become numb or swollen.
- Worry that your spine and pelvis may get damaged by continuing playing in an asymmetrical form.
If you think "I totally agree!" I would like you to try the "ErgoPlay for Mandolin". The product name is for mandolin, but it can also be used with the mandola and mandoloncello.
■ What’s the ErgoPlay?
A type of mandolin support that is placed and supported on both legs. Normally, when playing the mandolin, you raise your right leg and place the lower side of the instrument on your right thigh. Many use a footrest and others cross their legs with the right leg on top, but both of these are asymmetrical and put a burden on the body. The ErgoPlay solves this problem. Since it is placed on both legs while sitting in a chair normally, you can play with the spine and pelvis straight.
■ How to install
I’ll explain it in my own way as a manual is not included. But it was easy to install the ErgoPlay by following the procedure below.
1. Open the ErgoPlay and install the suction cups. 6 suction cups are included (large 3pcs and small 3pcs), but we use only 3pcs at a time. 1 suction cup on the right side (tailpiece side) and 2 suction cups on the left side (neck side). I recommend that you use a large suction cup on the right side to support the mandolin firmly, and small suction cups on the left side to handle fine angle adjustments.
Seen from the player's side, it looks like this. The surface that comes into contact with the legs is made of a soft non-slip material like urethane.
2. Place the ErgoPlay on your leg and attach the suction cup on the right side (tailpiece side) to the side of the mandolin. The angle of the suction cup can be adjusted in the direction of the arrow.
3. Attach the two suction cups on the left side to the mandolin. The height can be adjusted as shown with the three arrows in the photo below, and the angle can be adjusted with the knobs (1), (2) and the angle of each suction cup.
- Loosen knobs (1) and (2) and hold the instrument at an angle that makes it easy to play for you.
- Attach the suction cup ① to a stable position and tighten the knob (1).
- Support the instrument from the back side with suction cup ② and tighten knob (2).
The length from the surface in contact with the legs to the suction cup ① can be adjusted in the vertical range of about 11 cm to about 20 cm.
４. And you’re done! The suction cups can be easily removed by pulling the tab, so you can make fine adjustments many times without putting a strain on the instrument.
The first impression was "Is the mandolin lighter than usual?" I think it's because the instrument is supported by both legs. Before trying the ErgoPlay, I thought it would be a little unreliable as the instrument is floating away from the legs, but it was more stable than I had expected because the suction cups supported the mandolin firmly from the bottom and back. It's so stress-free and the instrument doesn't slip and your legs don't get tired! It is a very useful item to reduce the burden on your body and improve your practice efficiency. I was hesitant to buy it, thinking, "I'm curious, but it's a little expensive ...", but honestly, I should have tried it sooner!
However, it takes a little time to find the exact right height and angle that makes me think "Got it!" So I think I should set the knobs at the height and angle that are easy to use and use it exclusively for home practice.
- Even if you play for a long time, your legs and lower back will not start to hurt easily.
- With a high degree of freedom in height and angle, it can support the instrument in an angle that allows you to play in an easy-to-play form.
- The instrument does not slip while playing
- Since the weight of the neck is not applied to the left hand, it is easy to move up and down the neck.
- Since the contact patch between the instrument and the body is small, the original sound of the instrument can be fully utilized.
- Since there are many places where you can adjust the angle and length, it is difficult to install until you get used to it.
- Suction cups do not stick to instruments with rib engraving and cannot be used
- It may be difficult to use if you are the type of player who often moves around naturally while playing
- It is bulky compared to the footrest (but you can fold it in half).
Health is the first priority to enjoy playing the mandolin for a long time! For a more body-friendly mandolin life, why not try incorporating the ErgoPlay.
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