Selecting The Right Support for Your Guitar

Author: Peter Meyer   Date Posted:8 September 2017 

General answers about the cost, benefits, and use of Guitar Supports.

If you're getting lower-back pain or soreness after guitar practice or maybe you're lucky and just trying to avoid these issues; using a guitar support might help with your posture and improve your playing stamina. But, before you run down to the shop to try out half a dozen different options lets take a closer look at some different designs and different factors that may influence your purchasing decision.

What is a Support and who needs one?
A support is a device that will elevate or hold your guitar in an ergonomic position whilst you practice or perform sitting down. Not every player or guitar is suited to using a support. The most common players that purchase supports are those playing or performing classical, flamenco, fingerstyle acoustic, and jazz. This doesn't mean everyone playing these styles will need a rest, but they are styles where the player is more likely to be in a seated position for long periods of time and the shape of the guitar will also accommodate a support. Correctly fitted straps or a quality footrests can go a long way to improving your playing posture, however, if you've tried these and you feel like you want to try an alternative read on.

What is the best posture?
There are no hard and fast rules, but importantly what a good support will enable you to do in a seated position is have both feet flat on the floor, your back straight and your shoulders level. This is a natural relaxed position your body was intended to be in;  the closer you can be to this the more comfortable you will be in the long run.

How much should I pay for a guitar support?
The well-known supports are handmade in Europe or North America of high-quality materials and will have a 12-36 month warranty. A decent support can range from $50-$150AU; about the same as a trip or two to the Physio. Stores carrying a range of decent quality supports will understand that one size doesn't fit all and make sure it's fitting you and your guitar correctly.

Should I buy a well-known brand or can I buy a cheaper copy?
Buy buying poor quality copies of well-known support designs is not recommended, not only because the original designer doesn't get any benefit from the hard work they've gone to make these little miracles, but often the labor conditions and the quality of materials is less desirable. Copies generally won't last anywhere as long, they won't have replacement parts and can often leave permanent marks on sensitive instrument finishes.

How High or vertical should I have my guitar?
How straight or high you like your guitar will come down to your instrument, your preference, and your physiology. When trying a support, begin in a position that seems natural to you, then experiment with different positions for 5-10minutes at a time. If you're totally confused seek some advice from the store you bought it from. Sometimes you need a couple of weeks to find the full benefit of the rest and get used to the new position of your guitar. Each rest has its different benefits. Some are height and position, some are weight and practicality.

Do I want the guitar to be central or to the side?
This is a player preference, but generally, if the soundhole is in a more central position in relation to your spine it may be more comfortable. 

Do I need a rest that is easy to adjust?
Most younger or beginner players need something simple so they can get the instrument into the right position quickly, but more advanced players may need a larger support for posture or they might own more than one guitar and need the flexibility of adjustment to suit the different guitar shapes and sizes. Simpler ones often can stay placed on the guitar permanently. Adjustable ones may be bigger and not fit in a regular guitar case.

Do I need a support to fit in my case or am I happy to carry it separately?
You may need a backpack to carry your music and other things in so this may not be an issue, but young players often forget or lose supports that aren't in their guitar case.

This blog is always open to suggestion...
We hope you liked this blog, please write in with any comments and suggestions on your experiences with guitar supports.