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Thread: stand or sit?

  1. #26

    Smile Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve in tampa View Post
    As far as playing out, sit if you are wallpaper, stand if you are putting on a show.
    Most performances you see of live bluegrass mandolin is players standing up and they don[t seem to have any problem with control.

    I've never had any issue playing standing up. Like everything else in life, the more you do it the easier it gets.

  2. #27
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    yeah but but but instructors tell you you have to sit a certain way, stand a certain way, hold a pick a certain way, play a certain way, all the necessary equipment, devices and gadgets you just have to have to succeed...don't know how anyone ever made it or did anything before computers and internet that made modern man crybabies out of many...my modern man rant now ignore me and carry on
    Well, I sympathize with your annoyance about instructors who (seemingly) always tell you how to stand, or sit, or pick, or even how to breathe (!) in a certain way. They bother me, too. But this is nothing new! Many instructors demonstrated this kind of prescriptive attitude long before the internet ever existed! As for all sorts of equipment, gadgets, and devices: these, too, were around long before the internet. Back then, we all had to have pitch pipes or tuning forks, as opposed to electronic tuners. Pickguards and armrests existed, too, as well as many different designs of bridge or tailpiece or carrying case. The selection may have been a bit smaller, but the pressure to get all kinds of stuff has always been around. As for the internet having made "modern man crybabies," I suppose that really does have some merit. It seems that you can find rants about practically everything these days on the internet, including rants about about how the modern internet is facilitating all kinds of rants! There. Now I feel better, too!

  3. #28
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Well, I sympathize with your annoyance about instructors who (seemingly) always tell you how to stand, or sit, or pick, or even how to breathe (!) in a certain way. They bother me, too. But this is nothing new! Many instructors demonstrated this kind of prescriptive attitude long before the internet ever existed! As for all sorts of equipment, gadgets, and devices: these, too, were around long before the internet. Back then, we all had to have pitch pipes or tuning forks, as opposed to electronic tuners. Pickguards and armrests existed, too, as well as many different designs of bridge or tailpiece or carrying case. The selection may have been a bit smaller, but the pressure to get all kinds of stuff has always been around. As for the internet having made "modern man crybabies," I suppose that really does have some merit. It seems that you can find rants about practically everything these days on the internet, including rants about about how the modern internet is facilitating all kinds of rants! There. Now I feel better, too!
    I guess if someone has alot more experience than me, I'll try it their way. Later on, I might change my mind. But in the meantime, I might learn something.

    I have never tried playing standing up. Not even once. I will try it, just for the heck of it.

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  5. #29
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Performance is always standing. When I sit and play I find the position less comfortable, and/or find myself having poor posture unless Iím in theĒperfect ď chair(seldom find the ideal chair).
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  7. #30
    Registered User Dan Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I used to practice all the time sitting, but when it came time to play a gig, I would have trouble bracing/stabilizing the instrument. I got used to practicing standing up to avoid transitioning.
    Play em like you know em!

  8. #31
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I play standing, walking, sitting, sitting on the ground, and even lying down (all very different!) Personally one of my quirks is that I prefer standing and walking to just about anything else, but I usually need to sit to read music or chord progressions while learning. I got an armrest to help me avoid pressing the bridge while standing and walking, and it worked pretty well.
    I prefer standing the best. It gives me decent control and technique, and it keeps me from hunching over and making my back sore. Walking is hard unless the rhythm of the song matches the pace of my feet, though the armrest has helped that a lot. Sitting in the chair gives me the best technique but I end up a bit hunched. Sitting on the ground keeps the hunch from sitting in a chair and adds worse positioning to it, but is really fun for relaxing out in a field. Lying down messes with tone and projection along with positioning, but it's also a nice change, a chance to relax my back, and forces me to play without looking at my fingers.

  9. #32
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    This thread reminded me of a punk band I used to be in where the guy who sang and played guitar insisted that he could only play sitting down - reason being that he always sat when playing at home/writing songs for the band, so try as he might he couldn't play standing up. So here we were, this loud chaotic punk band, with this big, tough looking singer guy, who would bring his own folding chair and sit for the entire show!
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  11. #33
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Another who plays with a strap and can either sit or stand. Depends on the venue and type of performance. For festivals, our band will often stand, except for our leader who sits to switch between mandolin, accordion and harmonica.

    Started doing it 45 years ago when learning electric bass, picked up the Rufus Reid book "The Evolving Bassist". It showed the (electric) bass on a strap where it didn't move sitting or standing. Have done it that way since on bass, guitar and now mandolin.
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  12. #34
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Usually sitting to practice/record, standing on stage.

    One instrument I can only play sitting is slide guitar - everything's at the wrong angle if I stand.

    D.H.

  13. #35
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I walk around my yard and play fiddle tunes all the time. I just enjoy the command of doing it - well, that and the overall therapy.

    f-d
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I don’t play well while standing, mainly because I’ve been playing while sitting all along. I also notice how thin the mandolin sounds if I try to play standing. This must mean I’m hovering over top of the instrument while sitting and hearing more of the front of it. I decided I don’t like anything about standing while playing, so I don’t do it. YMMV.
    ...

  15. #37
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Sitting around a table with a pint on it, swapping tunes , is where I get out of the house.

    though not in this last year .. Pandemic is still an issue..

    As is rights and royalties issues with pop songs for places you play in..
    (BMI did a sweep a couple years ago in this small town)

    stick to old public domain and that's less of a vulnerability..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I donít play well while standing, mainly because Iíve been playing while sitting all along. I also notice how thin the mandolin sounds if I try to play standing. This must mean Iím hovering over top of the instrument while sitting and hearing more of the front of it. I decided I donít like anything about standing while playing, so I donít do it. YMMV.
    Now that's it...it's that sitting natural unamplified sweet tone...it's the natural tone of the instrument in a peaceful setting or should I say sitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid
    Re: stand or sit?

    Sitting around a table with a pint on it, swapping tunes , is where I get out of the house.
    Do you have a spare chair?

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  18. #39
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Standing up can stop the bass player drooling on your head in the hard tunes.

  19. #40
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    For mandolin - I use a strap and tone gard both sitting and standing and there's virtually no difference in difficulty or feel to me.

    I always stand for a performance.

  20. #41
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Performance is always standing. When I sit and play I find the position less comfortable, and/or find myself having poor posture unless I’m in the”perfect “ chair(seldom find the ideal chair).
    Exactly. This is what drove me to learn to play standing up, not having to worry about having that perfect chair or footrest.

  21. #42
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    Standing up can stop the bass player drooling on your head in the hard tunes.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-xWUoE8KLyQ

  22. #43
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    BG players could sit and it would be fine. Gypsy Jazz bands sit. Big bands sit. I wish there were a law requiring musicians to sit and avoid moving more than necessary. Classical musicians drive me crazy with all that ridiculous swaying and dipping...oops. Rant off.

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  24. #44

    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I played mandolin for many years sitting down unless I was performing. I would typically cross my left leg over my right leg. It worked ok until my leg fell asleep.

    A few years ago I bought a foot stool so I could elevate my left foot per Mike Marshall's advice. Soon thereafter I began to experience a fair amount of lower back pain. I finally figured it out, ditched the stool, and now I always play standing.

    The problem with standing for me is that the mandolin tends to move around a little. I can't lock it in place like I can while sitting.

    I have noticed several players, David Benedict and Casey Campbell, for example, can play sitting down with both feet on the floor. They manage to wedge the lower point of their F-5s against their leg. It looks stable, but I haven't been able to figure it out yet.

    I'm a firm believer in standing while performing. It looks better to the audience plus you can sing better while standing.

  25. #45
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I am not into performing. The most fun part of being in a band for me is the regular practice with the others.

    If one were to magically say I never have to perform again, my musical life would not not be even slightly less rich and fulfilling.

    I agree that I often "have to" perform. And I do it without issue. And where I can I perform sitting. My band has a semi-regular gig playing at an art gallery, where we have a nice little set up in the corner, sitting down, playing amongst ourselves. Its just about perfect. Playing standing up is not the worst problem I have with performing, (playing for a an audience who would have trouble identifying which instrument is a mandolin given three life lines, and who want less instrumentals and more singing anyway) and I generally try and accommodate everyone.

    A perfect world would be one where I am an entertaining master of the mandolin, known far and wide for sitting down, and not singing.
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  27. #46
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    At least mandolinists don't have a trade off between bodily health vs fashion expenditure to deal with. I played fiddle for years in Scottish dance bands, sitting between kilted accordionists playing heavy instruments. They rarely stand up, because a bad back is on the cards. When they sit down, though, many of them put a towel under the accordion, because otherwise the bellows movement wears holes in their kilts - and there's nothing worse than a hole in your kilt...

  28. #47
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I played with an accordion player in Edinburgh Scotland. Full sized piano accordion.

    He told me the advantage was that you can sit on the empty case while playing. That means you don't have to acquire a seat to bring with you, or depend on enough seats in the pub or on stage. Genius.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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  29. #48
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    I play accordions mostly standing - because I play out (perform) with them. I play a lot of Latin stuff, and the convention there is standing. Big boxes are heavy to stand with so I have some smaller, lighter ones.

    I played drums semi-pro and I adored being able to sit and work while everyone else had to stand all night.

    *I use gig bags so no cases to sit on The real advantage of accordion is polyphony plus accompaniment - all in a compact instrument that you can stand, stroll, and dance with. The sound - well, it's not my favorite, but for solo performing it's fabulously efficient; I desired it because of its mobility: no need for amp or a rhythm section..
    Last edited by catmandu2; Apr-15-2021 at 12:46pm.

  30. #49
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post

    If one were to magically say I never have to perform again, my musical life would not not be even slightly less rich and fulfilling.
    I have similar feelings, but still would play future gigs if the situation was good. I'm just more interested in being a musician than being a performer these days.

  31. #50
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: stand or sit?

    When I first started gigging, I heard an older musician say "people should haven't to guess that your working". A large part of that was dressing up for gigs (meaning show shirts, no shorts or sandals etc) and making sure people in the back can see you as well as hear you (so they know it's not a recording). That mentality stayed with me ever since - though I'm a little more lax nowadays except for big gigs.

    Even without that experience, I like to move around a bit while playing - sorta can't control it, just happens. I can play either standing or sitting just the same - but it feels better to stand most of the time because I can move a little easier. For gigs though, I nearly always play standing except in very specific cases where sitting is preferred by the venue, other players, or me.
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