Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Bar Stool Problem

A stool is a stool, right? You can find one at the bar in any pub? Until recently I certainly thought so, but in yet another example of the hardships sent to test the working musician, I've realised the facilities provided by most public houses and venues just aren't quite up to the job of being sat upon whilst playing.

The first problem is arms. Great for preventing you slipping to the floor when you've had one too many pints, but they get in the way of the honest guitar player, forcing him to adopt a position that wouldn't be considered comfortable by a contortionist in order to actually reach his instrument.

Disaster waiting to happen.
Shiny padding and nowhere to put your feet...
The next is cushions, perfect for stopping the gradual numbing of the nether regions in an ordinary drinking context, but alas, try and play in a trendy bar where the stools are clad with an inch and a half of padding and white leather upholstery and you'll be lucky to get half way through a song before sliding off and making an inelegant face first lurch towards the crowd.

Height has been another stumbling block. Too short and there's a risk of your knee colliding with the guitar neck every time you tap your foot. Too tall and reaching the stomp box at all can be an issue.

The spindles are there to brace the legs and strengthen the stool right? Well maybe, but more importantly it's the place you put your foot to elevate your knee and prevent the guitar sliding off your lap. Imagine my horror to be offered a steel legged stool without any at all at a recent gig!  There simply isn't enough friction generated between the polished surface of a guitar and the front panel of a polyester-viscose mix trouser to prevent disaster...

So if anyone does know where I can get an armless, cushion-less,  not too tall, not too short, easily transportable folding bar stool, with good solid spindles to rest your foot on, I'd be extremely grateful if you could get in touch.  Otherwise I may have to actually learn to play standing up.

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