Do You Need A Footstool To Play Guitar?

Playing the guitar can be significantly hindered by poor playing position and poor posture. For this reason, many guitar players advocate the use of footstools to help improve posture and playing position. Do you need a footstool to play the guitar? Are there any advantages of using a footstool? Let’s find out!

You do not need a footstool to play guitar. A footstool can benefit posture and playing position, but long-term use can lead to serious back and hip pain. Footstools are not necessary for guitar playing, but some guitarists enjoy the easy playing position they provide. 

Proper guitar playing posture and position is a critical aspect of playing the instrument, and a footstool may help in this regard, but there are several ways to achieve these improvements. Many guitar players find using a footstool very beneficial, while others say that it is a gimmick that serves no real purpose. Are footstools useful and worthwhile for every guitar player?

Do You Need A Guitar Footstool?

The guitar footstool is a device that has been developed specifically for certain types of guitars and particular types and styles of guitar playing, but the footstool has become more popular in recent years due to the supposed advantages of using a device like this. 

Guitar footstools are intended for use by classical guitar players and players of classical guitars, including musicians who play flamenco and other Spanish and fingerstyle genres on the guitar. 

Using a footstool for these genres can be beneficial, as propping one foot up on a stool helps to provide better support and stability for the guitar, which relieves the fretting hand of the responsibility of supporting the instrument while simultaneously trying to play the instrument. 

This leads many guitar players to believe that they require a footstool to play well, but the truth is that you do not need a footstool to play the guitar. Using a footstool can feel comfortable, and it can be beneficial in some instances, but there are several reasons why using a footstool can also be a hindrance to guitar playing as well. 

The use of a footstool is entirely personal preference, and every guitarist should decide for themselves if using this device is beneficial, but it is important to understand the pros and cons of using a footstool before committing to one. 

Let’s look a little closer at guitar footstools to help you determine if you should use one and consider the pros and cons of footstools for guitar playing and practicing. 

Should You Use A Guitar Footstool?

The biggest question surrounding guitar footstools is whether or not individual guitar players should use one or not? The truth is that the use of a footstool is an entirely personal preference. 

There are guitar players who have been playing the instrument for their entire lives and have never touched a footstool, and there are others who swear by footstools and will never play without one. 

The reality is that many classical guitar players find themselves using footstools because they can be helpful for improving posture, playing position, and wrist angle while playing the instrument, which is always a good thing. 

However, there are many accounts from the guitar player and guitar teachers that state that using a footstool long-term results in significant and serious back pain due to the extra stress that using a footstool places on the lower back and hips of the person using it. 

Most guitar teachers will advise their students against using a footstool for this reason, as using a footstool is entirely unnecessary for playing the guitar. Using a footstool is not a requirement for playing the guitar, ad it does not make you a better guitarist, so if it causes pain, then it should be avoided. 

This means using a footstool is entirely optional but not recommended by most guitar players and guitar teachers. 

Pros And Cons Of Guitar Footstools

We have established that there are some benefits to using a guitar footstool, and there are some significant drawbacks as well. Footstools are still common in many places, and many guitar places still use them, but most players try to avoid them. 

Understanding the pros and cons of guitar footstools is the best way to identify how useful this device will be for you. There are some crucial considerations to make in this regard, as using a footstool can be a great benefit, but it can also lead to serious problems.

Let’s identify some of the significant pros and cons of using a guitar footstool to help you decide if you should be using one. 

Guitar Footstool Pros

The pros of guitar footstools include:

  • Footstools help to stabilize the guitar. 
  • Footstools help to improve wrist angle while playing the guitar.
  • Footstools can improve playing position and posture.
  • Footstools can help to increase fretting hand and arm mobility. 
  • Footstools can improve guitar playing techniques.

Guitar Footstool Cons

The cons of guitar footstool include:

  • Footstools are not necessary for guitar playing. 
  • Footstools can cause serious back and hip pain over time.
  • Footstools can hinder overall guitar technique due to improper use.
  • Footstools can limit a guitar player’s ability. 
  • Footstools can be expensive when made specifically for guitarists. 
  • Footstools are only beneficial for fingerstyle guitar techniques.

Guitar Footstools Yay or Nay?

at the end of it, footstools for guitar players can provide some limited benefits, but these devices are mostly unnecessary and have been known to cause far more damage than good for many guitar players. Guitar footstools are not necessary for playing the guitar, they do not improve guitar playing ability, and they can cause serious injuries over time. 

Using a guitar footstool is fine for short periods of time, but no guitar player should use a footstool permanently to avoid causing injury. There are several other techniques to improve posture and playing position through practice, which makes a footstool unnecessary in most cases. Try a footstool for yourself to determine how useful it is, and you may find yourself enjoying it for a time, but be careful to alternate your practice methods to avoid any issues. 

About the author

Jake Helman