Anti-fatigue mats

October 26, 2019, 9:32 PM · Do any of you use anti-fatigue mats in your studios / practice rooms that have hardwood or other hard floors?

If so, which mat?

I'm wanting to buy a mat that comes in a larger size than the typical 2'x3' that's sold for people with standing desks, since I move around a fair amount when I play. Should be comfortable to stay standing for an hour or two. Non-slip, beveled edges (no-trip edges).

Replies (11)

October 26, 2019, 9:48 PM · I believe what you're looking for is a shag carpet.
Edited: October 26, 2019, 10:59 PM · Definitely not. I have anti-fatigue mats in my kitchen (which has hardwood floors) for both comfort and protection of the floor. I really like standing on them.

The room used to have top-of-the-line thick padding beneath Tigressa H2O carpet. Super comfortable to stand on, and good absorbency for sound without making the room too acoustically dead.

October 27, 2019, 7:24 AM · We used to use the mats in the milking parlor and they sure beat standing on concrete for many hours. You can buy these at Tractor Supply or Harbor Freight and if you choose Harrbor Freighbutt look for their 20 to 30% off coupon which you can find in the Sunday newspaper or sometimes in the front of their store. You might find ones that are more convienint for your studio at Lowes or Home Depot but I am not sure about them two stores but it doesnt hurt to look ar9ind for what may work best for your situation.
October 27, 2019, 7:50 AM · When our oldest daughter (now 17) was 2 years old, we bought her a toy that comprises ten interlocking quishy-rubber tiles that can be arranged in different ways (to play hopscotch or whatever). Both kids have long outgrown the toy, but it lives on as a modular anti-fatigue mat. But the edges are not beveled and they look like what they are -- a child's toy. However when I do stand to practice (which is not the norm these days), that is what I use.
October 27, 2019, 7:54 AM · Begging the question: do you always stand to practice? I think I sit for about 80% of the time, standing only to familiarize myself (as all my lessons are standing).
October 27, 2019, 9:47 AM · Many of us sit all day when working, etc., so standing while practicing, is, um, a good practice.

Recently I've also seen string quartets perform while standing (except the cello of course), and think that we could get used to it and have that as the convention. Some performers such as the SLSQ barely capable of staying in their chairs, so might as well get up and be done with the chairs.

I'm raising my standing desk and stretching to be more consistent in this, and it feels good (for a while).

October 27, 2019, 11:25 AM · I have one that was originally designed for kitchens, it's about 2' wide and nearly 6' long. I keep it under a plush area rug for extra standing comfort.

My mat is similar to this one:

I stand as much as I can practicing, but if I am particularly tired or otherwise on my feet a lot earlier in the day, I'll sit.

Edited: October 27, 2019, 11:38 AM · Lydia performs a lot as a soloist so it makes sense for her to practice standing. Those of us who play mostly in orchestras and chamber groups, I see no problem with practicing sitting down. I would actually prefer to stand because I find the violin easier to play then. But I am practicing at night in my basement with a seven-foot ceiling, and I shattered two bow tip plates already, so I decided to take a chair.

I also have an anti-fatigue mat in my kitchen, because I do pretty much all the cooking, and it's either an anti-fatigue mat or shoes.

October 27, 2019, 11:51 AM · Lydia is also a concertmaster - so surely she has to prepare a lot of sit-down music too Paul.
October 27, 2019, 4:32 PM · Lidya, i believe a certain amount of reverb is desired to most violinists. If your room is too reverberant and you move around a lot, perhaps treating walls would be a better option, as you can not trip.
We have permanent wall sound absorbers in studio and an irregular hanging ceiling to fight reflections, but the floor is clear. We only use a “shag rug”, double bass bag or even just any piece of garment on the floor just below the violin and microphone when recording.

I’d hate to trip with my fiddle in my hands.. ouch.

October 27, 2019, 6:23 PM · I am going to put down rugs on the floor, and almost certainly put some acoustic panels on the walls. There's a very nice Steinway L in the room, and it's bright and powerful. In the room as it currently is, it overbalances the string instruments in a piano quintet.

But the fatigue mat is strictly for comfort.

I practice sitting down when I'm doing a lot of writing in the music, such as when I am doing orchestra bowings, or when I'm working out fingerings. I also often practice chamber and orchestral parts while sitting. But everything else, I do standing, unless I'm really feeling sick or exhausted or whatever.

I do have Wenger Nota con Brio musician chairs in my practice room, which basically encourage you maintain correct posture, towards the edge of the chair, and are balanced accordingly; they're quite dynamic in their movement. (These are made in instrument-specific models.)

Nevertheless, my teacher points out that we all position the violin subtly differently when we sit, and we also adjust the arc of our bow accordingly. He advocates use of a barstool-type seat if one wants some support but still should remain more or less upright.

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