ERG-Oboe Support System for Oboe, Oboe d'amore, or English Horn
All you need for comfortable playing without any tension! Enjoy a pain free thumb and relaxed right arm with the ERG-Oboe!
The ERG-Oboe playing support is specially designed to enable the player to keep his or her hands and upper body completely relaxed. It works with the oboe, oboe d’amore and English horn. However, the instrument needs to have a vertical neck strap ring above the thumb rest. You will attach the playing support to this ring. If there is no neck strap ring on your instrument, then your instrument repair shop can easily attach a new thumb rest with a vertical neck strap ring on it.
The playing support removes the need for the right thumb and arm to support the weight of the oboe. Instead, the ERG-oboe will transmit the weight of the instrument to the chair, or to the belt pouch the player may wear.
Freeing up the upper body can also help the most important aspects of wind playing: breathing and airflow. With the weight of the instrument taken off of the body, the player’s touch and feel for playing are improved and stresses are reduced.
In the long run, the chances of getting some playing related pains or even injuries diminishes radically.
Note: The English horn setup has the potential of being too long for short players, or players with short torsos. The solution for this is to get the monopod extension addition for the English horn and support the instrument on the floor while seated.
How to put together and install the “ERGOPenguin”
With this support it is as easy to play sitting down as standing up. You have two steel rods in the package. The longer is usually needed for the oboe and the shorter for English horn or for shorter players on oboe.
Place the support head (the penguin), on top of the rod and the other spring below the penguin so that the spring is pointing downwards.
Put the support rod inside the black support tube and wrap the rubber band of the tube around the larger and lower screw of the spring lock.
Plug the ERGOPenguin head to the neck strap ring of your instrument. To do this press the black button, this opens the slot lock and you can put the neck strap ring inside the slot, then release.
With the Patented Penguin head you can adjust how much the spring bends while you play and move your instrument. The higher the Penguin head is locked on the rod, the more it can move in all directions. This will give you a very smooth feeling! The lower it is, the more firm and stable feeling you get. At the lowest position the rod goes inside the penguin head and then it cannot bend at all.
Experiment with different settings to find what you like best.
Adjusting the ERG-Oboe Support
There is a plastic gasket inside the spring. It will prevent any contact between the steel rod and the spring.
On the lower black grommet there is a ring that you can use if you wish to have more stability by using your neck strap. Even then most of the weight is off from your right hand thumb. This is very good when playing the English horn in a standing position.
Now you are ready to play with loose hands and fingers!
In the support rod below the Penguin there is another coiled spring in order to give a smooth and soft floating feel to the instrument. With this you set the oboe to stay in the desired height.
Now the weight of the oboe is transmitted to the chair. When playing standing up, attach the belt pouch to your belt, place the support tube in the belt pouch, then the weight is transmitted through your belt to your legs. This way you can move around very freely, walk or even march, while you play.
You can use also the longer monopod extension (sold separately) and transmit the weight to the floor. With the extension you can play either sitting or standing.