How to Hold an Ergordica

When you decide to pick up the Ergordica, the first thing you’ll want to figure out is how to pick it up!

This may seem fairly obvious at first. But I’ve seen someone try to play it upside-down! Well, that person wasn’t even three years old yet. But, on a more serious note, and for me at least, a subtle difference in hand position makes the difference between sore thumbs and not sore thumbs.

While I was developing the ergordica, I actually intended for the instrument to be supported by the thumbs (above right). After some time though, my thumb joints started to hurt. So I’ve switched to supporting it with my palms instead (above left), with my thumbs resting gently on the front surface. I find this position to be quite comfortable.

I do find it somewhat unfortunate that supporting by the thumbs doesn’t work for me. I say this because in this position I find my fingers to have a lot more dexterity. If you notice this too, you could try playing with the hose (or neck in case of the electronic ergordica), and then with the thumbs able to rest. Note that you’ll now need to support the ergordica in a different way, for instance with a neck strap or on your lap, lazy-boy style.

One last tip I have for playing the ergordica up at your mouth is to keep the ridge of the mouthpiece just inside your teeth. This lets you support the instrument slightly with your teeth. This means you don’t have to grip the instrument as tight with your palms, which leads to better finger dexterity. Be careful not to put too much pressure on your teeth though as I bet this could affect them over time.

Lastly, I should mention that I, the inventor, have rather large hands and I designed around them. It could be that a smaller version of the instrument would work better for smaller hands. A big limitation in this though is that the finger spacing is dictated by the reed spacing, which we don’t have much control over unless the ergordica is mass produced.

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