(3/5/01 12:14:19 pm)
I am thinking about getting one of
those bent end-pins, and I wanted to find out about peoples
experiences with them.
(Sorry about posting this here, I
know there is an equipment chat page but for some reason I can't
post on it right now. I have contacted the support people about
(3/5/01 12:23:54 pm)
Welcome back, Matt!
Stahlhammers intalled on all of my cellos. When I first got the
first one done, I didn't think I'd use it bent, as I'd been playing
with a straight endpin for 25+ years. I mainly needed one since the
sound system we use frequently comes with a bunch of sms mikes that
fit into a stahlhammer. But I tried it bent for a while at first,
and liked it so much, I never went back.
Tseng ICS Staff
(3/5/01 12:28:30 pm)
This is one of our recurring topics
(along with Haydn/Kraft, etc.) But I'm happy to give you my 2.5
I use bent endpin to achieve a near-horizontal angle
of the cello. After years of using a straight endpin and not feeling
totally satisfied with the results in my sound and relaxation-state,
I tried the bent endpin.
If you use the weight of your arms
to play rather than force or pressure, then the near horizontal
position afforded by the bent endpin is ideal. It lets your arms to
hang (or drape) over the cello. You can hang your bow arm and your
left hand over the cello which is higher up and more
It takes some getting used too initially and
you have to remember that the point of it all is to facilitate
relaxation. If you miss this point, you miss THE point (no pun
intended, or was is it?)
Another thing I had to get used to
(and now LOVE) is not using my knees to squeeze and hold the cello.
Actually, before I used the bent endping, Stephen Kates introduced
the idea of not using my right leg to clamp the cello. He advocated
2 points of contact: The endpin, the chest and the left leg. The
idea was that freeing up the right leg off the side of the cello
allowed the cello to vibrate and resonate more freely.
didn't really care for the bent endpin, but it did achieve the same
thing with the freeing from the leg clamping effect.
benefit is in ricochet bowings. In the Prokofiev op 125 there are
many passages that employ this technique and it really makes it
All that said, someone with shorter arms and legs
might find this kind of uncomfortable. However, a stand partner of
mine (female) had been using a Stahlhammer endpin for years before I
ever did and she was probably about 5'4. She sounded just fine and
never had any problems with this.
I happen to use a regular
endpin which I brought to a pipe bender (yes, there are pipe bending
shops) with the angle I wanted and the point where the bend would
occur marked. I don't really like Stahlhammers because I've heard
them and have heard that they rattle after some time.
are you considering crossing over the the "dark side?"
(3/5/01 12:33:48 pm)
Paul wrote an excellent article on
is also an interesting but inconclusive study that was done on bent
far as personal experience with them, i currently use a bent endpin
and i think it's great. Paul explains it very well so at the risk of
being redundant, i'll let you read the article. I have the the
stahlhammer on one of my cellos, but i don't really care much for
its design. It's also more cost effective to just go to home depot
and get a steel or aluminium rod (i chose aluminium b/c of light
weight) for $3 and get it bent on a pipe bender than to spend $100
on the stalhammer +cost of installation by a competent
Tseng ICS Staff
(3/5/01 12:52:34 pm)
I never knew
that my post was published on ICS. I'd better watch what I say, eh?
Once again, I've been proven truly redundant, again.
(3/5/01 12:53:24 pm)
Many many moons ago, I played with a
Tortelier endpin (bent) before switching to a straight endpin for
the simple reason that it came on the cello I bought and I thought
it (the straight one) was too pretty to replace. Silly me. then I
went back to the bent endpin. I've played steadily with a bent
endpin for about 23 years now and I love it. It's not so much for
the extra height that the bottom of the cello can get but rather for
the extra lateral mobility the bottom of the cello has. This
mobility is great when playing chamber music for instance because it
lets you lean over toward your colleagues and bring the cello with
you when you want to do that extra little bit of special eye contact
rather than feeling like you're anchored to one spot on the
An added benefit is that the point of the endpin goes
into the floor straighter than happens with a straight endpin.
Because of the angle, bent endpins don't tend to pop out of the hole
in the floor like everybody else's straight endpins inconveniently
do. There's no wake-up call quite like getting clipped in the back
of the neck by a C peg. And that hasn't happend to me now in how
long? Oooh, maybe about 23 years or so.
So I like them a
great deal. BTW, there is an old thread back a little while on the
Instruments & Equipment board about how Stahlhammers can rattle
when the rubber o-rings go bad. That's easily fixed by taking the
o-ring and the part on which it fits to an auto parts store (which
stocks such things in a variety of sizes and
(3/5/01 10:29:21 pm)
I have a Stahlhammer on my
I've had it for about 2 and a half years now.
switched to it on the advice of a few cellists...(Helga Winold years
ago championed it in a coaching I had years ago, and Lubomir
Georgiev strongly suggested it in a lesson I had about 3 years
I finally went for the change, partially because my
normal endpin was buzzing a bit, and perpetually dull... and because
due to the fact that I sit on the front of my chair, the boards our
orchestra uses on the floor were not long enough to accomodate my
I figured the bent endpin would make me
Well... In the end, I do find the
Stahlhammer gives me more flexibility when it comes to using
different chairs (and you never know what you're going to get in
school chamber concerts!).
The added bonus was that I was
starting to have pain in the rotator part of my
These pains went away soon after I made the
HOWEVER... I would suggest trying someone else's
first before making the switch. Some people don't like the extra
maneuverability that another poster mentioned...
actually needed a slight "operation" to make the change (the hole
was apparently too narrow for the new endpin...)so going back would
(3/5/01 11:08:29 pm)
I've never tried a bent one long
enough to get used to it. I don't like the extra mobility of the
cello. Also, I felt uncomfortable with the cello being balanced more
to the front. I sit on the front of the chair and lean into the
cello, and I like the cello to push back a little!
it just depends on what you're used to and if you like what you're
used to. I'm injury-free and happy with my 12-14" straight end
DEFINITELY try someone else's before you take the
(3/6/01 12:50:26 am)
Thanks for all of your replies. I
did feel bad about posting this, since I'm sure it comes up every
week or so and you are probably all tired of talking about it. But I
couldn't find any old posts about it.
I understand that there
are at least 5 different companies that make a bent end-pin, and I
was wondering if anyone had tried anything besides the Stahlhammer.
I do plan on trying one out extensively before making the switch. I
don't want blow that much money and then hate it.
interested in the idea of getting a bent pin made in a machine shop.
For those of you who have done that, what angle did you
(3/6/01 1:31:02 am)
I guess the positive thing the
Stahlhammer has going for it is that it is highly adjustable and can
be used straight if one chooses.
Of course, if you had a
straight one bent, I suppose it would allow you to have both...
(just keep two endpins...)
I find that the many different
chairs life throws at us makes adjustability a big
But the price of the Stahlhammer is probably NOT the
best you can do... ($101.50 at Shar)
(3/6/01 3:10:06 am)
I think my pin is bent to about 28
(3/6/01 4:10:12 am)
My Stalhammer did rattle, and I was
happy to see it go, since I haven't used a bent pin since I was 19
and was using it straight anyway. I also found it uncomfortable to
My Carbon Fibre I am in love with- So far the best
thing I have learned from this board (Thanks Ryan!)
(3/6/01 12:41:50 pm)
I now have
3 long, straight carbon fiber endpins on my three cellos, and love
them. Also, I feel secure every time I plant the carbide tip in the
floor at Symphony Hall, knowing it is not going to slip! Having
watched my predecessor as Principal Cellist of the Utah Symphony
chase his cello, mounted with a bent endpin, halfway across the
stage in a chamber music concert, was a good lesson in endpin
physics. Besides, I really don't like the constriction of the left
arm in the lower positions caused by the cello's raised location
when using a bent pin. It feels very unnatural. How do you bent
endpin players deal with this?
(3/6/01 1:11:10 pm)
Do professional cellists have
something against endpin holders? Slipping endpins shouldn't be a
issue. I myself feel bad making holes in the floor. I sit with my
back to the chair when playing in the lower positions and i lean
into the cello when playing in the upper register. I find the
position to be very natural and i've never had a problem of left arm
constriction. It's different style of playing, and for people
trained in one way all their life, i imagine it might be a difficult
Edited by: Christopher
Chan at: 3/6/01 1:11:10 pm
Tseng ICS Staff
(3/6/01 1:13:05 pm)
"I really don't like the constriction of the left arm in the
lower positions caused by the cello's raised location when using a
bent pin. It feels very unnatural. How do you bent endpin players
deal with this?
Actually, I have no idea
what you are talking about. I feel absolutely no constriction in my
left arm using the bent endpin. If anything, after I adjusted my
technique (using arm weight) when I began studying in the the more
Russian traditions with Feigilson and Panteleyev, both of my arms
became more free and relaxed than when I was using a straight
endpin. One of the first things I noticed was that I could practice
for 3 hours, go to 3 hours of orchestral rehearsal and come home and
not feel the slightest bit of fatigue. I could actually keep
practicing after that (if my eyelids could only stay open). Before
this, I would be in too much pain to play after a rehearsal. I
attribute this lack/loss of tension and pain to the bent
endpin-relaxed arm approach.
Perhaps you are/were doing
something with your left arm that was not compatible with the bent
endpin. Ah...the secret is to not raise your entire arm and shoulder
as you shift back to 1st position. At some point your left hand will
be higher than your elbow (on the plane of the fingerboard, that is)
If you try to keep your elbow and left hand in a line parallel to
the floor then your shoulder will start rising and that might be
what causes you to feel concstricted.
As with the level
base-knuckles technique, when one initially tries this they feel a
bit disconcerted by the seemingly lack of power these new positions
afford them. But after learning the principals of balance and not
force they realize that what they once thought of as power was
actually tension and force. Our natural tendency is to grip harder
when we feel we are going to slip or fall. But if we relied
completely on balance, there would be no need to grip or squeeze.
There would be strength from the natural weight of the body (which
is more than adequate) and flexibility that cannot exist with
tension and squeezing. Consider the difference between being a rock
climber with a rope and being a skilled tight-rope walker. There is
a difference in how they both use their ropes.
personally attest to this as both a student and a teacher. Of
course, it's really difficult to explain in words alone without
demonstrating physically with the students own arms and
(3/6/01 1:35:21 pm)
I hate 'em.
It's way too fun
to stab holes in the floor for one thing.
Plus, I never seem
to get those holders that are attached by a strap in the right
position. And the ones without straps aren't solid
Hooray for sharp endpins!
Tseng ICS Staff
(3/6/01 1:43:05 pm)
Does bent endpin = dull point? I
seem to be hearing this subliminal message from some of the posts in
this thread. I don't get it.? My endpin is just as sharp (if not
sharper) than a regular straight endpin and because the point (not
the cello!) is closer to 90 degrees it tends to slip a LOT less than
a LONG straight endpin.
I can pull my bent endpin out and go
spear fishing if I like! But those
poor fishies! Never mind! I'll save it for the really obnoxious 1st
violinist that....ooops! Did that come out?
(3/6/01 2:12:52 pm)
It would seem that the best thing
would be a carbon fiber, bent endpin! I don't suppose this thing
(3/6/01 3:56:42 pm)
Bent endpin in Carbon Fiber
I spoke with David Bice (new harmony
music) about exactly this.
He did say that although it is not
currently available, he is working on designs. He does not have an
estimated date of completion, and also expressed some reservations
about the cost of such a thing. He fears (reasonably so) that the
cost of developing when combined with a limited market for it might
make it prohibitively expensive.
However, I for one, hope
that it is feasible and reasonable....
He should update me with
news if/when he succeeds.
Anyone want to mail him with further
(3/6/01 7:51:33 pm)
A couple of observations on this
excellent thread. On the subject of carbon fiber, I have seen first
hand that every material sounds different, and it is important to
try them all and see which one sounds the best. I was initially
surprised by this, expecting to hear a big difference between solid
and hollow, but not much between different solid materials. On my
Acousticus endpin, it originally came with a hollow shaft. Russell
Wagner found a drill rod that was the correct diameter, and we
installed a Pegis point on it (of course!). However, due to
condensation forming on the metal, eventually I began to see
corrosion appear. I then replaced the rod with a stainless steel
rod, and it sounded much better then the drill rod. Since then I've
played cellos at Russell's shop with titanium, chrome steel, and
stainless steel endpins, and they all sounded very different.
the bent endpin question, I used to have a Stalhammer, but
eventually it got noisy. Not a rattle from the o ring, but a creak
where it went inside the cello. I did like the ability to go to a
bent endpin if I was stuck on a short riser. However, I felt there
were too many moving parts in the Stalhammer, and also the rod is
hollow. For me, the perfect endpin would be one where you had a
straight rod with some sort of adjusting knob at the bottom that
would allow you to play with any angle you wanted. To the best of my
knowledge such an endpin does not exist, and would be difficult
(translation: expensive) to manufacture. I'll add this to the list
of cello gadgets that I want to design. Also included in the list is
a gadget to adjust the tailpiece gut without taking the whole set-up
apart. Let's see, I can retire in 2016....
(3/7/01 2:06:47 am)
Thanks for your explanation, Paul.
It makes sense, and also points out why I find the bent pin so
uncomfortable for the way I play, which is indeed with a higher
elbow. I maintain an angle that allows me to cover the entire
fingerboard with no significant elevation change of the elbow (at
least on the A string. Of course, the elbow changes as I move to the
lower strings.) I have always maintained a very good posture, and
can play for long periods of time without the arms/shoulders in
fatigue from the playing itself. I did experience some problems a
couple years ago which I finally figured out were caused by my
suddenly becoming interested in using a computer, which used some
muscles in ways I hadn't used them before. And it was easy to do it
for long hours at a time, when I first began exploring cyberspace. I
now have a better chair, and better posture at the computer, and
don't spend nearly so much time at it.
Anyway, as I am not
about to change my way of playing at age 54, I will be content to
better understand the bent endpin thinking and store it for future
reference. Thanks again for your explanations.