by Victor Sazer

(The following does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Internet Cello Society or its representatives. It is the opinion of an individual ICS member.)

I was intrigued, when Tim Finholt asked me to write a review of the "Bambach Saddle Seat." Because horseback riders generally sit upright, I wondered if these seats might be useful for cellists. The Bambach Company sent me two models for evaluation. Both have seats shaped like horse saddles; one with a seat somewhat shorter and with a lower rise in front than the other.

You might notice that in Westerns, it is only the wounded cowboys who seem to slouch. Sitting in a saddle tends to make you sit on your sit-bones with your knees below your hips. Your hip and knee joints are unlocked and your spine is expanded upward. These are indeed good characteristics for healthful sitting. Although I found the shorter seat to be a bit more comfortable than the longer model, there are several significant drawbacks to both:

A Bambach brochure suggests that it may take a few weeks to "get used to the unaccustomed seat pressures" and some users may get saddle sores. "It is a bit like riding a bicycle � it takes getting used to." It suggests that you build up time on the seat slowly.

We are always on the lookout for better seats, but in my opinion, this one does not do the trick. I find it unacceptable to have to condition your body to irritants. I believe that many pain and tension problems that cellists experience are the fruits of such (maybe inadvertent) conditioning during early training.

(Aside for bicycle riders: Many experience numbness after prolonged contact with a bicycle seat. There is a new "V" shaped seat on the market that allows you to sit on your sit-bones and it eliminates unwanted pressure. Someone gave me one for my last birthday and it has made my bike riding much more pleasurable.)

You can view pictures of the Bambach seats on website:

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