HOW WE STARTED
The history of all ERGObrass supports are based on the ERGObone, the first support device for the trombone.
I started to develop a trombone support device in the autumn of 1999 as a result of suffering from frequent, gradually growing pains in my left elbow whenever I played a little more than usual. At times I also suffered from pain in the wrist.
I looked for a solution on the trombonists’ many homepages, where there was discussion about the problems of trombone playing and also occasionally some talk about the symptoms caused by the tension in the left hand. As a result from these discussions, however, advice was only given on the way the instrument’s body should be pressed with the left hand’s fingers in order to minimize stress.
I finally realized that it was completely useless to wonder how to cope with physically supporting the instrument’s weight when the solution would naturally be that a trombone needn’t be supported only by hand in the first place! Neither saxophones, bassoons nor violoncellos are supported meryly by static tensed hands or knees (violoncello). Even many clarinetists and oboists nowadays prefer to support the few hundred grams of their instruments with their body rather than with their hands only.
I also noticed that the chairtube provides essential help for young trombone learners in finding a right playing position, which is, as known, often difficult for them.
After great worldwide success with the ERGObone, many French horn players have asked me to develop a similar device for their heavy instruments. So I started to work on a project for developing a French horn support with the help of Mr. Olli Hirvonen, principal horn player of the Turku Philhamonic Orchestra, Finland, and Mrs. Erja Joukamo-Ampuja, professor of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland. After several prototypes I ended up with most simple and effective version.
The next project was to design a similar version for the euphonium with world-famous euphonium artist Jukka Myllys.
And, as usual, success led to new inventions. I understood that also the trumpet and cornet should be played with a handy support. Ergonomic issues are so very important for us not only for the sake of our health. Relaxation also enables better breathing and offer a light and sensitive feel for the instrument.
Our last invention, the ERGOsax for specially soprano saxophone, was made also by a customer request. I was asked from a French soprano player Philippe Poussard to design also a support for his ergonomically very demanding instrument. And again: many prototypes, many test plays both in France by Philippe and also here in Finland with many soprano players and after all this work the soprano support became ready.