"Music" Bifocals


Active member
Aug 26, 2016
As old age has caught up with me I’ve found I need bifocals and trifocals to deal with presbyopia, both for reading and using my computer. I’ve tried progressive lenses, but just can’t get used to them. Right now I am using “computer” bifocals with the top half at a 22” focal length for the monitor, and the bottom half at 15” for reading.

What’s this got to do with ukes? Well I’ve always found using trifocals to read the music on a music stand during a uke jam to be a pain. I have to use the middle segment at that distance, and I can only see a few lines at a time, constantly bobbing my head up and down. Well the other day I realized (duh!) that the top half of my computer glasses was perfect for reading music on a music stand. Except that everything and everyone across the room is now out of focus. So, I ordered a special pair of bifocals with the top segment being for distance, and the bottom segment being for 22”, or music stand distance. I requested the absolute largest segment they could make, using the “executive” style of having a straight line between the two segments to maximize the field of view.

You can see the result in the photo below. Ideally the segment would be even a bit larger, but this works pretty darn well, and beats the heck out of using my every day trifocals. I’ve since learned that many opticians specialize in lenses for orchestral musicians who have to both read music and follow a conductor. For these musicians the music can be at a distance anywhere from 30” to 5’ depending on the instrument. Anyway, if you have ever had your optometrist fit you for “computer work station” glasses you already have the prescription you need to have your own “music” bifocals made up.


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Apr 5, 2021
As old age has caught up with me I’ve found I need bifocals and trifocals to deal with presbyopia, both for reading and using my computer.

If you should get to the point where you need cataract surgery, talk to your doctor about multi-focal lenses. They are expensive (insurance pays for single vision lenses and you have to pay the extra out of pocket) but they eliminate the need for glasses. I wore bifocals for 20 years (lower portion of lens was close up for reading) and now I am glass free!



Los Angeles
Sep 15, 2013
I too cannot wear progressive because I have nerve damage in my neck and cannot constantly turn my head because the focus area of progressive is so narrow. I recently had new bifocals glasses made, I wanted trifocals but was told that they cannot include transition, something I must have because I will not have separate sunglasses. I went with bifocals with transition years ago so all I have to do is put them on in the morning and off at night. My Kaiser coverage is such that the glasses only cost me $79 US. Your full width bifocal is very interesting, have to ask if they can do that.

This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers