There are a few different ways you can hold the guitar, and I use all of them depending on the style of music I am playing or the type of guitar I am using. In this guitar lesson you are going to learn how to hold the guitar in both a sitting and standing position.
(Video Guitar Lesson – 1 of 2)
Casual – Right Leg
This is a very common way to hold the guitar in a sitting position. You are resting the curve of the body of the guitar on your right leg. Try and keep the neck of the guitar parallel to the ground. Keep the body of the guitar up against your stomach.
This position can be used with an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar without a strap. You can also use a strap with both an electric and an acoustic guitar if extra stability is needed.
Classical – Left Leg
Classical guitar players will prop up their left leg with a footstool. You then play with the guitar resting on your left leg instead of the right. This puts the left hand in a better position for reaching the notes on the neck of the guitar, and puts the right hand at a good angle for playing with your fingers. Even though I am naming this the “Classical” position, it’s not just for Classical guitar players.
Electric Classical Position With Strap
While you could use a footstool with an electric guitar, it’s probably better to use strap. Holding your guitar with the same basic angle as a Classical guitar player will give you the same left hand advantages for reach and mobility.
(Video Guitar Lesson – 2 of 2)
When playing with a strap in a standing position, you want to think about being in basically the same position as when you are sitting. That means that your strap should be adjusted so that your guitar is about in the area of your stomach. It’s easy enough to switch between positions when standing depending on what you are playing at the moment.
Classical Position Standing
It Looks Cool, But it is a Pain in the Wrist!
I know, I know…Jimmy Page plays this way, and Slash, and James Hetfield. But playing your guitar swung down really low has a number of disadvantages. One being that it limits your ability to stretch between your left hand fingers.
Another big one is that it puts your wrist at a very bad angle and can lead you down the road to a serious and potentially damaging wrist injury.
If you do choose to swing it down low, be very aware of your wrist angle. The players that do play this way don’t tend to play things that require them to keep their thumb in the middle of the back of the neck.