Greetings friends! Welcome in this short course of other guitar basics. It isn’t quite deep or advanced basics course, but it’s one of the basis that must be known. In this first lesson we’ll talk about right sitting technique. It’s called guitar position. It’s how you must hold a musical instrument, why it’s important to practice that way and what are other ways of doing it.
I’ve seen a lot of videos on Youtube, but there’re only couple that explain what is correct playing position. If you want to learn to play guitar, then you must start with right siting technique and correct hand holding. It’s very important, because your body needs to be relaxed while playing. You can’t play well if your shoulder or hand is tight. You need to relax and enjoy what you’re doing, not to struggle everytime during playing.
In this lesson or tip (call it the way you like) we’ll cover:
- Classical guitar technique and sitting position;
- Blues position technique;
- And average sitting position (that most of us use to play).
We’ll cover also some aspects about each guitar playing technique, why it’s quite comfortable and what benefits it provides for further practice hours.
Table of Contents
#1 Classical guitar technique and sitting position
Classical guitar technique is the basis of all practice and it’s most comfortable way of playing any guitar. Mostly classical guitar players play in this position. It’s perfect for fingerstyle playing, classical music playing and for practice in general. This is the classical guitar siting technique.
Notice, guitar is placed on both legs and up against the body. The back part of the guitar is placed on the right leg and the lower part (typically, the bottom of the instrument) is held on left. Left leg must be in higher position than the right leg to lift up the instrument. Place a small platform under left leg or pick up on your toes.
In this position back is straight; it isn’t curved like in other techniques that will be covered later in this post.
Next, guitar neck needs to be in the high of the eyes level or close to it. In this position shoulders are located on the same level. It’s very important, because in some time back will start to ache and that’s because of just wrong sitting technique.
Right hand is positioned over Guitar Bridge and is based on guitar body with right palm of the hand.
In this position you can play strings clearly or use palm mute to reduce string noise. Right hand lays down relaxed over guitar body and is ready to play in any technique. This way hand and shoulder is relaxed which leads to clear playing.
Remember, that your body needs to be relaxed in any way. It doesn’t matter if you play fast arpeggios or slow juicy melody. Pay attention to relaxation.
Next, left hand holds the neck of the instrument and also must be relaxed. Keep in mind that left hand needs to be as straight as possible. In that way you can play notes clean.
Try to bend left hand to about 60 degrees and play something. In this way hands Carpal Tunnel is loaded and it worsens playing technique. It means that left hand needs to be as straight as possible to play clear as possible.
Pay attention to relaxing and straight hand holding. Doing this will improve your playing and reduce any kind of injury in hands or back.
So, classical guitar technique looks funny or silly, but it’s most comfortable and correct way of playing. Do you prefer looking great and break your body down while playing or do you want to feel relax and play as clean as possible? Decide yourself!
#2 Blues guitar position and technique
Next one is called blues position in guitar playing. It’s very popular and I think most of players play in this style, because it’s quite comfortable and it looks much better than previous one. Does it look familiar? I’m sure it does!
Yes, it does look good and you can play well. Notice, that bottom of the instrument lies down on right leg and typically right leg is hooked over the left.
The back is curved and you can’t control it. It will be curved all practice time. In some time you can get back pain, so I suggest you to do a little exercise for your back and the neck. It will be covered in lesson (or tip) 6.
Pay attention to right shoulder and left hand. Typically sitting in blues position right shoulder is slightly extended forward and left shoulder is slightly in rear. The back is curved slightly to right or left.
There’s nothing wrong sitting that way, but you need to pay more attention to straight back, relaxed body and left hand to keep it straight as possible.
It’s better to push your back against wall or chair to keep it unstrained. That way your body will be more likely straight and relaxed.
#3 Average sitting position and technique
So, this is most popular sitting technique that we practice in.
It’s very similar to blues position, but the only difference is that right leg lies down over left one and it allows placing guitar higher. Right and left hands keep more or less straight in this way, but the back is still curved to right or left side.
The main injury that can be caused is lower back pain. In some time it will ache if you don’t strengthen it.
The right way to learn the guitar is using classical sitting technique. It’s the basic part how to practice, but most of us don’t pay attention to it.
OK, today we’ve gone true 3 most popular guitar positions while playing. We’ve seen what benefits make each style and what negatives it also provides.
Of course, you’re the one to decide how to practice better for you, but pay attention to aspects covered in this tip. The real richness is good health that stands beyond any guitar mastery.
Now, we’ve gone thru sitting, let’s review how to hold our hands to gain much result as possible. Next tip is left hand guitar position.