“If you don’t know how to properly hold a guitar, you will never be the guitarist you desire.”
How to hold the guitar correctly is one of the most important things you need to learn as a beginner. In this guide, we will teach you the best way to hold a guitar so that you can start playing right away!
The Most Popular Guitar Playing Positions
If you’ve ever seen a guitar player onstage, you know that there are different ways to hold a guitar. Some players hold the instrument low, while others have it perched high on their chest. Some sit while they play, while others stand. So which is the best way to hold a guitar? The answer, of course, is that it depends on the player.
Different guitar playing positions offer different advantages and can be better suited for different types of music. Here are just a few of the most popular guitar playing positions:
The first way is to sit down with the guitar placed on your lap. This is the most common way to play the guitar and is great for beginners. Sitting with the guitar placed on your lap provides better stability and support, allowing for smoother fingerpicking passages and subtler dynamics.
The second way to hold your guitar is by standing up. This is a more advanced way to play and is great for those who have been playing for a while.
The third way to hold your guitar is in the classical position. This is usually done in a sitting position, but you can also stand up. This position is great for those who want to play classical music.
Common Mistakes When Holding a Guitar
Now that we have gone over the three most popular guitar playing positions, let’s talk about some of the common mistakes when holding a guitar:
- Bad Posture
One of the most common mistakes when holding a guitar is having bad posture. When you sit or stand with poor posture, it puts unnecessary strain on your back and shoulders, which can lead to pain in the long run. Make sure to sit up straight or stand up tall when playing the guitar.
- Not Supporting the Guitar
Another common mistake is not supporting the guitar properly. If you are sitting, make sure the guitar is placed on your lap in a way that it is supported. If you are standing, make sure to use a strap so that the weight of the guitar is evenly distributed.
- Not Keeping Your Hands in the Right Position
One of the most important things to keep in mind when playing the guitar is hand position. This involves finger placement on the fretboard and how you hold the pick. Make sure to keep your hands in a comfortable position so that you can play without pain.
- Tilting Your Guitar to Face You
Many guitarists make the mistake of tilting their guitars to face them. This may lead to developing bad habits and strain on your hand.
Don’t tilt the guitar towards you; keep it in a neutral position. Tilting the guitar neck upwards puts unnecessary strain on your left hand and can cause pain. The guitar neck should be in a natural position so that you can easily reach all the strings without having to contort your hand.
Accessories You Need to Keep Your Guitar in Place
When it comes to guitars, there are a few essential accessories you need to help you hold your guitar in place.
First, you’ll need a strap. Whether you’re sitting or standing, a strap will help to keep your guitar from slipping out of your hands. If you are standing, you will need a strap to help distribute the weight evenly.
The Best Chair
Second, if you’re going to be sitting down while playing, you’ll need a comfortable chair. The best chairs for guitar playing are those that allow you to sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Avoid sitting on a sofa, high stool, or an arm chair while learning how to properly hold a guitar.
A Footstool Support
If you are sitting, you will need a footstool to help keep the guitar in place. This is especially important for youngsters or those who can’t reach the floor to keep their feet flat on the ground. A footstool can be used to elevate the guitar so that it is in the correct position.
6 Essential Tips on How to Properly Hold a Guitar
As a beginner, it is essential to learn how to properly hold a guitar. Not only will this help you avoid developing bad habits, but it will also make playing the instrument more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are 6 tips on how to properly hold a guitar:
1. Maintain a good posture at all times.
A good posture is always the best way to hold a guitar. Sit up straight or stand tall, avoid slouching or hunching over. Sit in a chair or stool that is the right height for you to keep your feet flat on the ground. Your shoulders should be relaxed and down. If you are standing, use a strap to evenly distribute the weight of the guitar.
2. Proper sitting position.
When sitting, the guitar should be placed on your lap with the strings facing away from you.
- Casual sitting position – Keep the guitar in a comfortable position, with both feet on the ground, with your right leg supporting the guitar. The body of the guitar bounced against your body as your right arm rested on top of it, while your left arm hung freely next to your body.
- In a classic position, your guitar is supported by your left leg while the right leg supports the lower portion of the guitar. This gives you more control over the strings and is better for your posture in the long run. You may use a footstool to elevate your left foot. The back of the guitar is leaning against your body.
3. Place your hands in the correct position.
Keep your hands in a comfortable position. Generally, your left hand frets while your right hand strums the strings.
Your left hand should be positioned on the neck of the guitar in such a way that it is comfortable for you to reach all the strings. The thumb should be behind the neck, and the fingers should be curved slightly so that they can touch the strings. The right hand should be positioned on the strings in such a way that you can hold the pick comfortably.
- Strumming Arm Position – Keep your right arm resting on top of the guitar properly. The right arm should be wrapped around the guitar’s body to support it. Make sure your elbow can still move freely to strum the strings.
- Fretting Hand – Your fretting hand should avoid supporting the neck and should be able to create chords freely. Proper fretting technique will make playing the guitar more enjoyable and prevent pain in your left hand. Press down on the strings with the tips of your fingers, not the pads. Curl your fingers and place your thumb in the space between the neck and hand. This gives you more control over the strings and helps to avoid pain in the wrist, thumb, and hand. One more thing, keep your elbow down and close to the guitar body for more control.
If you are standing, make sure to use a strap. It should be worn diagonally with the guitar placed at an angle on your right hip. This will allow you to play without having to hold the guitar up with your hands.
4. Angle the guitar’s neck.
One important aspect of playing the guitar is to ensure that the neck is properly angled. This may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in terms of comfort and playability.
The ideal angle for the guitar neck is between 15 and 30 degrees. This allows the hand to be in a relaxed position while still providing good access to the strings. If the neck is too steep, it can be difficult to reach the higher strings. Conversely, if the neck is too shallow, it can be difficult to apply enough pressure to the strings.
In either case, it can lead to discomfort and fatigue. By taking a few moments to adjust the angle of the guitar neck, you can help to ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience when playing.
5. Choosing the best guitar for you.
When we’re learning how to hold the guitar correctly, this point is rarely mentioned. It’s most likely because it’s not a priority to consider for this lesson. However, if you want a better grip on your guitar, it’s worth taking a look at.
To avoid your guitar from shaking when you play it, pick the best guitar for you. There are a few things to look for when choosing a guitar.
The weight and shape of the guitar are important factors to consider. Make sure it’s appropriate for your body size and fits your hand properly.
Another thing to look at is the material of the guitar. Some materials are easier to grip than others. The type of wood the guitar is made of also contributes to its stability. Harder woods are better choices than softer woods. You also want to make sure that the strings are the correct tension.
Finally, the finish on the guitar also makes a difference. A high-gloss finish will make the guitar more slippery, while a matte finish will provide more friction.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a guitar is to pick one that is comfortable for you to hold.
Holding the guitar correctly significantly improves the sound and comfort of your playing experience. With the correct posture and hand positioning, you will be well on your way to becoming a great guitar player!