The first step to learning to play the guitar properly is to know how to hold a guitar. Your posture and the position of the guitar is very important when it comes to playing the guitar. Good posture won’t only allow you to play properly and comfortably but it will also prevent the harm that is associated with bad posture such as fatigue, injuries, neck and back pain, etc.
I have been playing the guitar for many years now. In my years of experience, I’ve learned that how you hold the guitar is an important factor for playing well.So, in this article, I will be teaching you how to hold a guitar properly.
I’m assuming most of the readers are right-handed. So, I’m writing this guide for right-handed handling. But if you are left-handed just switch the sides and you’ll be okay.
How To Hold A Guitar?
1. Choose An Appropriate Seat
You should be sitting while practicing the guitar. Walking around while playing like a Rockstar might seem cool but you have to get comfortable with handling the guitar before you start doing that.
Sit on a stool while practicing. As they don’t have armrests to limit your movement. Also, a lack of armrests will help you avoid some bad habits. Sit up straight. Do not lean back or slouch forward. This is to avoid causing back pain.
There are some special guitar stools you can buy in stores. But they are a bit expensive. You can buy one if you want. But if this seems too much for you than using any regular stool will get the job done.
2. Proper Posture
When sitting down make sure your back is as straight as possible. Don’t look down at the strings. This will form bad habits. At the same time looking down will cause you too lean forward which can cause back injuries and pain.
If you find yourself struggling to avoid looking down then you can practice while standing. Of course, that has its own problems. But it is better than looking down while practicing. Train yourself to not look down and then practice while sitting.
3. Position The Guitar
Rest the body of the guitar on your right leg. Your dominant hand (In this case your right hand) should rest on the top of the guitar body. Make sure the neck of the guitar is parallel to the floor. This is the most comfortable angle for holding the guitar. Support the guitar with your right arm from the body to avoid leaning towards the ground.
Press the body of the guitar towards your stomach. The fretboard should remain in a perpendicular position to the floor. Don’t tilt it back so much that you can see the strings on the fret. Don’t tilt it forward too much either. Make sure that when you look down at the fret the only thing you see is the top border of the fret.
4. Griping The Fret
Place your left thumb on the back of the fret and use the other fingers to press down on the strings. The strings should be pressed down with the tip of your fingers and not with the flat pad.
Beginners may have the tendency to place their thumb on the top of the fret for extra support while pressing down on the strings. But this is a horrible idea. It will cause fatigue and switching from chord to chord will become much harder.
5. Secure Position Of The Body
Use your right elbow and arm to prevent the guitar from leaning downwards. Put your right arm on the most protruding part of the body and then use your elbow to press it gently towards yourself.
6. Buy A Guitar Strap
New guitar players sometimes don’t feel confident while holding a guitar. They often feel as if they might drop it. Attaching a guitar strap can solve that problem.
Attaching a guitar strap will help you to focus on your playing. You will feel much more confident and comfortable while holding on to the guitar.
7. Take Breaks
For beginners, your body needs to adjust to holding a guitar. Playing for long periods may cause back and neck pain. So, if your muscles feel stressed out or you feel any sort of fatigue take some rest. You won’t become slash overnight. So, don’t try to. Take breaks and practice in small sessions.
I hope this article helps you out on your journey to mastering the guitar. The advice I’m giving is not some kind of ultimate rule everyone should follow. As you gain more experience you will probably come up with your own methods of holding the guitar. But I hope that following my guide will help you to reach that level of experience.
All the best.