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Tips on how to hold the guitar

Mar 14, 2008
Short Description: After you're through with this article you'll be an expert in holding the guitar.

When you've already bought a guitar and decided to master it, there's no need to wait any more.

Well, if that be case, let's go ahead and start at the beginning. Just like any other instrument, a guitar must be held properly for getting the best out of it. Any awkward pose makes it difficult for the player to play even the simplest of melodies on this most effective musical instrument of all times. The whole thing appears so labored that many would be guitarists drop the idea before they even touch the instrument.

The guitar should gently rest on your right thigh with strings and sound hole facing outwards. Its neck should point slightly upwards to your left; say 30 or so. This is the normal position of the guitar but if you are a leftie place it on your left thigh and let the neck point towards your right. Jimi Hendrix used to hold his legendary guitar in this way! In case you're wondering where and how you'd sit, all that I can say is sit in an upright posture. The front edge of a straight-backed chair would be ideal. You may also use a footstool to place your right foot on.

Before we proceed further please remember these details are merely guidelines. It isn't really necessary to follow them very rigidly - you may make slight deviations here and there if you feel you're more comfortable by doing so.

Let's go to the next step and see how your arms should be draped around the guitar. The hand positions described here are for a right hander - it'd be just the opposite for a left hander.

Gently wrap your right arm over the guitar and let the fingers hang loosely over the sound hole. These fingers would pick the strings. Place your arm in such a way that you don't require a lot of wrist movement while picking the strings. People have ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome while working hard on their guitar, so, be comfortable and relaxed while holding the instrument.

Let's go over to the other hand - the "fretting" hand, so to say. You must have observed that the back of the guitar's neck is curved. It's so to allow your palm to fit snugly over it. Curl your fingers so that you can freely press the strings with your fingertips.

With four fingers poised over the strings let your thumb curve over the neck while you're constructing chords and let it remain at the back of the neck when you're playing scales. This, once again, is a guideline and comfort and ease should be the watchword while you hold the guitar.
About the Author
Before you get jacked by Gary Guitarist, be sure to check out MGL's review of the top "how to" video guitar course online - learn and master guitar. Dave site offers 35 free guitar licks!
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