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A Guide To Holding Your Guitar Correctly

May 17, 2008
If you don't learn how to hold your guitar properly, you will not only feel awkward and uncomfortable but you are also likely to injure your hands and wrists in the long term. So if you want to become a budding guitarist, take note of the few handy tips detailed below.

When you practice, do so in the sitting position. You will be more relaxed and will not get tired as quickly as when standing. Make sure you get the most out of using the seated position by keeping your body upright and holding your guitar so that the back of it touches your chest. The neck of your guitar should be parallel with the floor. If, however, you prefer to stand, you will need a wide strap to spread the weight of the guitar and make it more comfy when you are playing. As an alternative to wearing a strap over your shoulder you could put one foot up on a chair or stool, thus creating a place for the guitar to rest.

Rest your right arm loosely over the guitar and your hand should naturally fall in front of the sound hole. This is where the sound comes from when you strum the strings of the guitar over the hole. If you are playing your guitar whilst seated, rest the instrument on whichever thigh feels the most comfortable. This is usually the right thigh for right-handed players and the left for lefthanders.

Your thumb on your fretting hand needs to rest at the rear of the neck of the guitar and when playing chords you will be aware that your thumb is pressed hard against the backside of the neck. You can easily discover which location suits you best by testing the various thumb positions when you are playing different kinds of chords.

Your left hand should be moulded to the curved edge of the neck of the guitar. Fingers on both hands will be curved at the knuckle points and the left hand fingers will be balanced at the fret board on top of the strings. When you are strumming it is best to move the wrist rather than the fingers. Once you have mastered the correct position, you will find that your playing methods will be much easier to learn.

For those of you who are left handed, there are guitars on the market specifically for left handed players or you can re-string a right handed instrument the opposite way around. As long as you remember that the thickest string needs to be the one closest to your face, it will work just as well as a left handed guitar.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of MusicianHome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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