Guitarist standing

Learning how to hold a guitar correctly before practicing is almost as important as learning how to eat. If you don’t, you’ll end up with bad health. But relax yourself, it’s actually easy to build up good habits.

In this page, you’ll see how to sit or stand with your instrument. You’ll also learn proper ways to hold the guitar neck.

1. Sitting position.

The “practicing” position. You’ll see many people sitting badly while playing guitar. It’s so common that almost nobody notices it. So… What is a good sitting posture?

First of all, you must stay relaxed. Check every part of your body, especially shoulders and arms. Are they tense? Work on releasing the tension. No need to practice meditation, or yoga. But do a little check-up for 10 seconds before playing.
Sit up straight. I cannot emphasize enough. Sit up STRAIGHT. Do you want to avoid back pain when you grow older? Do what your mum told you when you were young, when you were sitting at a table.
Try not to hunch your head too much. I know that you’re not a chameleon and that you don’t have a 360° vision. But I’m pretty sure you can see what you’re doing while playing by lowering your eyes and your head a little bit.

How To Hold A Guitar While Sitting


2. Standing position.

While you perform on stage, especially if you’re a good showman, it’s not easy to concentrate on your position all the time. However, try to think about the following advice a little bit:

Always stand up straight. As the sitting position, having your back hunched forward will only cause you health issues.
Having your left leg – if you’re right-handed – or your right leg – if you’re right-handed – in front of the other one can help in case you need to bend forward to see the guitar neck (or the crowd!). It can also release some tension in your limbs.
The strap must be adjusted. If it’s too loose, you’re more inclined to hunch forward.
Strap-locks are a MUST. They can prevent the guitar falling from your hands, and damaging itself.

3. How to hold a guitar neck

Having the thumb really straight behind the neck is also important when you are doing barre chords, and even other chords – especially if you’re a beginner.

Note that, when you become better at playing the guitar, you can use your thumb to mute the sixth string (E).

4. Extra advice.

This video on Youtube is great and teach you more on how to hold a guitar.

You can grasp that knowledge easily and with some good habits, you won’t think about your position anymore. But if you build bad habits, it will be harder to get rid of them. The sooner, the better.