How To Hold A Guitar Correctly And Not Get Injured

//How To Hold A Guitar Correctly And Not Get Injured

How To Hold A Guitar Correctly And Not Get Injured

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.

By |2018-04-20T12:44:21+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Beginner Guitar Lessons|8 Comments

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  1. Matts Mom September 3, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Great information! I am sure you see some people with their guitar and wonder how in the heck they play right, when they are not even holding it right lol. I really did not know that there was a specific way. I played a long time ago, and of course was not super good so ended up giving it up. But I love listening to guitar music 🙂

    • Ben September 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Matts Mom! It’s true some people hold their guitar incorrectly, and still manage to be great players anyway. But the risk of being injured is here, and you don’t want to stop your instrument because of some bad position you could have corrected with discipline and a few adjustments. Hehe, I know, lots of people give up in the early stages because it’s hard at the beginning.
      Thanks for your comment anyway!

  2. Susan September 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    I was thinking of learning to play the guitar as my boyfriend is a bass player. I found the site lacking in images and information but it was nice to have someone show me the way the sit and hold it correctly. I am left handed though so playing the guitar is strange. Thanks for the advise though.

    • Ben September 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Susan, thanks for your comment and your feedback. The website is just in its early stage, but be sure it will grow in the next few weeks with more and more articles to come!
      I saw a left handed guy once, playing a right-hand guitar, and it was just amazing. He had learned all the chords on the other side, and it sounded different, but very good. There are some guitars for left-handed people out there, I think they must be a little bit more expensive. I believe there’s a brand though, designing guitar for left handed people only. I don’t remember the name, but if I come across it again, I’ll post it here.

  3. Alice September 4, 2017 at 1:31 am - Reply

    I love the tips on the proper way of holding a guitar. I play the guitar and I always use it during my devotion time as I want to praise and worship the Lord first before reading and meditating His word.

    I admit, I am guilty of holding a guitar the wrong way. I don’t sit or stand up straight and my shoulders are not relaxed. Now I know why I feel so tired after playing. I will try to be more aware of my posture every time I play the guitar. Thank you for this article.

    • Ben September 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      First, thanks for your comment! It’s not always easy to discipline yourself into doing the right thing, and I admit, I’ve had a hard time too. But then back pain taught me I had to do something about how I sit or stand with my guitar. I really recommend to start building a good posture.

  4. Brandon September 4, 2017 at 6:58 am - Reply

    I honestly didn’t know there was a right way and wrong way to holding a guitar, but in my defense I am by no means a guitarist. I don’t play any instrument for that matter. I like the idea about standing straight all the time. Slouching is not only bad for your health but it also looks really unprofessional. Thank you for the article, I can’t wait to see more.

    • Ben September 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Exactly Brandon, it’s all about health and continue doing what you do as long as you can. That applies to any activities. Also, it’s way better to have a good posture if you’re a singer, you’ll get more power and a clearer voice.

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