How to Hold a Guitar, The Right Posture and Hand Positioning

Jun 15, 2020 11:35 AM

Guitar - Photo by Pexels on Pixabay

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Learning how to hold a guitar properly is the most crucial beginner phase before you even think about picking or strumming on your chords. This lesson is for electric guitars as well as acoustic ones. The biggest difference is the body size but the holding position for all forms is the same.

Appropriate guitar posture isn't something every guitar player knows or takes seriously. That's because incorrect posture and bad habits won't result in injuries. But guitar players will get back, shoulder, neck, elbow, arm, and wrist pains, RSI (repetitive strain injuries), tendonitis, CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), and other bad side effects in the long term.

That is certainly not the destiny of every guitar player. But it's not out of the question either. Yet the good thing is good posture can prevent many of these injuries and it makes playing guitar easier and more enjoyable.

Here’s how to hold a guitar for beginners we have collected just for you. Check this out now!

Guitar - Photo by meisjedevos on Pixabay

1. How to Hold a Guitar: The Sitting Position

Sit on a chair, put your two feet on the floor, and hold straight back. Place the guitar waist on your right leg (if you're close), and keep the guitar back to your chest and neck. Keep the guitar neck horizontal to the ground.

Do not use the left hand to assist the neck from leaning towards the floor, instead let your upper right armrest on the top of the guitar body to avoid this. Make sure you feel comfortable with all of this.

2. How to Hold a Guitar: Left Hand Position and Finger Placement

Your fretting hand's thumb will lie behind the guitar 's neck positioning it directly between the first two fingers. Make sure the knuckles (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) are not curved. Use your fingers to press the strings down and position them as close to the fret as possible. (Don't place your fingers on your load!) Keep your fingernails thin, so they don't touch the load plate.

3. How to Hold a Guitar: Right-Hand Position

Rest on the top of the guitar body with your upper right arm, your right hand floating comfortably above the soundhole, and relaxing your arm, wrist, and hand.

Guitar - Photo by FotoRieth on Pixabay

4. How to Hold a Guitar: Strumming Technique

A variety of strumming methods exist for how to carry a guitar. Here's one generally used: Place your thumb against your index finger and keep it that way. This gives you good backing. Slightly bend your neck, ring, and pink into the palm of your hand. Whichever you know is normal.

Now strum down against all the strings with your index fingernail and then strum up with your thumb's nail. You can also play separately with your index finger and thumb which gives you a tenderer sound. You can also make a few of your fingernails grow to give you a clearer sound like using a pick.

5. How to Hold a Guitar While Using a Pick

Keep the pick between the index finger and thumb. Position the pick on top of your index finger and grip your thumb over it. Hold firmly on the pick.

Guitar - Photo by Gundula Vogel on Pixabay

6. How to Hold a Guitar: Fingerpicking Position

Rest your forearm on the lower bout top front edge to stabilize your hand. Hold your hand above the soundhole, make sure your hand and arm are slightly aligned, and bend your knuckles.

Playing the bass strings (4th, 5th, and 6th strings) with the thumb, 3rd string with the index finger, 2nd string with the middle finger and 1st string with the ring finger is the most widely employed technique. Other variants are used, too. Play the strings by the tip of the fingertips.

7. How to Prevent Injuries

Hold the back upright, stretch the neck, and line it. Relax the back and shoulders. Release every arms, wrists, hands, and finger stress. If you're practicing for a long period of time, take a rest and stretch every now and then.

Take a break if you feel pressure or pain and let your body to recover. Make sure you eat well, sleep well, and have daily exercise. Such three points have a tremendous impact on your professional life!


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