When seated and without a strap, I found that the neck of my guitar shakes back and forth when I'm freting, is this a bad thing?

Also I found it quite hard to lock the guitar at a fixed position, is there any trick to do this?

I'm using a Stratocaster by Fender.


When sitting, the waist of a guitar needs to be either on the left thigh (classical style) or right thigh (most people's preferred). Ironically, when standing it rest in neither of these places when strapped on - it's between the two. People who do most of their practice sitting then have to adjust when strapped on. The other aspect is the height of the guitar when sitting, compared with standing. Often it's lower when standing - again changing angles of fretting arm in particular.

The neck waving about is not going to be a problem - find your own optimum position. I actually play with the neck at about 10 or 11 o'clock, if I face 12 o'clock, particularly seated.

If you wanted, you could of course have the strap on while you are sitting down - quite a few players prefer this.It's not like a bank of violinists who all have to be the same. With guitar, right and wrong are not as important as comfort.


Perhaps this is why most folks who play an electric guitar, play it standing and with a strap. Electric guitars are really designed ergonomically to be played standing with a strap. They are also heavier and balanced differently than an acoustic guitar. If you plan to play electric guitar with a band (which is what they are designed to do), you should practice playing with the guitar hanging from a strap - even if you choose to be seated during practice. The dynamics of fretting the guitar and relative position of the neck in relation to your arms is significantly different between playing an electric guitar while trying to balance it on your knee than playing it the way it was designed to be played - which is hanging from a strap. An acoustic guitar is just the opposite. Ergonomically, it is more comfortable to play an acoustic while seated as most will balance quite well on your knee. This is why even very accomplished professional musicians will often sit on a stool if they incorporate an acoustic set into their concert. If playing for your own personal enjoyment on your couch at home, use an acoustic. If practicing to perform on stage with an electric and you prefer to practice while seated, use a strap and adjust your posture so that the weight of the guitar is supported by the strap and not by your knee. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you, I do appreciate your answer and I agree with most of it. One exception is that I think playing an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar have many differences, so I can't practice on a acoustic one and perform with an electric one.
    – MeloS
    Dec 23 '14 at 7:44
  • You are absolutely right. I meant play an acoustic if you are playing only for personal enjoyment but if practicing to perform with an electric - by all means practice with an electric. But if practicing with an electric while seated, you might consider using a strap with the electric. Jan 15 '15 at 20:31

A Strat is one of the better electric guitars for playing seated - it's shape is ergonomically very comfortable.

I think you are worrying unduly, though.

What you should realise is that you can move the neck wherever you want, it really doesn't matter.

Personally, I'd place the guitar across my left leg, as I would with an acoustic, then the balance makes it easy to fret anywhere.

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