Up to now (actually, for ten years) I've only had an acoustic guitar. Only recently I've obtained an electric guitar (a Telecaster). And it is heavy -- You'll laugh, but I didn't expect it to be that heavy.

My problem is: after I spend some time practising, my back starts to hurt. So I guess that I'm doing something wrong and I have to change my habits of holding a guitar. Is there any tips or rules or something about this?

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional musician. I've always played for just myself or for/with my friends. So I've never actually learned how to hold a guitar properly...

  • How are you doing it now? May 2, 2011 at 15:33
  • Are you standing or sitting? I found when I sat playing the electric I had a tendency to slouch over the guitar causing pain under my right shoulder blade. I've started playing standing up more and being more conscious of not slouching when I do sit. I also sit on a stool now instead of a chair. May 2, 2011 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


Generally, people who play electric guitar wear it on a strap; trying to hold it by wedging it between your elbow and body, say, would doubtless cause all kinds of back and arm discomfort.

I suggest getting yourself a nice, comfortable, wide strap and use that.

  • This answer could be a lot more comprehensive if I knew how the question author were currently holding the guitar. Will edit if we get more info. May 2, 2011 at 15:33
  • I guess I'm going to accept that. Don't think that extra information is needed since I think that the strap is exactly the answer to my question.
    – Anonymous
    May 3, 2011 at 8:30
  • +1 for the answer, also @Kostya, in terms of guitar straps, it's better to spend a little more money to buy a leather strap (about 2,75inches or 7cm broad) which is really thick (or extra padded) and soft. And don't forget some security-locks, I recomment the Shaller Security locks. Anyway, I know how it feels to suddenly have a heavier instrument, When I startet plaing guitar about 5 years ago, I startet with an old acoustic model, a few months I got a Les Paul for my 17th birthday... a ~10 lbs Les Paul.
    – Anonymous
    May 3, 2011 at 10:13
  • The rubber gromits from Grolsch bottles, put on the strap button after the strap, are a cheap alternative to security locks.
    – slim
    Dec 16, 2011 at 13:20

The telecaster is a little heavy but by no means one of the really heavy guitars. As has already been mentioned, most electrics are not shaped for sitting, so play it standing.

Then look at the length of your strap- everyone has a height at which playing the guitar is comfortable so experiment here.

And some of your problem could be unfamiliarity with the new neck. Are you looking down more than you used to? Once your body learns where the frets are you will find that easier on your neck.

As others have said, if you can give more context, we can provide more specific answers for you.


I had a similar problem when I started standing up playing electric guitar with a guitar strap in a worship band. It was partly caused by bad posture and partly weak muscles. Try to consciously stand/sit up with a straight back and shoulders rolled back along with neck rolled back. This is what decreased and eliminated the pain for me. When sitting with my electric I try to keep the guitar very close to my body and just play. Try not to angle the guitar or lean over to see what you are doing, this can cause neck/back pains.A way tho hold the guitar properly? Well I just kinda copy what the other people do. It changes between styles (Spanish and rock styles bother hold the guitar differently).

Hope this helps. :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.