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I'm a beginner, tried many positions and this turns out to be pretty comfortable. Just wondering if it's "okay". In other words will this be a bad habit for any reason?

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Got my right foot resting on a footstoll so my leg is propped up a bit. I primarily strum at the moment so my hand does end up hitting my leg sometimes, but I'm hoping that's not a big deal.

Also, I'm aware that I may be overthinking this. Would just like to know if this position is okay.

  • BTW, do you really indend to play a E♭/D chord there? Phew, that sounds a bit jarring... – leftaroundabout Jan 2 '16 at 14:35
  • Haha nope, it was meant to be a D major chord so it's just on the wrong frets. Wasn't sure it would get in the camera shot so I done it like that :) – Rockett Jan 2 '16 at 14:39
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Congratulations on starting your journey towards becoming a guitarist.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the position you pictured. and just because a footstool is a invention geared towards classical guitarist, does not mean that you can't use it under your right foot. Most bluegrass, folk, country and rock guitarist support their guitar on their right knee if playing seated - as you are doing.

However, if you envision yourself playing in a band in the future (where you will likely be playing while standing), you might want to take a slightly different approach to holding your guitar while learning and practicing while seated.

The seated position with the guitar body resting on the right knee is very comfortable. But if you play standing, the guitar will end up hanging in a different position and you will have to re-inform the hand/arm/brain muscle memory mechanism to get used to playing with the different orientation of guitar to body that you will encounter while playing standing.

Electric guitars are ergonomically designed with an expectation that they will need to be comfortable to play while standing. You will notice that most guitarist playing electric guitar on stage, will be standing. Most classical guitarist using a classical acoustic guitar - will perform seated.

Also, electric guitars tend to be heavy and the back of the body contoured (to make it comfortable to play while standing) - so if you don't have it perfectly balanced on your knee, you will be using muscle tension in your arms to keep it from sliding down in your lap.

I see in the picture that you are using a strap even while seated and that is good. But you might want to consider adjusting the strap and your overall body position, so that your guitar is mostly suspended from and supported by the strap. Then the position of the guitar relative to your body - will not change much (if any) when you stand to play. Once your guitar is supported by the strap and hanging in the position you would play if standing, you can raise your knee to support some of the weight just to reduce the pressure from the strap while practicing.

If you do incorporate my advice into your practice routine with an eye towards eventually being able to play your guitar while standing - you will want to be sure you have a very comfortable guitar strap. I like one that is wide at the pooint where it rests on my shoulder.

For a more detailed discussion on practicing with an electric guitar using a strap - read this on Stack Exchange. Benefits of using a strap to practice with electric guitar

Enjoy your journey!

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This sure looks like a perfectly healthy position. I'd pull the left thumb yet a bit more underneath the middle finger. (But 95% of guitarists have it actually more wrapped around the neck, which, classically speaking, is much worse than what you are doing. So, don't worry too much.)

Of course, electric guitar is rather more fun to play while standing... you should certainly get up every once in a while. But there's nothing wrong with playing seated either.

The footstool under the right leg is unusual. Classical guitarists have one for the left foot (where also the guitar rests). Try if the flamenco position works for you (right leg cross over left leg), to achieve the elevation without depending on a footrest.

Paco de Lucia flamenco position

  • Thanks for the answer. Yeah, I do try crossing my legs. It's somewhat comfortable but I do tend to get that numb tingly feeling. Also, I've noticed that when I change position, some chord changes are harder to perform. A-major to E-major for example. Do I just need to get used to it? – Rockett Jan 2 '16 at 14:38
  • Don't cross your legs too tightly. Actually, the right foot should almost be on the left knee. That's important for stability and also avoids pins and needles. – leftaroundabout Jan 2 '16 at 14:45
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    @Rockett I also sometimes use a footstool (or substitute ) under my right leg if I'm playing seated on a chair for any period of time - though more often I'm sat cross-legged on the floor! In general you shouldn't be getting used to chord changes being hard to perform, but finding the positions that make those changes easiest. Remember to move your whole left arm to make the changes and shapes as easy as possible. No one position will be perfect for everything. – topo morto Jan 2 '16 at 14:45
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Looks o.k. Couple of points to ponder. When you stand up with the guitar strapped on, it will move to the left, so will not have the curved-in part level with your right leg. Standing, if you keep the guitar at that same height, the angles of your arms will be the same as they are sitting. Good news! Slinging it lower changes all the angles you practised with while seated, although some say it looks 'cool'.

Left arm - I discourage students from keeping the elbow tight into torso. In fact, I tend to hold the neck away from my body by around 40 degrees (birds eye view), so the whole arm is free to move in any direction.

Footstool - optional, usually under left foot for classical style, but if the strap is doing its job, there's no need for that stool. One less thing to trip over!

Other point - most people put the music stand in front of them. Why? If you put it to your left, so the music and the guitar neck are both in view, it'll save you getting lost on the page, or getting your fingers on the wrong fret/string. Makes a lot of sense!

  • I sometimes attach the left end of my strap to the headstock to avoid the "moving to the left" thing - which also gives a much more stable neck position with no need to hold the guitar up with the left hand! looks a bit weird though. – topo morto Jan 2 '16 at 16:47

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