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I have an electric guitar and I really would like to practice playing standing for two reasons:

  1. I live in a small apartment and do not want to buy a stool, which would take up space.

  2. I would like to take advantages of the points mentioned in this thread What are the benefits of practicing standing up (guitar)?

I have been playing for 2-3 months now, and I practice mostly on my chair or couch, although at my guitar class I would use a stool and it is very comfortable.

My primary question is, as a beginner, will playing/practising while standing inculcate any wrong or bad habits in terms of posture and playing style that will impede my progress and render certain guitar-playing skills impossible to achieve.

  • The points in the answer you linked to seems to answer your question. What else are you looking for exactly? – b3ko Mar 30 at 3:26
  • I was looking for specific shortcomings one would have in their skill if guitar playing was practiced completely standing from the beginning. – Surya Vajjhala Mar 30 at 4:49
  • I also wanted to stand when playing electric guitar. I wanted to look cool. But if you don't have the right disposition of armlength and mobility of fingers and wrist you can really acquire bad habits. (I still don't look cool!) – Albrecht Hügli Mar 30 at 10:43
  • Just keep the strap short and the guitar high. Sling it around your knees and, cool as it looks, your technique will suffer. – PeterJ Mar 30 at 13:11
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When seated, the guitar will always be on one thigh or the other. Standing, it moves across centrally. So you'll either be stretching your fretting arm or squashing it while sitting.

The other issue is while sitting, the guitar will be higher up on your body compared to its position when you stand. Unless - you strap it higher, so its height is constant between the two positions. This has been a major problem for those who do all their practice seated, then stand to play, with a lower slung guitar. The wrist in particular suffers.

Certainly stand. if you sing as well, it's a better position. But decide how high your guitar is, comfortably, round your neck. For me, the higher the better - it's actually the same sitting or standing.

There's also the issue of how high the chair is if playing seated. With a stool, using a guitar strap, is probably the best, as it doesn't actually rely on a knee to rest on, which is good for all except classical players. Who don't use a strap anyway. They don't like stools!

Then there's the issue of where to put the music stand. In front is the usual, but try it where the guitar neck and music can be seen simultaneously. We all check the neck, so instead of appearing to be watching a game of tennis, give it a try.

  • I always adjust the guitar strap to a length that, when sitting, the body juuuuuuuuuust touches the thigh, and wear the strap also sitting down (when playing electric). Makes for a straightforward way to have the same height always. – Willem van Rumpt Mar 30 at 11:49
  • @WillemvanRumpt - exactly what I've done for 50+ yrs! Not so easy with 335s - I'm not very tall, and they're not easy for me sitting down. Most others are fine, though. – Tim Mar 30 at 12:21
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I think the only problems you are likely to have would be caused by the guitar not being held in a good position by the strap. The biggest ones to look out for would be

  • Letting the guitar hang too low, which can make it hard to hold some chord shapes, and even damage your left wrist
  • Using a combination of guitar and strap that allows the neck of the guitar to 'dive'. You need the neck of the guitar to stay at the angle you want without needing to hold it up with your left hand (your left hand and arm should only be concerned with finding the best position for fretting the notes).

Of course, these are problems you would have to solve were you ever to perform standing up anyway. I'd definitely second Rockin Cowboy's recommendations to play standing up. One advantage that I'm not sure he mentioned is that if you're not playing from a musical score, there can be a temptation to look at what your left hand is doing rather than to play by 'feel' - but that's a bad thing. Playing standing up reduces this temptation!

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I always advocate that student guitar players practice standing up. Strap the guitar on, and wear it centered above your navel, not down by your pelvis.

It frees your arms (elbows and wrists) to comfortably phrase chords and lead-runs.

And it prepares you for live band performances, where you will be expected to playing standing up to the mic stand.

Just my two cents worth. If you want to play gigs, practice for playing live gigs.

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It depends on the position and thickness of the guitar.

If a standard thickness acoustic it's harder to lean forward to observe your hand as well as the reach is compromised.

You should learn sitting and practice to play well standing. (Ever see a classical guitarist standing?)

Look at Roy Clark and George Benson and Steve Howe... they play a thicker guitar up high to make the reach easier.

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