How To Properly Hold the Guitar

A guitar can be an easy and fun instrument to play.  Start by learning the correct method of handling the instrument.  Here’s how:

Your body and posture:

You must be comfortably seated, resting your back adjacent to the backrest of your chair making sure that your legs are in front and feet flat to the ground. This position is now your “footing” or support that your guitar is going to rest upon.

Picking up the guitar, held it close to your chest or stomach ensuring that the back of the guitar’s body touches your chest and the neck’s bottom is parallel to the ground.

The guitars thickest string must be directed close to the face and the thinnest string must be directed close to the ground.

Generally, a right-handed individual holds the guitar in such manner so that the “headstock” is pointing towards the left, while a left-handed individual holds the guitar in such manner that the headstock is pointing rightwards.

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To play the guitar in a seated position, the guitar’s body should be resting on either one of your thighs. In most guitar playing approach, the instrument should be resting upon a leg that is farthest from “the headstock”. Meaning, a right handed individual handling a guitar will naturally rest the instrument on his right leg, and a lefty will rest the instrument on his left leg.

Your right arm and hand:

Using the correct hand position is crucial in guitar playing. You will face many problems should your hand be in the incorrect position; your hands will easily tire, it will be difficult to for you to play particular chords and you could even hurt or injure your hand when you continue playing in the wrong hand position.

The right hand will be used to “strum” the guitar’s strings in order to produce the varying chord sounds. Rest your right hand and arm over your guitar. The bicep must rest on the topmost part of the guitar’s body and the hand must be properly placed directly on top of your guitar’s sound hole (where sound will be produced).  Attune your body as needed, so that your position is comfortable.

A left handed individual, have two alternatives. The first of which is to purchase a guitar that is right-handed then re-string it (reversing the sequence of the guitar’s string), and the other option is to purchase a guitar that is left-handed.

Give focus to your “fretting hand” or the hand that is near the guitar’s neck, when seated in proper guitar position. Your fretting hand’s thumb must be resting at the back of the guitar’s neck, having your fingers positioned in a slight curled manner, balanced on top of the strings. Keeping these particular fingers at a slight curl at your knuckles is very important.

Your fingers:

Your fingers at your left hand should be bent as well as it should be pressed down onto the guitar’s strings that are located on the “fret board”. The neck’s back should be curved, in order that the hand is molded into the neck’s shape.

Remember that it is alright for you to press or push the thumb at the back of the neck when creating your chords, though this is common when one is “playing scales”. Sample out or test certain thumb positions so you will know which one you are most comfortable with.

Do not worry too much about the strings that the fingers in your left hand are pushing down at this time; as still, you are just in the process of acquainting yourself with your instrument.

Never worry too, when you can not play a good tune at this early stage.  There are still many things to be learned, many stages to go through and practices to do, in order for you to get the right tunes and the right notes to play.  You are just beginning, so be patient.

The important factor here, is that you can comfortably hold the guitar, being at ease with it, then the rest of techniques still to be learned will just automatically flow, at your fingertips!

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