Did I Buy The Wrong Guitar

Aaaaaarrrrrrraaaaaaggggghhhhhhh !!!
Guys i bought a acoustic guitar as thought it would be easier to learn on but if I hold the guitar as I should, I find it really hard to see my fretting hand without leaning the guitar more towards me. Then my whole positioning is wrong and my hands are wrong. Should I have bought an electric as no big a body to see over ? I’m getting so frustrated and it’s really early on. I want to learn but at the moment I’m doing everything wrong and getting angry and upset with myself. Please help me.
Even my changes from A to D are getting worse. This is not a good start.

First try playing in front of a mirror, it’s not a good idea to keep looking at the fretboard, too much looking an you become reliant on it.


Just follow what the course tells you to do. I personally chose an electric thanks to the recommendation and the posture wasn’t too bad with it. However I remember Justin guiding you how to sit with an acoustic as well.
I have seen people (in person) well into the intermediate category placing the acoustic at a slight angle to have a better view and them playing very well so I suggest not thinking too much into it at this point.


What kind of guitar did you buy? Some of the acoustic-electric type are not so huge to wrap your arm around. Old school full body acoustics can be awkward. This is the one I normally play, not super expensive, comfortable, and sound quality is great.

I know its difficult, but try to avoid tipping your guitar in order to see. That can be a habit hard to break further down. Practise perfect chord changes in a slow pace. Then try to get used too do that without have to watch your fretting hand. And it will all come together one day.


Stick with it bud, just takes time.

Although the electric has less tension in the strings and is ‘easier’ to learn, the acoustic (in general) will have a wider neck which gives more space for the fingers, which makes getting the chords clean ‘easier’.

Swings and roundabouts, I wouldn’t rush out and buy another guitar just yet….

+ takes 2 seconds to pick up acoustic and start playing, a big thing for me motivation wise in early days….


There have been several threads about how to hold a guitar. It isn’t the same for everyone.

This video helped me a lot. But mostly, it is important to keep the guitar from tilting (much). If it is tilted in a way that makes it easier to see, it becomes much harder to strum and finger cords. That sounds like where you are having trouble.

Keep adjusting so it is comfortable. There are a ton of new and old guitarist who have sorted it out, so can you. Don’t let it get the better of you!

Can’t figure out why I can imbed the video….

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Some additional tips…

Make sure you are using a good chair. I find that a plain wooden kitchen chair with a thin pad works best for me. Playing on a sofa or the edge of a bed is almost always a bad idea, until you get more experience. Ditto if your chair is too low for your height - your knees should not be above your hips. Conversely, a chair that’s a little too high is not so bad, IME.

The best advice I got (in one of my earlier failed attempts, but it stuck with me) is to play with a strap, even when sitting down.

You can focus just on what your hands are doing, without supporting the guitar and worrying that it’s going to slip out of your lap. You can get it up off your lap if that is more comfortable (it certainly is for me).

Personally, I find the classical position…where the neck is at about a 45 degree angle, and your fretting hand is nearly at eye level…provides both good visibility with a slight tilt, and the greatest ease and lowest tension. Experimented with footstools, but prefer a strap. It’s weird, but it works for me.

Ultimately, the wrong guitar is the one you don’t want to,play. If you try all of this (conflicting, I know) advice, and it doesn’t start to feel more comfortable, I would definitely look at another guitar.

And note that electrics have huge variations too. I wasted a year of my life with an Epiphone Les Paul, until I tried my friend’s Stratocaster, which was dramatically easier to play…for me. But iI had a coworker who had the exact opposite experience…for him, Les Pauls were much more comfortable than Strats.

You have to find what works for you.

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I have an acoustic at the ready all the time. Almost everything I play gets fleshed out a little bit on an acoustic first and foremost. Keeping it out and ready to play will assure that you play throughout the day. Stay the course.


I have one of these and I like it…a lot! But for me, the “folk” style that Justin teaches feels uncomfortable.

When I put the waist over my right leg, my strumming hand ends up over the fretboard, not the sound hole. And I feel like I have to bend the wrist of my fretting hand more than is comfortable. Prefer a more classical position with a strap, as I mentioned in another post.

Are you using the same approach that Justin teaches?

Yes, I use the technique Justin teaches. It could be your anatomy too since we are all a little different in size. If you want to see me playing this guitar changing from G-D-C etc. check out the video I posted today under record yourself, playing this exact guitar.

My technique is far from perfect. I hope this helps.


Oops I see where the folk finger style lesson is now level 5. I should have looked first before replying. I am still a “yellow belt” finishing grade 2. I am not the best with finger picking yet. Hopefully someone more advanced can help. At a glance though it seems like my hand would be in the right place to use that style.

Hello all

Firstly can I say a massive thanks for all the advice and many words of encouragement at this time. Oh and the video was a great help thanks.

I didn’t spend much on my guitar. One because my budget is very tight and two don’t want to spend too much until I feel a point of getting somewhere then invest in more stuff.

I’m trying to just use Justin as my guide as in the early stages and it would be so easy to go off here there and everywhere. So I hold the guitar as he advised but obviously I will definitely look into how I sit and where I sit.

I feel for me this could be a long learning curve. As I’m already coming at it with quite a big negative head space but that’s just me. I’m hoping learning the guitar will give me more focus and a purpose. Which I very much need.

Anyway again thank you all.

I’m not giving up it just all seems so far away.

Take care all and enjoy your musical road.

Chat soon. :guitar:

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Keep at it Stephen. You are in this for the «long run»
There is no such thing as long learning curve.its an never ending curve.
We all learn all the time no matter how long you have played, we are just on different stages in this journey.
Be patient. Go slow is far better than fast.

Then one day you will see that these little small things just «clicks»
Just dont stress this, it all takes time.
Playing guitar is actually pretty darn difficult :grin: be pround of the small steps you take :+1:


Hey Stephen, it’s not only for you, it is a long learning curve. And the more you learn, the more you realize there’s so much to learn that you didn’t even know :rofl:
Just don’t freak out, forgive yourself and practice slowly.

Like Justin says, if playing guitar was easy, everybody would do it.


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What guitar did you buy? Some of the very cheap acoustics are almost impossible to play.

Justin had a video on this here: £32 Acoustic Guitar vs my $7500 Froggy | JustinGuitar.com. Even the man himself struggled with the ultra cheapie.

There are a few good cheap acoustic brands. Yamaha being one. I started on a F310, cheapest Yammie you can get. It was fine for open chords but hard for barre chords.

Also not mentioned much is string gauge. Putting on lighter strings can help, most acoustics come with 12 gauge and the switch to 11 gauge makes playing much easier.

Totally agree with others that playing guitar is hard to learn. Don’t make it harder on yourself than it needs to be.

Yes in general electrics are easier to play. But depends what acoustic you have?

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I have a Donner DAG-1CB it’s the model with the cutaway. £110. Got good reviews compared to cost. I’ve actually had another go slightly changing my holding and sitting style seems to work better.

Like I say in time I’ll invest more money into it but it was more important for my head space and depression that I get started now before I have another bad low.

Steve :guitar:


I don’t know the model personally, perhaps others do. Of course sitting and holding is going to be similar with most acoustics, it’s the playability that changes.

Good on you for persevering. Learning guitar is a bit like exercise… make sure you pick it up every day whether you feel like it or not and you will see progress. And if you’re anything like me, as soon as the guitar is in your hands it’s hard to put down.

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With my untrained ear it seems to have a nice tone. Very clear sound. When I do hit the chords well it has a nice sound. I’m heavy into country music so looking forward to playing country on it in time to come.