Guitar position issues

Hi … done a long term no no. been playing for 15 months, just finished Justin.s Beginner Course - book version. I play my electric and acoustic with an angle of approx 25/30 degrees, not horizontal,my guitar more in the gap btwn my legs, resting on my left leg- a kind of half way classical style I.m redoing the new Beginners Course trying to keep my guitar horizontal but I.m finding it really awkward. What angle should my guitar be AWAY from my body …in the other plane? I cant see the fretboard v well without craning and it seems v weird at the mo. Am i doing the right thing changing? I always play with strap around my neck, even when sitting. Any thoughts appreciated. Grrr…

Everything at the beginning feels awkward but I would definitely try to keep standard position rather then classical. With a little experimentation you can see what is happening on the fretboard. Playing with strap helps to lock guitar in place while you sitting, you can later drop it if you play most of the time sitting. The way you hold the guitar should be adjusted to your personal preferences once you get more confidence, although you should use standard position as a starting point. Try to play standing position as well.

Hope it helps, if not I’m sure more experienced members will give you more advice :slight_smile:.

Cheers … appreciated.

I would respectfully disagree with @RadekSiechowicz
Lots of guitarist use classical or semi-classical position.

If that is what is comfortable do some research on various aspects of classical and other guitar positions and just make sure your ergonomics are adequate to avoid injury.

I have moved to this type of positioning posted in another thread on this forum:

Much more comfortable for me. I got some gel phone dashboard pads and stick one on the side of my guitar to hold the position.

The most important thing is to be comfortable and able to play with out causing long term injury.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I haven’t been able to manage this position on an electric without a strap. The weight distribution is wrong.

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Hey mate.
Firstly, try not to stress too much about it.
Many players, me included, angle the neck slightly upwards. Its just more comfortable, and one benefit is it makes fretting at the lower frets easier. Theres no rule that says the neck has to be horizontal. I also point the guitar away from me slightly, as it just feels right. The benefit also is it gives your fretting arm more space, and reduces the risk of bending your wrist.
As for which leg to put your guitar on, I would suggest trying it on your right leg, and see how you go. I think its a better position when your developing your strumming techniques, palm muting etc, but other more experienced folk here may have some other ideas.
Cheers, Shane.

Well, yes, I can’t and don’t want to deny it. Ulli Boegershausen often plays with classical guitar triangle support in classical position while playing steel string acoustic. But Mark said he plays both guitars this way. I don’t know many electric guitarists playing while sitting in classical position. But in the same time, you can find on TikTok people playing guitar perfectly fine being upside down or with legs behind their necks :wink:.

Leg support could help here, I have one and alternate between it and cross legged position.

I agree, the electric is difficult to hold in this position when seated. The weight is poorly balanced and when I have tried it, I need the electric neck almost vertical.

But a strap can hold it with the neck up at a better angle standing or sitting.

I have a friend who plays metal sitting in a more classical position. He is partial to V shaped guitars as he can brace the V against him right leg.

There is also a product for both electric and acoustic called “Neck up”. But I want to keep things as simple as possible.

I play my acoustic guitars pretty much always sitting, and I removed the straps for that reason; they somehow felt “in my way”.

I tried that classical position a few times for kicks, but I found that unless I kind of turned my torso to the left, the fretboard was just too far away from me and I had to stretch my arms more than usually.

What I found myself doing is either to sit on a stool with a footrest or cross my right leg over the left so that the guitar is at an appropriate height for me and that the fretboard is in my reach.

As for the neck being totally horizontal or at a degree, that mostly depends on how I feel at the moment. When I practice something that needs more accuracy, like a fingerpicking pattern, I tend to hold the neck at an angle.

Great help …cheers fella. Interesting!

Wish I could sit cross legged!

Fantastic video …really helpful. clearly got a hybrid position. Might stick with it unless someone gives me a solid reason not too. Doesnt look as cool …I know that!

One of the issue with video lessons, is they produced in the best possible way for the student to see how things are played. As such the guitar is not necessarily in the optimum position for playing. Ideally regardless of what leg you’re using, get your neck up, to around the level of your bicep or shoulder. This will take a lot of strain off your wrist and make barre chords easier.

If your sitting down and resting the guitar on your right leg, the neck should run at an angle to your left knee and not horizontal the body. That create a relaxed fretting elbow, hanging naturally from the shoulder. If the guitar is horizontal you will pull your elbow back and create shoulder tension. Try sitting down and let your left arm drop naturally to the floor. Now bend your elbow up so your forearm is at 90 degrees. hand palm up. Your hand will be just above your left knee in a very natural position.

If you’re a left knee-er the important thing is to raise the neck up and find a balance position.

Example pics to follow once I find where I put them !


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OK could find the stills of Nili Brosh sitting so you’ll just have to put up with her playing but check her position while seated.

And here’s a few folk that may know what they are doing. Neck Up.

Angus Young

robin trower
rory gallagher

One thing I did that has helped me is to fret the full F barre in the first position and then maneuver the guitar, while holding it, into a place where my fretting hand is the most comfortable.

Then I find a workable compromise towards that position where I can reasonable maintain stability and play.

The “pseudo-classical” position in the video I posted (originally posted by another forum member to while I would like to give credit if I could remember) was closest.

I found myself in exactly the same situation. I started with what felt comfortable about 18 months ago, which turned out to be my left leg, with the neck angled upwards. However this made me twist my torso to the left, and a couple of months ago I started to get a cramp-like muscular problem somewhere inside, between my front and back, that I couldn’t exactly pinpoint. I decided to try and switch legs in case it was the twisting causing it. Switching legs was surprisingly easy, and felt natural in about a week, however… I now have a different problem instead! I find my fretting hand position has changed to suit the new guitar position, such that I frequently mute the high e string with the edge of my hand, which I never did before :roll_eyes: So now I am working to try and correct that, but at least my mystery internal muscular problem has got better! I suppose this is one of the disadvantages of learning completely from videos - no correctional feedback from a face-to-face teacher.

Cheers Madman …good to see!

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Sounds a good idea. I cant move my f chord past the 7th fret …gets way to cramped …even tried a new hand position for 7 onwards.

Toady, I have an Ibanez Art120qc guitar …the lead comes out of the bottom right of the body. If I put the connection point just to the right of my right thigh midline, I seem to get the best position , for me anyway. It also gives me a constant kinda anchor point. My strap keeps my guitar neck a tad higher than the seated lady is playing in the vid posted. Good to watch.

I took a classical course for a while but gave up because everything has to be so precise, and that’s not me. However I stuck with the guitar position using a Sagework support. One reason I am really enjoying Justin Guitar is because he says to do what feels right, listen to what is right for you. I tried going back to a more straight position but it was clear that the classical positions works for me really well, so I’m not going to sweat it. Try different positions and see what is most comfortable for you.