I think, it has to do with the shape of the guitar body too. I didn’t find a really comfortable position yet. The problem increases, as I have to press strings quite hard, I always have the impression, that playing requires a lot of strength. As I’m only playing for a year, I don’t have comparison to other acoustic guitars. Maybe this guitar won’t be the last acoustic I own…
Actually, I do own another guitar, but I don’t play it that often, because I like the sound of this one better.
But I would be a good idea to check the two guitars for that issue explicitely. The guitar which I use most often is not quite full size, it is 15/16, it said in the description of the guitar. The other one is full size. I will do a comparison and report the results.
Another thought. Sometimes we forget that our leg has a lot to do with how stable the guitar is. How is your chair hight?
If it is too high, your thigh slants down too much and the guitar won’t feel stable between your arm and thigh. If it is too low, the guitar can be pushed up so you can’t find a good place to rest your arm.
I did the check with my other (slightly bigger) guitar. The body of this one is also wider than the one which I normally play.
Together with @Jamolay’s tip about the height of the guitar,
If it is too low, the guitar can be pushed up so you can’t find a good place to rest your arm.
I find that it makes a difference!
I normally sit on a stool where my leg is at a 90° angle / parallel to the ground.
Because of the bigger guitar and the wider body, I made the stool a bit higher, so the angle of my leg was slightly more than 90°. Then I was able to rest my arm more comfortably on the guitar, and I found that it helps me with my issue of my hand getting in front of the sound hole.
Maybe it is also an option for you to experiment with what @Jamolay suggested?
With regard to the diving neck issue, it is less on the bigger guitar. So it really seems to be less of a position thing and more related to the guitar. So I tried a quick DIY counterweight, to see if that makes a difference:
I used a small fabric pouch, which was part of a hiking backpack and was attached to the shoulder strap there (it was probably meant for a small mobile phone or so). I filled it with a handful of big nails which I had lying around (wrapped in a tissue so the nails cannot poke trough the pouch and scratch the guitar), and then hung the pouch from the strap button of the guitar using a hairband. The weight is not perfect yet, but it definitely helped!
I will experiment a bit more with that.
I use a wooden stool, my legs are also at a 90° angle, I tried several different sitting positions and finally bought a height-adjustable footrest, which helped a lot with stability.
Maybe I should pick up your idea with the counterweight , but my biggest issue is the amount of pressure I’ve to use to play notes on the first fret (guitar was already setup by my guitar shop). My problem is more kind of a moving neck, because everytime I reduce the pressure to switch chords, the neck moves. Anyway, it’s getting better but is not comfortable yet. Maybe it’s the guitar, maybe it’s my fault. I should try out different guitars with different shapes to get an objective impression.
Hope you have a lot of fun with Justin’s course, see you soon!
I tried a method to hold the guitar that cause the same problem. The method had the lower bout on a sticky pad in the right thigh and angled guitar as you like. All stability was provided by the “pinch” as it seems, of the guitar between the thigh and the upper arm. Not only did this put the guitar so high up my should didn’t like it, it provided no stability of the neck front to back, as you experience. The guitar pivoted on the “pinch” spot, so cords were unstable.
All I can think of is to look at how and where you stabilize the guitar and find a position that doesn’t allow the guitar to pivot. Other options might be a strap, or a support device.
You may be trying to position the neck too close to the body for your position. My impression (and it is just that) is that the closer to want the head of the guitar to your body the higher it needs to be to be stable.
If you want the neck to be closer to parallel to the floor, the head needs to be more over your left knee to find the stable point. If that makes sense.
Yes, I think everyone has to find his individual position. Moving my right arm further backwards was a big improvement. I used to play with a strap for months but took it of, because it felt not good. It’s now attached to my electric, where I need it.
I have the same neck-heavy issue as you have (although mine is an electric guitar). My strap for the most part takes care of the issue: I believe it’s probably nylon, although it has a texture to it, so it tends to grip into my shoulder fairly well.
That being said though, like you, in the past I have also thought about adding a counterweight to the strap button! I mostly considered that early on before I got my strap adjusted well such that it’s fairly well-balanced now. However, even now, if I lean over to the left to grab something, the guitar neck will tend to fall and sometimes hit something, which I don’t like, so I have still thought about the idea of some kind of counterweight. Maybe I will try something like your solution that you had used!
I see a boutique business in “guitar counter weights” coming!
That’s what I thought yesterday too!