How To Hold Your Guitar

@TGFNM14
Kurt - wearing a strap is no problem at all. Go for it. Quite hte opposite, it is a good thing to adopt.
I’m struggling to get a mental picture of why your neck flies up. Are you able to take a photo or a short video to share?

I’m confused - this happens when you are wearing a strap?

Two pictures would be very helpful:

  1. How you hold it with both hands
  2. “Flying Up” when you release fretting hand
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I think I know what you describe and its something that I have encountered in the past.
Like many other older guys, the front of my abdomen can look like a small beach ball has been inserted (too much beer in my youth I guess) and balancing the guitar on top of the ball just doesn’t work, too much pressure with either the left or right arm will cause the guitar to “rock” back and forth (and not in a “rocking it out” way :frowning: ). This might be what is happening to you.
What I do to solve this is to move the guitar to the right so that back of the guitar sits more against my side than my front. That may not be exactly “according to Hoyle” but it works for me.

Cheers,
Glen

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Glen, you nailed it, that’s exactly the problem! Half beach ball. :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve tried moving the guitar to the right and back as you described but then I can’t rest my hand on the bridge for picking as taught by my teacher as the bridge is too far back and to the right, also the neck moves too far forward, too. My belly prevents placing the guitar waist on my right leg (I can hear the young guys talking trash about fat old men; young guys: give it 20-30 years and you’ll be facing the same problem :slightly_smiling_face:). The best I can do is use the strap to place the guitar high up to my chest. For a visual, I’ve found that I position the guitar pretty much same as JP Cormier sitting down. So my guitar is probably more to the left than you’re describing, Glen, but I’ll mess with it more to see if it helps doing as you are doing. Thanks!!!

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Glad to hear that you are giving it a try. Like a lot of techniques, sometimes only a subtle adjustment is enough. When I said “more against my side” I only have it where the neck of the guitar is at a 20-25 degree angle relative to my shoulders. This keeps me from pushing the neck too far out and the bridge from going too far back. As you say, mess with it a bit to see if there’s a sweet spot.

Glen

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@TGFNM14
I tried some guitar holds that essentially pinch the lower bout between the right thigh and upper right arm to hold it and doing that resulted in the flying neck syndrome you describe, in spite of my lack of a half beach ball.

My guess is that you aren’t adjusting the strap to hold it well enough, but I dislike straps.

What worked for me was to get a lift like for a classical guitar and play in the classical position with the guitar supported on the left leg by the lift. I did this before I started classical guitar and even bought a lift for my electric guitar. It is much more secure that way and the neck stays put.

Try rolling a towel up into a 4-5” wrap, secured with several rubber bands (to hold it and to keep the guitar from sliding. Put it between the waist of the guitar and your left leg and adjust it around. If that seems to be a good position for you, look into more secure lifts.

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In which case it is worth us knowing and you thinking on the type of guitar you have.
Acoustic or electric?
Body size and shape?

Old post repsonse …

Sorry @Jozsef but the pic you used to demonstrate good position is, imho, a terrible position. There is no freedom of movement of strumminng arm or wrist whatever, both will be cramped up with any sort of strumming motion. Palm muting will be impossible too.

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I stand corrected, thanks for your reply. No strap is visible on the image, so that also may have compromised the posture.

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Cheers - my gripe with it is that the elbow can’t rotate because it is behind the point of contact and behind the guitar. If the forearm is in contact the elbow needs to also be in the same plane as it and any rotation from the elbow is across the strings, not away from them.
That forearm can only move up or down not in a curved arc.

Good ideas, thank you!

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Hi Richard, I’m learning to play both acoustic and electric but the problem I’m describing is mostly with acoustic. The problem is the worst with dreads so I sold the dread and am now learning on a 000 acoustic, still having the problem but its less pronounced with the 000 as compared to the dread due to the shallower depth of the 000. For a visual, think of a straight line (guitar) tangent to a semi-circle.

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That’s an excellent bit of advice and I understand what you mean. I’ll definitely keep that in mind to avoid that issue.

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Okay so I’ve actually already completed grade one but I’m coming back to this as it isn’t getting any better

here are my 2 problems in regard to holding the guitar

  1. when my right arm rests on the guitar as Justin demonstrated (thereby supporting the guitar ) my hand is reaching the actual neck where picking should be done much lower. unless I weirdly swirl my wrist (I don’t have particularly long hands)
    what am I doing wrong?

  2. the guitar neck is shifting outward to about a 35-degree angle away from my body.
    is that normal, or what could be done to have closer alignments with my body.

Thanks!

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Hi, i have the same problems and don’t know the reason. I’m just explore some 3D & 360° hand view tutorial videos in youtube to understand better. That videos help me a lot… If you want video suggestion or link let me know, I will be happy to help you <3

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Josef, That position is completely normal, in my opinion. Look at the video on the Website for this lesson. Notice that Justin’s left shoulder is further back and his left arm projects out from his body. Justin’s body is rotated about 35 degrees counterclockwise, but he faces the camera and holds the guitar to face the camera. Look at about 2:20 on the website video and you can see the angle of the neck of the guitar away from his body. It would be nice to see a split screen early in the video showing forward and side views to show this position of the guitar.

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Hey. I have wrist pain when i play. How do you guys fix that? Any tips?

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post a picture of your typical position that generates the pain will help a lot. There is too much going on to just guess - you’d wind up with too many suggestions that wouldn’t fix it. :slight_smile:

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^^^This.

Also,…

Which part of your wrist hurts? Back or front? Pinky side or thumb side?

Fretting hand or picking hand?

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Yes… it takes time to get used to all of this stuff. I just realized that I have been gripping the neck of my guitar way too hard, trying to prevent it from falling. Now I am comfortable enough to just let it be, and I improved with my chord switches. I see that the guitar is not going to fall… beginner pains… LOL!

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