Out of control guitar neck

When changing chords the neck won’t stay in place. This is hindering my progress and I don’t know how to keep it under control

What type of guitar? Do you use a guitar strap?

out of control how? is it neck diving or sliding on your lap or…?

Might be worth reviewing this lesson


Your guitar neck shouldnt be moving so yeah check out the how to hold your guitar.

It doesnt actually matter long term because you can move around a lot and your fretting hand should be anchored relative to the neck but thats later.

Holding a guitar feels weird at first.

Hi David, are you talking about when playing seated or standing first and foremost? Then it’d be good to understand how it’s moving.

I’m always seated with no guitar strap. Maybe I’m pressing too hard on the strings. I primarily use a strat but occasionally I use an acoustic. I’ve been at this for over a year.

what is the neck doing? what direction is it moving? what is your fretting hand doing when the neck moves?

We are trying to get some idea of the problem. without a good idea of what is going on, you will get only a myriad of guesses.

When I let go of the neck to change chords it kinda moves outward away from me. Then grab the next chord

A strap will help with that even when sitting.
Also, think about how you are sitting. Is the body supported and can rest on your leg without the neck falling? You should be resting your picking hand’s forearm on the body to help with that.


It is easier with a strap, just long enough to take some of the weight but not all

It might be worth reviewing how/where you are holding your guitar body in relation to your own body. Your comment:

reminded me of a recent experience. Someone asked why that I was holding my guitar angled to my side, rather than in front of my body. (I’d been looking at pictures on the internet, and thought I had it right!) If you are also holding the guitar to your side, it’s possible you’re pulling back on the neck when fretting (and possibly fretting too hard - I do that as well). Then when you let go, the neck swings out to the front. Anyway, just a thought!

That lesson Toby says is the goods.

You need to pin the guitar to your body with your strumming arm.


In my opinion you should “hold” the guitar in a manner which allows you to take your hands completely away from the guitar and the guitar doesn’t move. (Obviously you’d need a strap to do this when standing, and it doesn’t hurt to use a strap when seated, too.)


Your strumming arm should be locking the guitar against your body so it does not move. The lesson i posted shows how to do this. Justin explains the slight difference between holding either acoustic or electric.

The guitar should also be angled from the hip on the strumming side, to mid thigh/knee on the fretting side. You should not be pulling back when fretting.

If the guitar is flat across your body the neck will likely move away when you change chords, as the strumming arm will naturally be puling it to the position above.

Have you watched the video?


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I agree with this.

There’s tremendous variation in possible ways you can sit and hold a guitar, depending on the player’s and the guitar’s relative proportions.

In addition to Justin’s lesson, see also:

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Are you referring to Justin’s video? No but I will. Thanks

I’ve been using a strat lately but also use an acoustic

Yes the Grade 1 Module 0 Before You Begin, for starters it tells you how to hold your guitar. Its part of the lesson series on what you need to know before you start playing.

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