Stand Up Lesson on JustinGuitar

What's so hard about playing the guitar standing up? Learn why and 10 tips to help you stand up and play!


View the full lesson at Stand Up | JustinGuitar

After two years I’m still discouraged from standing up. It should be a motivator to lose weight I suppose simply because my big ole gut pushes my fretboard into the next time zone and if I can’t see the strings I can’t chord. I’m very comfortable with my basic chords and of course power chords but I have to SEE where I’m going! How on earth is this overcome?? I’ve seen people close their eyes and play so I’m not the victim here of a big fat belly I’m just frustrated! Lol. Is it REALLY going to take hours and hours of fingering and with different necks having different string spacings etc, just HOW!

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Hello @nubonguitar and welcome to the community. I can only imagine what you describe. Perhaps try some of these.
Consciously tilt the angle to point up at a greater angle so the headstock and first few frets come up towards your chest / shoulder area more
Twist the guitar body around towards the side of your body you strum with (right?) so the neck sticks a little more forward of you.
Check how ‘large’ players do it (B.B. King for example).

Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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So initially I started playing standing up to help relieve some wrist pain, and now I can’t play any other way. That angled classical position is so much easier to play on now that I’m used to it

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After over a year’s playing sitting I decided to stand up to see if it makes a difference. I wish I’d done it earlier. All my wrist issues and finger stretching, bad palm muting gone. Now I just need to relearn hitting the right strings :slight_smile:

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I’ve been standing since I hurt the shoulder of my picking arm soon after I started playing and needed the guitar to sit lower than my lap. Shoulder is fine now, but standing is just more comfortable and it has seemed to have forced me to rely more on feel than sight with my fretting hand. Don’t be afraid to give it a shot!

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I Agree with you guys many struggles can simply disappear in the standing position, I feel both positions have a pluses and minuses, I will try to keep in mind throught my jurney to use the both positions, so I can get the best of everything and have the variety.

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After 2 1/2 yrs of sitting I’m getting on my feet some.
Just bought a nice 3" genuine leather strap and put a
strap button in the neck so I now have more incentive to stand.
But its going to take some time , can no longer see much
of where my fretting fingers are going (Acoustic guitar) or which string my pick is hitting.

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Started standing up and fretting feels a little easier and forces me not to hunch over the strings.

However, when I strum, especially on faster/louder pieces my strimming hand catches either the volume knob or the pickup blade switch . I don’t angle the neck very much upwards - what I HAVE noticed is that I’m now strumming in between the two pickups, whereas when I am sat down I seem to strum over the neck pickup or even slightly higher up than that.

Any tips on how NOT to turn my volume up/down when playing standing? Or is it just like most things - practice practice practice?

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It is just practice Dave. I used to catch my pickup selector when I first got my electric (had only been acoustic) and it took me a few weeks to get out of the habit.

Retrain the brain.

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Thought it might be :slight_smile:
Did you (naturally) change angle of strumming to be more “vertical” as I find mine is a bit “curved”?

Thank you :slight_smile:

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I didn’t change the angle of my strum, I just moved my hand a little closer to the neck.

Of course on an electric there is no sound hole but I was still playing it like it had one, so my hand was further towards the bridge.

Now though I switch easily between the two guitars without catching the pickup selector. :+1:

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Thank you :smiley:

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I’m going to try playing in front of a mirror (Justin recommends this is in one of his quick-tip videos). I bought four cheap 30cm mirror tiles at IKEA and will stick them to a 60cm square sheet of MDF.

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I would encourage beginning players to get a high-quality non-slip strap (e.g., suede) and use it all the time, even when sitting. Adjust the strap to get the body and neck position in the right places for your anatomy so that you can sit with good posture and minimal muscle strain. Then when you stand up, the guitar will be “sitting” right where it always is. If your guitar is heavy, you might have to build up your upper back strength a bit, but it will come the same way as the thumb strength is coming along on your fretting hand.

This advice doesn’t help if you want to have the guitar at your knees when you’re standing up, but well…

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Its been a few months now since I started standing up with the acoustic and its slowly getting easier.
A couple things to adjust to with acoustic is the body and neck are vertical standing up whereas sitting down you can tilt the body toward you making it easier to see the fretboard for chord changes and strings for picking and strumming.
Another thing with the guitar being vertical is it seems to sound different probably because the soundhole is directed away from me more. As previously stated above, practice makes perfect…eventually.

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Well I had this week my first experience of playing standing up over a prolong period of time.
Let me explain I played at my first gig at the guitar club Christmas concert but I played sitting down. We have started practicing for the summer concert and I was determined to stand up. I have had a go at home but only for short periods of time, possibly about 5 mins.
But on Wednesday it lasted about an hour and half while we went through and practiced some of the songs. I was concerned as I have an old sports injury from playing squash more than 40 years ago that troubles me sometimes when I stand up for a long time but fortunately there was no real issue.
So what did I learn, well I had followed Justin’s advice and had the strap so the height of the guitar was the same as when I am sitting down. However I felt playing open chords my arm was extended more than when sitting down, something I need to study more. We are doing blues and country songs so generally the chords were easy and I knew I could finger them without looking which you can’t really do standing up. However one song had F barre chord, which haven’t really mastered sitting down, I can finger it but making all the notes ring out doesn’t always happen, however I wasn’t much worse standing up which was a surprise.
The one thing I need to think more about is keeping time, I am trying to tap my heel when sitting down but that didn’t work very well so I started to tap my toes.
Thought I would just set down my experience and see how it might compare to others

Michael

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Dean @woodroe
The guitar sounding different when standing up is something I have noticed as well.
Michael

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I’m returning after I hiatus, so I have some experience playing standing up. While sitting down, I’ve noticed that I prefer playing with my guitar resting on my left leg. Is there any problem with preferring this stance vs the traditional right leg?

wasn’t quite sure where to put this so I’m droppin it here

i know Justin does all his lessons sitting down (so far) and I was curious about who’s practicing sitting down versus standing up??

I’ve been mostly sitting down but i’m trying some standing up as well. does anyone have a preference? are there benefits to one over the other??