Body Posture and Finger Placement by February 25, 2016 0 comments

Body posture and finger placement is crucial for all beginners to know. I have seen many experienced guitarists who have been playing for over a few months and still don’t hold the guitar properly which tends to cause extreme discomfort and ultimately results in a bad performance. So, avoid back and arm issues and learn how to correctly hold the guitar and place your fingers as they will help you to play well. Here, I am going to talk about how beginners should hold the guitar and place their fingers appropriately.


The Classical Posture

If you are looking to play classical guitar, you need to have the classic posture for it. Rest the guitar on the same leg as your hand that is fretting. If you can’t do this, then play normal and just put the guitar on the same leg as that of your hand that is strumming. So the left handed guitarists should put the guitar on the left leg while the right handed guitarists should put it on the right. This is the better way of playing the guitar in the classical way. It is weird that many guitarists who are professional performers tend to come and perform with this posture while playing other genres. Some really good ones too have made the posture mistake.


Raised and Cross Leg Posture

The electric guitar can be held in a much more comfortable and cosier way if you hold it tight raising your leg a little. You can do so by resting your leg on the toe, not the heel. To avoid getting tired, rest the heel against the chair leg. It is not really compulsory to do so and there is no hard and fast rule for it but as I find it more comfortable, I recommend it to all.

The other way of doing it would be to cross your legs, putting the right one on the left. Making a V shape with your hips, you can easily hold the electric guitar now and comfortably play it as long as you want.


Using the Strap

The strap is very important for you if you are playing standing up. So set your strap to let the guitar be on the appropriate height- the same height as it is when you are sitting. This makes it more comfortable. If you want to let the strap go down, the height of the guitar from the floor will decrease – looks fashionable but requires a lot of practice (not recommended).



The posture that you are choosing should be stable. You need to be sure that the neck of the guitar is kept still and that your fretting hand is not at all supporting the neck in any manner. The wobbling neck issue can make it really hard for you to practice as you might not get the finger placement right which ultimately makes the whole practice time gone waste.


Relax your shoulders, arms

The biggest mistake that the people make while trying to practice guitar is getting the shoulders and arms tensed, not paying attention to what their body is experiencing. Guitar practicing is like a workout indeed but no matter what anyone might say, you can’t do it well unless your body is relaxed. So relax yourself to the maximum extent and let the neck, arm and shoulder feel no strain. After all, it is better to enjoy practice in the right manner than to start visiting the chiropractor.


Fretting Position

So here comes one of the most important part of the placement and posture lesson- the fretting position. As a beginner, you might be getting sore fingers and wearing out skin on the tip of fingers and let me tell you- this is all okay and acceptable because every guitarists begins the journey this way. So in order to get the note loud, clear and better in the very first go, try pressing the with your finger near the fret and not away from it because as you move away from it, you need to apply more pressure to get the note right.

Don’t press too hard as it is not only going to hurt you, but also make a very horrible sound and try not to press on the fret line.


Use the Mirror

If you have trouble looking at the hands or towards the body of the guitar, use the mirror and get the posture done rightly in the best possible manner.


Thumb Placement

The thumb placement of your fretting hand is very important. This is going to determine how well you press and play notes and the chords as well. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate player, always check your thumb placement.

The thumb should be placed flat out behind the neck of the guitar which would allow your other four fingers to easily come from below the fret to cover all strings on the fret board. Be it a note or a bar chord, this thumb placement makes it easy. Free thumb not placed behind the neck can always cause troubles in progressions that involve speed.


The Strumming Hand

The strumming hand of the guitar should never be on the fret board unless it is a technique being tried. Be it electric or acoustic, your strumming hand should always be just above the saddle on the body. In acoustic guitar, try to keep your little finger of the strumming hand over the plectrum (pick) guard and then strum for notes. Of course, this is not be tried for chords.

The best of guitarists still hold it wrong. Keep yourself in check and make your guitar learning experience easy and better.


Thumb Placement

Try and keep the thumb positioned behind the neck when you start. Later on you will probably bring it over to play particular chords, bass notes and all sorts of other tricks, but as a beginner, keep it behind the neck and it will help develop the muscles that you will need to play barre chords.

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