Now that you know the basic parts of a guitar we will look at how to hold an Acoustic or Electric guitar so you can start learning to play it. An armless chair always works best or you will be fighting the arms of the chair. You should be sitting comfortably with your back against the back of the chair. Don't slouch or you will end up with a sore back and develop bad habits on the guitar.

When playing a guitar sitting down, the body of the guitar will rest on one of your legs. In most styles of guitar playing the guitar will rest on the leg farthest away from the headstock. This means that a person playing a Right-Handed will rest the guitar on his/her right leg whereas someone playing a Left-Handed guitar will rest it on their left leg.

Now follow these simple steps;
  • Hold your guitar so that the back of the body comes in contact with your stomach/chest.

  • The bottom of the neck should run parallel (or horizontal) to the floor.

  • The 6th string (thickest) on the guitar should be the closest to your face, while the 1st string (thinnest) should be closest to the floor.

  • A Right-Handed person will hold the guitar so the head (also called headstock) points to the left, whereas a Left-Handed person will hold the guitar so the head points to the right.
Holding A Classical Guitar

Holding a classical guitar is completely opposite from holding an Acoustic or Electric guitar as previously described. You will still need an armless chair as well as a foot stand to raise your left foot about 6 inches. The picture below shows you how.
Adjust height of foot-stand to place the guitar as follows;
  • The Neck of guitar is at 45 angle to floor.

  • The Head of the guitar should be at approximately eye level.

  • Your forearm horizontal to the floor when the fingers and thumb are placed on strings.

These are the steps to position yourself correctly;
  • Place a foot-stand on the floor about six inches in front of the left front chair leg so that it lines up with it and the right rear chair leg. The height of the foot- stand can vary generally between from four and eight inches--even higher, if necessary, according to your size.

  • Sit on the forward part of the chair and place your left foot on the foot-stand so that your foot and the left leg line up with the left front and right rear chair legs, as aligned above. In order to do this properly you will have to sit forward and a little to the left. Sitting in this manner allows you to drop thigh down to support the guitar.

  • Fit the waist of the guitar over the left thigh. Place the right leg back, thigh down, so that it is supported by the toes and ball of the foot. A perpendicular drawn through the long axis of each foot will form about a 350 angle.

  • You should lean forward slightly so that the edge of the guitar rests against your right chest.

  • Your shoulders should be relaxed and on an even horizontal plane with your torso turned slightly toward the left knee.

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