As easy as it may seem to figure out how to hold a guitar, it’s usually only a matter of time before we start developing bad habits that pull us away from that natural guitar holding position. Now, I should confess that I’ve been guilty of every one of these mistakes at some point or another, so if any of these sound familiar to you, don’t worry too much about it. None of these things are un-fixable. So with that said, here are four things that you should try to avoid while holding a guitar:
Trying To Play When Your Guitar Slides Down Your Lap
This seems kind of silly to talk about, but I do see people trying to play when their guitar falls down. This can be pretty counter-productive because your wrists, hands, and fingers, are all in such a bad angle that it’s hard to hit the notes you’re trying to get to. It’s really just enforcing bad habits to your body, and on top of that, it’s not even comfortable! If your guitar starts to slip down, just pick it back up really quick and keep going.
This is STILL my own number one problem that I face. I started out years ago playing with no guidance or advice from a teacher telling me to sit up straight. As a result, I’ve developed some majorly bad posture from watching my fingers in action as I was playing. Take it from me, if you notice yourself hunching over while playing, stop and adjust your posture. It’s such a bad habit to try and break out of later on.
Laying Down While You Play
This is another one that might seem silly to talk about, but it’s also another one of those not-so-productive, and really uncomfortable ways to play. I know it can be really tempting sometimes to grab a guitar while you’re relaxing in bed or on a couch, but it’s a position that over time can produce some bad issues just like we talked about before in your wrist, hands, and fingers. You shouldn’t be feeling pain while playing, no matter how comfortable the rest of your body is.
Playing Standing Up With Your Strap Too Low
However cool it may look, this last position not only makes it harder to play, but again, can cause some wrist and back discomfort. You may have to spend some time adjusting your strap to be in a good playing position, but just remember that the easier it is to play and get to the notes you’re trying to hit, the better. What a concept, right? It seems pretty obvious but we’ve all seen people with their guitars hanging low enough to touch the floor. Definitely not the most efficient way of playing.
Some Things To Remember
Well, I hope this short list of positions to avoid while playing helps shed some light some areas that I’ve had to learn the hard way over many years, and continue to work on as a result of not knowing any better. A good rule of thumb is to always make sure your hands, wrists, fingers, and back are always comfortable. As long as you aren’t feeling strain on any of those areas, you’re probably good to go.
How about you? Have you ever, or are you currently doing any of these? I’ve thrown out just a few bad ways of holding a guitar that can cause strain, but surely there are more. Let me know if you can think of any more. We’re all in this together.