Holding the Guitar

This is a recap and extension of something we covered a little in Lesson 1, something I’ve noticed with beginners so often that it bears repeating - they try to hold the guitar neck up with their fretting hand. It might sound reasonable, but you definitely don’t want to be getting into this habit early on! In fact, the hand holding the chords down has nothing to do with holding the guitar neck up AT ALL. The guitar should be stable whether your fretting hand is on the guitar or not.

It really all comes down to your strumming hand, or rather in this case, your strumming arm.

First off, the cutaway of the guitar is designed to rest easily on your leg. From there, you might notice that your guitar is either neck-heavy (like some Gibson Les Pauls) or body heavy (like some Telecasters), which can cause the neck to either droop down or shoot straight up. Neither of these is ideal but with the correct pressure, you should be able to handle it. Flying V guitars... well for that kind of thing, you need to invest in a good strap - they're not really the style of guitar I'd recommend for beginners!

Using your strumming arm, anchor the guitar in place right where you want it with some pressure from your arm. This should help stabilize the guitar and cause the neck to be quite rigidly in place. If it’s wobbling, you’re not holding the guitar properly - so take a little time to figure it out and get it right before it becomes a bad habit.

Lesson 3: The Am & Em Army!

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