How To Hold Your Guitar

Holding your guitar may seem like a simple thing at first, but it’s really important that we don’t fall into any bad habits from the get-go. For simplicity, we’ll go over this lesson from a right-hander’s perspective, so if you’re a left-hander, just do the opposite.

So, right-handed players should have the guitar resting on their right leg, using their right arm to stabilize the guitar. If you’re playing an acoustic guitar, you should have your arm resting on top of it, but if you have an electric guitar, your arm will come slightly over the top of it, sort of resting on the front of the instrument. The main thing is that you don’t want the weight of your whole arm on your shoulder while you’re playing, so get comfortable and get used to the feeling of your strumming arm being really relaxed.

Doing all of this should stabilize the guitar completely, meaning your fretting hand is there just to fret – NOT to hold up the guitar! It should be able to move up and down the neck without having to grip onto it tightly.

Another thing to avoid – don’t lean the guitar back towards you. It’s a natural thing for beginners to do, but it’s a bad habit to get into! What ends up happening when you do this is you have to work harder to bring your wrist around the neck, which can cause unnecessary tension in the hand.

Finally, try not to lean your body over too much. Be really aware of your posture as you’re playing, as the natural tendency is to hunch over to check out what your hands are doing. This is going to happen to a certain extent, but just be aware of it and make an effort to stay as upright as possible while playing.