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  1. #1
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    Video On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-resting-hand-position-w-dynarette-jpgOn being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-resting-hand-position-without-dynarette-jpg Picture one: resting hand position while guitar rests on Dynarette cushion. Picture two: resting hand position while guitar rests on my right thigh.






    A two-minute video from this morning.Not about playing but about posture. I've used a Dynarette cushionfor years now and decided to stop for a change. (My mother hates change; I seem to crave a certain amount.) I like the cushion but when I use it the guitar seems a wee bit high. So I decided to play without it, legs uncrossed, no strap. This video was made for my own purposes but I think it may be of slightly wider interest becausethere is something central to this experience that I don't mention onthe video: I'm long waisted.




    I'm long waisted like my dad. What does this mean? It means the top half of me is longer than the bottom half. In other words, I have short legs for a man my height (5'11”).When I am seated next to my friend John, who is 6'2”, I appeartaller. The inseam of my pants is the same as that of my younger brother, who is four inches shorter than I am.


    So what?


    Well, it's not a big deal, really.Though it is a fact and as the saying goes, facts are stubborn things.
    When I sit with the guitar on my right thigh (legs not crossed), the guitar seems far away from me. It really does. (You can't tell in the video because I'm wearing a shirt, but the guitar is sitting on my right thigh and there's a whole lot of space between the top of it and the bottom of my, er,nipples.) I instinctively want to pull the guitar (not my shirt!) up. That in turn would make my hand hang too low on the guitar. (It's very natural, when wearing a strap at a position that seems comfortable, or while having the guitar on a cushion, for my thumb to rest fully below the high E string. (Refer back to picture one above.)


    Sitting the way I do in this video is comfortable but there's no way to keep my left thumb below the top ofthe guitar neck. (At least not for long.) I don't know what I'm going to do about that. (Maybe part of being long waisted is having long arms...)


    For years I sat with my legs crossed and the guitar on my right thigh. Not good for the legs so I wanted to stop that. That's when I got a Dynarette cushion. Very comfy, no need for a strap, and the guitar doesn't move around. It is a fine piece of equipment. But even the small one raises the guitar a bit much. It doesn't feel bad. Hell, it feels fine. But it results in my hand resting a bit too low on the guitar. (Which means that working back to the lowest strings involves an arm motion that seems to change the angle of my pick attack. I really have to raise my hand to play on the HIGH strings.)


    Any other long waisted players outthere? Perhaps you've made accommodations I haven't considered.
    Always searching...
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 01-13-2019 at 04:01 PM.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  2. #2
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    Give it some additional time without the cushion, and see how it goes. (A strap is helpful for some of us.) Have you tried a comfy stool, or do you stick with a chair or sofa?

  3. #3
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    I use a strap to put my guitar in the right position. It sits in the same place if I'm sitting or standing. (If you keep your guitar slung low like a rocker this might not work for you)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
    I use a strap to put my guitar in the right position. It sits in the same place if I'm sitting or standing. (If you keep your guitar slung low like a rocker this might not work for you)
    Good luck looking cool Gramps!

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-steve-clark-def-leppard-6466743-269-360-jpg
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  5. #5
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    I always use a strap. I like where it hangs, and when I'm seated, I position myself so the guitar hangs by the strap. That way I play in the same position all the time.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namelyguitar View Post
    Give it some additional time without the cushion, and see how it goes. (A strap is helpful for some of us.) Have you tried a comfy stool, or do you stick with a chair or sofa?
    I have a good practice chair. Very happy with it. Never cared for stools---I need some back support!

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-nota-standard-music-posture-chair-jpg
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I always use a strap. I like where it hangs, and when I'm seated, I position myself so the guitar hangs by the strap. That way I play in the same position all the time.
    I heard this when I was young and think it is a good general rule. But in my case it wouldn't help---I can't sit and position the guitar LOWER than my thigh. A strap would only raise it.

    I played with a strap for many years and still take one out sometimes to see if maybe there's a just-right position that I never tried before. But there isn't.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  8. #8
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    Would this make you the same as a guitarist who's maybe 6 four or there abouts. You can search out tall guitarist and see how they do it and experiment with that
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Would this make you the same as a guitarist who's maybe 6 four or there abouts. You can search out tall guitarist and see how they do it and experiment with that
    I'm not sure. One can be tall with long legs and a short torso---my mom is like that.

    Googled "tall guitarists" and everyone over 6 feet (that I saw) played rock, some with guitars slung low on stage.

    How tall was Wes? I have no idea. I think that Joe Pass was on the short side. Same for Pat Martino. Some people here have met Joe and Pat, so they can answer these questions. Someone may know about Wes...
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  10. #10
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    Global

    The 'mushroom' stool is comfortable,
    and made to last. It works as well with
    a strap. When without, it is best to park
    or a foot in the rung/ring, or on a small
    footrest.

    Last edited by Namelyguitar; 01-11-2019 at 11:51 PM.

  11. #11
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    I wonder how tall was Tal Farlow. He was said to have really large hands....

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  12. #12
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    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar

    I’m 6’4” with the arms that are proportionate for someone that is about 6’8”. I find that I’m most comfortable on a 3 hour gig when sitting in a standard size dining style chair with a Super 400 resting directly on my right leg.
    Last edited by ThatRhythmMan; 01-12-2019 at 09:55 AM.

  13. #13
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    I'm 6'1", and have a slightly under 31" inseam. Rather long-waisted. My Lyle is an L5 body size but with 24.75" scale and laminate. 8.5 pounds, a pound heavier than my Tele.

    Playing with a strap drags heavy on my left shoulder/neck area. Very uncomfortable and painful after a while, even with a broad strap.

    I used to hang the Tele about my neck and stand playing for hours. Now that isn't happening and the Tele sits so low when sitting to play and it's on my leg. I have trouble finding a comfortable position.

    The Lyle ... I use the strap fastened to butt button on the guitar then run over and back under my right leg, sitting on it. The guitar lower bout sits on top of my thigh, I play a bit vertically though less than some classical players.

    My right arm comfortably flops over the lower bout in playing position and I can sit and play a couple hours with no stress anywhere. No work holding guitar in position.


    I can't see how so many have the guitar body curve resting on their leg. The strings are so low for me I might as well stand and hang a Les Paul for 60' rock ...





    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I wonder how tall was Tal Farlow. He was said to have really large hands...
    I had wondered that too. I knew about the big hands. Great video.

    What I tried this morning was to use a strap and place the guitar off to the side of my thigh, tilted, so that the fingerboard is angled up while the picking area is a tad lower (or so it seems---I didn't take a picture for objective comparison) than when it was planted squarely atop my right thigh. I may do that later today.

    Could work. It actually feels a bit like it felt when I was playing my old Strat (seated).

    It reminds me a bit of how BB King used to wear his guitar a bit sideways. (Like him, I have more belly than necessary.) It feels fine but it may create back issues.

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-bb_king_onstage_-toronto-_2007-jpg I'm not sure how it was for him, but when I do (something resembling this) the neck is forward. The guitar is angled across my leg/side at 45 or so degrees.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  15. #15
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    Not only am I long waisted, but I also own the exact same guitar lol.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Not only am I long waisted, but I also own the exact same guitar lol.

    Copycat! ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    What I tried this morning was to use a strap and place the guitar off to the side of my thigh, tilted, so that the fingerboard is angled up while the picking area is a tad lower (or so it seems---I didn't take a picture for objective comparison) than when it was planted squarely atop my right thigh. I may do that later today.
    That’s what I do, I find it the most comfortable way (I’m fairly average height and proportions I guess), here’s a screen grab from one of my videos:

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-603b553e-2e9d-4280-a873-fb4c03730128-jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    That’s what I do, I find it the most comfortable way (I’m fairly average height and proportions I guess), here’s a screen grab from one of my videos:
    That looks good, Graham. I think my guitar would have to hang a bit lower but it's the same idea. I think it's the right way for me---just have to fine tune it and get used to it.

    Happy days are here again....

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  19. #19
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    Mark, have you tried different sized guitars? Smaller bodies make the whole instrument sit lower, and larger ones make it sit higher. For me, a 16" is about the most comfortable. 14.5" or 15" sit a little too low, and an 18" is so high I have to play it at an angle, facing up. I use a strap most of the time, but with a 16" body I can play without it, and just put it on my right thigh comfortably.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Mark, have you tried different sized guitars? Smaller bodies make the whole instrument sit lower, and larger ones make it sit higher. For me, a 16" is about the most comfortable. 14.5" or 15" sit a little too low, and an 18" is so high I have to play it at an angle, facing up. I use a strap most of the time, but with a 16" body I can play without it, and just put it on my right thigh comfortably.
    At times, yes, though not lately. I'm a one-guitar guy. What I got is what I got and that won't change any time soon. So I have to adjust to the guitar I have rather than find another one. (That may be a future project, though. ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  21. #21
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    "Why don't they design a guitar like Dizzy Gillespie's horn?"

    Further experiments with the best way for me, a long waisted guy, to position my guitar for playing while seated.



    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-dizzy-gillespie-his-horn-jpg
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 01-13-2019 at 04:35 PM.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  22. #22
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    Try a 4" Neck Up, Mark.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Further experiments with the best way for me, a long waisted guy, to position my guitar for playing while seated.
    I think you have to be careful not to have the guitar laying too ‘flat’ though, it can make playing barred chords harder. Maybe try shortening the strap by a couple of inches so you pull the neck up a bit and hold the guitar less flat? I had to do that. The other thing is that I use a wide strap which grips well, so the guitar won’t slide back down so easily.

    But this is very much trial and error, no doubt it’s different for everybody.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Try a 4" Neck Up, Mark.
    I tried one of those a few years ago. It didn't work out for me and I sent it back.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think you have to be careful not to have the guitar laying too ‘flat’ though, it can make playing barred chords harder. Maybe try shortening the strap by a couple of inches so you pull the neck up a bit and hold the guitar less flat? I had to do that. The other thing is that I use a wide strap which grips well, so the guitar won’t slide back down so easily.

    But this is very much trial and error, no doubt it’s different for everybody.

    I'll give it a shot. One thing I've noticed already is that when I hold the guitar like this, the strap bites my neck.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  26. #26
    I would definitely get a wider strap than the one in your video, I would find that one uncomfortable.

  27. #27
    Peter Leitch uses a similar method here (and a very thin strap!):


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I would definitely get a wider strap than the one in your video, I would find that one uncomfortable.
    About the strap. The part you see is thinner than the part that runs around my neck.

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-strap-jpg
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Peter Leitch uses a similar method here (and a very thin strap!):
    Lovely playing. I like the way his right arm fits over the guitar. And his left hand is better positioned on the neck than I've managed to get yet. Thanks!
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  30. #30
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    Another way: between the legs

    I had a teacher once who held the guitar this way. He was playing a large Heritage. I had a Strat at the time and the posture did nothing for me.

    This actually feels okay.

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-between-legs-jpg
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  31. #31
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    You have the strap on backwards. It works, of course, but it's backwards. It's your strap, so wear it however you like.

    I know that's the way to hold a classical guitar, and I keep trying to hold mine that way, but I just can't seem to accept that geometry.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    You have the strap on backwards.
    Doh!

    Thanks.

    Still bites my neck. May have to get used to that.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #33
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    That type of strap always does. I prefer one backed by smooth leather, with some padding. But I have one that is plain leather, with a rough back, and it has its uses. It holds its place if the neck is heavy, and it's comfortable enough. Italia keeps having sales on its smooth leather backed straps, but I already have enough.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    That type of strap always does. I prefer one backed by smooth leather, with some padding.
    I'm looking into some padding for the one I have....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  35. #35
    I hold the guitar in this exact position. Even the amount contact of the base of the guitar with Joe Pass's upper thigh is identical to how I hold my ES 175 (the very bottom of the picture). That little contact is important as it takes some of the weight off the shoulders.
    It's not an instant hit. It takes some time to get used to it. But once you get used to it, it's very comfortable. Neck comes up high like the classical position allowing for healthy left hand positioning. I think it's better than even the classical position as it prevents the awkward upper body twist. I hold even my strats this way now.
    Needless to say, a well chosen strap is the key.
    Attached Images Attached Images On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-joe_pass-jpg 
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-14-2019 at 02:07 PM.

  36. #36
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    A refinement.
    This feels better, though the jack is going to present issues when I plug this in....
    Some of the weight here rests atop the left thigh. Keeps the guitar from moving around.

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-new-guitar-posture-jpg
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  37. #37
    I use a right angle plug on the guitar end for this reason. It works fairly well.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-17-2019 at 12:36 AM.

  38. #38
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    never found a really confortable position...got rid of the archtop....went with a semi-hollow....sits on my crossed leg...tilts back feels great.....that's the way I solved the problem....

  39. #39
    Also when using a right angle plug in that position, it's important to put the cable through the strap.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-17-2019 at 12:36 AM.

  40. #40
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    Amazing nobody has dropped the lame joke "So how long have you been wasted before playing the guitar?"

    Har har.

    Dead silence. Hangs head in shame. Slinks away.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  41. #41
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    This picture is a good example of how there can be different solutions to issues like posture and technique. If I were to try to play with the fingerboard pointing up like this my repetitive movement issues in my left hand would flare up to a point were I wouldn't be able to play anymore.

    Just do what works for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    A refinement.
    This feels better, though the jack is going to present issues when I plug this in....
    Some of the weight here rests atop the left thigh. Keeps the guitar from moving around.

    On being long waisted and finding the right position for holding the guitar-new-guitar-posture-jpg

  42. #42
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    Can't you wear the guitar higher? It's not very nice to your left hand laying the guitar flat like that. I also have a tall upper body...always the tallest guy when sitting at the table But I wear the guitar higher. It doesn't reach down to my thighs when sitting straight, wearing a strap.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runepune View Post
    Can't you wear the guitar higher? It's not very nice to your left hand laying the guitar flat like that. I also have a tall upper body...always the tallest guy when sitting at the table But I wear the guitar higher. It doesn't reach down to my thighs when sitting straight, wearing a strap.
    If I wear the guitar higher, my right hand is too far down. My right hand has suffered for decades---it's my left hand's turn! ;o) (Kidding. Don't want to hurt my left hand or arm.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  44. #44
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    I always use a right-angle plug, whether the jack is positioned there or through the end block. Fortunately, the Relay G10 comes with a right-angle adapter, plus I have two I bought before I realized I got a free one with the wireless. I can use those in a pinch if I'm forced to use a cable with only a straight plug, but that's rare. I tend to use that position, or one with the neck even a little higher, but I'm not religious about it, and sometimes revert to having the neck horizontal on my right thigh. Having the guitar angled back, with the top facing up, doesn't bother me, and I've been doing that for a long time, depending on the guitar. With an 18" bout, it's the only way I can play it. Different positions for different folks.

  45. #45
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    I am about 6 feet and I think common proportion for the height... as I play several very different instruments I had to develope different postures....

    The most convinient for is Aria Sinsonido (that I totally upgreaded with a new pu, brigde and tuners and made it gigable guitar)... with this guitar I can sit in more than classical position without any strap, stool or whatever... you can see somwhat similar how John Stowell sits with his Soloetto.
    The guitar is extremely light, the frame holds very well... and you just do not have to hold it with your hands even thought it is almost vertical.
    Strandberg guitars are also very convinient and ergonomic, but expensive.

    As for archtops or acoustics... I play them either on strap or on my right leg in horizontal position.. the guitar should be approxamately 'concert size' for that (ES175 size fits perfectly), L-5 size can be ok if it is not too thick.
    Actually I think your Ibanez is ES175 size, I found them very convinient to play
    I have also full size Jumbo that is the same size as L5 but much thicker and it makes pain to play it, too big to embrace.

    Parlous guitars are too small and I have to use a strap or a stool...

    Lutes are different sotry.. very unconventional shape and so many things depend on good posture that preparations for playing take some time))

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