The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Posture when seated with guitar. It's been mentioned many times in other threads, but I think it's a very important aspect of playing, especially as I got older and started getting back pain.

    I'm wondering what good posture is used by other forum members when playing guitar seated.

    I've just watched this video and he seems to have some goods tips for all styles of playing, but we are all different shapes and sizes. His Head-Heart-Hips seems a good suggestion to try.

    What works for you?

    Some previous forum posts on the subject:

    Back problems...

    Guitar Posture

    Revolutionary method to prevent back pain and improve your playing posture.

    Good posture playing sitting (but not classical)


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I always use a guitar lift to the guitar's neck is angled up and my hand can get beneath. Somewhere around 45 degrees.
    I generally rest the guitar on my right leg. The larger body of the steel body and the 14 fret join orients it differently from the 12 fret bridge/body relationship in a classical.

    I used to use a strap to hold it in this position but after ulnar never issues, I went with a guitar lift. Trying to find the perfect one but I've got an arrangement that works for me now.
    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 03-06-2023 at 10:27 AM.

  4. #3

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    For me, I use a strap, though I wouldn't want to drill into my classical guitar to do that. I suppose I could use one of those strap things that has clamps that attach to the underside of the guitar and it just sits in those instead of having suction cups (which I wouldn't trust with an expensive guitar). I did try that one with strong magnets, but when I found one of the magnets had come loose and was rattling around inside the guitar, I ditched it in a hurry.

    For my guitars on which I use a strap, I can hold the guitar in the same position, whether sitting or standing. I always hold the guitar in a classical position with the neck at a 45 degree angle so my wrist doesn't have to bend at a sharp angle and my fingers are freer to do what they need to do.

    I think it really comes down to individual circumstances and we each have to find what works best for us.


  5. #4

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    I dont think there is such thing as a golden rule. Sure, a good sitting position would be nice. A good posture is equally important. I also do believe that the guitar itself matters as well. A lightweight spanish guitar as in the vid or a small vintage archtop are way easier to handle than a big, full depth 17" archtop or an unbalanced 10 lbs guitar. Playing a lot beyond the 12th fret also forces you to make yourself small with a bow in your back. Finding a good playable guitar that is body/headstock centre of gravity balanced for YOU when seated is quite a joy. If the guitar stays in your lap/on your leg without holding it with your hands and while seated, you are good to go.
    My vintage Gretsch 6122 is not that balanced for me in that respect. Both my L5s are great as well is my DA New Yorker. Fender Jazzmaster is great.
    Last edited by hotpepper01; 03-06-2023 at 04:39 PM.

  6. #5

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    I have been using a Lumbar Cushion for my lower.back and I have been able to practice my guitar for longer periods without discomfort. Very happy.

  7. #6

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    Sounds like I'm on the same page as Tony. I mix it up, always strapped. In a chair, on a stool or standing the guitar is always in the same place.

    I started on cello as a kid, so when seated I do that because it feels natural to me. Kinda on the edge of the chair, feet flat on the floor, back erect and unsupported. Guitar between my knees. If my shoulder gets tired I put my left foot on a foot stool to take some weight. I studied classical for a few years so that feels natural too.

    These days I'm only playing 16" archtops, 2 3/4 deep, 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 lbs. I played solid bodies with the same posture(s) for about 40 years. I'm almost 70 and have done the 10K hours on the instrument a few times over. Maybe it's genetics and body type, but I've never had injuries or pain related to posture. The 10lb Les Paul used to get to me on long standing gigs, but I had much longer rehearsals and practice sessions with it where I could mix things up.

    So that's me. Every body is different, and there's a lot of variation in guitars and the ways folks hold them.

    I think the admonitions of my parents make a good start: "Sit up straight! Don't slouch! Be a good boy."

  8. #7

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    I mix it up. I studied classical and jazz in college so I change the knee I am resting in depending on the tune/what I need to play. Sometimes I use a stool that allows me to elevate either leg, or a classical footstool if I am sitting in a chair.

  9. #8

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    Strap when seated, but if I sit down at the table with my book and guitar and the straps upstairs I don’t use it.

  10. #9

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    Seated on a quality piano bench (albeit hard as a rock)
    Foot stool for classical.
    Otherwise, strapped, neck up.

    All very traditional.

  11. #10

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    I'm all over the place. Mostly I use a strap, but not always. I've used a lift, and sort of like it, but it's a PITA to attach and detach, and get it just right. I don't want the suction cups staying on the guitar all the time because they eventually dent the finish, and I don't play the same guitar all the time. My posture changes. I get a little uncomfortable in one, and move around. Not that this is the right way, it's just my way.

  12. #11

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    Since I have played the same guitar for the last thirty-five years, I don't know how it is with others, but I suspect that those like me that stick to one guitar are probably more concerned or interested in maintaining form. Is that true?
    Posture when seated with guitar, what works for you?-sfearonestrat-jpg
    My form standing and sitting (guitar on left leg) is the same; I place the guitar far out to my left (like Jeff Beck vs Johnny Cash) in order to achieve two things:
    - a straight left wrist for the whole finger board
    - a relaxed right arm that naturally places my hand on the center line of my body
    Posture when seated with guitar, what works for you?-jb-jpgPosture when seated with guitar, what works for you?-jc-jpg
    The first thing I thought when watching the video was, "Who knew Clark Kent played the guitar?"
    I disagree with his suggestion to sit with one leg crossed over (like the Flamenco guitarists). That twisting load on the knee is brutal, and maintaining it for the length of playing sessions is insane. Of course, if he really is Superman he would be the only person in the world that wouldn't have noticed that, right?
    As far as Flamenco players getting away with it, I figure the're not the ones running with the bulls in Pamplona.
    Posture when seated with guitar, what works for you?-br-jpg