How Do I Improve My Posture On The Guitar? [With 8 Tips]

Why Does Posture Matter?

Basically, having a good posture and positioning of the hands can positively impact the following:

  • Your strumming technique
  • Right and left hand placement
  • Your playing comfort
  • Fingerpicking and air changes position

Preventing a bad posture while learning to play the guitar will enable you to play any guitar type. Avoiding awkward positioning can prevent minor injuries, tension, and stiff muscles when playing your instrument. Here are a few tips to help you improve your posture on the guitar. They’re not hard and technical like some of your chord progressions and stuff.

Classical vs Rock Posture

To Play a classical guitar like the Yamaha C40II and Cordoba C7-CE models, place your instrument on the same leg of your fretting hand. This is known as the classical posture. Otherwise, you could play the way of the normal, by placing your guitar on the same leg of your strumming hand. Right handed players can easily play on their right leg in this case.

This enhances your posture for playing comfort, but we noticed that people keep playing rock and pop using classical posture. Seeing pro-guitar players doing this looks weird! But it doesn’t dispute them from being amazing players.

Standing Up and Strap Placement

Your strap should be set so that your instrument is roughly in the same spot where you’re standing. Your guitar will be easy to play this way unless you choose to play with the strap beneath and you prefer standing up when practicing.

Keep the Neck Still

When you play, ensure that you’re not supporting your guitar neck with your fretting hand, but make sure it is stable when you’re strumming the strings. A wobbling neck is the last thing you want to experience when rehearsing finger positioning.

Keep Short Nails on your Fretting Hand

This part has to be mentioned over and over again, it is one vital tip to assist you on the fretboard. It is simple and short, the nails of your fretting hand should be cut short. Failure to do this will cause your nails digging into the fingerboard wood and make the fingers too flat. When you start playing the guitar, play the notes with the fingertips and you can continue by using them a little flatter, but more importantly, start with the tip.

Thumb Positioning

Your thumb is meant to be behind the guitar neck when you start to play. You can choose to bring it over to play on chords and other tricks. If you’re just learning to play the instrument, keep the thumb finger behind the neck. It helps you develop the muscle needed to play barre chords.

Position of the Fret Finger

Understanding the importance of placing fingers the right way on the fretboard will improve you greatly. Playing the guitar doesn’t require that your fretting hand must touch the fret. It is better to keep your hands close to the frets than applying pressure on the fretboard. When you press hard on the fretboard, you’ll develop sore fingers. Although sore fingers are common among beginners, as you advance in your lessons, your posture and how you hold the guitar should change. 

If you keep applying pressure on the fretboard, some of the notes you play will go sharp and your chords may begin to sound horrible.

Try by slightly pressing or gently touching the fretboard while you play, you’ll notice the good notes coming from the instrument. By moving your fingers from the frets you can calculate how much pressure that’s needed to produce good sounds. A simple trick that beginners can try is by placing the fingers where the least pressure applied can produce good sounds, and this part is next to the fret.

Use a Mirror

If you’re a big bellied person or you strain your neck to visualize the fingerboard, consider helping yourself with a mirror. Even a shaving mirror would do, if you’re only using it for practice. With a mirror, you can check the positioning of your fretting hand. A big mirror would be preferable so you can see both hands and ensure you’re playing with the right posture.

Leg Posture

While you’re trying to sync your fingers with the fretboard, there’s a need to adjust the leg posture as well. Some players find it convenient playing the electric guitar with their right leg slightly raised. Suspending the right knee on your toes or with the heel resting on a chair. Raising the right knee helps you keep the guitar cozy.

Another way to use the legs properly is by crossing the right leg over the left. At the hip, a V shape is formed, and it helps in holding the guitar firmly.

Your Music Stand Matters

If you’re not putting your sheet music on a music stand, then you’re not doing things right. Your sheet music can sit next to you on a sofa or on a stool, and you have to turn around most times to see what’s in the sheet music. 

If you’re fond of twisting around, you’re inviting back and neck problems for yourself later in life. A $10-$15 music stand can save you from a $1000 chiropractor bill. A music stand is effective to keep you from turning around to view your sheet music. A basic fold-up type is great, but if you want something else, you can get a RAT stand.

Further Reading

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