How To Hold A Guitar

Properly holding the guitar

Start by watching this helpful video tutorial, which will teach you how to properly hold the guitar:

Holding the guitar properly is the first step in forming nice clean chords and making beautiful music.

The first step in holding the guitar properly is to make sure you're sitting properly. Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair that has no arms rests. And make sure you are sitting with good posture. Make sure every part of your body is very much relaxed and think of yourself being suspended through the middle of the top of your head by an imaginary string that is hanging from the ceiling. This is particularly important if you plan on singing as well as playing guitar.

Once you are sitting properly, the next step is to properly place the guitar on your lap. While there isn't too much of a science to this, there are some things to avoid. First you must avoid having the guitar too far in front on your lap. This is important because if the guitar is too far toward the front of your lap, your arm will not be able to get proper strum technique. It is also important because it will force you to lean over too far to see what you are playing, causing you to have improper posture and improper breathing technique. Secondly, avoid having the guitar too close to you. Don't force the guitar against your stomach. Ideally, the base of the guitar should be placed about an inch or two in front of your stomach.

Once the guitar is placed in the proper position on your lap, allow the top of the guitar to rest back gently so that you can have a better view of what you are playing.

The next step is to make sure your strumming arm is in the correct position. Place the guitar so that it rests in the hinge of your right elbow. This will allow your strumming to hinge properly and originate from the elbow instead of the wrist.

The final step reagrding how to hold a guitar is to ensure that your gripping hand or articulating hand is properly placed on the neck of the guitar. Importantly, you do not want your thumb to rest on the top of the guitar neck. Instead, ensure that the thumb of your gripping hand is on the back of the guitar neck. This will allow you to form the proper power needed to create crisp, clean bar chords, once you get to that stage. This will also allow you to get the ideal amount of curvature with the fingers that form chords and articulate notes.

Once you have done all the above, you are read to start playing guitar. Make sure your guitar is in tune (if you're not sure use the free tuner on this page), and move on to the next lesson when you're ready.

For the first month or so of practicing, you should go through all of the steps slowly and methodically listed above, in order to form the proper habits.