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3.5 Playing Posture

Andy gives you a few essential tips: Here they are below in a tad more detail, but remember one thing, you need to fee comfortably and relaxed when playing.

Posture

You can either sit or stand while playing the guitar, although most people prefer to sit while practicing but stand while performing, especially if in a band.

However, beware of large beer guts because if you don’t get your posture right you are gonna need long arms!

To hold the guitar in a sitting position, rest the waist of the guitar on your right leg and place your feet slightly apart. Balance the guitar by lightly resting your right forearm on the high curved end of the guitar (known as a bout), If you take your left hand off the fretboard, the guitar should remain in position and not dip towards the floor.

Playing whilst standing.
You will need a strap and ensure it is securely attached to the guitar, using the strap pins or tying it to the machine head. Stand in a natural position and see how it feels and adjust the strap length accordingly so it is a comfortable playing height. When you start playing whilst standing make sure your reaction to catching a falling guitar is a it’speak, as this may well happen before you really get used to it.

Watch your guitar heroes – well most of them anyway – and you will notice they all sit, stand, jump and pose differently. If you want to achieve such legendary status it is important that you start off with the basics.

By that, we mean, you have to learn by posturing yourself correctly. You need to sit and/or with a guitar that compliments you i.e. not too small and not too big, so you feel comfortable. Just think of your first dance with your loved one!!!

Having said that, our teaching style is to start with the basics, learn with aplomb and that will give you the freedom to eventually develop your own “style.”

What really enables you to do this, is understanding what you should do (only as a beginner) and then reaching out to ensure you can play your own style in the way you were taught. For example, Mark Knopfler keeps his guitar quite high, which probably reflects the way he was taught or learned the guitar,

Hendrix played in the “classic” mid body position (as did Eric Clapton) whereas some of the modern day punk bands’ guitarists had it positioned at hip. Just have a look at Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day…..or even Dr. Feelgood’s legendary guitarist, Wilko Johnson, who could play unbelievable rhythm and lead guitar in a position none of us would think possible. You could barely see his knees!!!! A bit like Slash as well. This means your ideal can be achieved, but make sure you master the basics first before posing in the mirror to check your rating on the cool dude scale. Hence this video series.

We will also show you how to hold a pick so you can strum and strike your strings to the maximum effect. Believe you me, it is better being demonstrated in a video rather than as a picture or text.

It is also essential that the guitar “fits your body.” Do not buy a jumbo acoustic with a wide neck and massive body if you have small hands and a “compact” body like Andy. The video explains it all.

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