How to hold a guitar

By Keith / September 28, 2017

You may be interested in playing your favorite songs or maybe you are a budding songwriter and you would like to write your own songs. Either way, the guitar would be the perfect instrument to learn in these cases. Like all musical instruments, if you want to learn to play the guitar you will need plenty of practice, perseverance and patience. Learning to how to play the guitar will be a very rewarding experience if you stick with it and the guitar can give you many hours of enjoyment.

Before starting, you have to remove all thoughts in your mind that tell you that playing a guitar is difficult. Be positive - think that you can do it. Many people think playing the guitar is the work of a genius - but it isn’t. Its actually very easy once you get the drift. Now wait, to master it might be the work of a genius, but to play songs on the guitar is easy - and these lessons are going to help you for that very purpose.

Before you start on your journey to become the next guitar hero, you will need a six string guitar and a guitar pick. You will also need to have patience and overall a desire to learn and a love of music. You will need a chair without arms as well.

You should also remember a few other tips before you begin learning to play the guitar. First, trim your fingernails so they are short. You will need to do this on a regular basis if you are learning how to play the guitar. Short fingernails will allow you to produce good sound and they assist you in holding down notes much easier.

Next, realize that your finger will hurt as you are learning to play the guitar. This is normal and your fingertips will eventually develop calluses as you practice and the pain will soon cease.

Good! Lets start..

Go get your guitar! 

Before going on, I’m assuming that you know how to hold a guitar and pluck the strings either with your fingers or with a guitar ‘pick’. If not, don’t worry. I’ll teach you..

PS: If you’re left-handed, DO EVERYTHING OPPOSITE. i.e. ‘left upper thigh’ etc.

how to hold a guitar

Please remember: Playing the guitar for continuous hours will strain your back.

Solution: Maintain an upright posture. Now, pick up the guitar and place the back of it against your stomach. If you are right handed, the guitar neck should be pointing towards your left. Rest the guitar body on your right upper thigh (Opposite for left-handers).

Now place your left hand around the guitar neck and place your right arm around the body so that your hand is lying by the strings. Adjust your body positioning so that you are completely comfortable. Ready for the next stage? Cool!

Hand Positioning

If you’re a leftie, don’t worry. You have three options here. The first option is to buy a right-handed guitar and re-string it, so that the order of the strings in the above image is reversed. The second option you have is to buy a left-handed guitar. The third and final option is to learn right-handed - I’ve seen many of my friends doing this. And its not as difficult as you think! ;)

If you’re right handed, you will use your left hand to construct chords. The left hand fingers are bent and pressing down on the strings on the fret board. The back of the neck is curved, so that your hand molds into the shape of the neck. Your thumb is arching aver the top of the neck. This is a common thumb position for constructing chords. It is also OK to press your thumb into the back of the guitar neck when constructing chords, although this is more common when playing scales. Try out both thumb positions and use the one that is most comfortable for you.

guitar hand position

Right Hand/Arm

This is the hand that you will use to “strum” the strings to make the different chord sounds. Rest/Lie your right arm over the guitar. Your right bicept should be resting on the top of the body of the guitar. Your hand should be positioned directly above the sound hole in the guitar. This is where the sound is produced.

Learning something is always difficult at first so do your best not to get frustrated if your fingers hurt, the guitar goes out of tune, if your neighbors begin complaining or if you don't sound great right away. All guitar heroes had to begin where you are right now. The difference between those that try and give up and good guitar players is that the one who becomes the great guitar player keeps trying no matter what and fights through the rough patches. Just remember that playing the guitar should be fun. Don't give up, keep practicing and enjoy yourself. Before you know it you will be the next guitar hero!

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