How To Hold The Guitar
In this lesson, you will learn how to hold the guitar and a guitar pick.
You will learn three different ways to hold the guitar.
Guitars are generally played either sitting down or standing up. The three ways to hold the guitar are
- Casual Way Of Holding A Guitar
- Classical Way Of Holding A Guitar
- Standing Up With Guitar
The casual way and classical way are used while sitting down. All of these have their advantages and disadvantages. It is advised to practice your guitar the way you are going to perform. If you are going to perform standing up, practice standing up. If you perform sitting down, practice sitting down. For beginners, it is a good idea to start with sitting down and later on practice playing standing up.
Let us discuss the different ways to hold the guitar: -l.
Casual Way Of Holding A Guitar
A casual way is achieved, sitting down either on a stool or a chair without any armrests. While you are sitting down on a stool, the guitar 'casually' rests on your thigh, and you fret a right-handed guitar neck with your left hand and strum with your right hand.
Pros Of Casual Guitar Posture
- Easy to get acquainted with. A good starting point for beginners.
- No Footstool or other accessories are required.
Cons Of Casual Guitar Posture
- Beginners tend to slouch forward, resulting in a bad posture.
Classical Way Of Holding A Guitar
Classical guitar posture comes from Spain. In this style, sit down on a stool, place your left leg on a footstool and place your guitar body in between both your thighs and you fret a right-handed guitar neck with your left hand and strum with your right hand. The neck of the guitar is angled upwards. This way, the neck of the guitar gets elevated and is more easily accessible.
Pros Of Classical Guitar Posture
- Keeps the back straight and helps develop a better posture
- It is easy to access the fingerboard
- Results in a better strumming hand grip.
Cons Of Classical Guitar Posture
- Requires a footstool.
- Can be a little challenging for beginners.
Holding Guitar While Standing
You probably have seen several concerts in which guitarists are standing up and playing. To hold the guitar while standing up, you will require a guitar strap. The rules remain the same. A right-handed guitar player frets the neck with his left hand and strums with his right hand.
Pros Of Playing Guitar While Standing
- You are portable. Move around, entertain the crowd.
- Some people get a better sense of rhythm while they are standing up and playing.
Cons Of Playing Guitar While Standing
- Some people feel a little difficult to play the guitar while standing, completely depends on the person.
- If you have a heavy guitar, you might get shoulder aches.
There are many ways of holding a guitar. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one “right” way to hold the guitar. The only consideration you need to make when selecting your style, what will work best for you.
While it's okay to not hold the guitar in a certain way, there are certain things that you should avoid.
- Do not Use Chair or Stool With Arms: - Use a chair or stool with arms. If you use one with arms, you will not be able to place your guitar comfortably.
- Slouch Forward: - Beginner tends to slouch forward to look at the fretboard. This should be avoided and one should keep the back straight.
- Lay Your Guitar Flat: - Do not lay your guitar flat on your couch, as it might slip down and break.
- Keep Your Guitar Strap Loose: - Your Guitar Strap should be tightened in such a way that your guitar does not move when you stand up and the fingerboard is nearly the same height as it was sitting down.
If you are just starting and have no idea which grip will work best for you, it's probably best to go with the "Casual Style".
Another thing to consider is if you are a right-handed or a left-handed player?
If you write with your right hand, you are probably a right-handed player. If you write with your left hand, you are probably a left-handed player. Most people you see around you are right-handed guitarists and use a right-handed guitar.
A left-handed guitar player uses a left-handed guitar. It is not advised for left-handed guitar players to play a right-handed guitar, but if you do not have a choice, get started and get playing. Your mind will adapt.
Check out some famous left-handed guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney.
How To Hold The Guitar Pick or Plectrum
Guitar picks are another crucial part of guitar playing, especially for beginners. Guitar picks of made up of different materials and of different styles, know more about guitar picks here.
Generally, the index finger and thumb are used to hold the guitar pick. Before we learn how to hold the guitar pick, let us first learn how not to hold your guitar pick.
- Do not hold your guitar pick between the tips of the index finger and your thumb. This will not give you a good grip and will make it difficult to play the guitar. Also, your guitar pick will fall a lot.
- Do not hold your pick from the edge of a guitar pick. This will also result in your guitar pick falling a lot.
The right way to hold the guitar pick is to make a gun with the index finger and the thumb of your strumming hand. Next, you place the guitar pick on the index finger middle part. After this, you close it with your thumb. Watch the video to learn the step-by-step process with visuals.
Once you have understood how to hold your guitar pick, make sure you know how to use it. Watch the video lesson to learn about the right picking technique.
Now you know how to hold your guitar and how to hold your guitar pick. Let us put your knowledge to the test.
Download the PDF sheet and go through a quick quiz. Put your answers in the comments sections below and share them with the community. If you have any other questions or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments as well.
In the next lesson, you will learn How To Tune The Guitar.
Beginner Guitar Lessons
- Lesson 1 — Parts Of Acoustic Guitar and Electric Guitar
- Lesson 2 — How To Hold The Guitar and Guitar Pick
- Lesson 3 — How To Tune The Guitar
- Lesson 4 — How To Read Guitar Tabs and Chord Diagram
- Lesson 5 — Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners
- Lesson 6 — D Major And G Major Chords
- Lesson 7 — A Major, B Major and E Major Chords
- Lesson 8 — E Minor & D Minor Chords
- Lesson 9 — Guitar Strumming Basics For Beginners
- Lesson 10 — How To Play F Major Chord On Guitar
- Lesson 11 — Music Theory Basics For Beginner Guitarist
- Lesson 12 — How To Play Barre Chords On Guitar
- Lesson 13 — How To Palm Mute A Guitar
- Lesson 14 — How To Learn Scales On Guitar For Beginners
- Lesson 15 – Learn Chord Formulas And Chord Inversions
- Lesson 16 – How To Know Chords In A Major Scale And Chord Progression
- Lesson 17 – Parts Of A Song And Song Structure
- Bonus Lesson – How To Write Your First Song On Acoustic Guitar