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Classical Guitar Lessons - How to Hold The Guitar

It may seam trivial, but the correct posturing with a guitar will make you a better guitarist.

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How to Hold a Classical Guitar:
  • This Classical Guitar Lesson will cover your correct body position to grasp the guitar. Although it may seem rather trivial to talk about how to hold a classical  guitar as a Classical Guitar Lesson, it is a very important point that should not be overlooked
  • Holding the guitar correctly can mean the difference between being an ok player or being a very good player. The reason for this is that the correct positioning of your arms and torso play an important role is how your left hand is positioned and how you pluck the strings with your right hand. There will be more on that in the next Classical Guitar Lesson: The Left and Right Hand Positions.
  • Also not to be understated, the position of the legs and feet play and equally important role in the correct posture of holding a classical guitar.
  • Almost always, the Classical Guitar is played from a seated position. Here are the points we will cover in this Classical Guitar Lesson:
    1. Proper Seated Position
      How to Cradle the Guitar Between Your Legs
      Proper Angle
      Proper Left Leg Elevation
    Proper Seated Position:
  • You should obtain a comfortable chair, without arms and of standard seating height, similar to a kitchen chair. Some classical guitar players prefer a stool, without a back for their favorite chair, for very seldom do you lean back far enough for your back to come in contact with the chair back.
  • Footstool

    Obtain a Footstool For Your Left Leg

    Proper Left Leg Elevation:
  • One of the most important things to realize from this Classical Guitar Lesson is the left leg elevation. Typically the left leg is elevated off the floor by approximately 4 to 6 inches, depending on the stature of the guitar player.
  • You can use any number of devices to attain this height from a very short step stool to custom made adjustable footstool that are available commercially from a well-stocked music store or eStore.
  • In an emergency I have even used my guitar case in a closed position. In any event the leg elevation is a big important step, not to be overlooked.
  • Proper Instrument Angle:
  • Next, place the guitar waist on the elevated leg and allow the guitar to angle upward so the neck is pointed upward at about a 30 degree angle.
  • This will allow you to comfortably grasp the neck with your left hand and place your right arm over the lower bout of the guitar to contact the strings.
  • Classical Guitar Player

    Proper Way To Hold The Classical Guitar

    How to Cradle the Guitar Between Your Legs:
  • The guitar should be nestled in your torso so that the only contact points are the left leg on the waist, the left hand on the neck, the upper back edge of the lower bout contacting your torso and the forearm of the right arm on the upper edge of the lower bout.
  • You can feel when you have this right as the guitar tends to balance between these contact points of your body.
  • The reason that this position is so important is that it allows you to move  your right hand up and down the neck effortlessly without having to aid in the actual support of the body of the guitar.
  • This will allow you be become not only a more technically correct player, but allow you great speed and agility in performing difficult passages that would be otherwise very difficult to execute.
  • Note: To familiarize yourself with some of the terminology of this article, refer to the previous Classical Guitar Lesson: Learning Classical Guitar Elements.
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