How to hold an electric guitar? Learn the basics from here

Maybe you’re struggling to learn a chord or fighting too hard to pick a beautiful solo. For example, John Mayer plays that. Right? This situation could be worse for some newbie guitarists like my son Pete.

A few days back, he intended to play “one last breath.” This song is super tight for a beginner level finger picking artist. Why? Because the intro part is sweet, but if you want to taste it, you have to go through with rigorous practice.

Doing this sort of hard work sometimes demotivates a guitar player. How? They cannot figure out; what is the problem? Maybe a simple one that is not seen by their bare eyes—for example, awkwardly holding the guitar.

Don’t you think this can be a legit reason for not picking the song accurately? Exactly! You have hit the right shaft on the dart. And here, I am going to explain two essential electric guitar holding steps. I hope your problem will be solved after knowing these guitar holding techniques. So, stick with me.

Sitting position:

One of the first steps as a guitar player you should take is; making a proper sitting position. This will ensure a perfect posture during playing. If a guitar player cannot fix his/her guitar playing position at the beginning time, then there is a high chance of back pain and muscle pull. To make a proper sitting position, you need a chair that has no armrest, including a hardback.

Next, you should buy a guitar stool; I have attached an image for your convenience. A guitar stool will help you to keep your left or right leg up from the hip. This is crucial equipment for maintaining the balance of your electric guitar.  As you know, the electric guitar is flatter than the acoustic. So, balancing this guitar is tough while sitting without a guitar stool.

When your sitting preparation is done, it’s time to pick the guitar and keep it in the proper place. To do this, I recommend you to follow two ways. Number one is the casual way; another is the classical way.

Casual way:

Casual Guitar Sitting
gettyimages.com

For explaining this way, here I have attached a picture. You are seeing that guy sitting with a blue guitar. He placed his guitar over his thigh and grabbed it thoroughly with his bicep and forearms. This way, he wants to ensure smooth playing.

For example, his neck is at a 45-degree angle. This means the frets are in a flexible shape to play some problematic guitar solo. Here is another picture of a 45-degree angle.

Electric Guitar Angle
gettyimages.com

Classical way:

classical sitting position
Source: craigbassett.co.nz

John Petrucci. One of the legendary guitarists from the band Dream Theater refers to this sitting position. The reason behind preferring this guitar-playing position is to make the standing position smooth.

If you are accustomed to this classical guitar playing, then you don’t have to struggle during the time of playing at standing position. Here is another picture of classical playing position.

 

Stay straight as much as possible:

Most of the guitar players have back pain issues because of being humped. This happens for not laying in the right way. Here is the picture for your help. In this picture, you are seeing an arrow showing upward, right? Try to keep your body as straight as you are watching in the view while playing the guitar.

Stay Straight

Make a proper balance between thumb and forefinger:

After doing all the perfect position, you are all set to start the practice. To do it efficiently, better to make a balance between neck and fret. I don’t think you have to take extra care of that. Just practice chromatic finger exercises and chords.

 

Standing position:

Now moving onto the second step. This is none other than the standing place of guitar playing. Mastering this position needs a lot of practice. Before excelling in this skill, you have to be comfortable with the sitting area first. When you are done with this, time to follow this instruction.

First: 

Take a guitar strap and fix it with the hooks that stay in the two edges. Since I am writing about the guitar straps, let me give you some instructions. So the indications are: try to have a flexible guitar strap.

Some may like a leather guitar strap or synthetic guitar strap. But over everything, I prefer leather straps. They are comfy and easy to use.

Second:

Neutral Comfort Zone

After fixing up the guitar strap, it’s time to decide your comfort zone. In this case, I can suggest three comfortable zones with some pictures. The first one is the neutral zone; this zone covers not upper or not lower.  It stays in between the lower and upper sides. Here is the picture.

Lower Zone

The next one is the lower zone. This position is used by many punk rock guitar players like Billie from “Greenday”. It seems cool, and most of the young artists love to hold their guitar in this way. But i don’t prefer this. There is no room for playing some good guitar solo rather than some easy riff. In other words, it will ruin your entire guitar playing.

Higher Zone

The final one is the higher zone. This position I liked the most because you can play any intricate guitar solos, riff, and other stuff from here flexibly. For example, picking like hybrid picking, sweep picking will be more comfortable in this position.

 

Conclusion:

So, the ultimate guide of holding an electric guitar has been given here. If you can follow the simple but effective techniques, your struggle will be more comfortable. Remember, sometimes, an odd guitar holding position can harm your guitar playing. Therefore, fix it before it spoils. Maybe some of your tight riffs will be easier for that reason. Who knows!! You can be the next Slash.

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Ben Laughlin
Ben Laughlin is the guitar king of our Musical Instru team. He can play a range of guitars, including classical guitars, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and bass guitars. He keeps vast knowledge on all these types of guitars. He chooses most of our reviewed guitars. Besides, most of our guitar reviews are done by him. He knows what to mention and what not to. Ben Laughlin also plays a significant role in our instrument testing department. He deeply inspects the parts of each guitar and suggests what's best about it. He also ensures that you get the best instrument in the market.

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