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  #1  
Old 10-22-2015, 11:25 AM
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ohYew812 ohYew812 is offline
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Default Bad habit?

I can't help it. I've tried playing with the guitar on my right leg, but it just isn't comfortable and very awkward. (I play right handed)

Is this such a bad habit that could impede my progress?

Seriously have been trying each and every time I sit down to play/practice, but it just doesn't jive with me.

Advice?
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:56 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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Try a strap. Have it short enough so that it holds the guitar in the right position even when sitting.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:01 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I have some old shoulder injuries that force me to use a strap. In order of preference:
- strap with the guitar body centered on my body and somewhat high
- sitting on the left leg classical style
- sitting on my right leg cowboy style (the least favorite option)

It took some adjustments at first, but now I play 100% with a strap, and it feels really weird to not use one.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:07 PM
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Ok... I'll try a strap while sitting. (I practice about 25% standing, with a strap)

But is it bad form/habit to play with the guitar on my left leg while sitting?
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:15 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohYew812 View Post
But is it bad form/habit to play with the guitar on my left leg while sitting?
It might put you in a position which causes discomfort. Classical players use a foot stool to raise the leg holding the guitar. Some people find leaning forward without a foot stool painful. Good or bad form is for the pedants.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:24 PM
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All great advice and comments... I sincerely appreciate it.

Perhaps the fact that I broke both legs (femurs and tib/fibs) back in 84' and recently had a total hip replacement may factor in to why it's more natural feeling to me to rest the guitar on my left leg.

Just a thought. I might and probably am full of S___ on this theory.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:32 PM
Muffinhead Muffinhead is offline
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I almost always play with my guitar on my left leg. I have long arms (I am 6'2") so it is more comfortable for me and I can form my chords better that way. If I put the guitar on my right leg I find that barre chords are much harder for me.
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:01 PM
DariaS DariaS is offline
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...........................................

Last edited by DariaS; 01-16-2017 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:32 PM
RodB RodB is online now
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You don't mention whether you are using a classical, or what size steel string guitar you are using.

I say this because i play my steel string guitars on the right leg, but use the left leg for the classical guitar. My steel string guitars are all relatively large bodied and full scale length. On my left leg the first fret is uncomfortable to reach, conversely if I play the classic on my right leg I do not get a good left hand position either.

Some people use purpose made supports to hold the guitar in the right position. You might find these of benefit.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:51 PM
GolfSteve GolfSteve is offline
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I say this because i play my steel string guitars on the right leg, but use the left leg for the classical guitar. My steel string guitars are all relatively large bodied and full scale length. On my left leg the first fret is uncomfortable to reach, conversely if I play the classic on my right leg I do not get a good left hand position either.

Some people use purpose made supports to hold the guitar in the right position. You might find these of benefit.
Seriously look at the size of the guitar you are playing. I started with a steel string dreadnought and could never get comfortable playing it. I tried right leg. I tried the classical left leg position. I tried a strap. Strap wasn't too bad, but the right shoulder felt wrong. The right leg position also put my fretting left hand at an awkward bent position that aggravated some moderate RSI tendencies that were caused by poor typing technique.

Then I switched to playing a much smaller classical guitar, using the classical left leg position and a footstool. Immediate relief for my back, right shoulder, and my left hand. However, over time I started to dislike the footstool as it induced a twist into my posture, and switched to using a Dynarette cushion instead of the footstool. That worked great, but I found the cushion was a bit small, and I have finally settled on placing a 2" tall platform under my left foot (i.e. a hunk of 2 x 6 maple from my shop), the Dynarette cushion on my left leg, and a classical guitar held at about 45 degrees angle. Perfection.

Other than my bum going numb, I can now play for hours comfortably.
  • Try a smaller guitar.
  • Try the classical position. For me this is the best ergonomic solution.
  • Experiment until you find something comfortable. Watch your technique and avoid repetitive strain injuries.

Last edited by GolfSteve; 10-22-2015 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:24 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohYew812 View Post
All great advice and comments... I sincerely appreciate it.

Perhaps the fact that I broke both legs (femurs and tib/fibs) back in 84' and recently had a total hip replacement may factor in to why it's more natural feeling to me to rest the guitar on my left leg.

Just a thought. I might and probably am full of S___ on this theory.
Not at all! Your injuries and operation probably explain your discomfort with right leg position.
Left leg is ideal for classical guitar (fingerstyle), if the leg (or the guitar) is also raised a little.
It's not good for large body acoustics, because of how far apart the legs need to be (the neck needs to be up around 45 degrees, so the lower guitar body sits between the legs. (An alternative there could be a high stool, with a foot rest for the left leg, so the right leg can go down rather than out to the side.)
For most people, right leg is fine for any guitar (and better for strumming), IF you can keep the angles of your left elbow and wrist the same, so that your left hand is still in good position.

I often find a midway position is ideal - on crossed legs, which also raises the guitar to a good height - but that can cause circulation issues if held for too long.

The strap is probably a good solution, because the guitar can then be positioned just where it's comfortable, without needing support from either leg (or your left hand!).
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2015, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
It's not good for large body acoustics, because of how far apart the legs need to be (the neck needs to be up around 45 degrees, so the lower guitar body sits between the legs. (An alternative there could be a high stool, with a foot rest for the left leg, so the right leg can go down rather than out to the side.)
For most people, right leg is fine for any guitar (and better for strumming), IF you can keep the angles of your left elbow and wrist the same, so that your left hand is still in good position.

I often find a midway position is ideal - on crossed legs, which also raises the guitar to a good height - but that can cause circulation issues if held for too long.

The strap is probably a good solution, because the guitar can then be positioned just where it's comfortable, without needing support from either leg (or your left hand!).
Uh oh. My main guitar is an EJ-200.

I've been using a strap while sitting since starting this thread.
It just plain doesn't feel right on my right leg and it causes me to pull in and play the wrong string/notes.
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