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  #16  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:10 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is online now
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Hi DadOfThree,

This blog post and introductory video lesson by Bryan Sutton is all you need to know to achieve the posture that is best suited to achieving optimal playing, optimal tone and optimal posture, from a standpoint of body mechanics:
https://artistworks.com/blog/why-pla...rs-flatpicking

(It's available without a subscription)

You'll find it confirming many of the already excellent points made in this thread. One of the main reasons for using a strap whether playing seated or standing is that it ensures you hold the guitar in the exact same position each time. This is usually not the case if you use a strap only while playing standing.
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Last edited by DesertTwang; 06-10-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:30 PM
beninma beninma is offline
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It seems most/many acoustic players here play sitting exclusively so I will probably get flak for this but standing the heck up is a great option considering you bought a dreadnaught guitar.

Initially when I started playing I thought standing was harder. But when you get a good strap and learn how to stabilize the guitar standing can start to feel a lot more natural and relaxed. And in the case of large body guitars it often seems like they were intended to be played standing up.

Almost all these posture issues go away if you stand up. They certainly do for me.

The other thing with learning to stand up is it will give you a reference point so you know when your sitting posture is OK. We're all different, for some people it's easier to stand and for others it's easier to sit, and realistically you need to learn both.

I tend to sit if I'm playing with other acoustic players out of peer pressure but at home I stand most of the time unless I'd super dead tired, at which point I sit on a pretty tall guitar stool, the taller the position the easier it is for me to hold good posture.

Not having to look at the fretboard is HUGE too, and that takes quite a while to develop. Combining sitting + looking at fretboard all the time (beginner) + large body guitar and you have the hardest recipe for success/largest chance of injury.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:55 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
Hi DadOfThree,

This blog post and introductory video lesson by Bryan Sutton is all you need to know to achieve the posture that is best suited to achieving optimal playing, optimal tone and optimal posture, from a standpoint of body mechanics:
https://artistworks.com/blog/why-pla...rs-flatpicking

(It's available without a subscription)

You'll find it confirming many of the already excellent points made in this thread. One of the main reasons for using a strap whether playing seated or standing is that it ensures you hold the guitar in the exact same position each time. This is usually not the case if you use a strap only while playing standing.
I have to say I don't agree with some of the points there. In the pics from above, the guitar neck is too far forward - not a lot, and not for playing higher on the neck, but definitely for playing in open position.

He says: "When we hug the guitar, keeping it tight against the abdomen, our body absorbs a large percentage of the vibration, thereby diminishing its natural resonance." Most (of not all) of the guitar's resonance is from the top, not from the back and sides.
In fact, he says later that the guitar should "rest comfortably between the contact points of the thigh, the diaphragm and the right hand forearm". Where does he think the diaphragm is, if not in the abdomen?
I appreciate what I guess is the difference between "resting" and "hugging tight", and the position he is holding it in relative to his body is fine. But I've found that "hugging the guitar tight" (between those three points) improves playability.
The guitar may certainly be tighter against the ribs or chest than lower down the abdomen, but the issue of preventing the back vibrating is a red herring. If it's comfortable to hold the guitar close to your body - if it helps both hand positions - then any inhibition of the guitar's resonance is not worth worrying about.

Everything else he says about relaxation is good, of course. (I'm not suggesting one should "hug" the guitar with any kind of tension in the right arm! But wedging it against the body - simply with the weight of the arm or upper body - is fine.)
And if he was to turn his shoulders more to the right (much as Silly Moustaches was saying), facing forward parallel with his right thigh, then his fret hand would approach the neck at a better angle.

The explanation on the video - going into more detail - is better. You see that he is not reaching forward too much to fret the lower frets: his upper arm remains vertical (relaxed) his elbow at 90 degrees. You also see him (from above) facing a little more in the direction of his right thigh.

It seems like I'm splitting hairs, but my main issue here is that it's very easy to allow the guitar neck to drift too far forward and even down a little - to straighten the elbow and hold the neck in the palm with thumb over. That's bad for the left wrist, and makes some playing more difficult. That's why I encourage beginners to keep the neck back and up. Not pulled right back of course, but just to counter the tendency for it to drift forward too far. The better you get, the more that position can relax, and the neck can move forward more without causing problems.
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
It seems most/many acoustic players here play sitting exclusively so I will probably get flak for this but standing the heck up is a great option considering you bought a dreadnaught guitar.

Initially when I started playing I thought standing was harder. But when you get a good strap and learn how to stabilize the guitar standing can start to feel a lot more natural and relaxed. And in the case of large body guitars it often seems like they were intended to be played standing up.

Almost all these posture issues go away if you stand up. They certainly do for me.

The other thing with learning to stand up is it will give you a reference point so you know when your sitting posture is OK. We're all different, for some people it's easier to stand and for others it's easier to sit, and realistically you need to learn both.

I tend to sit if I'm playing with other acoustic players out of peer pressure but at home I stand most of the time unless I'd super dead tired, at which point I sit on a pretty tall guitar stool, the taller the position the easier it is for me to hold good posture.

Not having to look at the fretboard is HUGE too, and that takes quite a while to develop. Combining sitting + looking at fretboard all the time (beginner) + large body guitar and you have the hardest recipe for success/largest chance of injury.
Interesting and legitimate points (though I would not bet on the classical players agreeing). I’ve never played standing up, just feel more comfortable sitting down and using the NeckUp. If I sit upright with a straight back and both feet on the floor, it always keeps my lower back happy. But another reason I use the Neckup is that it consistently puts the guitar where I want it and I don’t have that dang strap around the back of my neck.
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:27 AM
Trent in WA Trent in WA is offline
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I like using a lap strap, which requires no special equipment (assuming you already have a strap) or attachments to the guitar. You can find photos and a description here:

https://buildingtheergonomicguitar.c...r-support.html

Particularly with smaller-bodied guitars (OM / 000 or smaller), it keeps the guitar in a comfortable and ergonomically sound position while sitting.

Trent
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  #21  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:38 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadOfThree View Post
…I've [positioned] the guitar more like a classical style with the neck facing up and the bottom tuning key, around face level.
When holding the guitar like this, it feels much better. However, I not sure if I'm sitting correctly or if I have the strap adjusted too high / or too low. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Hi DoT

Absolutely that neck position is better for fretting in a more relaxed manner.

I've used a NeckUP lift for about the past 15 years, and the position of a guitar which works for me is if the headstock is between chin and nose high. It pulls the fretting hand more toward the body of the player, and helps the left hand track up/down the neck better.

And especially if you are playing a larger bodied acoustic, using a strap or lift to continue working from the right knee rather than dropping the body of the guitar down a well & using a footstool is better for the back.

Not all of us can manage wearing the strap in the lap well (because our physique begins to resemble the Pillsbury Dough Boy). But there are many ways to elevate the neck to achieve the same thing.

In reality what you discovered is a pivot system. When wearing the strap it's easy to imagine the pivot point being about at the sound hole. As you raised the headstock you rotate the body of the guitar so the lower bout drops (in essence moving the picking hand closer to the sound hole and at a less sharp angle) while at the same time moving the fretting hand closer to your body.



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  #22  
Old 06-13-2019, 11:17 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is online now
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At home I play seated with guitar resting on the right leg and ukulele on the left leg. I don't use a strap as I find it gets in the way and is fiddly to deal with. I have straps in case I want to perform standing, but I find it difficult to find the same guitar position that I use when I play seated, and it is a challenge to get comfortable with my fretting hand. So I avoid standing, and the straps don't get much use as a result.
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