How To Hold The Guitar

There are two ways of holding the guitar. The classical way and the modern way. See the pictures below and select the position which feels most comfortable to you. If you have very small hands, let me suggest you at least try the classical position because it often offers greater access to the fretboard. There are four keys to either position:


  1.  Make sure the waist of the guitar is well balanced on your legs.
  2.  If you are sitting, it is important to slightly raise your foot off of the floor. You can accomplish this by: crossing your leg in the casual style or by raising your leg using some books, a small box or a special guitar footstool. Trust me, this will make your guitar much more comfortable to play.
  3. Whether standing or sitting, make sure the head of the guitar is raised. Do not raise the head of the guitar above shoulder level. Raising the head of the guitar in this way will offer the best access to the strings and frets for learning purposes. This is for practice purposes, what you do when you are actually playing is totally up to you! It may be “cool” to hold the guitar differently on stage, especially if you are a “rocker”! Just don’t tell anyone how you practice!
  4. If you are sitting, rest your forearm on the body of the guitar.
  5.  If standing using a good leather strap, preferably with strap locks. If you use one of those cheap nylon straps you are likely to hurt your shoulder and/or drop your guitar. You can also use the strap while sitting to help you stabilize the guitar.

Modern Position

Classical Position