How to Hold The Guitar Properly – Lesson 2

About How to Hold The Guitar Properly – Lesson 2

Level: Beginner

How to Hold The Guitar Properly – Lesson 2

In this lesson, we explain correct posture, the proper way to hold the guitar, as well as correct right and left hand placement.

 

Syn’s Tips

Starting at the very basics with proper technique will create a strong foundation that will support your playing instead of hindering it by using excess energy and muscle, decreasing mobility, dexterity, and even comfort.

Remember - EVERYTHING will seem wrong at first but I promise it will feel completely normal with perfect practice.

Head to the "Lesson Comments" section below and ask questions if you are having trouble. For all of you that have been holding a guitar for a few years, upload a video of you doing so!

Lesson Comments

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Dan Shipway
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Dan Shipway When i seem to relax my body and not, tense up my right shoulder sticks out quite far. I am not sure if this is to do with posture but it creates a lot of pain for my shoulder and makes it impossible to play anything easily or cleanly. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong.
Allan Mori
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Allan Mori Very nice! Keep working and enjoy the ride!
Dan Shipway
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Dan Shipway Cheers dude! Since then I have experimented round with classical positions as well as the “conventional” way and it has been a lot easier to practice, I have altered how I hold the pick completely and my confidence and playing has improved drastically
Allan Mori
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Allan Mori Maybe you could try easy steps to find the right position. For instance, just rest the guitar on your lap and adjust your spine. Now you find a position to rest your right arm in the guitar body and adjust until you can strum. Good Luck! 😀
Pablo Medina
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Pablo Medina This posture it´s way easier than classical guitar, that´s a serious hard world 🙁 xD
M Junivar
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Kye Feher
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Kye Feher Ohhhhh man... Why does this feel so awkward? I have weird hands, large man palms, with short, fat fingers. And possibly terrible posture *shame face* All the things I think of while watching, I forget by the time I can get to my computer to post on here...
John Romano
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John Romano Thanks for the great content! Quick question (for anyone who knows, not just the Haners): what part of your fret-playing fingers is supposed to press down on the string? The more fleshy/padded part or the part closer to the nail?
Jackson Taylor
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Jackson Taylor I believe it's supposed to be the tip, so the part right before you get to the nail. Almost the top of your finger
Carol Seeds
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Carol Seeds This very helpful. I also have very small hands and have even noticed some difficulties, especially with barre F...my first nemesis.
Tridebesh Chatterjee
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Tridebesh Chatterjee Hi syn and brian ....i have small hands ... could u advise me how to tackle all those 6th string riffs
Christian Beam
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Christian Beam I saw a7x in little rock in February. it really inspired me to learn to play again. As soon as i can afford myself a new guitar im going to start practicing again daily. Im glad i heard about this and i cant wait to see you guys again.
Josimário Barros
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Josimário Barros Hello Brian! I'm from Pernambuco. I'm really enjoying it! You are show! thank you! for sharing with us his skills and knowledge .. Strong hug Pope Gates and Syn! Fan # 1 Congratulations!
Josimário Barros
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Josimário Barros Olá Brian! sou de pernambuco. estou gostando muito! vocês são show! obrigado! por compartilhar conosco suas habilidades e conhecimentos.. forte abraço Papa Gates e Syn! fã n°1 Parabéns!
Christopher Fylling
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Knee Ofjustice
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Knee Ofjustice Not sure if I'm holding it right... 🙁
Matthew McCammack
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Matthew McCammack I just started the other day with these lessons and one thing I notice is my hands feel awkward on the fretboard. I have long and bigger hands. I know everything is going to be awkward since I first started. It’s cool seeing everyone’s feedback!
Daniel Khurshudyan
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Sissy Ishee
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Sissy Ishee I feel like when play it is easier to not look at the guitar than be looking at it should I be looking at the guitar when I play ?
Vinícius Contente
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Vinícius Contente Actually, I think it´s cool that you can play without looking at the guitar. The sound and the muscular memories guides you, and that's something very important.
Annelene Frabe
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Annelene Frabe Thank you for that very important and well-explained lesson! But still, I've got a question. I'm trying to hold the guitar like you described and showed it. Now I get shoulder and neck pain all the time, even if I haven't played for a long period of time. What can I do to prevent this from happening? Should I exercise more to get stronger muscles or is a wider guitar strap your advice? I'd ne happy about a response. Many greetings!
Josh Porter
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Josh Porter How do you position your legs and feet in a sitting position? I personally prefer to have my right leg raised. Would this affect my playing in the future?
Rohit Mishra
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Rohit Mishra Hi Syn, hi Brian, I get a Sitar like sound (with the vibrations not naturally found in guitars) from some of my strings mainly the low and high E strings and sometimes the B string and I am not able to figure out the exact reason for this. It is making all my chords and tunes sound awkward. Could you suggest something on why this might be happening and how to get rid of it ?
Pablo Medina
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Pablo Medina Hello Rohit, i think that sound it's caused cause the action of your guitar is high and your strings are hitting the frets. If thats the thing,you guitar can get damaged you need to get to a guitar technician to fix it.
Juan Perez
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Juan Perez I can't watch the lesson, i don´t understand why. Do i have to subscribe to SoundSlice or something like that? The video keeps trying to load but never show.
Vinz V
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Vinz V Hi .. same here ... i've been comment this at the lesson 1 ...and still no reply from admin or else ... so it's not about the internet connection ...maybe there's something wrong about the server ...
Ashley King
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Ashley King I didn’t have to subscribe to anything like that 🤔 hmm
Ashley King
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Ashley King Is it wrong to have my forearm kinda rest on the body of the guitar to keep it from falling? Or should my picking arm be completely floating?
Ashley King
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Ashley King Also, is it a bad idea (habit wise) to start off holding it the classic way? I’ve been playing for a few years and I use to strictly only play in the classic position...I’ve been recently playing it on my right leg so I’m kind of accustomed to both. But I wanna tackle any bad habits I might have if I can help it.
Aaron Chetty
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Aaron Chetty Thanks for the lesson. Is there a lesson about how to hold the guitar pick?
Aaron Chetty
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Aaron Chetty Sorry, found the lesson. Feel so stupid for asking. Thanks.
Angie Noyola
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Angie Noyola After leaving my guitar sitting for 3 months I've finally decided to pick it up again and actually go for it , to learn and actually learn and master it ...I am determined!!! 🤘🏻❤
Faith Williams
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Faith Williams Seems we are in the same boat. Lol
Nicole Staup
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Nicole Staup Hi! Thank you so much for creating this amazing site! I have played violin, cello, clarinet, and some piano all of my life, mostly classical. For some reason, I was intimidated to learn guitar, although I have always wanted to learn. However, your site has definitely served as an inspiration. Both you and Syn exhibit such calmness and patience in your videos, and it is an honor to learn from you and the rest of the site members. Thank you!
Conor Mason
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Conor Mason Fantastic video again. This is great foundational knowledge that is glossed over so many times. Quick question...if we are to upload any video, is that under the 'create a riff' section even for a video of us holding the guitar? Just curious. Thanks again guys!
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. Yes!
Chantal Scholten
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Chantal Scholten Being 28 now I thought it was to late for me to learn how te play the guitar. But since you guys started this school I am going to give it a try. Thank you for doing this. It looks amazing! Greets from Holland
Truman Young
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Truman Young Even with these initial lessons I'm learning a lot and hearing things I've not heard before.
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Great lesson 🙂
Janinne Suarez
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Janinne Suarez Love how beginner friendly this is!!❤️❤️❤️ Thank you so much for taking the time out to highlight the basics!! Two amazing teachers for sure!!
Justin Vernon
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Justin Vernon I've realized over time that I definitely do not come at the strings straight on. This doesn't always make a noticeable impact, but it can definitely cause some issues with my playing in terms of how clean I play. I need to work on this. Thanks for the heads up!
Ronald Levine
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Ronald Levine I've always had this habbit where I randomly punch things. It's a habit I've had since I was a kid. I didn't pick up a guitar until 2008 (my Sophmore year at Ball High). It was a First Act from either Wally World or Target. Belongs to my Baby Brother André (who will soon be joining if he hasn't already. I fiddled with his guitar for 5 years retraining my hand a lot due to getting lazy and dropping the guitar for a few weeks and go back. I was so good... well slightly a tad over mediocre. Once I got the groove my alt-picking came naturally. In 2013 my Mom purchased me my Dean Black Dime Razorback as a gift. A year or so later I get Boxer's Knuckle from fighting this guy whose head was the hardest surface I ever punched which made me have to relearn picking. I had to resort to a substitute picking style due to my picking hand not wanting to pick the way it originally picked. I was a pretty acurate down-picker. I was frustrated as I retaught myself everything. My timing has been off, my tempo, and I put a lot of force on the strings, posture off, positioning, nothing is the same anymore. That is why I'm now learning from scratch. Teach me all y'all know and I will obsorb everything and feel pretty Awesome again! Thanks for doing this for us you guys! GOD BLESS! ! ! ! ! ! !
Rósa Lind
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Rósa Lind Very helpful! Thank you!
Allan V
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Allan V Extremely embarrassing 🤦‍♂️.. When i first started playing 10 years ago i never realized pushing all the way down on the frets created the pitch, so when i would just lay my finger over the strings you would only hear like a muted “thump” over it. I thought my guitar was broken. I wish these lessons were around because they really do show you how even the most basic principles can be overlooked lol
Vinícius Contente
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Vinícius Contente I think that the right pressure you have to put to sound good comes in a sort of natural way, after you repeat several times what you wanna play.
Rohit Mishra
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Rohit Mishra Hi Syn, hi Brian, I have been learning and playing guitar from the internet for the last 5 years but there is this one thing that I have always struggled with - I have baby hands and so I face a lot of difficulty in playing Barre chords and I am mostly not able to play them and end up using a workaround. Could it possibly have something to do with my posture or how I hold my guitar ?
Joshua Bataneant
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Joshua Bataneant Thats so funny lolol, I like to practice the really hard exercises like syn's tapping etude x, or extended arpeggios. I felt like it was hard for me to hold my guitar and play, unlike other people I see. But my hands are ridiculously big and I'm 14 and they are already bigger then my Dad's hands whose way taller haha! But it seems the most basic video helped me the most, that really shows something! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. I definitely have small hands (Syn does not). I always struggle with Classical guitars because the necks are so wide. I would suggest looking into a guitar with a thin neck. That would certainly help. Also, make sure to get your thumb directly behind the neck and drop your left shoulder a bit. That helps me with leverage when I'm facing an awkward chord.
Gabriel Silva
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Gabriel Silva Nice question, I have long fingers but they're thin, their joints are bigger than the rest of it
Gabriel Silva
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Gabriel Silva I'm on my girls house, can't wait to get back to my home and take my guitar to start studying to be "creative... as fuck" like Syn says hahaahah
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