I didn’t fully realize the impact of my guitar posture until I got together with a strict corrective exercise specialist who helped me with my elbow and shoulder pain. The term humeral anterior glide was not in my guitar lesson vocabulary. Without getting into details that shows my ignorance, when the head of your arm bone is pushed forward, it drags your shoulder with it. This process stresses out your shoulder joint, back and neck which takes the fun out of playing guitar.

I went back and reviewed the classical guitar posture in detail with him. He pointed out how positioning of the feet, and placing the guitar on the left leg (for right handed players) reduces the stresses on the entire body, not just hands and wrist. Proper guitar posture also allows me to reach around the guitar neck easier, have stronger and more accurate fingertip contact with the guitar.

Proper guitar posture is especially important in providing guitar lessons for kids who already have a hunched posture.

Sitting Position with Guitar Support

  • Below are tips with some exercise lingo I learned.
  • Sit on the front edge of the chair.
  • Keep your back straight, try not to crane your neck to see your fingers.
  • Plant your feet on the ground with some external rotation so that your feet point in the same direction as your knees.
  • Align your feet and knees so that your feet are directly underneath your knees.
  • Keep your shoulders aligned with each other. Especially avoid dropping your left shoulder down and as you try to lift your right shoulder up. These instruction are for right handed players. Left handed players do the opposite.
  • Head of the guitar should be about the same height as your head that gives the guitar neck about 45 degree angle compared to the center line of your body. This 45-degree angle places the neck of the guitar in an easier reach. As you drop the neck, you need to reach down and over which creates additional stress on the shoulder and the wrist.
  • Without the stool guitar contacts both your legs, with a stool, it sits on your left leg for right handed players.