Classical Guitar Position Lesson: How to Sit, Hold, and Position a Classical Guitar. This lesson includes photos, diagrams, and video lessons with multiple camera angles. It’s a reference and guideline for how to sit and hold a classical guitar but there are many small variables and personal adjustments to make. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you within the guidelines given.
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Guitar size, chair, and footstool/support – Make sure you have the right size guitar for yourself. Guitars come in all sizes and if you are extra short or small you might consider a short-scale guitar. The chair you use should be tall enough that you don’t bend your legs too much but can still have your right foot flat on the ground. You’ll also want an adjustable footstool or guitar support.
Here’s the YouTube Lesson Link if you want to watch the video there.
Guitar Position with a Footstool
Headstock Level, Angel, Contact Points
Instructions for the Classical Guitar Position
Headstock Position – The headstock should be around eye level or above. There are many variables in this so it’s all approximate and depends on the player. Modern players and those with guitar supports sometimes have it above eye level.
Guitar Angle – The guitar should be at a 45 degree angle or steeper. Again, there are many variables here and many modern players hold the guitar at a steeper angle which generally brings the headstock closer to your head.
The guitar contacts the body at the following points – 1. Very lightly on the chest. 2. On the right forearm in front on the elbow. 3. On the right thigh (if using a guitar support the support contacts). 4. On the left thigh.
- Sit up straight with your head and spine in alignment. Do not lean to one side or the other.
- Sit on the forward edge of the chair.
- The guitar/guitar neck is at a 45 degree angle or steeper.
- The headstock of the guitar should be approximately at eye level. Experiment with the height of the footstool or support so the headstock is around eye level or higher.
- The left foot is raised with the footstool, the right foot is on the ground. With a guitar support both feet will be flat on the ground.
- Align your centre of gravity by keeping your head, neck, and spine aligned.
- Relax and align your shoulders. Carefully check that one shoulder isn’t raised more than the other.
Position with the ErgoPlay Guitar Support
The picture below shows the classical guitar position while using an ErgoPlay Troster Guitar Support. All the same tips apply except both feet are flat on the ground. You can see my reviews of guitar supports here.
Position with the GuitarLift Support
The picture below shows the classical guitar position while using the GuitarLift Guitar Support.
Position with the Gitano Support
How to look at your left hand
The above picture is from the player’s perspective. So, this is how the left hand should look from your eyes when holding the guitar. Many beginners have trouble maintaining alignment because they want to look at the entire fretboard and their left hand. Instead of leaning the guitar back to see the frets or contorting your body, you can tell where your left hand fingers are based on the top of the frets and your fingernails. You’ll learn to trust your left hand in regards to which string you are one but this is enough of a view to see what fret you are playing.
Q&A Follow-up Questions
Q&A Lesson: Classical Guitar Position Follow-up. Thanks to all my Patreon supporters who submitted questions. You can visit my Support Page if you enjoy these and want to help out. Here’s the YouTube link if you want to watch the video there.