Author Topic: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?  (Read 275 times)

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Offline guitalias

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Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« on: January 13, 2020, 09:54:20 am »
I've taken up guitar again with Justin's new course, have tried 2 or 3 times since 2009. Part of the reason I stopped before was back & shoulder injury & pain. So I'm keen to have a better experience this time, the lessons are going well. I've been looking into which knee an electric guitar should be placed when sitting. I play right handed (strum with right hand). Some advocates say rest the guitar on left knee, some the right knee. What I've noticed in common is that both camps say their way is better because it is closer to a standing playing position, that is they will play sitting then stand to show how similar their sitting playing position is to their standing position.
I can see the advantage of having a similar playing position sitting & standing, what sitting playing position do forum members think is closer to standing playing postion?

Offline sairfingers

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 10:18:30 am »
I've taken up guitar again with Justin's new course, have tried 2 or 3 times since 2009. Part of the reason I stopped before was back & shoulder injury & pain.
I can see the advantage of having a similar playing position sitting & standing, what sitting playing position do forum members think is closer to standing playing postion?
I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to your question. You have to find a position that suits you and doesn’t cause strain or stress to your back and shoulders. Everyone is built differently.

What I can say though is I am currently in the process of buying a music stand as I’m finding my back and neck are sometimes stiff with twisting to read music/songbooks balanced on chairs etc beside me. (Athough some of this could be age related I suppose!).
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Offline close2u

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 10:49:05 am »
Right knee is certainly the most common apart from classical guitarists who use left knee and angle the guitar neck up quite noticeable from horizontal.
For back & neck pain avoidance is you have a weakness I recommend you use a strap even for sitting, use your right knee and buy a little foot rest to elevate your right leg / foot away from the floor a little.
A foot rest will also work if you choose left knee.

Offline diggy87

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 11:37:14 am »
Personally I fell that with the guitar on my left knee that my lower back is slightly twisted, aside from that the right knee just feels natural to me and I've never considered using my left knee.

just go with whatever feels best for you

Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 06:26:54 pm »
I find the "classical" position with the guitar on the left to be a more comfortable and natural position. When using a strap I have the guitar in pretty much the same position (i.e., if I'm sitting and stand up with the strap the guitar remains in the same place).

That said, I agree that you're probably best off going with whatever you find most comfortable and natural.

Online DarrellW

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 12:38:41 am »
Either way using a strap helps with stability, which is important regardless of which leg you decide to use also with a strap you don’t necessarily need to use either - just make sure that you get comfortable!
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Offline Johan217

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 08:55:35 am »
I found the classical position (left knee if you are right handed) beneficial when I was recovering from a wrist injury (it brings the neck up and so lessens the strain on the wrist). I don't know if it will do much if you have back problems - as diggy87 points out it may turn out to be less comfortable. Once I recovered I went back to the right knee for the same reason.




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Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 10:35:05 pm »
Brandon Acker just posted a video on various ways of holding the guitar. (Acoustic, but the same concepts apply to electric.)






Offline emann

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Re: Electric guitar - which knee to rest guitar when sitting?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 09:11:56 pm »
At the end it all boils down to how you feel comfortable and the time you can continue practicing or playing without injuring yourself.

I am 3 years on the good side of 50 and certain squeaks and aches come up every now and then...late last year I was playing the guitar for about an hour each day after work and a terrible discomfort came up in my left shoulder and neck that most of the time made me feel vertigo.  I noted that practicing barre chords I was looking a lot at the neck and this position really strained some muscles seriously.  I looked up the problem and finished playing classic style on both acoustic and strat...neck up with level almost to my eyes and also using bought a muso mirror which really helped me a lot...looking in the mirror straight in front rather then straining my neck looking to the fretboard.

I am also trying to split my practice time between sitting and standing as well just to move a bit as well as playing in a different position.  So again, experiment with the best position that does not cause discomfort which results into pain which results into injury...i managed to do the alteration to my posture in about 2 months and do not regret it up to now.

Keep us informed.

 

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