classical guitar position

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Align your center of gravity by keeping your head, neck, and body along the. I really appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response. Some small tilt inward toward to the chest is okay but not too much. Guitar Foot Rests As a guitarist who plays in many different genres, I personally usually opt for a guitar footstool . This position brings the guitar across to the left a little more and with the help of a footstool puts the guitar in the most ideal position for the left hand to access the entire fingerboard. Brought to you by Bradford Werner, British Columbia, Canada. This relieves the inner thigh, and brain, of the extra work of holding the leg in place. Like any other instrument, classical guitar music is written on a staff. This message follows a search for guitar chairs to reveal bar stools, rocking chairs with an arm sawn off and chairs with grooves to hold a guitar still when not being played .They are “Not Playing a guitar stools “. Classical guitar is always played on a nylon-string guitar and in a sitting position. A small one may also be preferred if you have small hands, and find it hard to play specific accords on a big guitar. Experimentation is key to the process. The pictures below show my student Sofia using correct posture for classical guitar while using an ergonomic guitar support (click here to see reviews of supports). The modern classical guitar is usually played in a seated position, with the instrument resting on the left lap – and the left foot placed on a footstool. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you (within the guidelines). I am wondering about the angle of the guitar to the body as seen from above. Yes, it has to do with the size of the instrument and how low the lower bout goes between the legs. If have in a good classical guitar sitting position, then playing will feel relaxing and effortless. Should the right forearm rest all of its weight balanced on the front edge of the guitar (assuming your shoulders are not hunched foreward)? The left hand is straight, in-line with the forearm. When we increased the size of the instrument I don’t think it kept it’s ergonomic principles. These are small footrests to support your leg that help you hold a comfortable playing position similar to supports. Guitars come in all sizes and if you are extra short or small you might consider a short-scale guitar. Try to use more of your peripheral vision to see your left hand. If it looks unfamiliar to you, play through it. Stretches magically become easier, fretting doesn’t require as much effort, and … That is not a real objection . Another great video by Scott Morris via Guitar Salon International. I wonder if you wouldn’t agree that in shots of the female player, the angle of the neck is too steep? I am a sub 5 year player which means I am still thinking it through . Your email address will not be published. I think that is a big mistake. Henry Ford`s saying with each new machine was “Let`s crank it up and see why it won`t work . One must understand why and what we do with our bodies and then know the reason for doing one thing or another. I would like to hear a physiotherapist talk about sitting on the front edge of a chair as in the photos. Here’s how I hold my guitar and the steps I use to teach my students the correct way to sit. Copyright © 2020 Bradford Werner, thisisclassicalguitar.com & wernerguitareditions.com. It suits me and I find quite a few students, given the choice, tend to prefer the right. Are there any particular reasons/arguments in favour of using the left thigh? It also contacts the chest but only very lightly. But you can play and share them as you wish, in goodwill and absent of commerce. For free lessons, sheet music, and pro videos join the Email Newsletter. Let's assume that you want to desig… In classical guitar, the right hand produces sound by plucking the strings. Thanks. How to hold a classical guitar – Here are my video lessons and reference photos on how to sit and position a classical guitar. What are your thoughts on using the right thigh? You’ll also want an adjustable footstool or guitar support. Do you want to have a big guitar or a small one? Why? Learn about your Privacy, Security, and our Terms, ergonomic guitar support (click here to see reviews of supports), Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios, Tips and Advice for Beginner Classical Guitarists, 10 Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners, Left hand stretches (beginner to intermediate), Tension & Relaxation Lesson for Classical Guitarists, Back Problems & Lesson on Classical Guitar, Maria Luisa (Mazurka), Op.19 by Sagreras (Lesson, PDF), Chasse, Op.51, No.9 by Coste (Lesson, PDF), Bach Cello Suite No.1, BWV 1007 (Lesson, PDFs), Bach for Classical Guitar - Free Sheet Music PDFs, Easy Christmas Songs for Guitar - Volume 1, Asturias - Leyenda by Albéniz for Guitar (PDF, Lesson), Zane Forshee and Gene Koshinski Play Clockwork by Gene Koshinski, Francisco Correa Plays Guitar Concerto by Goss, Iliana Matos plays El Arpa del Guerrero by Brouwer, Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 5, Virtual Guitar Orchestra: Relampiños by Adam Del Monte, Pacific MusicWorks: Baptista, Plà, Zipoli, Lesson: Rolled Chords on Classical Guitar, Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Privacy Policy, 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar, Classical Guitar Festivals and Competitions, Classical Guitar Programs: Colleges, Universities, Conservatories, Classical Guitar Repertoire and Composers, Classical Guitar Reviews and Recommendations, Classical Guitar Societies and Organizations, Classical Guitar Websites, Blogs, Friends, Classifieds – Classical Guitars for Sale by Owner, Fernando Sor – Free PDF Sheet Music or Tab, Johann Kaspar Mertz – Free Sheet Music (PDF), Luthier Lounge: Guitar Woods, Design, Bracing, Info, Online Lessons for Classical Guitar (Webcam, Skype, Video Response), Terms, Conditions, Cookie, Privacy Policy, The left foot is raised with the footstool, Experiment with the height of the footstool so the head of the guitar is around eye level, Align your centre of gravity by keeping your head, neck, and body along the, Relax and then align your shoulders along the, The head of the guitar should be at the height of your head (approximately), The guitar/guitar neck sits at a 45 degree angle (approximately). A lot of young pros are playing with even steeper angles. I was looking at thos because my right forearm has been hurting while I play. It’s fair to say the classical guitar endures greater scrutiny from the listener. In late 2010 graduated from my studies and began to write educational materials for classical guitarists. Meaning #1: Fret Position – where the left hand is located on the guitar fretboard; Meaning #2: Scale Pattern – the notes of a scale on the fretboard if you stay in the same fret position. Classical guitarists play while seated. One other possible problem is that the modern guitar evolved from much smaller instruments. In general, let the arm rest fully on the guitar with gravity. 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. Naughty This is where we came in folks .By the way it cost a modest $3,700 . How to hold a classical guitar – Here are my video lessons and reference photos on how to sit and position a classical guitar. This comes via my YouTube (HD Link). They also elevate the left leg about six inches by using a footstool. The classical players, with all their rules and posture and hundreds of years of tradition, have this thing figured out. Learn more about our Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Privacy Policy. Sitting and standing aren`t two separate skills or techniques, Two things that will help with your posture, A story of why it sucks to not practice standing up, What to do if you have developed a bad playing position with the guitar. Please keep up the good work. So the distance between the E-strings at the saddle position is 56 mm and the distance between the individual strings at that position 56/5 = 11.2 mm. Or should some muscle(s) be flexing, to partially relieve the weight of the forearm so that it feels “lighter” on the guitar? Here is another of the weekly posts with 3 thoughts about guitar, music, and life, including letting in fear, a question about the classical guitar playing position, and more. Hello, my name is Simon Powis. Still, others just sit on your leg and prop it up. Alternatively – if a footstool is not used – a guitar support can be placed between the guitar and the left lap (the support usually attaches to … The strap can be a lifesaver for your guitar too, Two mistakes that show you haven`t secured the guitar…. It is built so that the right hand falls at the back of the sound hole when it is placed on the left leg. So can the long term experts define where the pads should touch the guitar ? 1) Are you resting your strumming hand on the body? Flamenco players are an interesting example of alternative, but clearly very effective ways of holding the guitar. I've gotten used to casual. We increased the size but kept the same general shape therefore making it uncomfortable for some people. The first position of the major scale, seen above, is the "standard" way of playing the major scale, which most guitarists know. If you played a violin in an orchestra you could move around a bit to relieve pressure on the ischial bones but the guitar position demands that you sit still all the time . Step 1: Sit Properly. The player sits on the front of the chair and the left foot is supported by a foot stool or some other device. The recommended distance is about shoulder width although some guitarists prefer a wider stance. The "classical" guitar is the traditional guitar of Spain. Guitar size, chair, and footstool/support – Make sure you have the right size guitar for yourself. Your left wrist is should be generally flat, or in a slight and natural arch. A big guitar gives you possibilities to end up with a guitar with a large sound volume and strong, durable, sustaining basses. Classical Guitar Classes A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc. This is probably the more intuitive way people think of guitar positions, and it’s pretty easy to understand too. Tips for sitting and posture with a guitar support: More free lessons: Lesson Archive for Classical GuitarBooks by Bradford: Visit the Sheet Music Page. Classical posture works for all styles – not just classical music! It’s a pleasure to receive your sound advice. Classical with a strap posture (or CWAS for short) simply means you sit like a classical guitarist but you also use a strap to secure the guitar in this optimal position. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Patreon. Your fingertips are hurting because they are rubbing against steel strings. Notation reading should be fluent and effortless. The distance between the E strings for the EB-guitars is chosen to be 44 mm at the 0-fret position and 50 mm at the 12th fret position. It should be noted that placing the guitar on the left thigh is the recommended position for playing classical guitar. Classical guitarists play, for the most part, with their fingers — finger picking — rather than with a pick. Cheap at twice the price . Repertoire: Fernando Sor Study No.2 from 10 Progressive Pieces for Classical Guitar Study no.2 starts to explore the fingerboard with a wider range of notes (the technical name for range is tessitura) Use this piece to work on more complex alternation with i and m. Small differences will occur. Sitting properly and with good posture is one of the most important things you can do to help your overall playing technique. It’s more comfortable for some people. A small one may lose power, compared to the big one, but still have sparkling trebles and be handy to transport. Different guitar traditions have different traditions with respect to the position of the legs. Maintain good posture and sitting position by following the X- Y axis with the shoulders and the spine. First, sit down on a chair without holding your guitar. Seems to be just a fashion thing – everybody else except classical guitarists use them? Also, notice how you can see the top of the frets which is enough to gauge what fret you are at (as opposed to stringing over to see the actual whole fingerboard). The chair shouldn't be too high or two low - it should be just the right height so that your knees form roughly a 90 degree angle. Following on from last Monday’s email about the classical position, I got his question. Like most people, I'm used to having my guitar neck parallel to the ground and being hunched over the guitar when I play. A place to come together and enjoy the journey of learning music. All pieces and guitar notes are in the public domain. This may surprise you, given the relative simplicity of the instrument itself. Howard, it’s really not a question of which leg or how you position the guitar. This article is written specificall… Starting from the bottom line of the staff, a sentence can be used to figure out each of the notes on the lines.E In it, he describes the "classical position" of using a foot rest and sitting up straight. Experiment with the height until you find something that is comfortable and fits the reference pictures. Beginners should start with the top (face of the guitar) straight up and down, that is, not angled. then classical guitar positioning is the way to go. The players I use may not be the same as others use. Strictly my observation, but I find it works quite well and very naturally. My biggest piece of advice is to watch the pro videos I post every week so you get “a feel” for how the instrument is generally held. It certainly works for him. after ~10 seconds in the "classical position" my back gets tired. Thank you Bradford. Classical guitar differs from its steel stringed cousins in a few key ways: The strings on a classical guitar are nylon. In this video Morris talks about posture, sitting position, guitar supports, chairs, and more. Should it be flat against the body or leaning in or out? Should be up by Sunday. But considering the wide dynamic range(volume) of the classical guitar and the emphasis on dynamics in classical music, coupled with the fact that classical guitar is often recorded without accompaniment. I would add that when using a footstool, ensure that the footstool is positioned far enough outside of the hip that the leg falls inward toward the center of gravity. Explore the Classical Guitar Archives. Exercise 1 – Fingerstyle Arpeggio I would suggest that the support is maladjusted, lifting upper bout too high–thoughts? Guitar Posture - Finger Pain The third kind of pain that often happens to guitarists, especially for those starting out, is finger pain. Despite the classical in the name, classical guitars … Thanks to my student Sofia for helping with the photography. I have a video coming out for this post and will hopefully answer your question. Playing in position means that your left hand remains in a fixed location on the neck of the guitar, with each finger more or less on permanent assignment to a specific fret, and that you fret every note — you don’t use any open strings. When you form a chord you have to play several notes at a time. Teacher plays classical, and my classmate. Privacy Policy, The 7 Steps for `Classical With A Strap` posture. Guitar contacts the body on both legs, the right forearm (below the elbow), and both hands. String bending and anything where you are using thumb over the neck, it might present some issues, not to mention how you won’t be able to do the classic rock guitar … Professional classical guitarists sit differently from other guitarists in that they hold the guitar on the left leg instead of on the right one. Other guitar supports use suction cups, magnets, clamps, and more. Remember, this is a reference for guitar and not necessarily how you will hold the guitar. Download our bundled digital archives. Put it like this i,f I made a machine to fly but did not make any wings could I seriously call it a flying machine ? I thought I’d found the solution but it just eems to moving the tension /pain between alternate arms. Sit relatively forward in the chair and place your left foot on the footstool (this is to help keep the guitar in the proper position). The friction from sliding around on the strings causes the skin … An objection to a guitar chair that supported a guitar was made because it might be heavy or awkward to take along to a concert. Using a smaller instrument with a guitar support device could allow sitting fully on the chair but otherwise not sure what can be done. I notice that there is quite a difference between the position of the guitar with the female where the tip I f the shoulder is at about the third fret and wuite a lot shorter reach tobthe first position compared to Brad who seems to require more of a reach to the first position. As a beginner, right hand technique can be very subtle and difficult, so make sure you carefully pay read all the guidelines on this page. Remember, this is a reference for guitar and not necessarily how you will hold the guitar. Meaning #1: Fret Position. Humour here is not directed at any person . It introduces you to the guitar supports available including footstools, the Efel, the Dynarette, the A-Frame and the ErgoPlayay. See the article on Sitting and Posture for Classical Guitar in case you missed it. There’s the guitar strap, which is more popular for standing up with electric guitar and acoustic guitar. Sit with your right knee in an open stance, or lift up the heel of your right foot in line with the right side of the chair. The rocking chair one armed chair was to support the left arm when fretting the notes.(!!!!!!!) Scale runs and a lot of chord position changes, etc. But these versions and arrangements are under copyright. However, as a basic reference these photos should guide you in the right direction. (The classical guitar Christmas music is especially fun for students.) Do you advise the front edge because the guitar will touch the chair between the legs ? It should definitely not be behind the shoulder, the hand can’t really reach back that far…. Also try to only look when needed so you have on and off movements. That said, I often find that students twist their spine when the guitar is located on the right. Why use a strap and not just go `old school` classical? We are both playing the normal sized 650mm scale length guitar and yet we are different heights and sizes. That is not always true, as you stated. But lots of people play casual. Also, with modern instruments some women find that the guitar is too close to their chest which is in part due to the modern size of the instrument. I find when I have the bout right up against my body my right hand feels very relaxed but this tends to push the neck more forward and then the left hand has difficulty stretching across the frets. What’s wrong with a strap? This is very helpful ” Make it and try it first . Would that pain subside over time, or should I maybe turn my torso to the left a bit, so that my neck does not strain so much? Right Hand Position. When playing in second position… The 1st finger… plays the second fret; The 2nd finger… plays the third fret; The 3rd finger… plays the fourth fret; The 4th finger… plays the fifth fret; Identifying guitar positions with the first finger only applies to single notes, not chords. One of the most challenging instruments to accurately record, aside from acoustic drums has to be the classical guitar. Why your posture is so important for your long-term health as a guitarist, How being inconsistent with your posture is a one-way ticket to the land of being a frustrated guitar player, A simple chord based test to see if your posture is indeed consistent, How just being aware of your posture can be very beneficial, My left leg is raised on a footstool (see below for more on this) and this allows me to raise the neck side of the guitar higher, The curved base of the body of the guitar is on my left leg NOT my right as in the more common `rock` position, The neck of the guitar is angled up and NOT in a horizontal plane, The headstock is above shoulder level NOT below, The bottom of the body of the guitar is tight against my body. I think ergonomic supports are a reaction to this, as are the increased used of smaller scale instruments. By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell . Everyone’s body is different so you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you (within the guidelines). This brings the neck very close to your face, so that your left arm has to bend at the elbow quite a bit and come back toward your face before reaching the fretboard. Excellent work. After about 20 years I changed to my right, and use a support. Tips are located below, between the photos. Using a strap while standing is less common among classical guitarists, though some classical guitarists use them sitting. Hello, thanks for the tutorial. Therefore, as in the case with good flamenco players, where exactly the guitar is located seems less important to looking closely at the body. The right elbow is placed on the box of the guitar so that the hand falls over the strings, with the fingers at an angle to the strings. When I think of teaching students I’m mainly looking into their future to see if tension or even injury could result. I think the really important aspect is how healthy and ergonomic one’s position is. Thanks for posting this. I just started and I notice the left side of my neck hurts after a practice session, mostly because I’m looking at my left hand and where I press the strings on the fret board. The classical hand position rests the fingers on the strings that they play. Bradford, Ideal would be a chair fitted with adjustable soft pads where you could place the guitar in it`s playing position and stand back and admire it . My only issue with steep angles is if bothers my left hand shoulder, otherwise I’m all for it for the ease of reach….

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