How To Hold The Guitar

In this beginner guitar lesson we will cover how to hold the guitar. There are two basic ways that you can choose to hold the guitar when you are sitting down. You can hold it over your right leg or your left leg. If you are right handed the more common choice is the right leg but the choice is yours.

There are a couple of things that you should remember when holding the guitar. One thing to remember is to have good posture and not slouch too much. Poor posture can lead to poor guitar technique and it can be pretty bad for your back too. The next thing to remember is to hold the guitar close to your body with your strumming arm. Don’t let the guitar slide down your leg. A lot of beginners let the guitar kind of slide down their leg so that they can see what is going on better. Try not to fall into that trap.

You can also choose to stand up with a strap when you play the guitar. This is a great option because most people usually perform standing up. Practicing in the same position that you perform will help a lot.

Watch the guitar lesson video, experiment with holding the guitar over each leg and standing up with a strap. See which one works best for you. Once you are done with this lesson you can check out the next lesson which covers the numbering systems for the guitar.

This Lesson Has 25 Comments

  • juan says:

    Hi! I try to buy a guitar lessons but I can`t, I want a pay with palpay. You can help me please thank

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Juan, It might be an international hold on your card. Try calling your card company.

  • Paul says:

    Nate…I am a genuine newbie …just starting. Thank-you for your clear very informative you tube lessons!

  • Stephanie says:

    So I’m left-handed. What do I do?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Stephanie, Do you already own a guitar? If so, is it left handed or right handed?

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m borrowing my husband’s guitar, which is right-handed. I’m working through these lessons with it. It seems to be going okay, but I wonder if it would be easier if I was functioning with something more left-handed appropriate. Is there a way to adapt it to left-handedness or do I need to buy a different guitar?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Stephanie, have you tried a left handed guitar yet? It would be worth going to a music store just to compare a left handed to a right handed. It will probably be obvious which is better for you right away.

  • MM says:

    Hi Nate,

    I just discovered your incredible website, thanks for the lessons. I realized that I can actually play the guitar both the left-handed and right-handed way, although I naturally pick it up the left-handed way. I’m a little confused about which one I should go for! I should mention that I own a right-handed guitar already, with nylon strings.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hmmmm that’s a tough one. On one hand it is nice to have a bigger selection of guitars to choose from if you go right handed. On the other hand if you are more comfortable with playing left handed you will probably progress faster that way. I guess it depends if you have the money to invest in a left handed guitar too. I would go to a music store and try both side by side.

  • saurabh patil says:

    Nate, which type of guitar i should Have to buy. I don’t know a single thing in guitar. I wanna play my favorite songs. E.g- country rock and unplugged type.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Well, it sounds like you already know that you want an acoustic. Now you just have to decide how much you want to spend. :)

  • Jimmy says:

    hey Nate, I’m about 5’5″ and I just borrowed a guitar from a friend. Is a full sized acoustic too big for me? How can I tell if the guitar size is right for me??


    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Jimmy, my best friend is about 5’6″ and he can do a full size. It may be a bit of a struggle but you should be able to do it. Standing up with a strap might help a lot. :)

  • Amy C says:

    Thanks for the lessons. From reading the above comments I see some guitars are left or right handed??? I just bought a used acoustic today, how can I tell if it is appropriate for a right handed person?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Amy, If you set the guitar in front of you, like you are having a conversation with it, the thickest string should be on the left and the thinnest string should be on the right. :)

  • Samantha Beattie says:

    How do you tune a guitar ?

  • vaishnavi says:

    hey Nate
    as I am a left hander I am having a difficulty in holding the guitar with my right hand can I hold it the other way round??

  • Cody-James Linnell says:

    Hi my name is cody I am left handed and I have a left handed guitar do u have lessons for a left handed person or do u k ow some one who is left handed that does the same thing as you.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Cody, As far as online lessons I don’t know of a lefty teacher. A lot of times it just takes a while for the student to get used to flipping things around in their head as they learn.

  • Devin says:

    Thanks for these lessons! I’m 11 and i am waiting to get my guitar, for me as a starter should i get something around 150$? What would you recommend?

  • jay says:

    It is nice to have some one on web who stand for person like me for learning guitar on my own time. Thanks a lot Nate!


Leave a Comment