How To Hold The Guitar

Learn 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.

Watch the guitar lesson video, experiment with holding the guitar over each leg and see which one works best for you. Once you are done with this lesson you can move on to the next lesson in the Quick-Start Beginner Series.

This Lesson Has 154 Comments

  • Sophie says:

    now i know

    • Felicitas P. Calicdan says:

      Nate i Am planning to buy the Martin DCX1E Acoustic Electric Nate is there a digital Tuner in the DCX1E and is there a Cutaway also finnaly Is there a solid Body

    • Yield-Anne O'Bey says:

      And knowing is half the battle!

      G.I. JOE!!

    • Eugene Hutwohl says:

      As Miss Walker commented, I was amazed at the quality of the instruction, and for free. I also am in my late fifties and have always wanted to be able to express myself through music and not just poetry. Thank you, I have two daughters that play. I hope the Gibson Black Beauty is a good stater. This is m first day, I did buy the strap and chromatic tuner. I hope I am able to download some of this material as I have no internet access at home. Gracias from Cabo San Lucas.

  • Zac says:

    Thanks so much. Most lessons expect you to know this but its so nice to have the smallest skills as every little helps with these things.

  • Ganesh Natesan says:

    Its really nice.. thats wat i need..

  • Lawrence says:

    Hi Nate,

    I just wanted to thank you and the guys from for making this available to new players. Keep up the good work.



  • raj senapaty says:

    hi i m impressed. i m crazr about guitar, i want to go deep in guitar, THAKS SIR PLEASE REPLY ME I NEED GUITAR LERNING BOOK PLS REPLY ME SOON THANKS.

  • soad rok says:

    wow i get it thanx u guyz

  • raghu says:

    Very useful. I think I am in the right place to learn guitar

  • Lawrence says:

    Hello all,

    Once again, thank you to Nate and the Guys at for their expert Tuition.

    Without wishing to be an Advert for Nate’s System, I can only recommend those who are serious about learning, to purchase Nate’s beginner Guitar Series. I am a left-handed Player with small hands and had real trouble getting the Chord shapes in this Series of Lessons.

    I bought the Beginners Guitar Series, which means backtracking a little bit…but it is well worth it. Improvement is coming and my Fingers aren’t hurting as much now.

    Anyway, enough said…keep at it, good luck to you all.

    Regards from Germany,


    • Key says:

      Lawrence since you are left-handed did you have to buy a left-handed guitar? Also does the beginner series show the different ways to hold the guitar being either left or right handed?

  • Mathias says:

    Many thanks for the lessons.

    I want to be perfect at playing my box guitar and am pretty sure i am in rights arms

    Many thanks

  • Chris says:

    I like your instruction–you’re very easy to follow.

    I’m 57 years old and want to learn. I’m only on my second day; but, I must admit transitioning from one chord to the another seems virtually impossible. I’m becoming discouraged. I have the chords memorized; but, cannot transition quickly at all.

    How long will this take? Is it because I’m old?

    • Bazraqa says:

      hello mr. chris.
      it takes time and alot of practice to transition or changing the is definitely not because of ur age..i started learning when i was 18, and i myself found it very focused do not give up..its good to know ur are interested in playing..keep practicing u’ll learn to play very soon..:D
      God Bless You

    • m says:

      it is not because u are old i am 22 and have the same problem

  • Walker says:

    How in the world can you do this for free?! This is amazing–I expected the quality to be poor; but, I was pleasantly surprised!

    Nate, you’re a good teacher–I took the Quick Beginner’s Lesson and am working on “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” part II right now. In just a few hours I’m already playing (of course it takes me way too long to transition between the chords, but I’m sure that will come with time).

    Is there a way to send in a donation? Your unselfish desire to share your knowledge with others is truly commendable. Thank-you!

  • AngelaEatsAdobo says:

    Thank you for the great tips! …However, I am starting to feel somewhat discouraged. My arms are not quite long enough for me to reach around my guitar when I am using the “casual” holding stance. When I try, i am putting too much pressure on my thigh and arm. It is much easier for me to reach when I rest my guitar on my left leg, but I look like I am trying to play a mandolin. Would anyone have any suggestions for an arm length challenged beginner?

  • kyra lenay howard-waihape says:

    Thankyou very much. I started to play the guitar because i thought it might be very interisting and instead of stayin home all day long. I go to gutair lessons and i would like to go a bit futher and learn how to do all of the cords on a guitar and learn a very nice song i am so glad that i found this site. thankyou very much i dont know were i would be with out you.

  • melody says:

    plz excuse the name of my adress. but i just got a guitar 2day and im starting lessons here. So far so good. wish me luck!

    • Shahrzad says:

      What do you consider good and bad rock music?The music I grew up on was rap, blues, gopsel, and r b since birth. But I didn’t really care for music like I do now. However when I got older I started listening to rock that was on the radio.However I’m told it’s just watered down pop bs. Just like with most mainstream rap(I agree on).But I need to know what exactly is the line and difference between good classic rock and pop crap.Exa: I started to listen to them in middle school: Avril Lavigne, Nickelback, Simple Plam, Good Charlottle, Jimmy Eat World.Exa: Now, in High School I listen to Pearl Jam, the Strokes, Sex Pistols, Living Colour,Gun n’ Roses, the Ramones, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.I kind of hear the difference between the old classics and whats on the radio. But I need FULL ASSURANCE of whats good rock. I want good quality rock, so please help. Such as telling me about guitar riffs, message behind the songs, and just plainly if the examples I gave is pop or bad alternative please explain why with details!Also my chemical romance, panic at the disco, and fallout boys for the very first examples. Explain why you think its not true rock.And what you consider true rock (grundge,punk,hard,ect).Please explain in details I need to know exactly why!Thank you all for the answers. Hard to choose as best:) Now I know some of you think that I care too much of what people think and you’re partially correct.However I asked this particular question because I love music and care for it plenty. But I know whats considerd quality and great music today is not always truthful. I hear that in the rap(Hip-Hop Culture) and r b genre and i know whats played in most of its mainstream isn’t quality rap and r b. Which is quite sad and disappointing.But with rock I know I need to draw a line for quality rock music. I know people have diff. opnions and diff. taste. But I believe if a certain genre of music started out a certian way and what you hear now on tv/radio can’t compare because of quality(not taste) shouldn’t be.

  • Dilip says:

    excellent site for beginer, Thnx

  • Donna says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I love this site and how much effort you put in this: going from the very basics and teaching everything you need to know to become an advanced player (which much be excruciating frustrating).

    You give us the “Practice Routine Generator” and covers of many songs. Thanks so much!!

    One little advice, however. It may just be me, but I find that you talk a little too much when teaching us in your videos. Maybe it’s just because I’m a newbie and I really wanna get on with it and play and experiment around a little, but the content out of this video could easily be explained in 1 minute, rather than 3 :/

    All in all, I’m in love with this website!!
    Thanks once again :D

  • Phil Carter says:

    I have watched your first video and I am anxious to learn more

  • raju paul says:

    is it good for the right hand to take rest on the guitar ,or should it be free sir ?

    Raju Paul, Trihur, Kerala India

  • lordwin says:

    now i know what i never knew thanks to

  • Rach says:

    This video’s rubbish it won’t load on my computer past a certain point and I’ve got a mac!!!!

  • Chris Creighton says:

    Hi Nate:
    I am having trouble signing up for the practice routine generator. I find your lessons very helpful. I am 41 years old and starting to learn to play the guitar. I think as a beginner having some structered routine would be helpful. Also your lessons for Knocking on Heavens Door are not available, is there a way to access them. Eventually I would like to order your complete lessons package. Your teaching style is easy to understand and follow. Thank for your time and help. It is greatly appreciated. Chris Creighton

  • holal jimmy says:

    now I know how to hold it. will I be perfect as I want Iam tearching myself.

  • kristin says:

    Nate has a really long pinky finger.

  • milton says:

    thanks for this tip I was really starting off wrong holding my guitar. I ve never played before so i was just all over the place.. thanks

  • darrel says:

    thanks a ton!..ur the best!

  • arus says:


  • JB says:

    I have been wanting to learn especially cuz im young

  • saggy says:

    thats the proper way to teach basics of guitar..awesome work…keep it up.

  • ema says:

    wow….’i think ive got the best position for mine, tnks nate

  • Runita says:

    I want to buy a guitar…Can any one tell me what kind of a guitar can a beginner buy???

  • Jagdish Chand says:


    i know now..


    • Mirtha says:

      hey jenny how do you get such a clean stroke when you strum? i hate when i play i can hear the pick vintirabg against the!? awesome vid im using this small solo in a new song..ill send it as a vid respince when i get it on btw.. nice les !!

  • ellie says:

    Heyy followers nate im getting a giatar in 1 week and i was hoping if i could learn by you :]

  • Kamal says:

    Amazing basic steps…Keep it good work!!! Kudos

  • lata dave says:

    thanks thank u very much……this video d amazing …i learn something new…and it is my 1st step to help me…..lot of thanxxx

  • isuc weener says:

    youre site sucks go eat dog crap

  • isuc weener says:

    and you cant play guitar properly get a life and get an electrick guitar

  • Mike & Hannah says:

    I am 37 and my daughter is 8 we are both learning together for the first time. I am already impressed with the simplicity of the lessons. I look forward to every one to come it is time well spent with my daughter and i know it will lead to many cultured experiences in the future. MJ and HJ Thanks a million.

  • Sunny Smith says:

    Thanx for the info. I’m an artist and I sing,so playing guitar while doing so, would be great. I have a Fender Strat and I want do it justice! Good luck everyone ! Maybe we can get together online or something,to show off our new skills eh?! Be blessed!

  • omar says:

    hello your the best

  • Rajesh says:

    Now since I am going to gift myself a guitar on the eve of my 40th B’day , I am happy to start learning the basics. Thanks a lot.

  • Deniche says:

    Hi! Great, thanks, it’s really much easier when I hold my NEW Guitar that way :*

  • Justin says:

    Dave I’m a righty so which technique should I use

  • Lyrra says:

    I have always had a desire to play the guitar and i am also an artist but i have had to teach myself how to do both… i love to sketch, write music, and create new things so playing the guitar will go great with the rest of my hobbies… but if you know anymore websites that can help teach me how to play the guitar for free i would really appreciate it… by the way thanks for the lessons

  • rocky says:

    am impressed with the lesson..good lesson for beginners

  • realman says:


  • abhinav says:

    hey that was very simple demo .

  • chuck says:

    very nice

  • layler boyd says:

    im left handed and i want to learn to play the guitar. its so hard to find sites that offer me this option of learning things left handed. i have tried right handed but my strumming was horrible, so i went to left. its a lot easier to fret now but having a hard time strumming and transposing the chords to left handed. please help me!!!

    • madison says:

      wow its really intresting to learn,people all around the world can get guitar lesons it is it is JUST AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!

  • ravi kumar says:


  • Taad says:

    great lesson

  • umair says:

    im left handed and i want to learn to play the guitar. its so hard to find sites that offer me this option of learning things left handed. i have tried right handed but my strumming was horrible, so i went to left. its a lot easier to fret now but having a hard time strumming and transposing the chords to left handed. please help

  • asma says:

    cool i used to hold it in a bad way …… till my bach starts to hert now i feel verey comfterbul

  • Robert says:

    to angelaeatsadobo

    I had the very same problem. My arm was around the end of the guitar and I had a large guitar. So I traded it in for a 3/4 size and put my arm more over the top and I have not looked back. Martin has a couple of nice 3/4 size guitars.
    I’m sure if I’ve told you anything wrong Nate will correct me.
    I am now 70 and have had my guitar four years. I have learned enough to play some songs for my church. I am 5 6.

  • Poop says:

    Wow, that was really hard

    • AnnMaree James says:

      You are rude. He is doing this for us. Without him i bet you would suck. So why dont you shut it and be thankful for what you have.

  • Anaid says:

    U guys r cool

  • avril says:

    this site is amazing i came across many sites but none of them had a proper way for beginners but when i came across this side i actually felt that this is what i wanted

  • shyam says:

    This is shyam wish to learn guitar in a proper manner but dont knw how to learn and wat instrumaent(brand)need to buy so can u give suggestion plz

  • Poetry says:

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  • victor says:

    i love it.

  • madhushree says:

    firstly, i must say i love this site. and i am very glad to know this. now i will be a guitar player soon.

  • d law says:

    I had like a guitar lesson from the beginner’s class. I am passionate about this guitar and thing and I really want to learn it. I have not had any knowledge on it but I am sincerely willingly to learn if I could be taught, hence my humble request.

  • Harshita says:

    d LESSoNs Are GrEaT i LOVed Dem ThanK yoU…….. :)

  • frank b says:

    this is ma first lesson

    • Chizel says:

      The focus of this draft nonetheless, is their ceblerated line of electrical and acoustic guitars which have charmed the sector of music. Samick continues to build guitars for other guitar makers like Epiphone, Gibson and Washburn.

  • paul ezra says:

    wow it’s really intresting to learn, u people really concentrated on each thing or on each error what we generally do, JUST AWSOME!!!!

  • somebody says:

    no affense, but this is boring. why dont you people who r listening to this just go take REAL lessons. they will help Alot more. (-;

  • infinite says:

    It was very helpful, thanks alot…

  • Chereji Cristian says:

    the basic lessons are very important,for wath’s much more complex to know

    • Mohit says:

      While it could be simple to take this prosen’s word or that public opinion, the genuine story behind a guitar will come thru the playing of it. There are that many different models to select from, even Gibson has a large amount of customisable options for their acoustic guitars. You may be guaranteed that there are a great deal of different brands, models and makes that you can select from if you need a good sounding acoustic.

  • Noelle says:

    This was super helpful, thank you! I also have that same exact guitar, haha. :)

  • Carmen says:

    My son Christian is 6 years old and he is just beginning to play the guitar. This video really helps thanks for the lesson.

  • christian jezrhel says:

    hey….Nate is it okay if im using an ordianry guitar instead of an acoustic guitar?

  • Sudhakar Majety says:

    I would like to know what kind of a guitar should I buy. I never touched a guitar before but I would like to try as I like the sound of a guitar.

    What is the difference between an acoustic guitar and the regualr one? What should I consider before deciding on what guitar I should buy?


  • Craig Samuels says:

    Thanks, very helpful.

  • venkyzz says:

    thank you :)

  • maryjane says:

    Thanks. Now i know it.

  • santosh lakandri says:

    dear nate u r my ideal.

  • sheshaank shanky sharma says:

    oder den guitar …..wat does it take one to play it?…..u know lik ,,,,i hv seen ppl play jus a few songs ,,,,,,but i wanna be da one who understands it … music is powerful it affects evryone in its own way n i want to reply bak….
    n honestly ryt nw i dun even know ‘G’of guitar

  • Soham says:

    Thanks Nate for teaching me even the tinniest skills which other mentors would not have been taught. Thinking to be good at it !!!

  • Jocelyn Peterson says:

    Thanks, better to learned it than never know

  • Anokhi says:

    Hey..I have just begun to learn the guitar through this website..its amazing!! But I am facing a problem now..The videos are not being played..and it is difficult for me to learn without them..please can you fix this problem as soon as possible. I can’t wait!! :D so please…

  • deallazo says:

    I’m a beginner and I want to ask you:What would it be better to buy,a classic or an acoustic guitar?

  • Please could you provide me with fine notes of the guitar lessons says:

  • Musana emmanuel says:

    I love the work of your hands. In the name of jimmy hendrix may your wish be granted.
    Be blessed.

  • Roo Carrera says:

    What if I’m left-handed?? I have to do ONLY classical style?


    dude!!! you are a true tutor, who actually wants to teach the world guitar… ur not like the sites which just wants to make money somehow by giving books and cd’s. KEEP IT UP!! TRUELY INCREDIBLE. thanks for spending ur precious time for us… :)

  • Ezekiel vitalis says:


  • Adriana says:

    I just got a nice Takamine and these videos are great for helping me learn

  • Al Petrick says:

    Dear Mr. Savage i am a beginner on the acoustic guitar. And i’m enjoying each video in the beginner qick start series. I was woundering about how to keep the guitar clean and what type of cleaning products can be used?

  • james says:

    i bought a sakura electric acoustic guitar and now i dont know if that was the right decision, can some one please tell me if a sakura guitar is good cuality please?

  • mrinalini says:

    Mr.savage how much de guitar costs ?

  • latisia says:

    Can I use these to learn to play my new electric bass guitar??

  • Claudio Candia` says:

    Thank you very much

  • Marrrrrrk says:

    it’s ok but not ok!!!

  • eileen says:

    Hello I’m 16 years old and I’m getting a Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar tomorrow and wanting to learn how to play but all my friends that play musical interments all started to play when they where from 6-10 years old and are amazing.

    Will that make a difference in the long term for me bcoz they have playeed longer?


    Would you recommend this guitar for my first guitar?

  • David Flores says:

    I’m am just a beginner. I started playing right now. I’m using my big brothers guitar and it is huge. I’m only10 years old. I really want to start and you’ve helped me. Thank you for your great videos.

  • Joe ponce says:

    Thanks for your time on putting this program together

  • Amare says:

    Thank you so very much for this lesson,the program and all the information that you gave. I want to be a skilled guitarist and I truly am grateful that you took your time out to make these lessons Mr.Savage

  • Ariane Fritz Mirador says:


  • Reese Romero says:

    Thnx Nate, that really helped.

  • Mohab says:

    I don’t sing with my right hand i sing with the light hand how could i. Hold the guitar

  • Nihal Pradeep says:

    gr8 job …. really the best place to start from ..

  • Lauren says:

    I wont let me see the videos! I don’t like it right now:(:(:(

  • Maggie says:

    Hello! I’m Maggie. I’m 12 years old and turning 13 soon. I can’t play any instruments, and a lot of my friends can. So I have been trying to decide on what instrument I would like to play and I chose the guitar. I don’t have a guitar yet but I have been trying to look for one. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for making this website! Your videos are great and very imformative!!!

  • Brendon says:

    i think this was a great idea to start to learn how to play the guitar.. my mom doesnt want to pay for expesive lessons so this is a great way to get started

    o o

  • Emma says:

    This is awesome I will finally play my guitar!! :) ;)

  • remsha says:

    how to download? i can’t download it

  • annie rana says:

    it was awesome……… thnk u 4 such a useful technique

  • Diana says:

    Which guitar brand is good for beginners???

  • Arpit Malviya says:

    Nate i’m planning to buy a guitar… Should I buy an acoustic guitar?

  • dileep says:

    Thank you for this lesson…..

  • Alana says:

    Is it the same for electric guitar?

  • deepak says:

    thanku, you are a good tuter.

  • Carioca says:

    What an awesome website. Thank you so much. The instructions written and in video form are great. Offering this free is really nice. Thank You.

  • Jadey says:

    I just need to ask… should the neck be somehow be aligned to your shoulder or it depends where your more comfortable? thanks NATE!! :D

  • Abdul Aziz musah says:

    you are the best tutor ever.THANKS A LOT.

  • venkat says:

    can i get ur e mail id???

  • AnnMaree James says:

    Thanks so much for these lessons. You are literally the coolest person ever!

  • seansopheakrida says:

    Thank you for teaching these lessons.

  • theresa says:

    great beginner lesson and well explained

  • jade bella says:

    your lessons are awesome i play drums too
    do you have lessons on that

  • jade bella says:

    thanx a lot
    your lessons are simple to learn

  • jade bella says:

    do you teach electronic guitar also

  • Michael Hendrickson says:

    Hello just saw the video on how to hold your guitar, I would like to learn how too tune my guitar

  • Doris Osborne says:

    How do i print the lessons?

  • pure awesomeness says:

    nate, this really helped, KEEP IT UP!!

  • ty says:

    I’m 14 and for the past while (A year), I have been wanting to learn guitar. I recently bought two, an acoustic and electric, and have asked about taking guitar lessons at school. I was told I would be behind on learning quite a bit as everyone else has started in September, but would see what could be done about it. I was supposedly going to be taught by a man I know some of the things to learn, but he never came, leaving me to try and teach myself to play guitar. The problem is that online no one knows what you are doing wrong and how to improve upon it, so trying to teach myself has been useless and my mother refuses to let me take cheaper guitar lessons outside school in case I don’t get accepted into lessons at school, so buying guitar is going to be a waste of money, as I myself can’t afford lessons due to I get very little pay from my jobs and I’m not allowed to drive. This has been worrying me for a time as I really want to learn guitar but can’t learn online. I know this is a long shot, but can anyone advise me on what to do about this?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Ty, There is no shortage of descent free lessons on the internet. It’s just a matter of sorting through them and getting a plan for what your guitar playing goals are. As far as feed back on your playing goes… I would upload videos of yourself to get some advice. You can post the links to the videos here and I would be happy to give you some feedback. :)

  • Aaditya Vishisht says:

    After going through many online guitar lessons ultimately i found this one……..this is the best i can say……. u guyzzzz are so good…… as i have no spare time during daytime so i need to schedule ma guitar learning process but no one was available nearby to teach me @ night then i decided to learn it from online sources, there are lots of online guitar teaching programs on internet but none of them satisfied me @ last i reached here… is very neatly designed the instruction are very nice….. hope i will learn it soon……. thanxxxx again

  • Ariana Valentine says:

    What if you’re left handed?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Ariana, I get this question a lot. It takes a little bit of brain power to get started, but most lefty players get used to learning from right handed players pretty quickly.

  • Irene N says:

    Hey, Thanks Nate have been looking for a site to learn guitar and thank God I found this.
    Thanks alot for the tips am a beginner and hope to grow in this.

  • uriel says:

    same guitar like mine or dads

  • Donduks says:

    Thanks Nate, God bless you

  • Ariana says:

    I have a rather odd way of holding guitars…
    I hold right handed guitar upside down, it’s th only way I can play.

  • riyah says:

    thanks so much..


Leave a Comment