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Playing standing up

Shane Roe (9823)

Open Guitar Forum · 2/6/2001 4:28 PM
I seem to have a harder time with my fingers finding their spots on the frets when I'm standing up. Anyone else have this problem?
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Re: Playing standing up

2/6/2001 5:02 PM

John Schell (6102) wrote:

whew, for a second there I thought you wrote about doing something else standing up that sounds alot like playing -(ok,they both begin with P).

It takes a while to get used to playing guitar standing up. If you notice, you'll see just about everyone who plays, look at their frethand from time to time.

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Re: Playing standing up

2/6/2001 5:03 PM

Stone Dragon (8501) wrote:

If you practice while sitting down with your guitar resting on your right leg (if you're a righty) then you are asking for trouble. The best thing that you can do is practice with your guitar in the same relative position as it will be when you stand up.

Take a cue from those classical guys. Rest your guitar on your left leg and prop your foot up so that your guitar is in prime playing position whether sitting or standing. That way you won't be relying on one set of muscles when you practice and another set of muscles when you're up on stage doing your thing.

If you have your strap so long that your guitar is hanging down around your ankles, then it is also going to be much more difficult to play well standing up.

Early on, I ran into the same problem that you describe. I would be practicing and improving at home, and then when I got to rehersal I would find myself fumbling around on the fingerboard and missing strings with my pick.

Shortening my strap and practicing with my guitar resting on my left leg took care of that in short order.

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Re: Playing standing up

2/7/2001 11:27 AM

Paul Stelzmann (340) wrote:

As a followup to Stone's message, I would add that Playing in the classical position is an excellent starting point. Once you are comfortable with this, adjust the strap so that the guitar rests at approximately the same height and 45 degree angle as in that seated classical posture. When playing standing up, allow your right arm (assuming you are a right hand picker)to rest on the lower curvature of the guitar at a spot on your forearm about 2 inches below your elbow(this is really the only part of that arm should be touching the guitar except when doing things like palm muting). Now allow that arm to relax and let its weight to tilt the guitar slightly upward, pivoting on your belly and secured by your left hand. The frets should now be exposed into your view a little better, and hopefully you will have more control.
Good luck.


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Re: Playing standing up

2/7/2001 1:12 PM

Tim Ball (2060) wrote:

Excellent point about classical players.

I was thinking about the method for playing a classical guitar sitting recently because of the new acoustic I got.

On my old acoustic-electric I had the left end of the strap tied to the headstock. That was OK. Played that way for years.

With my new acoustic-electric, the left end of the strap fastens to a button at the heel of the neck. Suddenly, I realzied I had a more flexibility in where the angle at which I played the guitar.

I found I could easily point the neck way up, so that I look similar to a classical player sitting down like you describe. My acoustic is also a thin-body, so that probably helps too.

I couldn't believe how much easier things were.

Now I'm going to add a strap button to the neck heel on my old guitar.

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Re: Playing standing up

2/11/2001 11:20 AM

Rick Malloy (590) wrote:

Another bit of your advice which has helped me. I switched from resting my guitar on my right leg to my left leg. After a couple hours to get accustomed to this I found that my angle of attack on chords was more perpendicular (less strings dulled), my reach extended , and I could easily roll my index finger slightly so barre chords sounded much better.

Thanks again,


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Re: Playing standing up

2/6/2001 5:35 PM

Bruce Maag (15581) wrote:

Half of my practicing is done while standing. It's out of habit from years ago. I'll sit and practice new things, then stand and play them until I have 'em down.

Like the Dragon says, playing with a long strap is a no no. Your will destroy your wrists.

Unless of course, you play from the top of the fretboard.

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Re: Playing standing up

2/6/2001 6:18 PM

Matt Myers (1827) wrote:

ooh there's a gimmick... anyone take that one yet?
would be like playing a lap guitar or something while standing up...

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Re: Playing standing up

2/7/2001 12:33 PM

David Brown (424) wrote:

Like James Hetfield!!!!

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Re: Playing standing up

2/6/2001 10:15 PM

Joe Rafacz (173) wrote:

it takes a while, yes - just adjust your strap until your hands fall into the right place man. - when i finally got an electric and was able to play standing up, i was ecstatic - only recently have i begun to sit down again, my back hurts..

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Re: Playing standing up

2/7/2001 8:52 AM

Jim Capozziello (1919) wrote:

I changed how I practice when I sit so my guitar is in the same position as when I stand. My guitar is not on my right leg, but on my left at a slight upward angle. Helps get my wrist underneath and in the proper position to hit the top strings. I also use a strap when sitting and standing. Keeps me from having to hang on to the neck so tight which I was doing when I first started out.

The only difference, which I can't for the life of me explain, is my ability to do a full barre on the first fret while standing but not very well when sitting.


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