Right hand elbow position

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
samards
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Right hand elbow position

Post by samards » Wed May 29, 2019 8:38 am

So far, my main problem playing guitar was the sitting position, and holding guitar steadily in my hands and knee. So, with a little foot support I've never managed to feel very comfortable. Somehow the guitar was always slippery and tend to be unstable, so I developed some kind of holding it with right elbow that it feels better. But now the problem is that sometimes I press it too hard, specially when I play multiple barre's with my left hand when I press the neck with my whole arm, I tend to press my right hand to guitar to counteract this pressure on the guitar neck.

I guess I developed some wrong technique here, as my right hand becomes numb from that pressure... So, my main problem is actually how to steady guitar without using pressure and leaning my right elbow to heavy on guitar? I've even seen some guitarists applying almost no pressure on right elbow allowing them to freely move right hand coloring the tone very nicely, but still wondering how to do that with left hand heavy barre's?
Ernest Koroskenyi, 1974

dhbailey52
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 10:16 am

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by dhbailey52 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:46 am

I have just begun playing classical guitar after many years of steel-string guitar playing and the different posture that entails, but I have seen many different tools available for proper classical guitar posture. I bought a cushion that rests on my leg (you can use it on either leg) so that my feet stay flat on the floor, while the guitar rests on this cushion which holds it up so that the neck is where it should be. When the cushion is on my leg it slopes gently down toward my stomach so that gravity keeps the guitar nicely in place without the need use my right elbow for stability. This leaves my right hand free for using the individual fingers as they're supposed to be used. I bought it through Amazon. It's called the "Guitar Cushion Portable PU Leather Cover Flanger FA-80S Contoured Guitar Cushion Built-in Sponge--Black." The only drawback is that it's too big to fit in the guitar case so I'll also be getting a collapsible foot stool to use when travelling. If I go out to perform locally I'll carry the cushion in the convenient carrying bag it comes with.

samards
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by samards » Wed May 29, 2019 11:03 am

Yes, I'we seen that and even ordered one another tool: ErgoPlay Tappert (you can find it in amazon as well), works great, the guitar has balance, but even with that tool the guitar needs some counter pressure from the right elbow, in order to hold when I use barre on left hand. Or is it maybe that I have wrong barre technique :)

Probably the right hand can be pressed more or less, sometimes even floating above the guitar, to prevent the numbness... So that is what I still need to develop I guess...
Ernest Koroskenyi, 1974

ronjazz
Posts: 1029
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by ronjazz » Wed May 29, 2019 11:58 am

Definitely need to explore barre technique, it should be easy and light, using the LH thumb, not the arm. The counter-pressure from the right arm should be very little, as your hand and arm should be free enough to float over the top and move in any direction for tonal variety.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

Tim22
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:19 pm
Location: England

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by Tim22 » Wed May 29, 2019 7:53 pm

I used to find the guitar slippery and unstable too. I rectified this by raising the position of my footstool. By raising my knee higher, the guitar is more effectively secured as the thigh it rests on is creating more of a valley for the instrument to sit in, thus it cannot slide away. And the right elbow is making no contact with the guitar.
Tim, in the UK, playing an Almansa 434.

User avatar
keithwwk
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:12 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by keithwwk » Thu May 30, 2019 7:07 am

It sound to me you are going to break the guitar sooner or later :shock: :chaud:
You can try to balance the guitar first by 3 points: both leg and chest without hand holding it with any support you like. For me, I like Umbra magnetic support very much. Secure the guitar with RH arm rest very lightly on the guitar while LH playing. You should doing barre by dropping your elbow down with the help of gravity and little pressure on both thumb and index finger. The LH grip is more natural and easy. Try and feel it. You need not barre all the strings like a capo do. Just the note you need to play.
Antonio Picado Model 60 Spruce 2017
Esteve Mod 1.4ST Spruce 2003
Ryoji Matsuoka M20 Cedar 1978
M.Sakurai No.5 Cedar 1976
Yamaha G225

samards
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by samards » Thu May 30, 2019 4:30 pm

Looks like that lifting the guitar a little bit helps balancing. Also my ErgoPlay works like a charm, guitar is now pretty nicely secured. Also looks like I'm gonna change the technique a little bit :) Indeed when I try to do light LH thumb pressure and close to the fret , maybe a little downwards, it can be done with little or even without help of right hand... It is way nicer to play like this when your right hand is totally free, get more relaxed and pay attention to the musicality... Thanks everybody :)
Ernest Koroskenyi, 1974

samards
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Right hand elbow position

Post by samards » Thu May 30, 2019 4:35 pm

keithwwk, Umbra magnetic support looks very nice, only m problem is that once you fix your magnets in the guitar, they are not moveable. Sometimes I want them on a different place. Ergoplay is pretty much flexible in that regard...
Ernest Koroskenyi, 1974

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”