bunglenutter wrote:I'm trying to reduce the arch somewhat, but I can't tell if it's uncomfortable because it's simply not natural to me or because I'm just not used to it.
Never go by if something feels "uncomfortable" as that feeling can be created just because you are not used to something. Again, based off of your photos, I cannot provide any suggestions as to how to alter your hand because I cannot see the front of your hand. However, I'd start with placing the forearm further away from the elbow. Especially since (by the pictures) you seem to have long arms and fingers, your forearm doesn't need to be close to the end of the instrument, in fact you'll probably place closer to middle of your forearm.
With all that said, here are some guidelines that should help you determine if you are on the right track or not.
Body Positioning: Both feet placed in front of your body, not tucked under the chair. There should be a 90 degree angle from the knee to your foot. Your ankle should be under your knee.
Guitar Positioning: The headstock of the guitar should be at the same level as your head. This is a combination of several factors: 1) proper footstool height, and 2) dropping the lower bout of the guitar in-between the legs enough. The neck of the guitar should be pushed out slightly, with the body of the guitar tucked into the right side of your body. Here's a pictures that show's what I'm describing:
Right Hand Position: The wrist should be in a neutral position (think of your hand by your side, there's no deviation of the wrist). Depending on your flexibility, when you bring your hand to the guitar, you may have a slight bend in the wrist (forward facing). However this should not be created by allowing the hand to go limp and succumb to gravity. You need to actively position and hold your hand in place. Gravity will only pull on the tendons and create long-term issues. The amount of arch depends on placement of the large knuckles (from a forward facing view -- IE: use a mirror). Pull/push the elbows forward and backwards to find the right positioning needed.
Again, for me free strokes and rest strokes have fundamentally different positions. Free strokes have a higher arch in the wrist because the large knuckles are place directly over the strings being played, while rest stokes have a lower arch because I place the large knuckles 1-2 strings behind the string(s) I'm playing.
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