Classical Guitar Posture

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
AlexLowe

Classical Guitar Posture

Post by AlexLowe » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:49 am

Good Morning

I have a lot of experience playing the electric and acoustic guitar, and was wondering why the posture of playing the classical guitar is so different? There seems to be no reason other than to allow the fretting hand to play at a more generous angle for the great volume of fingerpicked chords. But I think I am missing something.

I am hoping to begin at the beginning with the music available on here, and want to 'get it right' from the start.

Thanks in advance.

alexdegroot

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by alexdegroot » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:57 am

With the posture used in classical guitar you will have your body in the least limiting position to play the guitar, it plays so much more easy and relaxed once you get used to this position.

Once you have played in the classical position for a while and then try to go back the the guitar on right lap you understand how limiting that position actually is :)

This is a very good video, Abel talks a lot about body position and both hand positioning here.

A Guitar Lesson with Abel Carlevaro.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbUkcjuMds

AlexLowe

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by AlexLowe » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:33 pm

Thank you very much!

I will watch the video when I have a little more time and then get back to you.

I learned to play the electric and acoustic sitting down, which I have since discovered is a bad idea. Perhaps altering to the classical posture will transfer well to playing standing up...

All the best

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dropbydrop
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by dropbydrop » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:32 pm

Great lesson! :merci:

This video is what I need in this period of early practice of a biginner like me :oops:
first comes right, than comes fast!

AlexLowe

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by AlexLowe » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:12 pm

This video is superb! Thanks very much again - learning loads here. Longitudinal, transversal and mixed presentation were all interesting, in addition to the info about whether to move the arm or not.

I spent 10 mins doing scales and my left hand was aching lots because it is not used to playing in the new posture. Good times.

AndreiKrylov

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:07 pm

alexdegroot wrote:With the posture used in classical guitar you will have your body in the least limiting position to play the guitar, it plays so much more easy and relaxed once you get used to this position.

Once you have played in the classical position for a while and then try to go back the the guitar on right lap you understand how limiting that position actually is :)

This is a very good video, Abel talks a lot about body position and both hand positioning here.

A Guitar Lesson with Abel Carlevaro.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbUkcjuMds
Electric guitar normally played with strap, therefore right lap is not a correct description.
Yes it is convenient to play guitar in so called "classical guitar sitting position" but no more convenient than to play guitar standing (and even sitting too :) ), with the strap.
Yet "classical guitar sitting position"is very bad for one's back...
There are endless complains about back problems here on this forum, especially in ergonomics section and all over internet...

Bobbio84
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by Bobbio84 » Sun May 01, 2016 12:48 am

I think that posture in both the classical guitar world and other styles should be about personal preference through experimentation. The left knee thing seems to be a 'must' for some. Why? If you feel comfortable with the right leg I don't think any harm is being done ergonomically. As Andrei pointed out, cg position has back problems to go along with it. It'll always be a compromise.

Having said all this. I do use a dynarette and have to sit at a specific height for it to work. This has come through much trial and error over the years. Although every once and awhile I'm curious whether this is for reasons of habit or proficiency.
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Gruupi
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by Gruupi » Sun May 01, 2016 5:05 am

The classical guitar posture puts both hands in a relaxed position, for me at least, it allows both wrists to be straight. Scott Tenant described it well in his "Pumping Nylon" video.Hold your wrists straight and make a fist, it is an easy and natural motion, and requires little effort. Now, bend your wrist in any direction, and making a fist requires effort and strain. A good playing position also allows your arms to hang free at the shoulders, again relaxed where your arms can move freely.

I still prefer a more horizontal position if playing with a pick, or on steel string guitars in general. The shape and size and the relationship between the body and neck just feels more natural horizontal. A Classical guitar ergonomically just works better at a steeper angle.

In the end, I've seen all kinds of positions from guitarists playing all kind of music. What looks like a contorted mess to me may be just fine for someone else. As long as you are stress free so as to avoid injury, then anything goes.

AndreiKrylov

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun May 01, 2016 5:43 pm

Gruupi wrote:The classical guitar posture puts both hands in a relaxed position, for me at least, it allows both wrists to be straight. Scott Tenant described it well in his "Pumping Nylon" video.Hold your wrists straight and make a fist, it is an easy and natural motion, and requires little effort. Now, bend your wrist in any direction, and making a fist requires effort and strain. A good playing position also allows your arms to hang free at the shoulders, again relaxed where your arms can move freely.

I still prefer a more horizontal position if playing with a pick, or on steel string guitars in general. The shape and size and the relationship between the body and neck just feels more natural horizontal. A Classical guitar ergonomically just works better at a steeper angle.

In the end, I've seen all kinds of positions from guitarists playing all kind of music. What looks like a contorted mess to me may be just fine for someone else. As long as you are stress free so as to avoid injury, then anything goes.
Yes it is very important to have hands relaxed - and that is what one would have using a strap in a proper way.
Strap would keep guitar in good position and not only one's hand will be relaxed but the whole body or at least lot more relaxed than in "standard classical position" too :)

Luis_Br
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by Luis_Br » Thu May 19, 2016 2:17 pm

An important point from the Classical Posture is the stability of the guitar to allow free movement of the hands and arms. For example, in the pop-style with guitar over the right leg, there is no stability and you need to use right-arm weight to hold the guitar, which makes it more difficult to move around for more dynamics and tone variety.
Standing up with a regular strap also has this problem, but there are ways to solve it, for example, with a second strap to prevent guitar slipping.

Deenag

Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by Deenag » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:48 pm

This is a wonderful video. I was hoping Mr. Carlevaro would include a detailed description of right hand technique as well. Are there more videos by this amazing musician?

Luis_Br
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:11 pm

Deenag wrote:This is a wonderful video. I was hoping Mr. Carlevaro would include a detailed description of right hand technique as well. Are there more videos by this amazing musician?
You find some vídeos on Carlevaro's technique by Alfredo Escande, who helped Carlevaro writing his famous book "School of Guitar". Here a vídeo on Carlevaro's 5 right hand strokes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEWoZEifaBM
As you can see, he used to teach 5 strokes rather than regular free vs rest stroke.
Despite I do not agree with some things, it is nice to see someone going beyond simplistic rest/free stroke duality. To this was a very important contribution from Carlevaro. Strokes defined from finger style of movement and sound result, rather than from something that happens after the stroke.

ronjazz
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by ronjazz » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:55 pm

In using a strap, the placement of the buttons is paramount. Correct placement will enable MORE free movement of the hands and arms, not less, and your guitar will always be in the same place, while your body can move and groove with the music. In fact, the only downside I have found is that the back of the instrument can be inhibited by being up against your body.
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hesson11
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Re: Classical Guitar Posture

Post by hesson11 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:53 pm

ronjazz wrote:In using a strap, the placement of the buttons is paramount.
And that placement is...????

-Bob :-)

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