About the " -classical" - posture

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

Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by Carl Peter » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:27 pm

dual trace wrote: I trust my teacher that using the classical position has “musical” advantages, so I try to adopt it.

Good! My teacher insisted on good position and I took lots of notes during lessons so that I could refer back to them. Good thing! Because since stopping lessons I tried all the different ways of holding a guitar that have been mentioned in the various 'position' threads here at Delcamp... and drifted farther and farther away from the basic classical position, even when I thought I wasn't. So I returned to my notes, followed the instructions... et voila, suddenly everything is easier to play, everything sounds better, but... my back muscles (trapezius mostly) are out of shape. So, back to the weight lifting to strengthen my sit up muscles.

Moral of the story: the classical position is recommended for very good reasons, so stick with it! Eventually your body will adjust and you will find that your playing and sound will improve.

Dual Trace

Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by Dual Trace » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:40 pm

I thought its time for an update. After a month of perseverance, my left hand certainly feels more comfortable and fatigue is basically gone. Mt lower back is still complaining though and lately I discovered a possible cure: a fat pillow that acts like a lumbar support between my back and the back of the chair. The ergo play has not arrived yet, those guys are really slow. I know I should have ordered one directly, but I said this is my way of supporting the local store.


Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by Dmac8684 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:51 pm

If playing in 1st position is causing the fatigue, it might be beneficial to try playing your first position songs up higher on the neck with a capo. You can then work them back to the nut of the guitar as your body grows more used to the playing position. Good luck!


Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by TimButterfield » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:47 pm

Hi, Dual Trace.

Your earlier comment about holding a six pound weight made me wonder. If you drop your LH down to your side, does your guitar neck stay in the same position as before? It sounded almost like you were holding the neck up, which should not be necessary. I have a gitano support on my CG. I like it as it is thin enough when folded that I can squeeze the cushioning a little more and fit it into the case while attached. I rotate it a little on the guitar so the support strap stays flat against my leg. With the gitano attached, just the weight of my right arm is sufficient to hold the neck in place. Perhaps the ergoplay will help with this. I found, though, that even with the gitano, I needed to either lower my seat or use a low-position footstool in order to keep the top of my left leg parallel with the floor. If the seat was too high for my left foot, the forward angle of my left leg tended to make the guitar slide towards my knee over time. Lowering the seat help counter that.

I have a relatively weak back also. A slouch position is certainly easier than maintaining a straight back. One of the things I am trying now is from when I used to ride a motorcycle. I rode standards (BMWs F650, R1100RT, K1200RS), not cruisers or sportbikes. One of the exercises to help keep from slouching was to lean slightly forward of center, keeping the weight over the feet. This became a very natural posture and I could ride for hours this way. A search for master yoda riding position on the BMW sport touring forum will provide further description. In applying this to guitar, the slight forward lean may help reduce back fatigue here also. This is a very slight lean, only a few degrees forward of vertical. But, the forward lean reduces my tendency to slouch compared with when I try to keep my back perfectly vertical. As a bonus, it provides a bit more room for the back of the guitar to vibrate. Perhaps others with more experience can comment on whether this lean may be a good thing or not. Since I work at a desk, another thing I do to strengthen the core posture muscles is to occasionally sit on a exercise ball at the desk. The tendency of the ball to move has me continually making small adjustments to my posture and lubricating the vertebrae in my back. I cannot stay this way very long yet, but it certainly provides more exercise than just leaning back in my chair.



Dual Trace

Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by Dual Trace » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:23 pm

I finally ordered the Troster ergo play on-line and got it last week. I like it. Initially I set as low as possible and even so it did not seem low enough. After few days of using it, I was surprised to see me adjusting it higher and higher, a bit at a time. Most of the time I sit very close to the back of the chair and resting on it. It’s an almost vertical one, but offers enough support. My back is now happy. From time to time I straighten my back and adopt a more “professional” attitude and it works too. Once again, I am happy with it.

Tim, you’re right: these devices have a tendency to slide towards the knee. A lower chair helps.

By the way I am using the ergo play in the video I posted here:


Re: About the " -classical" - posture

Post by DigRasgueo » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:33 am

Not to ignore his phrase "My lower back is not happy either." in the original comment. I am sitting using a "Nada Chair" at my computer most of the time, and also during Guitar practicing. Great back support that packs away small for travel. You can find this item on e - b a y or at the retailers site. Honestly, it is like my back is giving a sigh of relief when I strap it on. It is a bit unwieldy at first and you won't look "cool", but will feel good lower back support. I must also mention that I always use a "Gitano" lower support (folds up nicely and fits in case. . no need to remove from guitar) and a Rasgueo-Rest armrest for my right (picking) arm. The Rasgueo-Rest keeps my arm comfortable. . . and Yes, I do love gadgets and devices!

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”