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Finger Pain, Calluses, Nails and Posture

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How you're physically sitting with the guitar can make a huge difference in how it all feels and what kind of potential physical issues you encounter. So let's dive into that for a moment!

In our very first tutorial we talked about the way I sit with the guitar, which is how most people start out. Guitar on the thigh of the right leg and the thigh being parallel with the floor. My guitar neck is almost completely horizontal, and my upper body is relaxed and slightly slouched.

This works well for many people, but there are big ergonomic advantages to doing what the classical guitar players do. They tend to have the guitar on the left knee and the neck at an almost 45 degree angle. Often they'll have their left foot on a little foot stool to get the guitar up higher. Try it and feel how much that helps the fretting hand. Now you also don't have to slouch as much, but you can sit up more straight.

Another thing you can try is what bluegrass players do, and that's to use a really tight strap. That way you can either get some of the benefits of the classical posture. Or you can kind of split the difference by keeping the neck more horizontal, but still having it up high.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure you avoid soft, cushy couches and chairs with armrests.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you in some way – even if you haven't experienced any of these issues. It's good that you watched through it, so that you can keep an eye on it if anything like this should come up. Some players go a whole lifetime without experiencing any physical issues, and other people barely get the guitar out of the box before things start to hurt. But whatever it is, it can be fixed!

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Finger Pain, Calluses, Nails and Posture