classical guitar posture

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jeff2287, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002

    My music theory teacher told me that classical guitarists hold their guitars the way they do (see pic) for easier right hand plucking. I tried position on bass and found that I could play difficult pieces with greater ease but that my left hand grew sore rather quickly. Is this soreness normal for trying this technique for the first time or is it a sign that I should stop?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  3. Jeff2287


    May 4, 2002
    Oy, if only I could read German. I'll take your word for it though. That's a pretty nifty design.
  4. I play on both legs depending on the piece. For me, the scale of a bass prevents me from always playing on the left leg. It's just not comfortable if the majority of the notes are in the lower range, especially on basses with more than 5 strings.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I found that posture makes some songs I know a little bit easier.

    A bassist I met(and had master classes with) named Bart samolis, plays like that pretty much exclusively(except when standing)

    and he's totally awesome.
  6. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I play classical guitar, so I am used to this posture. It's probably just because you're not used to it.
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    "Classical guitar posture" is suitable for classical guitar because the 45+ degree angle permits the left hand access to all positions (even the highest ones) while maintaining the ideal C-shape/thumb-in-the middle-of-the-neck without excessive strain on the left wrist.

    I don't think it works all that well for bass - putting the bass on my left knee and having the neck angled at 45 degrees causes my left wrist to bend excessively in the lower positions. If you have longer arms, you might pull it off. I just keep the bass on my right knee for maximum comfort.
    elBandito likes this.
  8. I play classical guitar also. My arms are just too short I guess haha.
  9. Im pretty sure when I read garry willis' 101 bass tips book he suggested this way of playing when sitting down. As its closer to the positioning when playing standing??
  10. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    So....11 years later, does anyone do this while playing sitting down? I've been trying this lately and it's definitely easier on the right hand, but the stretch to the lower frets with the left is kinda annoying. Is it worth getting used to?
  11. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I've been playing like this ever since I started to get some carpal tunnel problems last year. Having the bass neck at a 45 degree angle is much better for your fretting hand than if the bass is horizontal.
  12. Agreed. Holding the bass at a 45-degree angle has certainly helped me with my technique and posture, but no possible way I can do it comfortably while sitting down. That's why I always practice standing up, which I don't mind doing because that's how I would be playing my bass in live situations anyway.
  13. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Well, whenever I play sitting down I adopt the classical guitar posture and that puts the neck at a 45 degree angle and it's all good. Works for me. You do have to spread your legs, of course, but it totally works.
  14. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I should add that it's weird to me that you say it's a stretch to get to the lower frets. In the classical guitar position with the neck at a 45 degree angle, you should find that the lower frets are closer to you then if you were to sit with the instrument conventionally and the neck being horizontal.
  15. Maybe it has something to do with my being barely 5'6" with extra short legs that makes it uncomfortable to hold the large offset body of my J bass between them. ;)
  16. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Pretty much how I play all the time. Much less fatiguing on both hands for me. I do have rather long arms for my height (6'2") so reach isn't ever really a problem for me. Most basses are difficult to get to hang like that standing but the closer I get the happier my wrists and hands are. My newest bass is probably leaving very soon for being impossible to do this standing. A pity too cause she sounds marvelous.
  17. Kyle_S


    Sep 11, 2013
    I'm 6'1'' and I find the classical posture uncomfortable whether I'm playing my heavy P-bass knockoff or my weightless nylon-string guitar. Feels good in the wrists, but hurts my lower back. Holding it on my right leg feels all right, but limits the range of motion in my fretting hand. So I also just practice standing up all the time.
  18. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    I play with that classical posture sometime, only if I play, sitting on chair, with a pick and picking near bridge of my Fender Precision bass,.. Bass on my left lap.
    Other than that, bass on my right lap when sitting is more natural way for me.
    Picking near bridge with a flat pick is not my favorite,..I prefer picking near neck, so I rarely do the classical posture
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  19. I always use a classical guitar position. It doesn't rest on my left leg though. The strap suports the bass.
  20. Mulebagger


    Dec 12, 2007
    poppin in the corn belt
    Endorsing Artist: Zon Guitars, Tsunami Cables, DR Strings, GK
    I've always played in that position. It relieved some tendonitis I was having in both hands.