Being able to play guitar standing up isn’t so important until you start appearing in gigs or performing in any other way. When you’re learning to play in your own home or in a music school you’re usually sitting down, so the whole standing up experience is kinda new.
Being able to play guitar standing up isn’t really that different from playing in a seated position, but you still need to take care of some basic setting up and setting your expectations right. Hence this 3 step guide to playing guitar standing up.
1. Set the comfortable height for your fretting hand
Your guitar cannot be hanging too low or too high in relation to your body. Some music videos tend to disrupt this image because a lot of performers have their guitars hanging really low. This might look good in a video, but it’s not the most comfortable way of playing.
When finding the perfect height for your left (fretting) hand you need to make sure that you can access every fret equally easily. Your 1st fret should be as easily accessible as the 24th. If you have to flex your fingers and bend them in many strange directions to do so then it’s not a good indicator.
For most guitarists the perfect height for this matter is somewhere between their waist level and chest level. Knee level isn’t the solution unless you have monkey-like long arms.
2. Set the comfortable height for your strumming hand
Your strumming hand is equally as important as your fretting hand, so now it’s time to focus on fine tuning your perfect height.
Your strumming hand should rest comfortably on the side of your guitar’s body and have easy access to all strings. This is basically the only rule here.
If your guitar is hanging too high you will have to twist your wrist one way, if it’s too low you’ll have to twist it the other way. And if you force yourself to play in such a twisted position you’ll inevitably develop some serious wrist problems. Just not worth it.
3. Get used to not seeing the fretboard
This is a common problem for anyone who starts to play guitar standing up. When your guitar hangs on a strap it naturally twists in a direction in which you can’t see the fretboard, only the back of the guitar’s neck.
This creates some problems if you can’t find most fretboard positions by instinct yet. The common thing to do is to bend one of your knees to see the fretboard, but I don’t advise you to do that, as it messes up your spine.
You just need to fight through and get used to such a situation. Over time, it won’t be a problem anymore.
That’s it for these three quick steps on learning how to play guitar standing up. Do you have any advice of your own on this topic? Feel free to share.