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> Playing On Left Knee Sitting, Santiago?, Anyone
fkalich
post Apr 28 2010, 02:18 AM
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Well way back when Pavel said that a person should play like that, at least part of the time. Santiago does when sitting down, I think in all of his videos. Aside, I see he was born in 1979. Which makes me feel better, because I thought he was younger than that, much younger (since he is over 30, he won't be insulted by that I doubt). I feel better that at least a guy who can play that fast is over 30.

But back to the issue at hand. I have a few guitars that I never felt comfortable playing while sitting, a Gibson SG and Firebird. I discovered they are quite comfortable if I play it in the fashion Santiago plays his. But then going back to my Les Paul, I got to thinking that maybe I will start to even play the Les Paul at least some of the time on my left knee. With left foot elevated about 6 inches or so by some support.

Any thoughts on playing on your right knee when sitting? There has to be a reason that some really recommend this. I am thinking it maybe helps with finger independence and dexterity. And maybe also focus and concentration.

Any thoughts?

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 28 2010, 02:23 AM
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ZakkWylde
post Apr 28 2010, 02:42 AM
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I switch knees and standard/classical position all the time...
I like the classical position with the left foot elevated a bit more because the guitar is at a similiar angle when playing standing up.


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Daniel Realpe
post Apr 28 2010, 02:59 AM
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It's a good a idea to try different positions. I think it really doesn't matter and it depends on what you are playing. So don't fall in love to a particular position and be open to play in many. Always try the standing one!


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fkalich
post Apr 28 2010, 03:42 AM
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QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Apr 27 2010, 08:59 PM) *
It's a good a idea to try different positions. I think it really doesn't matter and it depends on what you are playing. So don't fall in love to a particular position and be open to play in many. Always try the standing one!


I don't know that I would ever want to stand much. I would just refuse if anyone tried to induce me to stand while playing. You can play better sitting down, that is why people record in a studio sitting down. However in my circumstances it never comes up, actually the Cats and Dog prefer that I sit so they can annoy me more easily. It is not like "Thou Shalt Stand Playing Guitar" was ever on the short list of candidates for the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 28 2010, 03:44 AM
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zen
post Apr 28 2010, 04:31 AM
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I quite clearly remember Pavel's comments on this way back then.

I've mostly played on my left knee (classical style) and if i was 20 and had a good posture, i woud've suggested continuing to do that. But over time I've noticed that I have a VERY bad sitting posture (rounded back). So

Bad posture + guitar on left knee + extended practice = Back pain

So i recently started playing on my right knee where Im feeling more comfortable. Still havent addressed the bad posture though since:

Bad posture + guitar on right knee + extended practice = Still Back pain laugh.gif

Plus, Statistics dictate that there are more advanced players who play on their right knees than left knees.
Out of habbit, i still play from my left knees (most of my takes are on my left knee) but I'm changing this gradually. Or rather lets say mixing it up gradually, so that i am able to play on both equally well.

There's no right or wrong. You're not missing anythin, just experiment with it and listen to your body biggrin.gif


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fkalich
post Apr 28 2010, 06:00 AM
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QUOTE (zen @ Apr 27 2010, 10:31 PM) *
Bad posture + guitar on right knee + extended practice = Still Back pain laugh.gif
...
Plus, Statistics dictate that there are more advanced players who play on their right knees than left knees.
...
There's no right or wrong. You're not missing anythin, just experiment with it and listen to your body biggrin.gif


A lot of people have back issues. You might try the Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplements. Cheap, and a lot of people take those for the basic "mother nature could have come up with a better design for us bipedal primates than she did" issues. Oh, now they also put Hyalurronic Acid in the supplement, look for that. After about 30 days, a person with minor back pain can see some dramatic improvement.

Actually I recommend this for all guitarists. In the long run, this can really help the joints to stay in good shape as well. My cousin (a physical therapist) said that.

Regarding "no right or wrong". Well sure, a person can do what they enjoy. But try this. Put your left arm against your rib cage, palm up. Now make some finger movements, each finger independently. 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4.... That is like on your right knee. Now move your arm about 6 inches or so away from your rib cage and do some movements. To me, it seems that the fingers move with less tension in the hand and arm, more independently when you have your arm higher up and away from the rib cage.

What really artistic musicians do, is develop neural brain mappings, where individual finger movements and patterns are mapped to very isolated synaptic networks. If they hook of apparatus to their brains, they will see these regions light up independently. The more pin point the mappings, the better. But if you don't have this kind of independence of movement, you will have overlaps in the mappings, they will be mushy. Basically, to the extent that is the case, you have unnecessary tension, and that translates to less expression and artistry. It might not be as noticeable l in a band or with backing, but this expression/timing/artistry or lack thereof is very noticeable if one is playing solo.

When we type on a keyboard, I think most of us really achieve finger independence. I believe that is ideally what we want to do playing on a fingerboard, like we type on a key board. And perhaps some sitting positions are more conducive for that objective than others are.
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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Apr 28 2010, 06:26 AM
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Posture I use is the one with I grew up and learned how to play (Because in the Institute I studied obligated me to play in this position). You must play in the way you feel more confortable. There's a line when you have to start to think with what positions you have better results when playing. Not only for the position of the guitar, your techinique also. Look at Marty Friendman's hand position. You might think that his hand position is SO uncofortable, but he plays in that way and do whatever he wants. So, don't worry too much about the positions. Just do what fits better with you


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zen
post Apr 28 2010, 06:36 AM
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Ya, Id agree with you when it comes to better hand movement. Like I said I'm more used to left knee. But in my opinion, better hand movement in isolation doesnt contribute to the overall performance. It is a combination of posture and good hand position. If I can fix my posture, I'd still love to play on my left knee coz (1) im used to it and (2) it transitions well into standing position.

To further discuss the posture I'm refering to turn your back a bit (sort of twisting) in order to look down on the fretboard. When this is done for extended times on left knee, things can turn bad. If one is able to keep the back straight and not turn (twist) the upper body towards the fretboard, then it's a winning combination. Why I now feel comfortable on my right knee due to the fact that I dont have to twist my back anymore and the fretboard is right in front of me. But yes, there is a compromise of the good hand movement which was more efficient when the axe was on the left knee.

So for extended periods of time, I reckon I would keep switching it. If I'm playing a 3nps run, then i'd keep it on the left, so i can spread out the fingers properly. And if I'm feeling tired and worn (which I am most of the time), I'd prefer to be comfortable and keep it on my right knee.

Good diet and exercise program should take care of most of the above issues but unfortunately, I'm not in any form of physical training nowdays, though i dearly miss it.

Good info in your post. Thanks.


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fkalich
post Apr 28 2010, 06:14 PM
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After playing a period on my left knee, I felt not to push it. Like anything else, you have to adjust.

But then I put my SG on my right knee, but elevated my right foot on a chair support, about 6 inches. That seemed to to have a similar positive effect to being on the left knee. And it is very comfortable.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 28 2010, 09:13 PM
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I practice mostly in standing position, or when I get real tired I sit down for a while wink.gif When you practice everything while standing you won't have problems playing anything both standing and sitting any way.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 29 2010, 09:40 AM
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I'd say try to use the sitting classical position (put the guitar between your legs) and prop your left foot up a bit on something like a stack of books or an actual guitar foot rest. This will take some getting used to. Once you do find a good position, put on your guitar strap, and tighten it until the slack is gone and stand up and BINGO! You have the right height for your guitar to rest when you play standing up.

Finding a position that places the guitar in roughly the same spot when sitting or standing can really help. Some players have completely different sitting and standing playing positions and as a result can only play some things sitting down and other things only standing up.

Depending on where you have your guitar when you play standing, your wrist angle has to change. Ideally it should roughly the same standing or sitting.

Hope this helps smile.gif

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Keep_Rocking
post Apr 29 2010, 12:13 PM
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As I usually gig with a band and want to use the scales and techniques I have been practicing, so I always practice standing up. Practicing sitting down for me only when I'm learning the notes of a new song or exercise.
But I will consider what Todd said! I guess this is a wise solution! wink.gif

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Apr 28 2010, 05:13 PM) *
I practice mostly in standing position, or when I get real tired I sit down for a while wink.gif When you practice everything while standing you won't have problems playing anything both standing and sitting any way.


QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 29 2010, 05:40 AM) *
... Depending on where you have your guitar when you play standing, your wrist angle has to change. Ideally it should roughly the same standing or sitting.

Hope this helps smile.gif
Todd
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