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> Why Can't I Relax?, Sitting down playing guitar
thefireball
post Jan 7 2011, 03:37 AM
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I feel much more relaxed when I stand up and play guitar. But sometimes I like to sit down to play. However, when I sit down, I just can't keep relaxed. My right shoulder tenses up. Actually, when I sit down, my shoulder and arm doesn't feel right anyway. I have taken 2 pictures and here they are below - my normal posture as I play in these ways. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong. If I look okay, posture-wise, what can I do to loosen up and relax? I've had this problem for so long. It seems the more I concentrate on relaxing, the tenser I get. huh.gif

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Mudbone
post Jan 7 2011, 03:53 AM
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Your right shoulder is holding your right arm up and backwards when you're sitting in that specific position, but when you're standing your right arm is more or less hanging and your bicep is holding up your forearm. The bicep muscles have a lot more endurance that the shoulder muscles, and therefore aren't as easily fatigued.

You should consider changing your sitting position. Instead of placing the guitar on your right thigh, place it between your legs and rest it on your left thigh, I believe this is called the classical position. If you're going to sit in the classical position you will need something to prop up your left leg to make that seating position more comfortable. Once you're seated in the classical position your shoulder will no longer have to pull your arm backwards in order for your hand to be in the proper strumming position. The classical position also makes it easier on your fretting hand wrist, no more unusual twists. I changed over to the classical position and never regretted it, even though it was a little awkward at first. Check out all the famous shredders and just about all of them sit in the classical position. This position also makes the transition to playing standing up easier.

You may also want to consider hitting the gym at least four times a week, stronger muscles can take more abuse biggrin.gif


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thefireball
post Jan 7 2011, 05:31 AM
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I was sort of afraid of that. But how do other instructors do it? laugh.gif They sit in that sitting position as I am all the time. What's different? smile.gif


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CathShadow
post Jan 7 2011, 06:47 AM
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It looks to me that your guitar is pulled quite back... so your left arm is stretched forward, your right is then compensating pulling back to play in the correct position..

Maybe try having the neck a little less to the side of you? like, kind of more parallel to your body? (sorry don't know if this explanation is good)?

(maybe its the angle I'm looking at though? :$ )..

but if the neck is closer to you, you won't need to stretch so far (or pull back)

Pierre


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thefireball
post Jan 7 2011, 07:04 PM
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You're right, Pierre. I'll have to try that. wink.gif If I just can't be comfortable, I may just have to go classical position. But it just doesn't look cool to me. laugh.gif


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JamesT
post Jan 7 2011, 09:34 PM
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I stand up full time when I play nowadays. It's probably because I have a desk job and by the time I get home from work I've had enough sitting in a chair for the day. I've gotten used to playing standing up and I can do about a two hour session before my shoulder getis tired from the weight of the guitar. I usually take a break after a couple of hours and then can get back to it without a problem. Most days I actually only have time for two one hour sessions, but if I could do more, I would. One good thing about getting used to standing, is that if I ever have an opportunity to play in a band again, I won't have to make any adjustments between my practice alone and with the band.

How about the instructors? ...do any of you stand up full time when practicing?


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Mudbone
post Jan 7 2011, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (JamesT @ Jan 7 2011, 03:34 PM) *
I stand up full time when I play nowadays. It's probably because I have a desk job and by the time I get home from work I've had enough sitting in a chair for the day. I've gotten used to playing standing up and I can do about a two hour session before my shoulder getis tired from the weight of the guitar. I usually take a break after a couple of hours and then can get back to it without a problem. Most days I actually only have time for two one hour sessions, but if I could do more, I would. One good thing about getting used to standing, is that if I ever have an opportunity to play in a band again, I won't have to make any adjustments between my practice alone and with the band.

How about the instructors? ...do any of you stand up full time when practicing?


Standing up is definitely the most comfortable position once you get a hang of it. I usually stand up for the majority of my practice session, but when I have to learn something new I usually sit down. I guess standing up uses the precious few brain cells I have tongue.gif


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Gear:

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Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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Fre
post Jan 7 2011, 10:11 PM
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In this video your sitting position is much better than in this picture. Your right shoulder is more moved towards your guitar. Compare the two images. Hope this helps, good luck!
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dark dude
post Jan 7 2011, 10:26 PM
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I had this problem a long time ago, but it was solved once I switched to the classical position. It'll be like your standing position, but with the guitar higher up.

I always, always practice sitting down, mainly because I'm not doing any gigs, though. Would be a good idea to practice your gig material standing up.


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slash48
post Jan 7 2011, 11:46 PM
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Try sitting in a classical position with a footstool. Cheap, durable footstool- http://www.amazon.com/Music-People-FS7850B...9409&sr=8-1

It helped me with tension so it might help you too! Good luck...


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thefireball
post Jan 8 2011, 12:46 AM
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Hmmmm.....I wonder if I should try standing all together. It feels fun when I do anyway. This isn't working like I want. biggrin.gif I do have neck problems. It gets stiff easily. It may be part of the problem. I dunno. I will mull it over some more and try different stuff. Thanks guys for helping. wink.gif

Anybody else is welcome to give more advice. smile.gif


By the way, those of you who play standing, how many of you love to put your left/right foot out? I do my left foot all the time! laugh.gif Maybe I'm balancing subconsciously. happy.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 8 2011, 04:32 AM
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Great advice smile.gif This is the first thing I tell most of my students. BTW, if you do stand and practice, try to find a spot on your strap where the guitar hits you about the same spot sitting or standing. Otherwise, when you change positions, your hand will feel a bit lost.

QUOTE (slash48 @ Jan 7 2011, 05:46 PM) *
Try sitting in a classical position with a footstool. Cheap, durable footstool- http://www.amazon.com/Music-People-FS7850B...9409&sr=8-1

It helped me with tension so it might help you too! Good luck...



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 12 2011, 02:20 AM
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Yeah Todd is right. I would also recommend footstool, very useful thing to use. Putting your guitar between the legs while you sit will solve the problem too.


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