In this lesson we will learn the basics of sitting, holding the guitar and holding the pick.
Sitting to play an instrument is not the same as sitting and relaxing. Your posture has a lot to do with how well you play your instrument.
Find a straight back chair. An office chair is good because the height is adjustable. Sit half-way off the edge of the chair with the knees bent at a little more than a right angle. The left foot should be flat on the floor, however, the right foot can be elevated a bit, either by sitting it on a few books, or resting it on one of the wheel spokes of the office chair. Straighten the back. The feet should be a little behind the knees. Now, tilt the pelvis forward a bit until you feel your upper torso rise slightly. This will straighten the back even more. The reason for this is you do not want to sit hunched over the guitar with a curved back.
Practice sitting like this for a while to get used to it.
Pick up your guitar and look at the following illustration:
This is a good, overall illustration of the best way to hold a guitar for the purposes of these lessons. This is sometimes referred to as a casual position.
Notice how the curved portion of the guitar body rests upon the right thigh. The guitar tilts towards you slightly. Do not hug the guitar. Only the upper edge will rest upon the chest. Depending on the guitars size, more or less of it will be tucked under the right arm.
Gently lift the left arm until it touches the guitar and cradles the neck just under the headstock. Try to leave the hand in a natural, relaxed position, cradling the guitar neck, not gripping it.
The right arm will rest lightly on the edge of the guitar body. When the arm is swiveled over the top of the guitar, the hand should be pass over the sound hole.
Holding the Pick
Study these illustrations for a moment:
Curve your index finger. Lay the pick on the first finger joint. Press down with your thumb. There you have it. The pick is held by the thumb pressing against the side of the first finger.
However, notice how the remaining fingers are relaxed and uncurled. There is no reason to make your hand into a fist just to hold a pick. Doing so will make your hand muscle bound. Your playing will be clumsy and your hand will tire quickly.
When you are comfortable with holding the guitar and the pick you are ready for the next lesson