Thumb aligned straight, on the back and in the middle, palm never touching, is this correct? I get a lot of aching in my arm, is this just because I am new? No tiring from holding my arm out, just aching like the position is awkward. How should the forearm and hand be positioned? I'm trying to learn without watching the frets, but I have to look sometimes.
i have no idea what you're talking about... thumb aligned straight with what? on the back and middle of what? palm never touching? my palm is usually always touching the bridge, you just dont anchor it in one spot.

and no, if you're playing correctly you should feel no pain from just playing normally, unless you're really shredding or doing a lot of legato stuff, but a beginner should feel no pain.

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1. Let your hand find a natural position on the neck.
2. If it hurts to play either shorten the strap or change the angle to more upright.
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Correct arm/hand positioning should leave you with your thumb on the top edge of the guitar's neck, and you should be able to mute the low E string with your thumb at any time. Your wrist should be almost straight, so that the back of your hand and your forearm are basically in line.

A lot of people try playing with the tip of their thumb in the middle of the neck, with their wrist arched at an almost right angle. This is actually wrong, and this is what leads to RSI and potentially perminantly crippling hand injury. Which isn't fun.

Part of the problem is also finding a neck that fits your hand correctly. Everyone's hands are different, and everyone will have a different perfect neck. It needs to be slim enough that you can play to your full ability but it needs to be thick enough that it also fully supports your hand. I.E. if you have small hands, don't use a thick Gibson neck because you'll not be able to play properly; on the flip side if you have large hands then you shouldn't play a very thin Ibanez neck because it won't support your hand properly and you risk injury. Finding the right balance for your hand is very important. It's good to start with Fender necks as a basic reference point as their necks tend to be average/slightly slim which most people find to be a good balance. Generally speaking if you can't find a neck that suits your hands and you have to choose between slightly too thin or slightly too thick, the sensible option is to go for a neck that is slightly too thick. At least that way you won't be damaging your hand. Also of course a neck that's a bit too thick can be shaved down to the right thickness, but you can't take a neck that's too thin and add more wood to it.
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try keeping your elbow close to your body
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Originally Posted by Shirate
The guitar, the only beautiful female that looks better with the top ON haha

get your guitar in the right position to start with...

hold the guitar in the classical position(whilst wearing the strap "loose") then stand up, the guitar is now in the right position.

the thumb should be moveable, so that you can curl it round the top of the neck and rotate across the back of the neck, the knuckles should generally be parallel to the bottom edge of the neck..

you need to spend about 30 minutes warming up which includes stretching the wrists,arms, neck and shoulders before you even pickup the guitar

then start playing slowly gradually building and relax when playing, watch some of your guitar heroes on youtube and see how they`re holding themselves and don`t wear your guitar at knee level

and if anything starts to hurt stop playing for a couple of hours
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Aug 9, 2009,