#1
I've been playing for 13 years and have only ever spent *maybe* 20 minutes playing while standing up.

I have severe nerve problems in my wrists/arms that cause sharp pains at random times, and I've found that playing the guitar while sitting minimizes those pains. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just holding the guitar improperly while standing.

I'm 6'1", but I like having my guitar up high and tilted slightly forward. Everyone always says "put the guitar lower" but that just causes me to have to angle my wrist more, which hurts like hell.

At normal playing height, if you are playing any barre/minor chord on the EAD strings, does your wrist form a near 90 degree angle? If not, then I am physically unable to play the guitar while standing... (unless I wedge a block under it to tilt it forward)
#2
Play it how YOU feel comfortable.
Having it low just to look cool can really mess up your playing never mind your wrist problems.

I would recommend sitting in your playing position, adjusting the strap so its nearly taking all of the weight of the guitar, that way it'll be at the same height and position when your standing.
#3
Quote by 88Reaper88
Play it how YOU feel comfortable.
Having it low just to look cool can really mess up your playing never mind your wrist problems.

I would recommend sitting in your playing position, adjusting the strap so its nearly taking all of the weight of the guitar, that way it'll be at the same height and position when your standing.


Thanks man! I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I read that. What can I do to give the guitar more of a forward angle to help with wrist relief?

Just for visual purposes, I can't bend either of my wrists at a 90 degree angle like most people. My right wrist only bends 45 degrees before the nerve goes bat**** insane and my arm goes numb haha.
#4
I agree with what ever feels comfortable. When I see indie guitarists with their guitars really high I think it looks stupid as hell, the fact is though I have to have mine ridiculously high as well. I mean you see players like Slash and Alexi Laiho go really low but when they solo they have to lift the guitar up and rest it against their leg. Just feel it out and do what ever feels right.
#5
As for the wrist angle question, I wear my strap moderately high so I only bend my wrist like 45 degrees, a little less maybe.

Adjust your strap high if it's necessary, you obviously don't want to severely screw up your wrist.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#6
Quote by CV334
At normal playing height, if you are playing any barre/minor chord on the EAD strings, does your wrist form a near 90 degree angle? If not, then I am physically unable to play the guitar while standing... (unless I wedge a block under it to tilt it forward)
There's actually a different way of forming the E Major and E minor chord forms, (open position) as bar chords. You drop your wrist >>behind the neck<(!), and fret the low e string with your thumb. I think some people refer to this as the "Hendrix grip". It won't solve all your problems, but it might give you some relief.

Ideally, the wrist should be almost directly under the neck when playing, as it leave you with the ability to bend your fingers onto the fretboard, which in turn stops you from muting notes by having you fingers accidentally laying flat across it, too close to the strings.

If this isn't an option for you, then you have to improvise.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#7
Basically anyone with any sense keeps their wrists fairly straight when playing, keeping the guitar in a position to facilitate that whether standing or sitting. So, wear it high and outplay the haters.
#8
Thanks guys!

I feel a bit better about it now. I honestly felt like I just didn't know how to hold the guitar right. I have no problem playing when sitting, but it doesn't facilitate using pedals very well.
Last edited by CV334 at Nov 22, 2011,
#9
Quote by Freepower
Basically anyone with any sense keeps their wrists fairly straight when playing, keeping the guitar in a position to facilitate that whether standing or sitting. So, wear it high and outplay the haters.

I don't have my guitar ridiculously high or ridiculously low, but I've found it virtually impossible to keep my left wrist straight regardless of the guitar height with my thumb behind the neck, especially when using the lower frets.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#10
Quote by llBlackenedll
I don't have my guitar ridiculously high or ridiculously low, but I've found it virtually impossible to keep my left wrist straight regardless of the guitar height with my thumb behind the neck, especially when using the lower frets.


I think it might have something to do with the length of your arms.

In order for me to be able to play while standing, I'd need to have the headstock level with my chin, or the body of the guitar tilted downward at a 45 degree angle.

I've watched tons of videos to try to see how others can hold a guitar while standing. I just sit here going "yeah, my arms/wrist don't work that way..."
#11
I don't have my guitar ridiculously high or ridiculously low, but I've found it virtually impossible to keep my left wrist straight regardless of the guitar height with my thumb behind the neck, especially when using the lower frets.


Sure, lower frets and higher frets can be a pain, especially in combination with the lower strings - but you should aim for a reasonably straight wrist. If you watch anyone (except paul gilbert) do large stretches while standing they tilt the guitar up and out to facilitate bringing the wrist under the neck.

Watch this from about 3:50 on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL-BiQixVno&feature=related and watch how shawn repositions the guitar for the stretch licks.
#12
Quote by Freepower
Sure, lower frets and higher frets can be a pain, especially in combination with the lower strings - but you should aim for a reasonably straight wrist. If you watch anyone (except paul gilbert) do large stretches while standing they tilt the guitar up and out to facilitate bringing the wrist under the neck.

Watch this from about 3:50 on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL-BiQixVno&feature=related and watch how shawn repositions the guitar for the stretch licks.


I usually practice sitting down, so it's quite awkward to do that :P But yeah I do tilt the guitar sometimes when standing. I can make fairly big stretches without having to though, it's just that my wrist is bent. Maybe I try a bit too hard to keep my thumb behind the neck, but then if I don't it's harder to make stretches... so... yeah...

Thinking about it, this may be why I find it easier to play standing. When standing there's obviously more flexibility with the position of the guitar. However, another advantage is that when seated with the guitar resting on my (left) leg, I think the bottom sits a bit further forwards, effectively tilting the top backwards towards me (i.e. tilting the fretboard upwards) whereas when standing the guitar is more flat (i.e. with the fretboard facing more forward). If, as CV334 said, the guitar was tilted forwards, I could probably keep a straight wrist.

Having said all this, I've been playing 10 years now and have always played like this with my thumb behind the neck and a bent left wrist and have never experienced any problems with my left wrist at all. My right wrist, however, is really susceptible to pain - but that's entirely from typing.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Nov 22, 2011,