#1
I recently realized that I play with my guitar tilted up towards my face so I can look at what I'm doing on the fretboard and that I hook my strumming arm over the guitar closer to the neck than I should (I read that it should be over near the top back of the body).

I read up on correct guitar position, and what I found told me to *never ever ever* watch your fretboard as you play, to keep your guitar at a near-perfect vertical on your leg, and to drape your arm over the top back of the guitar body with the crook of your elbow.

I've been practicing like this for a couple days now and I feel like a total newbie all over again. I was a beginner before, but I had made considerable progress. Playing like this, I feel like I'm picking it up for the first time again (and not in that magical happy way).

Is it really important to have this kind of posture? The thing that's really screwing me up is not looking at the fretboard.... I'm not sure how we're ever supposed to learn if we can't watch what where we are on the fretboard.
#2
there should be inlays on the side of the frets too, also you should have some form of muscle memory and shouldn't need to really watch after a short amount of time
#3
Yeah, don't look if you can help it... All beginners do that weird tilt the guitar thing (i think). I don't think you could possibly play standing like that?
#4
I can understand using the dots for fret placement, but I don't see how I can put my finger on the right string on the fretboard, or pluck the right right individual string with a pick.
#5
I mean, if the guitar is vertical, your view of most strings below the thick E string is blocked, so how do you know where the others are?
#6
It all just comes with time and muscle memory. It wont happen at first but eventually you begin to get the feel for it.
#7
it becomes muscle memory after a while, I've played a whole love song to my girlfriend that I wrote for her, while looking her directly into the eye. which pretty much means I didn't look at the fretboard the whole time, how? I've been playing for a year and know where the strings are, after a while you just find the placement. and I don't really want to steer anyone the wrong way, but i will say but i don't play in classical posture and do ok.
#8
Quote by LucidDreem
I mean, if the guitar is vertical, your view of most strings below the thick E string is blocked, so how do you know where the others are?

You get used to it. Personally, I only have to look at my fret hand when switching to a different position and when sliding. After a while, it almost becomes second nature. You get used to where the different string are.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#9
Hey, it's good that you've learned not to play like that anymore. I played that way for a long time and it really messed up my forearm. I started playing with the guitar vertical to the floor and boom, my forearm stopped giving me pain.
#10
Well, looks like I just have to soldier up and start playing the right way. Just kind of frustrating that I have to reteach myself after a year of playing wrong, but better now than later. Thanks for the tips guys.
#11
Quote by Viban
it becomes muscle memory after a while, I've been playing for a year and know where the strings are, after a while you just find the placement.


Yeah, people can also find the break and the gas pedals, scratch their nose and other stuff without or feel their way around. Granted those are easier, but you can see how much practice (even unintentional practice) can make it possible.
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#12
Quote by LucidDreem
Well, looks like I just have to soldier up and start playing the right way. Just kind of frustrating that I have to reteach myself after a year of playing wrong, but better now than later. Thanks for the tips guys.

Something that might help is to play guitar in the dark. As little light in the room as possible. You may discover that you've already gotten used to it to a certain degree. Your fingers may know what to do. Your first time walking through a new place in the dark, you'll bump into everything, but once you walk through a few times with the light on you know where to go.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#14
Quote by LucidDreem
Well, looks like I just have to soldier up and start playing the right way. Just kind of frustrating that I have to reteach myself after a year of playing wrong, but better now than later. Thanks for the tips guys.

How many bands have you seen where the guitarists look at their fretboard all the time?

Certainly you should never have to look at the guitar to see which string to pick, but obviosuly if you're used to looking then it's going to take time to adjust - a year is nothing though, you've barely started playing so in all honesty I wouldn't expect you to be completely comfortable playing without looking anyway. I get by with the odd glance at the top of the fretboard every now and again but I've been playing a long time, it's not something that happens overnight.
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#15
I've been playing for a few years and I still look at my fretboard frequently, especially when learning new material. If its something I know fairly well then I don't need to look very often. Of course, I am not trying to play live in front of lots of people, so I'm not too concerned with how I look while I play.
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#16
I can see the fretboard fairly easily when i stand up.

It will take a good few years before you can whizz round the neck without looking.
#17
Yeah, playing without having to look just comes with time. As people have said muscle memory is key. This is something that will come to you with time but you can speed up the process a little bit if you want. The two things I've found to be useful are to practice whatever you are currently working on while watching TV or doing something else. This will also help bang it into your subconscious. Just try to look down less and less as you watch the show, eventually it will feel natural. Also, another great way is to start whatever you are learning super slow and build up to a speed to about 1.5-2x faster than you would want to play it. This can easily be done with programs like GP, TuxGuitar or Scorch. I find that the repition from building my speed at it then going and watching something while practicing it works magix the next day. Try these out and let me know if it helps you out, bud.
#19
Quote by Junior#1
Something that might help is to play guitar in the dark. As little light in the room as possible. You may discover that you've already gotten used to it to a certain degree. Your fingers may know what to do. Your first time walking through a new place in the dark, you'll bump into everything, but once you walk through a few times with the light on you know where to go.


I like that. I don't have anywhere to play in the dark during the day, and I can't play at night because I live with my family right now and have no room of my own. I'm going to try playing in the day with my eyes closed. This feeling of having put a year's worth of work into guitar only to realize it was wasted because of a bad habit or two is really demoralizng, but I'm not going to let it stop me.
#20
Quote by LucidDreem
I like that. I don't have anywhere to play in the dark during the day, and I can't play at night because I live with my family right now and have no room of my own. I'm going to try playing in the day with my eyes closed. This feeling of having put a year's worth of work into guitar only to realize it was wasted because of a bad habit or two is really demoralizng, but I'm not going to let it stop me.

Get some headphones to plug into your amp. Then you can play anytime.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#21
Quote by mrbabo91
I can see the fretboard fairly easily when i stand up.

It will take a good few years before you can whizz round the neck without looking.

Pic of posture please. Yeah...I'm guilty of this too . What I sometimes do now is try and play it with my eyes shut and play slow...then speed up a bit as it becomes muscle memory.