#1
I've played guitar for 4 years now and I started practicing standing and play like a week ago (I know its funny) and I play mostly Thrash metal (Metallica,Slayer etc.) and you know this kind of music requires good downpicking and alt picking skill with their rhythm and I found it extremely hard to do that while i'm standing my downpick speed is slower than back when I started playing guitar. Any tips? I downpick really fast while i'm sitting (MoP and Creeping death are easy for me while i'm sitting)
#2
Also I do care about my looks lol I don't want to go to a show with my band rocking out metal songs and look like a nerdiest metal guy of all time
#3
Practice.

Playing guitar standing up as well as you can play sitting down is a learned skill. It does not come naturally with becoming a more apt player if you do not exercise it.

Keep the strap at a comfortable height. I find how high it needs to be depends on the specific guitar you're using. The lighter in weight and the better balanced the guitar is, the lower you can position the strap and get away with it. Bearing in mind of course that the lower you position the strap, the more different the positions between standing up and sitting down will be and the more you will need to practice in that position. If you cannot hold the guitar with your left thumb against the back of the neck without discomfort along any of the neck's length, then you need to raise the strap. Playing like that is not only very difficult and uncomfortable, but it can cause carpel tunnel which can put an end to your guitar playing days.
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#5
Ignite

AND THEY LOOK LIKE HUGE NERDS!

But anyway, just practice. Dont put it down to low tho, that also looks stupid. You are gonna figure out how high you like it pretty fast when you start playing. Also angle the neck upwards, it will help with acces. And during lead parts, put your leg on something and rest your guitar on it. It makes it easier to play and looks awesome.
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#6
it's just practice.

as far as the height goes, I would rather look like a 'nerd' than play like shit. Having said that, I do keep my strap lower standing than sitting.
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#7
Allan Holdsworth straps his guitar high and nobody calls him nerdy. In fact, if I see someone with the guitar strapped high, I know that person's about to shred!
#8
Don't buy into the metal guitarist has to have his or her guitar slung down around thier knees to look cool. I have seen bands do that on videos then when I saw them live it was a different story. Play at a height that feels comfortable, if you play a gig and someone dimisses you for having your guitar too high then they do not appreciate music as much as they think.
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#9
Quote by joseph24
Also I do care about my looks lol I don't want to go to a show with my band rocking out metal songs and look like a nerdiest metal guy of all time


Watch the Gutiar player from Killswitch Engage. He keeps his guitar up high and looks a little silly touring the world as a rockstar...

Tom Morello plays his guitar high as well.
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#10
Its all personal pref! the key is be comfortable and practice! like you, I played pretty much ALWAYS sitting down until I started playing in bands and doing gigs, Id rather have a high up guitar than be sat on a chair on stage! I wear mine pretty high if im honest, but thats because i sort of coil around the guitar when im sat. Find whats comfy for you!
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#11
Quote by Evilnine
Don't buy into the mtal guitarist has to have his or her guitar slung down around thier knees to look cool. I seen bands do that on videos then when I saw them live it was a different story. Play at a height that feels comfortable, if you play a gig and someone dimisses you for having your guitar too high then they do not appreciate music as much as they think.


good point. i have seen the same thing a few times too.
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#12
Quote by kabadi.man
adjust your strap so the guitar is at the same height standing as it is when you play sitting


This +10

And yeah its just practice and getting used to performing/playing whilst standing.
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#13
Quote by joseph24
Also I do care about my looks lol I don't want to go to a show with my band rocking out metal songs and look like a nerdiest metal guy of all time


kabadi.man had your solution -- hike up that guitar. If you've been to a live show, you'll notice that the guitar hero usually throws his foot up on a monitor and the guitar neck is up around his head when he really needs to shred. Don't be sucked in by a need to wear your guitar low for looks.
#16
you don't need to strap your guitar high for metallica. you do, however, need to treat the new position as a different technique altogether, and be patient with learning this new way of playing.

you can generally get by with any guitar height from Tom Morello mode to Slash mode, but the lower you get, the more careful you have to be about your technique. it isn't just the wrist angle, but the wrist angle combined with excess muscle tension that'll do you in. i find it helpful to remember to let the guitar stabilize itself on the strap and your torso, and just put your hands to it. in other words, don't use your hands to hold the guitar in position. yes, this means no jumping around and rocking out, at least when you're starting.

another thing to try is to stop putting your thumb behind your index finger on the fretboard (or whatever "proper" thumb placement you may have been using while sitting down). try having it pointing toward the headstock. this allows you to keep your wrist straighter.
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#17
If you've only been at it a week, that is the main reason it's so difficult.. Try to practise only standing up and give it a few months at least. I understand where you are coming with looks, but if the height of the strap is effecting my playing at all I'm going to raise it up until I can play my best.. I usually have the strings at the level of my bellybutton or so.. You need to give it more practise and try raising the height of your strap while you get better at it.. then try dropping it bit by bit.. you'll know when it starts effecting your playing and that's really as low as you should go.
#18
joseph24

Don't be a pussy dude do what you need to do to get the job done.

My guitar strap has the shortest length available and people cheer when I solo and I don't hear them complaining about how stupid I look.
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#19
Say what you will about looking like a "NEEEERD," but Yngwie has always raised his guitar up super high and nobody talks shit about his playing
#20
Take it from a guy that used to have his guitar almost at knees height, I even had to make myself custom straps as every commercially available strap was to short (I'm 6'4) but I had to hang it a little higher as I almost f-ed up my back/shoulders.

If you have to move your shoulder into an unnatural position and have to stretch out your picking arm because you cannot reach every string comfortably then your guitar hangs to low, and you need to raise it a little bit.

Also as it was stated many times before practice in the position you're going to perform and as with everything start slow, at a speed in which your arm's muscles feel fairly relaxed.
#22
Quote by babysmasher
If you've only been at it a week, that is the main reason it's so difficult.. Try to practise only standing up and give it a few months at least. I understand where you are coming with looks, but if the height of the strap is effecting my playing at all I'm going to raise it up until I can play my best..


The second reason you need to be careful with the crotch-height strap look is that you can develop early-onset arthritis in your fretting hand if you're straining it trying to look cool while playing.
#23
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Dude Holdsworth is nerdy as hell lmfao


Holdsworth used to live in the building where I had a photo studio (The Brewery in downtown LA). I'd see him every month delivering his rent check; didn't know he played guitar. One day he came over to the studio and sat down with the guy who fixed my strobe units (Greg Leon -- I didn't know HE played guitar, either). The two of them grabbed a couple of my guitars and just RIPPED. I think I injured myself when my jaw bounced off the cement floor.

Check Wikipedia for information on Greg. It's funny reading.

Nerdy my muscular butt (LMFAO).
#24
Quote by kabadi.man
adjust your strap so the guitar is at the same height standing as it is when you play sitting


This. Trying to look cool playing low is dumb.
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#25
Adjusting to standing up can feel pretty hopeless at first but I think you'll be surprised how quickly it feels natural after regular practice.

I would say there is little point in becoming a good guitar player if you are going to play with the strap hiked up to your tits. It is cringe worthy. I would start by putting an aggressive tilt on your guitar while playing at the top of the neck and maybe try to level off a bit over time. But definitely your junk should be against some part of your guitar while you are standing. Good luck.
#26
Who's to say Morello and Holdsworth don't think slinging it up high looks TITS.?
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#27
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Adjusting to standing up can feel pretty hopeless at first but I think you'll be surprised how quickly it feels natural after regular practice.

I would say there is little point in becoming a good guitar player if you are going to play with the strap hiked up to your tits. It is cringe worthy. I would start by putting an aggressive tilt on your guitar while playing at the top of the neck and maybe try to level off a bit over time. But definitely your junk should be against some part of your guitar while you are standing. Good luck.


I'd say there's far less point becoming a good guitar player if you'd prioritise "looking good" over sounding good - if you can't play properly standing up then your strap is too low, end of.
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#28
Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes wear their guitars up on their chests and no one complains. It may look nerdy to you, but goddamn are they guitar gods and that's what matters.
#29
joseph24
Ok, I'm gonna drop some good ol' fashioned knowledge and get you edumacated. First, let the guitar hang as you stand. Adjust the strap so that the guitar hangs right where your hands gravitate to when you want to play (should be roughly near the position where the guitar would be when you sit). Then, focus on your technique once you have the guitar in a comfortable position. Do not anchor your picking hand, you'll strain yourself and quickly lose speed and efficiency. Do not angle your wrist on your fretting hand either, you'll quickly develop issues with your tendons. The next step, and most important step, is always practice standing up from now on. Try to forget that you ever played sitting down. Your muscles will become accustomed to the new playing style over time and will form greater muscle memory. You'll be more comfortable and more confident. Don't worry if you think you look weird standing up when you play now. When it comes to playing guitar, it's truly about PLAYING, not looking "cool". No one cares how cool you look when playing if you can't play in tune or in key. Just keep technique in mind and practice. It will come to you.

Sincerely,
A guy who has played Blackened by Metallica countless times standing up.
Last edited by sombrero_mop at Oct 7, 2016,
#30
Don't feel weird about playing with your guitar up higher than the other guys in your band. These guys play higher than you and they rock
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#31
A good thing to do is when you're practicing sitting down, use your strap to hold the guitar up in a more classical position (basically more vertical than horizontal). Kind of like this, but I use my strap so I don't need to lift leg to rest the guitar on, and I like mine even more vertical than that.


If you do this, the way you hold your guitar sitting down should be identical to the way you play standing, so it won't feel any different, and it'll be in a much more ergonomic position. Just yesterday one of my uni professors (well technically he's a Dr.) was talking about how one his friends can never play guitar for extended periods again because of how badly his wrist was damaged from years of playing with the guitar horizontal and down low. You're lucky, having your guitar way up has pretty much become the norm in a lot of modern rock and metal, all the guys from the 80s who called the "high strappers" dorks are probably too busy dealing with their carpal tunnel to care about how you look these days.
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#32
Try fast downpicking at different strap heights for 30 secs to one minute or so and see for yourself which strap height gives you the least amount of muscle pain. For trash metal i actually suggest puting your guitar lower (around ballsac height).
#33
Basically it's just something you get used to. It's hard to do, but you should always at band practice be standing. Honestly, do most of your practice standing. It will become easier, your body just has to adjust a bit. I remember when i first started playing live i found it pretty difficult. But once you do it enough it'll seem no different. I can play the same standing or sitting (And i wear my strap relatively low), and, worst case, if you need to wear it higher at first, just slowly drop it down, also, higher up puts it closer to behind the head position!!!! lol
#34
If you don't want it high, start there then slowly lower it. The obvious place to start.
#35
Yep, practice standing, you'll get used to it.
You will also get used to headbanging whist playing, dodging assorted missiles thrown by drunken audiences, crazy people doing crazy shit far too close to you, mayhem, fights, spilt beer, blinding stage lights, the super fast string change and all your gear breaking at the worst possible moment..
Shut up and play your guitar!
#36
Whenever I play standing up, my guitar is hanging around where my stomach is, not extremely low like down to nearly the knee, I heard somewhere that the lower you hang it, the cooler you look, but whats the point of looking cool if you can barely play correctly?

If you're comfortable with the height of your guitar sitting down, adjust the strap to where even standing up, it around that area
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#37
Play some of the songs which are hard for you on 75% speed. You just need practice.
Be yourself !
#38
joseph24You lose nothing by experimenting. I came back to guitar playing recently after a few years away from it and have had to force myself to stand and play, rather than sit. It seems to feel more natural after a while.

I tend to think that the way you stand is as important as strap height. I notice that I stand with my feet quite far apart and I lean back from my hips. This feels the most comfortable and natural for me, but I can't explain why this is. It could just be the way I used to play guitar, but I can't remember.
I have my guitar at around medium height, with the top of the guitar's body just below belly button.