Hello everyone. I have problem with playing guitar on strap while standing.
So, when I started playing guitar years ago, my teacher (who has been more of a classical/jazz musician) tought me to play in this classical stance - you know, left foot resting on a stool, guitar on left tight, pointed upwards etc.
I've been playing like that for years because at first I was taught to do so and over time I stuck to it and it felt comfortable. But recently I thought to try out playing with guitar straps and problems emerged immediately. Everywhere I look on how to make it optimal, sources always say I should make it as close to playing while sitting as possible. But I can't! It just feels so awkward, frets and whole neck is under different angle and in different distance than I'm used to and gitar slides down all the time so I have to focus on keeping it in place which wouldn't happen while sitting. I got my neck screw changed to one that works like strap button to make it easier and yes, it helps a little bit but it's still very hard to play. Those two feel like completely different worlds and as if I had to re-learn guitar.
So, here's my question: is there any way to deal with it other than just get used to it? How do the pros do it?
iSailor Hi,
first off all, I don't want to sound too pretentious and all-knowing, but I think your guitar teacher made a huge mistake basically forcing you into one position without teaching you the other ones. I'll just assume you're either way playing on a right-handed guitar. Resting your guitar on your left leg and having it raised is... not uncommon, but the most common way is having it resting on your right leg. That's the way I've learned (or to be precise: taught myself) to play guitar. The reason for that is that when you play on a strap, the guitar's center of weight is more closely to how when you rest it on your right leg while sitting. So paraphrasing what I just said: Your problem is not that you have not been taught playing while standing, your problem is that you were taugh playing guitar in a position that can't be reproduced when playing while standing.

[offtopic] As a matter of fact, the classical position (guitar resting on left tigh, left leg elevated) is a typical position for women to play guitar. It also comes from now seemingly archaic times when women would exclusively wear skirts, so if a female guitar player had her guitar resting on the right leg, one could see under her skirt. You don't have that problem when the guitar is resting on the left one, because the guitars body is in the way. [/offtopic]

Back to topic: So I'd tackle your problem differently: Instead of learning directly while standing, I'd try to get used to resting your guitar on your right leg. Neither leg should be resting on a stool, you just sit the way you usually would. The guitar should be more or less horizontally, maybe just a tiny bit pointing upwards, but not as much as it would be when resting it on your left tigh. When you feel comfortable playing like that, the difference between sitting and standing should be much less noticable.

I hope this helps!
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Last edited by Dragonfyre137 at Dec 24, 2016,
Agreed with above. Classical was always played sitting down so it's not optimal for standing up. Classical guitarists didn't have to get up and sing nor put on a rock show moving around. Now there are players such as Batio who play that way but leans a bit. Then again he can play two guitars at once. I thought there would be more examples of this but most metal guys have switched to right leg. When I play live standing the guitar is always based over right leg. With that said I agree to learn to play on right leg. It will come to you quick and makes singing and playing much easier cause theres no hunching or leaning. Standing up will then just be an extension of that, with the hardest part being the picking but that'll come quick.
Learning to play standing up is a skill in of itself that you simply need to practice. You will get used to it fairly quickly if you practice a lot. It actually makes some techniques easier to do , such as bending, because you can use the guitar as a counterpoint and shake the whole thing ( check our SRV for a good example). players like Pettrucci raise their leg up on a speaker in concert to play more difficult passages.

I personally was in the same predicament as you since I practiced primarily sitting down in the classical position. I started forcing myself to play my set standing up and after a few months it became second nature. Just put in some hours and it will work out.