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Holding My Dreadnought

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Dave T
(@dave-t)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I have a Yamaha dreadnought that until recently I played sitting with the lower cutaway resting on my right thigh. I don't like using a strap, so found I was using my right arm and body to hold it in position. Also, the neck was basically parallel with the floor, so my left arm wrist angle was probably more acute than it should be. For some reason one day I spread my legs apart, and placed the fat part of the body between my legs with cutaway resting on the inside/top of my left thigh (sorry for the near-explicit description!). This freed up my right arm some and raised the neck substantially. I expect I'll have to adjust my left hand grips a bit but other than that is there any drawback to this? It seems it's only classical guitar players who hold similar to this way in the instructional material. Thanks!


   
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TRGuitar
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Well, I like to play standing up but both ways you describe are correct. I think classical guitarists use your new position as it facilitates better left hand position. This is the reason I like to play standing up. It gives me the best of both.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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Chris C
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+1 to TR's comments about playing standing up. Sooner or later you may want to play standing up, especially if you get the chance to join a band or perform. It's obviously an advantage if your guitar positioning, hand angles etc are similar whether you're seated or standing. I'd suggest that it might be worth persisting with trying to use a strap. LIke you, I wasn't keen on them when I started out but once I got the adjustment and positioning properly sorted, I found them to be a big help keeping everything stable and in the most comfortable position.

Chris


   
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rsadler
(@rsadler)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I have a dreadnought acoustic that I have basically stopped playing because like you mentioned, it just isn't comfortable to me at all. My strat is so much easier to hold. I really want to play my acoustic more, but it seems so awkward, that I've even considered getting a smaller body style. Is that a mistake or should I just learn to get used to the bigger dreadnought?


   
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Hobson
(@hobson)
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I recently traded in a guitar that was too big for me. Had it for over 30 years, but as I acquired more guitars, it got left in a corner, never getting played. Proper technique goes a long way, but sometimes a guitar just isn't a good fit. When you're starting out, you don't always know what is a good fit. Plus, as you get older (me, not necessarily the OP), you can't do those contortions that let you play an ill-fitting instrument in your younger days.

What kind of chair are you using? If you're on a high stool, the guitar will tend to slide down your leg. Try putting your foot on one of the rungs. Or use a lower chair that brings your knee up and puts your leg and the guitar in a better playing position without having to hold it in place.

Renee


   
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dogbite
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I have a dreadnought acoustic that I have basically stopped playing because like you mentioned, it just isn't comfortable to me at all. My strat is so much easier to hold. I really want to play my acoustic more, but it seems so awkward, that I've even considered getting a smaller body style. Is that a mistake or should I just learn to get used to the bigger dreadnought?

switch to a different body style. there is no Law that says you must play a dread. I do because I want the specific qualities a dread provides. I adjust to the dimensions because I need to.
a friend has a Concert size Taylor. I enjoy playing that; it fits my physical size better.
so switch.

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rsadler
(@rsadler)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I think I might check out a few next time I'm over by the guitar shop. I've never held one with that body style but think i might like it better.


   
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