Advice needed for left leg player

I notice most people rest the guitar on their right leg. I find this massively uncomfortable and I have to twist my body in an unnatural way to do that and it put my arm in a position that makes it massively uncomfortable or even painful to play. I have a wide stance so it’s much much more comfortable to rest the guitar on my left leg and elevate my left foot to put the guitar in a position that is very comfortable for me. I play a super strat guitar, but I don’t think my elbow is behind the guitar.

This makes it so I can’t rest my arm where’s suggested in the videos and I’m not exactly sure where to rest my arm. This also makes it near impossible me to orient my hand in a way that allows me to put my hand in a supinated position, when I tried this I got pain in my wrist when picking similar to carpel tunnel, so I immediately stopped doing that.

Doesn’t seem to matter what position I use, been trying for days and I can’t get a completely relaxed motion, I either feel slight tension in my tricep, the muscle on top of my forearm near the elbow, or on the bottom of my forearm near the elbow. If I try to angle my wrist in any way upward I get pain, downward is fine but then I can’t mute the strings and it’s more of an Eddie Van Halen tremolo picking thing.

I can’t make a video with my phone because I have no way to put it in a position to take one. The latest android update broke gdrive so I can’t even upload pictures.

Not sure this will help, but… I also struggled with the guitar on my right leg. Maybe for reasons differnt than yours, though; I felt like my right shoulder had to be in my ear to play. Exaggerating, but it was definitely riding up. The classical position wasn’t entirely to my liking, either. What I ended up with, and I’m pretty happy with it, is this…

I raise the back legs of my chair so the seat is perfectly parallel to the ground. I sit on the edge. I have a little stand I made, looks like a footstool topped with a folded towel for cushion; it’s about 6 inches high. I drop my right shin down onto that.

Now the guitar body can slide downward a bit and my right arm no longer has to be hiked up to play, nor am I twisting my upper body. Like I say, works for me. May wanna give it a shot:)

I’ve got a position that works well for me, it’s just trying to find the sweet spot for picking. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to use wrist only, or rotate my arm slightly, or what is proper form. I’m trying to avoid hurting myself. So if I feel any tension I figure I’m doing something wrong, but I’ve spent a few days now trying to find the right place and I’m close but not getting an effortless one.

I managed to fix my uploading problems so I’ll post a couple pics.

For what it’s worth, this looks very similar to how I position the guitar, and I can pick comfortably with a bunch of different motions.
One variable that affects how things line up is what point along the edge of the guitar your forearm makes contact. It sounds like this is the thing your talking about being constrained by setting the guitar on your left leg. That’s probably something you could still experiment with based on how you hold your elbow and shoulder, but it may not be the key area of interest. And again, it looks pretty similar to what I do.

Probably the main variable you want to experiment with is the point along your forearm where it makes contact with the edge of the guitar. Closer to the wrist versus closer to the elbow will affect how things line up and how the range of motion of your wrist gets limited in any given direction. Another variable to play with along with this is how close to the bridge you pick. The further you pick from the bridge, the more your forearm will tend towards parallel with the strings, which might help you find a more comfortable position.

Another variable that can affect all this include all sorts of pick grip variables, which will affect your ability to get a string attack you like from any given arm/wrist position.

Guitar height is another variable, though if you are seated without a strap, that becomes difficult to systematically adjust.

I think the videos on picking motions try not to be very prescriptive, and more talk about “here are the different movements we understand based on the limits of the human body, try them all and see what seems to be working best”.

Not sure if this helps, but you could try and mimic Rick Graham’s posture and where he positions the picking hand. He seems to do the majority of his playing with the guitar resting on his left leg, which – to me at least – looks really comfortable and relaxed. His upper body seems a bit overbent at times, but maybe it’s what he prefers.

Regarding the positioning of his picking hand relative to the guitar, he seems to make contact with the upper back of the body (where it curves) and at the bridge, as he’s able to palm mute really well.

I actually do have a strap on my guitar at all times to keep it snug and not roll, also to help my left shoulder to relax and keep the guitar at an angle that keeps my left wrist mostly straight so I don’t re aggro my wrist injury from a decade ago.

Thank you for the video links, I’m examining his hand technique, seems pretty close to what I’m doing. I’ll keep messing around and see if I can find a comfortable picking angle.

As for my grip I’ve always used the the same semi-pad trigger grip, as it’s always been the most natural and comfortable, one thing I did drive by feel long ago and seem to have right. I can pick fast and accurately on one string and I’m trying to retrain, but finding that tension free spot is proving difficult. I’ll keep trying to find the zone.