Posture! - any observations?


#1

I thought “Posture!” was rather pithy but you need 15 characters for a title. :slight_smile:

There was some footage of a ‘posture lady’ (Alexander?) interfering with Troy while he was playing. I wondered if that helped at all…the guitar playing I mean. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: Did you take anything away from that?

The posture people normally tell you to keep your shoulders back but that doesn’t always help playing the guitar, I find. And I’ve noticed that Al Di Meola has his right shoulder hanging over the guitar, Eric Johnston and Satriani have their right shoulders elevated when picking, Metheny usually has his chin on his chest, and I noticed Carl Miner was leaning right over the guitar in the footage of him competing, although not in the later interview.

Anyone have experience of it affecting performance either way?


#2

I studied classical for a little while and adopting a lot of that philosophy helped me a lot. I had some RSI in my pinky from playing too much for too long with horrible posture. After that I totally reworked everything about how I sit with my guitar. I am almost always in classical position and I will keep my thumb pointed slightly towards the neck to always keep my wrist straight. Of course sitting up straight is just good. Since then I have not had any problems with my pinky and my playing has improved drastically in its comfort and reliability.


#3

I actually studied Alexander Technique for a few years and also have done a lot of physical therapy for pain related issues that came from practicing with bad technique.

Good use of the body helps with technical efficiency, but the much more important variable is that it helps with injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Unsolicited advice: don’t look at the greats for posture tips. A lot of these guys picked up the guitar and played it how it was comfortable, and the ones we know about are the lucky ones who didn’t get career-ending injuries and overuse problems, which are waaaaay more common than people realize.

PS, with the right teacher, alexander technique is great. I used to go into my sessions with the guitar and we’d work out these very small adjustments not in my ‘position’ but in how I was approaching the use of my body on the instrument.

I had to break from playing from all the pain problems years ago (mostly left hand) but my technique is so much better - and safer - now from all that I’ve learned.