Seating position

So I hadn’t thought much about this in years but I just noticed something in my YouTube surfing.

I sit in a “classical” position with my guitar resting on my left leg.

I notice John Petrucci and Jason Richardson also sit like this. I’m a fan of them technically but not so much their tone, something I’ve learnt comes a lot from pick attack.

I noticed all of my favourite players play in a “standard” position with the guitar resting on the right leg.

I switched positions for the first time in years and found it a little bit more difficult on the fretting hand in certain positions but SO much easier for single escape speed. The arm is locked in and there’s no floating.

Anyways, I’m now alternating positions and have found it has accelerated my progress back from botulism.

The standard position seems to put a bit more pressure on the shoulder as I heard Brendon Smalls mention in his video when doing long sustained high tempo picking. But it’s so much easier on my wrist and elbow.

I find sweeping much easier in classical position.

All this to say, it seems to be really improving my standing as I naturally change my standing stance and position based on what technique I’m using.

Wondering how everyone else sits?

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Same here

Awww. Guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree on at least the Petrucci part. I haven’t heard enough of Richardson to have an opinion on his tone. But the circle of bandmates/friends I hung with always loved JP’s tone. Most of those dudes couldn’t even tolerate Dream Theater so it was definitely an objective opinion. I came to really appreciate his lead tone. Not too much distortion and nice and thick. Mmm mmm good!

Sorry for the tangent lol! I have wondered about seating position myself since discovering CtC. I would go one step further and add in guitar body angle. Clasical guitarists don’t have the back of the instrument flush against their bodies. It is at close to a 45 degree angle. Since that is my background I hold an electric the same way for no good reason other than that it feels like what I am used to. In classical it is essential for tone production/projection since the vibration of the back of the guitar drives a lot of natural volume. If it were flush against the player’s body it would be hindered. I wouldn’t think this matters in electric playing tone wise, but I wonder if there are pick escape path implications I am creating by holding it this way.

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I’m pretty sure from an ergonomic standpoint the classical position is healthier but as far as stretches go for the fretting hand, so I haven’t found a single stretch I can’t do in both positions. In the blues/rock/metal position I just lean my guitar forward a little bit and the wide stretches work well.

I use a semi-classical position, both sitting and standing. When sitting I plant the butt of my guitar on my right leg and angle the neck quite high. I have this same relative position when playing standing up. Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest played lead in a similar position and designed his hamer guitar to allow him to rest the guitar in that position live. I find this position the most comfortable and I don’t have to move my arm as much or my hand, and stretches are also easier.


Michael Angelo Batio is an advocate of the classical seating position because he says that your guitar is in the same position in relation to your body as when you play standing up so I try to practise in this position. It is fine but I find i get pins and needles in my left leg after a while. Does anyone else experience this?

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I definitely have this happen. That said, sitting in any position for too long makes something numb for me haha. I switch around regularly to avoid that. Even if it’s just minor movements.

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Back when I played true classical with a footstool, yeah. I had some back issues then to begin with so the unnatural posture elevating the left leg creates didn’t help. My teacher suggested I switch it up by buying a device that suction-cups to the guitar and puts the instrument in the right position. I asked him if it were frowned upon since that realm is so tradition oriented. He told me not to worry about it (probably in part because he had the foresight to know I was not destined for the concert hall lol)

For electric playing, I do sort of the same thing by using the strap to put the guitar where it needs to be. This way I get the classical position I’m used to and no discomfort. Oddly enough, I’ve been trying to switch it up more lately and do the more standard right leg placement. Just trying to go through the primer and that’s Troy’s position for all the demos, so I figure if I start there at least all the angles are legit. But I may be overthinking it.