One of the things that will make you practice more – and enjoy your practice time more – is if your guitar is comfortable to play.
Yes, that’s right, one of the major factors if your guitar feels comfortable has nothing to do with the guitar per se, but with YOUR posture when you play the guitar.
If you bend your neck to watch your hands when you practice, or you lift one or both your shoulders, or your back is not straight, then even the perfect guitar will feel uncomfortable.
On the other hand, if your posture is correct and relaxed, then you will be able to play comfortably even a guitar that is less than perfect.
So the first piece of advice is: check with your guitar teacher if your posture is correct. In just a few minutes your teacher can make a great difference not only in your comfort level but also on how much you enjoy playing your guitar (nobody likes to feel uncomfortable when playing!)
Guitars come in many sizes. We not only have the 1/2 size and the 3/4 size guitars that are built smaller purposefully to be a better fit for kids or smaller adults; there are also differences between the various kinds of “full size” guitars.
Electric guitar can go from a pretty hefty “Les Paul”-style guitar, to the very slim “S-Series” by Ibanez guitars, and anything in between. Different players have very different preferences.
Acoustic guitars can be build with different body shapes. Common types are the “Dreadnought”, the “OO”, the “OOO” and the “Jumbo”. The only way to know which one fits you best is to go to a competent guitar shop and spend some time “trying them on”.
As usual, ask your guitar teacher for advice: they know you personally and can tell if you need a larger or smaller guitar.
Even the perfect guitar can be “out of setup”, that is to say the strings could be too close or too far away from the fretboard, or the bridge of the guitar could not be adjusted properly, etc. These issues can make a perfectly good guitar unplayable – but the good news is that it just takes a few adjustments to make your guitar much more comfortable and easy to play!
As usual your guitar teacher can help you there: ask them to play your guitar for a few minutes and they will tell you if a few adjustments could be beneficial.
About The Author
Tommaso Zillio is a professional guitar player and educator. Tommaso teaches guitar lessons in Edmonton and enjoys teaching students of all skill levels.