Should you practice guitar sitting or standing?

The guitar is a great instrument to play, but practicing it can be challenging. Even the starting position can become a valid question that many beginner guitar players ask:

"Is it better to practice guitar sitting down or standing up?"

This is my short answer:

If you aspire to get on a stage and perform live, you should integrate standing guitar practice into your practice routine. But if you just want to play guitar as a hobby at home, it's OK to practice sitting down.

When to practice seated

If you want to get better at playing guitar, you should consider practicing sitting down instead of standing up.

Playing guitar requires a lot of concentration and focus. If you're looking to learn songs for the fun of it and don't plan on ever setting foot in front of others with your guitar, then it is not a big deal if you want to practice sitting down all the time. Sitting down allows you to concentrate better, especially when learning new chords or scales.

Sitting down also helps prevent injuries from repetitive movements. When you sit down, you can rest your arms and legs, which reduces muscle fatigue. 

This also means you won't tire out as quickly, allowing you to practice longer without feeling tired.

It gives you a better view of the fretboard and makes playing more physically effortless (since you only have to worry about your eyes and your hands.)

When to practice standing

If you have hopes or plans of rocking a stage at some point, though, then you must find a good ratio of sitting and standing while practicing.

I'm all for learning songs and getting the chords and scales locked in while sitting down, but it's time to stretch those legs once you know the song.

Because when you're on stage, there are a few more things to prepare for than simply being able to play the song:

  • You need to make sure the guitar isn't too low (stuffed in your boots) or too high (bow tie).
  • And you need to adjust your strap to find the angle and position that works best for YOU.
  • Practice moving around making stage moves.
  • Pay attention to your posture, and experiment with different leg stances (you want to find something that provides you with a solid, stable base AND makes you feel like a rock god - the "power stance" is always a safe bet šŸ˜‰

Practice in front of a mirror (you can't manage what you don't measure)... And don't be worried about someone walking in on you.

This feels embarrassing for a second, but this kind of practice makes the difference between Technical Mastery. And showmanship.

If you've never played guitar standing up, it will be difficult at first. Here are some useful tips on how to play standing up.

So... Is it better to sit or stand while practicing guitar?

If your goal is to play by yourself for the fun of it, I wouldn't stress too much about practicing standing up (unless you're going to be singing too). But if you're looking to step onto a stage with rock'n'roll swagger and charisma, and give a performance that raises the energy in the room and gets people moving with your music, then you want to spend some time practicing on your feet!

Because nothing makes a would-be solid performance lame and painful to watch, like a dude with his legs pinned together, bent awkwardly over the fretboard, teetering like a sapling in the wind - missing the strings half the time with his right hand, and half the notes with his left - because he's only ever practiced sitting down.

  1. Learn songs whatever way's most comfortable for you - on a barstool, in a Lazyboy, or even sprawled on the couch.
  2. And once you know the song, practice it on your feet.

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