Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Stand up and Play.....Uh Oh!

I’ve been on my guitar learning journey going on two years now, and have always been seated when practicing or playing, and never used a strap. Well, I decided to get a strap and stand up…Uh Oh! It doesn’t work…I’m very uncomfortable and can’t see the strings to play or chord. I think I may have made a fatal flaw of holding the guitar in my lap at a slight angle and now standing up is out of the question. Or, am I possiblely holding the guitar wrong when I stand? Should it be at a slight angle , somehow, so you can see things a little better. I’m not saying I always look at the strings when I play, but I do glance down on occasion. Does anyone else find themselves in this predicament?

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Most of us have been there. It could be the strap settings. If you strap on the guitar while standing up and then sit down, does it move much from the standing position? If so, adjust the strap so it feels as close to sitting as possible.

That being said, it is usually harder to see the fret board when standing. That’s when you use the dots on the side of the neck. You’ll need to practice standing up for a while to get used to using those side dots.

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Thanks for that comeback Mark. I may just have to be a sit down guitarist. Heck, I’m 72 so you young players should always be willing to give up your seat…hahhaha

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I started standing up in front of a mirror to see how I was holding my mandolin. Helped me to see where my hands and arms moved.

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What Mark said :slight_smile: Also, you can play seated in a way that will help with this as well. It sounds like you are tilting the guitar back so you can see the face of the fret board. If so, roll it forward so that even when seated you have to use the side dots for reference. I’d suggest doing that while seated and also commit to standing and playing a song a day and you will get comfy real quick.

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@Lefty70 it’s like everything else you have to learn brother, practice, practice, then practice some more. You’re comfortable sitting down and playing because that’s all you’ve ever done. Practice standing up and playing every other time you play and it will become natural as well and you won’t even think about it any more!

Happy pickin’!

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Thanks for the advice Tommy. That makes good sense. I might try it.

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Same! Common problem that just takes practice to work through. Just channel your inner Doc Watson!

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You got me to thinking… I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Doc Watson performance where he is standing. (most likely due to blindness).

I went to see him and Jack Lawrence years ago at Victoria Theatre in Dayton (where I was born). Great performance!!! It’s hard to believe he’s been gone almost eight years now!

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This is a hurdle we all have to overcome, you can do it!

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In prep for camp I’ve been practicing banjo standing. That thing is heavier than I remember. Makes you realize the importance of a good strap, the pot height and neck angle.

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