Hunchback Be Gone – Guitar Ergonomics

Guitar Hunchback

Hunchback of Notre Dame, North Carolina or North Vancouver?

Hunchback be gone! You don't want to end up as any of them. Because you are a dedicated guitar player spending long hours on your craft, you have to watch your posture. Sure, the hunchback of Notre Dame was a swinging bell player, but if he paid more attention to his body position he may not have ended up as such a gnarly guy.

Good, long term habits will pay off

Every instrument has its specific challenges and the guitar is no exception. For guitar players, good ergonomics are essential to long term health and comfort. In addition to everything you need to remember and be aware of when you are playing, it's very difficult to think about your posture, too. But the earlier you establish good posture habits while playing the guitar, the better off you will be in the long run. Just about everything you need to avoid being a hunchback can be found at this guitar ergonomics link.  The information is out there, now it's just a matter of being aware of it while you practice and perform. We all want you to be a great guitar player and get the most out of your instrument. But we also want you to be able to have a full range of motion for other important things in your life, like standing, walking and embracing your adoring fans while you are in an upright position.

The Alexander Technique

Many musicians and actors subscribe to the Alexander Technique, which focuses on awareness of posture.  Once you have an understanding of the principles of the technique, you can incorporate them into your everyday activities, including playing the guitar. I have met a number of musicians who use the technique and have achieved many benefits by practicing it.

Straighten up and fly right

So when you start to catch yourself slouching, just think of our friend in the photo, or the guy in the checkout line who walks around in an "L" shape. As soon as you imagine yourself becoming like that, I have a hunch that you will straighten up and fly right.

(Photo by Matt P.)

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