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How to Hold a Flamenco Guitar and Proper Hand Position

Learn how to hold a flamenco guitar and how to position your hands correctly in this beginner guitar lesson video from Howcast.


So how do we hold a flamenco guitar and how do we position our hands? Flamenco guitar traditionally was held with both feet on the ground, the guitar up like this. If you see really old pictures of the flamenco guitar players you would most likely see them in this position. In the modern flamenco school you hold your guitar with your legs crossed and the guitar right on top of your legs.

Depending on your size and how high your chair is from the ground, you might want to experiment with crossing your leg over a little more this way or this way. Okay, also if you're playing a long time you might want to switch because your leg is falling asleep. But these are the two ways you hold a flamenco guitar, either down here or with your leg fully crossed over here.

Now your hands, you want to make sure your elbow is leaning on the top of the guitar. Not hanging like this, but leaning here so your hand can fall freely in a natural way. Okay, you want to try to get your hand parallel to the bridge of the guitar, but without forcing it. Just let it fall naturally in this way, with your thumb sticking out. Try to avoid your thumb, when you play your thumb, going into your palm. Thumb should be always outside, outside of your palm.

So this is the basic hand position for flamenco guitar. Also shoulder relaxed, try to avoid any kind of shoulder... If you find yourself with your shoulder like this to accommodate your hand, it's not good. The shoulder gets tired very soon, so make sure your shoulder's relaxed and in a natural position. Your left hand you want it to be parallel to the frets. Okay, you always want to have a little bit of air, a little bit of space between the palm of your hand and the neck of the guitar. If you find yourself with your hand like this all cramped up, no good.

Always make sure you have room to breathe over here, so your wrists should be dropped, thumb, behind the neck; not popping up like this; and a straight hand basically. It's very common for electric guitar players to have their hand in this position, and that's great for electric guitar, but it will not work for flamenco. We need to straighten it out and drop our wrists. Okay, so that's the basic sitting position and hand position for flamenco guitar.

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