Home Guitar Life How to practice the guitar if you have lower back pain?

How to practice the guitar if you have lower back pain?

How to practice the guitar if you have lower back pain?

Lower back pain is a major issue that prevents a guitar player from achieving its goals. Lower back pain usually happens due to poor postures, a herniated disc in the L5-S1 region or playing in the same position for long hours.

In this blog, we will discuss what can you do to reduce the back pain while playing guitar and practice playing for long hours.

Lower back pain

Have a lightweight guitar

A lightweight guitar can amplify your long practice sessions to a great extent. Usually, solid-body electric guitars are notoriously famous for their heavyweight.

Mahogany wood adds durability, warmth and depth to the sound. But also adds extra weight. It also leaves shoulder pain if you play standing for long hours.

Therefore, if you are an electric guitar player, choose either a chambered body guitar, a headless guitar, or, choose a different wood. Basswood is not only lightweight but also gives a brighter and open sound for any electric guitar.

lightweight guitar example
Brands like Strandberg offer headless guitars which are lightweight with premium quality

Basswood body guitars are often preferred by famous artists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

In case you are an acoustic guitar player, you should definitely try smaller body guitars or switch to a classical guitar. Most classical guitars do not have truss-rod, thus reducing that extra added weight.

Change your sitting position

While I was recovering post a disc-herniation surgery, it was mandatory for me to maintain a good posture.

Hence, I switched to a classical guitar for my practice sessions and instead of playing it on my right lap, I adopted the classical position.

In a classical position, you put your guitar on your left lap and with a help of a foot-stool or guitar support, you raise the guitar to your chest at a 35-40 degree angle. Classical guitarists such as Francesco Tarrega has practised this position is for decades.

classical position of holding a guitar
Classical position of holding a guitar offers a better posture and better comfort on the neck

The classical position keeps your spine straight, enables better control of breathing and reduces fatigue. I suggest you use guitar support if you have severe back issues.

guitar support
Classical position with guitar support

Take short breaks

Obviously, practising at a stretch won’t make you a better guitarist, but will definitely give you lower back pain. If we take a small break every 20-30 mins of practice, we can definitely prevent it.

During the break, get up, stretch your back, walk around and relax your fingers. Come back and start practising again. You will be able to cover so much more due to this simple routine.

lower back stretch exercise
lower back stretch exercise


Modern times has given us modern problems. Lower back pain is one of them. With our lifestyle of constantly sitting all day, it opposes the natural form of the human body.

The human body is built for being active all day. Thus, we should take steps that keep our posture correct, as well as prevents any back pain.


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