The Definitive Guide to Guitar Moves Part 1

What are guitar moves?  They’re things you do on stage to make your show more exciting.  In this case while holding a guitar.

There are two basic secrets that I will share from you.  They come from an Ancient Japanese Master.  Actually they come from my Japanese buddy who owns a rock and roll club and told them to me.  He’s not really ancient either.  Just a few years older than me.

They are:

Do Everything Like You Meant to Do It

Do it quickly

I’ll get back to these, but these are the two basic rules that must guide every move you make.

For all these moves, I also suggest practicing them while you are practicing.  This is super important- you have to make your situation in practice just like you expect the show to be, because you don’t want to be figuring out that your moves look stupid in front of an audience.  Also, if you like to have a drink before playing a show, you should have one before practice too.  Whatever it takes.

Also, these are applicable to bass too, if you are so inclined.  There is a whole separate school of Bass Moves, mostly created by that dude from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Some people have adapted them to guitar playing, but for everyone’s well-being I’m going to pretend that the 90s never happened.

There are two things to consider before you start busting out moves.  They are strap length and guitar stance.

Strap Length

This will have a strong effect on your ability to perform your moves.  Try to avoid what I call The Beatle Length

Embed from Getty Images

Yes, you can probably reach your strings better.  Yes, you will look dorky.

Ideally you want your guitar centered right around your belt buckle.

I’ve seen people go lower than this

Embed from Getty Images

But frankly, it looks awkward, like you’re shuffling around on stage with your pants falling down.

Guitar Stance

Let’s start with guitar stance.  There are two basic stances.

Standing Up

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Benefits: being able to move around

Difficulties: none really

For Extra Coolness: Move around.  Bend your knees.  Do a little dance.

Power Stance:

Embed from Getty Images

Benefits: if your guitar is slung low you can reach your strings.  You look cool.  You won’t fall down if other musicians bump into you.

Difficulties:  None if you don’t get too low.  But if you do get too low you might have trouble getting back up again

For Extra Coolness:  Face the audience, stare them down and plant your foot on a monitor, if there is one.



    1. But to expand on that it’s really easy right now to learn- you can look up just about any song on the internet and a lot of the explanations will include how to play the chords.

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