Why Sling it Low?

Dear Dude,

I was wondering why you wear your Les Paul so low. Is it for looks or is it just more comfortable? When I do it it’s a bit harder to play on both hands.

Why Sling it Low?

Dear Why Sling it Low,

Where your guitar sits while you play can have a huge impact on how you actually play it. I’m not sure how much thought most musicians put into, but it really comes down to one thing, personal preference.

Yes, it is harder to play your guitar with it swinging at your knees then if its choked up to your neck like an Ibanez necklace! If you’re going to be shredding faces off you’re probably going to want the guitar to sit pretty high so you can reach all those tight areas more freely and quickly. This is a stark contrast to the type of player who loves to just riff power chords and chug along. This player can wear his guitar where ever he wants and still get the job done because he or she doesn’t have to worry about hitting all those hard to reach places.

For me, where I sit my guitar is kind of more about my development as a guitar player. When Darkest Hour first started I was this second type of guitar player, I just riffed on some power chords. As I developed my style I became much better technically on the guitar, but since I was so used to playing the guitar low it never felt right to change it up. As my growth to an aspiring uber shredder began I adapted to shredding low.

When a sick shred part comes up during a live set, I need to make sure I have my knee up on something so the guitar is propped right in front of me to play it. I usually use a monitor, kick drum, kid that’s stage diving, really anything to be able to rest the guitar a bit closer. As soon as the shred part is done I can drop the guitar back down. Its funny, but Mr. John Petrucci of the band Dream Theatre has an actual step built so that he can put his leg up when he needs to get the rock out. Now that’s a little more elaborate than me, but it just goes to show that he likes his guitar a certain way, and has to compensated a little to shred all our faces off.

Some people think a guitar slung low just looks cool. I mean you can’t deny that James Hetfield, Zakk Wylde, or even Andy Willlams (Every Time I Die) look fucking badass with their guitars hung low. Shit I am sure the reason I started playing mine as low as I could was because I thought it LOOKED cool. But you know some people also think Ben Weinmen (Dillinger Escape plane), Tom Morello (RAGE), and Vernon Reid (Living Color) also look bad ass when they rock and all of them sit their guitars very differently. My point, be yourself and play where the guitar feels comfortable. Its not a fashion show, if you walk out there and look like Slash with your guitar hung low ready to slay and you just suck because you cant reach the fret’s, well your going to be embarrassed to say the least. Don’t try to emulate the way anyone holds a guitar because in reality the only thing that will matter to your playing is how you hold it.


2 Responses to Why Sling it Low?

  1. hey dudes, let’s be honest. it is a fashion show! but the thing is… it’s your fashion show so you can do whatever you want! i don’t know who the first dudes to sling it low were, if i had to guess i would probably go with the ramones? but somebody started the “look” is my point. so be yourself and if you’re awesome, maybe people will try to imitate your style.

    a good place to start with the strap is to sit down in a seated playing position, put the strap on and adjust it so that when you move from a seated position to a standing position the guitar is in the same spot. technically speaking, that is where your guitar should be, whatever that means. so try starting there and moving it up or down from there until you are comfortable playing.

  2. Ricey says:

    yeah I know what you mean
    when I first started out I used to have my guitar hung really low (hetfield style)
    but as I got better and started playing leads and stuff I moved it higher up,
    but I found my downpicking style suffered and I spend a few months trying to get used to it.Now I love how john petrucci uses those little foot stand thingys I think there
    a great idea and I started using a old army ammo case to do the job. But i’ve noticed when guys like zakk wylde start to shred they move there
    body to bring the guitar up on there knee to help out. But at the end of the day it really is about trial and error until you find what fits your style

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