How to hold the lute

However you sit or stand with the lute, here are a few tips to avoid injury:

  • Use a strap - it's difficult to hold the notoriously slippy lute without one!
  • Keep your back straight - hunching is very temping.
  • If sitting try to have your legs a comfortable distance apart - shoulder width might be a good marker. A few performers play with crossed legs and some use a footstool.
  • Let your shoulders relax while you play.

 

I also use a small square of non-slip material on either my thigh or stomach depending on the size of lute I'm playing.

Here is a picture of how I sit:

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5 thoughts on “How to hold the lute”

  1. Hello, Alex. Sorry to leave a comment here, but the contact form on the alexmccartney.com website doesn’t seem to be working (feel free to remove it).

    I’m a new subscriber to your online lute tutor lessons – first of all, thanks for that. I recently took up the lute during the pandemic (as one does), and your lessons are being a lifesaver in many ways.

    I hope I’m not being impertinent, but I just noticed that you mention on the website receive one of your CDs for free – if the offer still stands, I would love to receive or download Elizabeth’s Lutes.

    Thanks in advance,

    Best regards,

    Asun

  2. Good Afternoon,
    I am a new subscriber and am Very Excited to Learn the Lute,
    I have a quick question Regarding Straps.
    Can I purchase and use a classical guitar Strap or are there Lute Specific ones you can guide me towards buying

    Thank you
    Anthony

    1. Hello Anthony! Welcome to the course!
      Usually lute players use anything from a piece of string (not my personal choice unless your lute is very lightweight) to a thick guitar strap. I tend to use a good quality ribbon for my lutes but a guitar strap will absolutely do the job. You may find that you need to use string to attach it at both ends to the lute. Make sure if you’re looping string around the pegbox that you’re not a) disturbing the strings or b) attaching it too far from the neck — you don’t want to accidentally put too much force on the pegbox and snap it off!
      Hope that helps,
      Alex

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