We recommend the classical position for all students for several reasons. Many students will complain at first that this position is uncomfortable but this is because the classical position is optimal for playing guitar where as the right leg is optimal for initial comfort. But this is only until they get used to it. A good comparison is golf. The perfect swing is not natural and almost anyone who is self taught gets its wrong. The classical position was developed over hundreds of years by the world’s best classical guitarists in a time when looking cool was not their first priority. Playing at their best was their prime concern.
Right is not so right
The right leg position came about due to the rise of guitar through pop music. Most of the icons of pop guitar were either self taught or taught by self taught guitarists. There is no basis for the right leg style of playing and in fact it has many associated problems such as increased pressure on the wrists and a twisting of the spine along with potential neck problems.
The right size guitar
For young kids sitting in the classical position the guitar may seem too big. In this case they need to purchase a smaller guitar. 4 to 6 year olds should be using half size and 7yo to 11yo 3/4 size. If you are still having difficulty please take a photo of them in the classical position and send to me so I can see what is wrong.
I have noticed that the angle of the guitar for some students is not acute enough. In this case the students are taking the guitar from the right leg to the left but not adjusting the angle. The guitar needs to be close to 45 degrees for the ideal position.
John Petrucci is considered by many as the world’s best rock guitarist. Here is a clip of John and notice how he is sitting.