Julian Ward wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:54 pm
I don't think Paco came up with this sitting position as pretty much anybody playing folk guitar or even acoustic guitar sat down with their right leg over their left. The shape of the guitar kind of suggests that...
If you sit like that and play classical it can hinder some of those stretches and cause wrist bending problems. I know when I sit cross legged I can play most things apart from anything difficult and hairy. For easy stuff and working through learning new things I often sit 'Al Paco' just because it is comfortable on the arms and back.
I don't think folk players use the position that Paco Pena is using. He is crossing his legs but he also seems to be using the method of holding the guitar up that is shown in the Montoya sketch - the traditional method of holding the flamenco guitar. It relies on a balancing act in which the right forearm counteracts the tendency of the neck to do what gravity wants i.e. drop to the floor. It's not at all an easy thing to become accustomed to, the left hand seems to want to help keep the guitar neck up, in playing position. The other danger is bearing down with too much pressure with the right forearm.
Obviously the light weight of the traditional flamenco guitar and the use of wooden tuning pegs helps somewhat. It's just so much more difficult to achieve this balancing act with a heavier classical guitar with their heavy metal tuners.
It's advantage. Well it's good for the old back and it also seems to keep the left hand in a good position - no great deviation in the left wrist, very natural. The disadvantage is that it tends to lock the right arm in one fixed position, much harder to obtain tonal variations.