# Playing the guitar flat (or on your lap?)

I saw this video of a kid playing a guitar on his lap. I think there is some kind of 'slide guitar' or something like that which you play with the guitar flat but that's not what I'm talking about. Do people do this? Why do they do it? The reason I ask if I'm learning to play the guitar and I have small hands which means I'm struggling to hit some of the more complicated chords. I think by playing the guitar flat I might be possible to hit more complicated chords?
Original post by RobertWhite
I saw this video of a kid playing a guitar on his lap. I think there is some kind of 'slide guitar' or something like that which you play with the guitar flat but that's not what I'm talking about. Do people do this? Why do they do it? The reason I ask if I'm learning to play the guitar and I have small hands which means I'm struggling to hit some of the more complicated chords. I think by playing the guitar flat I might be possible to hit more complicated chords?

I think a better of way of hitting more complicated chords is by experimenting with different tunings. So, for example, by dropping your low E to a D you then have to stretch 2 fewer frets to get to an interval on the A string. I guess you could play on your lap - I can't see any harm - but I don't really see the point either.
Original post by SocialistIC
I think a better of way of hitting more complicated chords is by experimenting with different tunings. So, for example, by dropping your low E to a D you then have to stretch 2 fewer frets to get to an interval on the A string. I guess you could play on your lap - I can't see any harm - but I don't really see the point either.

That's not the kind of flat OP means. (I presume)
Original post by Tom_green_day
That's not the kind of flat OP means. (I presume)

I assumed he meant flat as in on a surface. The reason I talked about different tunings (the other meaning of flat ) was because he was talking about struggling to reach certain chords due to small hands and so I meant experiment with different tunings (to make it easier on the fretting hand) as an alternative to playing it flat on a surface.
It'd be much harder to play flat on your lap, the only reason to have it like that is if you're playing with a slide.
Thanks guys
Original post by RobertWhite
I saw this video of a kid playing a guitar on his lap. I think there is some kind of 'slide guitar' or something like that which you play with the guitar flat but that's not what I'm talking about. Do people do this? Why do they do it? The reason I ask if I'm learning to play the guitar and I have small hands which means I'm struggling to hit some of the more complicated chords. I think by playing the guitar flat I might be possible to hit more complicated chords?

I play guitar (since 2008) and the only people I know who play with the guitar lying flat on your lap do play slide guitar which is a completely different style to normal guitar (although most who play slide play both). I don't know of any one else who plays with it flat in their lap.

The main reason for this is that it would a) be difficult to play standing up with it flat and b) be difficult to play all chords as you would either have to put your hand flat on the neck making barre chords difficult, or normally which would be too much of a stretch for the hand.

I have small hands (7 inches from wrist to the end of my big finger) and my tip would be perseverance. Your hands get stronger, more flexible, and eventually you get so used to chord shapes that arranging the fingers becomes second nature.

What chords are you struggling with?
There's a busker in Glasgow who plays his guitar exceptionally well like this, and because it's laid flat in front of him, he draws more attention than the other run of the mill guitar players in town, so there's that if you want to stand out, but I don't think it offers any practical advantages.
Original post by SocialistIC
I think a better of way of hitting more complicated chords is by experimenting with different tunings. So, for example, by dropping your low E to a D you then have to stretch 2 fewer frets to get to an interval on the A string. I guess you could play on your lap - I can't see any harm - but I don't really see the point either.

The point is that if you can't use your left hand and can't reach any of the strings then you NEED a different way to play your guitar and flat seems like a reasonable answer
Nobody here has ever heard of Jeff Healey, clearly.