Thumb position - Confussion


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marcovv
08-07-2005, 03:08 PM
Hi all ,im learning guitar and i'm confused about it :

i have read a lot of books about guitar and they all say that the thumb must be behind the neck , in the classical position, but i see all guitarrist playing with the thumb hooking the neck , in baseball bat position , so i don't know what is the best position i should learn . I read a book of Roger Evans and it says the best position is with the thumb behind the neck , my questuin is , Why do all books and authors say it's the best position if I see that Guitarrist , use the baseballbat fashion? They use it for chords,solos , etc.

Spl!nTeRgu!tAr
08-07-2005, 03:11 PM
**** any book that tells you how to hold it

you can adjust to your personal comfort as long as you can play best that way also

combs08
08-07-2005, 03:16 PM
^^ i agree its comfort

Zamboni
08-07-2005, 03:33 PM
Sometimes wrapping the thumb will allow greater leverage for bends and such. Sometimes it can be a hinderance.

The best rule of thumb: If it hampers your playing, then don't do it.

JaYB06
08-07-2005, 05:23 PM
Having your thumb over the neck limits the mobility of your fingers and they aren't able to stretch as much. With your thumb over the neck, people tend to grab that neck when the next should be resting on your hand. The thumb behind the neck will give you the greatest reach and range of movement in your fingers. I keep my thumb behind the neck as much as possible unless im doing bends or playing high on the fretboard. As zamboni said though, if it messes with your playing then don't do it. Give it a chance though because it may feel a little weird at first. One more thing, try and keep your thumb and middle finger lined up whenever you can while you are playing.

seljer
08-07-2005, 05:34 PM
the baseball bat position is good for open chords, bending sometimes pentatonics too. The classical position for prettymuch everything else (barre/power chords), your fingers have much more range and you can use your pinky easily....

Just use whats ever is comfortable once you get used to both of them, you have too switch between them most of the time too...

edg
08-07-2005, 05:39 PM
Thumb around the neck = Blues Grip. Use this position for bending. This grip will give you the most strength.

Thumb behind = Classical Grip. This position will allow your fingers the greatest extension for fretting.

Neither is "wrong". Itr all depends on your playing.

dsundertaker
09-06-2005, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by edg
Thumb around the neck = Blues Grip. Use this position for bending. This grip will give you the most strength.

Thumb behind = Classical Grip. This position will allow your fingers the greatest extension for fretting.

Neither is "wrong". Itr all depends on your playing.

eh, i have issue with your blues grip comment. hand strength for bending does NOT come from the thumb wrapped around the neck. it's totally independent of that.

bending strength should come from the non-bending-fingers reinforcing the bend.

the classical position is by far the best position. it allows the hand to be relaxed, perfectly balanced, and able to reach as far as possible. you'll also be less likely to injure your hand in the long run, as well as play more accurately and faster.

SilentDeftone
09-06-2005, 04:00 PM
^ Agreed. Also some guitarists who have their thumb around the neck don't have their palm on the neck at all, which I find to be the hindrance (rather than the hooked thumb itself).

-SD :dance:

Jearl
09-06-2005, 04:13 PM
while playing open chords, i have my thumb around the neck. for barre chords i have it under

i change a lot while doing riffs/solos...depends where im going

nightprowler
09-06-2005, 08:16 PM
I change my thumb position all the time while I'm playing....

The thumb around the neck is easier for bluesy stuff and chords. It also makes bends really easy.

If you are shredding or just need to move your fingers really fast, I would put your thumb behind the neck.

LrIeYhAmNiA
09-07-2005, 05:49 AM
if you're new... just play...
next time you can adjust easily...

scroungemonkeys
09-07-2005, 07:56 AM
thumb behind fior hammers/pulls

Eulogy
09-07-2005, 12:30 PM
Well there is a reason behind the thumb behind the neck, of the many little helpful things it does the most important is how wide you can stretch your hand. You almost always see shredders with their thumbs behind the neck (I said almost so dont flame me) and with good reason, it allows for better fret accessb in most situations. I personally use the thumb around the next postion for bends, higher neck access (if needed), and some chords, but for me the thumb behind the neck is like a comfortable home where I always start. If need be I'll work away from it, but I always start there ^^.

piper182
09-07-2005, 01:29 PM
The books... just play. Put your thumb wherever you want. Wherever it's the most comfortable.

Eulogy
09-07-2005, 02:03 PM
Well, while many say the most comfrtable spot is the best....thats just not true sometimes. I know I sure as heck wasn't comfortable holding chords certain ways when I started out (holding them correctly at least) so I had to modify how I held my hand to have them ring out perfectly...but it wasnt comfortable. While having your hand around the guitar with your thumb over might feel more natural than propping up your thumb, it doesnt make it right. (I'm not dissing putting your thumb around, it has plenty of great uses.) Moreso, alot of playing guitar isn't comfortable, or natural at first....soooo *shrug*

outlawgal
06-05-2006, 02:14 PM
I'm really having a problem with this issue. My pinkies are way short compared to normal folks (end at the knuckle of the ring finger instead of the top joint). At first I tried to keep my thumb in the center of the neck, but it seemed to naturally want to gravitate into the baseball bat grip.

Problem is, I can't seem to stop gripping the guitar like it's a lifeline and while I can play some songs (only been at it for 3 weeks) I'm creating a thumb and wrist pain problem which I'm fairly sure is because of this death grip I've got on the neck.

Any suggestions on how to break this habit without losing the ability to use my tiny pinkies?

WILDGUITAR.TK
07-20-2009, 01:23 AM
check out www.wildguitar.tk ... there's a instructional video on proper thumb position

buttknuckle
07-20-2009, 01:48 AM
You put your thumb wherever it needs to be for what you're playing at the time. Jeff Healey fretted, and even bent notes, using his thumb. Jimi used his thumb to hold the bass note on the low E string so he could comp around the barre chord.

Your thumb is as mobile as the rest of your fingers.

Blind In 1 Ear
07-20-2009, 05:42 PM
eh, i have issue with your blues grip comment. hand strength for bending does NOT come from the thumb wrapped around the neck. it's totally independent of that.

bending strength should come from the non-bending-fingers reinforcing the bend.

the classical position is by far the best position. it allows the hand to be relaxed, perfectly balanced, and able to reach as far as possible. you'll also be less likely to injure your hand in the long run, as well as play more accurately and faster.
bending comes from the wrist. the thumb over the top allows this to be done properly. if you have the thumb behind the neck, the bending is comming from the fingers. its much easier to do it from the wrist. especially if you want to add virbrato.

anyways, to the TS, the reason why books and teachers say that is because its what has been laid out in classical technique which for pretty much any instrument is known as "proper" technique. but some of the "rules" can be bent. for example, in classical guitar the guitar is supposed to be on the left leg. but obviously you can play it on the right leg just fine. however you can reach certain notes easier when its on the left leg. and thats really what calssical technique is about: the most efficiant way to play the notes. bending wasnt a technique on guitar until pretty recently with blues music. having the thumb behind the neck allows you to reach notes easier and do better strectches.

so whats right? whatever feels comfortable. some things you may find are easier with the thumb behind or wraped.