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Old 10-14-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
Sora247100
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Unwanted string noise with thumb over neck technique.

I really like playing with my thumb over the neck like Jimi H. It's just what is really comfortable for me and it's the way i have always played. I can mute the strings just fine with my palm when going down the pentatonic scale (lower notes to higher) but coming back up there is a lot of string noise. I've seen people on youtube use the thumb over neck technique and not have string noise left over, but can anyone just give me some sort of technique to help me out with eliminating the noise? Note: I like to play music like Jimi Hendrix, Queen and specifically the solo from Hotel California (Which is giving me trouble with string noise.)
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Sometimes, palm muting isn't enough and you also need to use left hand muting. Mute the strings with fingers that currently aren't being used and also lay your index finger lightly on the strings. Freepower's video should help:



And the reason that Hendrix played with his thumb over the neck is because his hands were absolutely massive. He had no choice. For most people thumb behind the neck is proper and will help your technique.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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If you're playing a lot of those type of rock solos you're going to want to have your thumb over the neck, most likely. Classical position is great if you're playing chords or needing to do wide stretches, but it's not a panacea. For certain things, thumb-over-the-neck is arguably superior.

You can certainly still left-hand mute with your thumb over the neck.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Thumb over the neck for control over your bends. That is crucial and necessary. There is a reason why they don't do that in the classical position because you aren't doing a bunch of bends in classical music. I am not even sure if there bends in classical guitar anyway. Most rock came from the blues which is all about bends.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Yes, thumb over the neck is helpful for control on bends and vibrato, and is necessary for a few select chords. However, for everything else, behind the neck generally gives you better accuracy and can provide for a better angle on the strings. It doesn't matter what style or what genre you play.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, I guess I just didn't want to accept the fact that I couldn't use the over the thumb style always haha.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Enjoy tendonitis. Sorry to be Captain Killjoy but there is a reason classical guitarists chose the thumb in the middle on the back of the neck after hundreds of years of practice and guitar theory. Also, classical guitarists do use bends and vibrato (although less) and they put their thumb on the back so they don't get injuries.

When you play with the thumb on the back of the guitar, you are using your muscles (like pushing your fingers into your thumb), when you play with your thumb hanging over the guitar, you are pushing your fingers into your palm, which uses a tendon and not a muscle. Tendons do not get stronger or bigger like muscles, but they do tear/break and are hard if not impossible to repair 100%.

I wouldn't risk it. That being said I still use my thumb on top for huge bends, but on an electric it isn't necessary on most of the strings unless you have crappy bending technique. Which is a whole different topic.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:30 PM   #8
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hundreds of years of practice and guitar theory? was that alongside hundreds of years of modern medical advice? oh wait, right.

i'm also pretty sure using your thumb over the neck as a pivot point to support bends is actually the advised bending technique I've read in any guitar instructional book ever. Not "crappy bending technique".

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Old 10-15-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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I never said bending with thumb over the neck is bad technique, but thumb over the top of the neck for anything else is VERY bad technique. Maybe you should read my whole post or the whole thread before spewing a bunch of crap out of your mouth Dave_Mc. There are very good reason they teach you these things, you would know that if you had any idea what you were talking about.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansome21
I never said bending with thumb over the neck is bad technique


Quote:
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on an electric it isn't necessary on most of the strings unless you have crappy bending technique.


I'm sure you can see where the misconception came in.

I'm not here to argue but come on man...
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #11
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Why would anyone want to play with their thumb hanging over the top of the neck unless you are using your thumb to fret the low E or bending? It just makes everything else harder. It's useful only for a couple of things, but it's just bad form for the other 99% of guitar playing.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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I just use it because it's how i have always played and if I try to play with my thumb behind the neck it is very strange and uncomfortable for me.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sora247100
I just use it because it's how i have always played and if I try to play with my thumb behind the neck it is very strange and uncomfortable for me.


Only because you're not used to it. If you try and actually stick with it then it'll become very natural in time.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #14
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I have to say, two or so years ago, I religiously stuck to the thumb over the neck position, and didn't bother changing it because I was able to play difficult pieces of music with my thumb over the neck. I gave the classical position a try, as a lot of my favourite guitarists were using it (Jani Liimatainen and the like), and I've never looked back, it makes faster passages a lot easier, and even for bends, I never have the thumb over the neck, I instead use a position that has more in common with classical violin position, though that's just me, thumb over works for bends. Even if classical position feels odd at first, I'd recommend it, I probably stick to it more religiously than most, as I got horrific pains very frequently using the cricket bat position, but it's worth a try. I played in the pit orchestra for We Will Rock You at one point, and I still preferred classical position for the solos, so, food for thought.

However, to answer your question, I generally go by the rule 'If it's sloppy when you ascend, your picking hand isn't muting, if it's sloppy when you descend, your fretting hand isn't muting', so I'd look to your fretting hand to see if it's hitting strings, or accidentally doing a pull-off, or something. When descending, you will usually find that the finger that lends on the next string, usually your little finger or your ring finger, can mute the previous string.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I'm sure you can see where the misconception came in.

I'm not here to argue but come on man...





Quote:
Originally Posted by hansome21
Maybe you should read my whole post or the whole thread before spewing a bunch of crap out of your mouth Dave_Mc.


That's pretty rich from someone who can't even remember what was in his own posts
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mc





That's pretty rich from someone who can't even remember what was in his own posts



WOW, you both suck at reading. Read it again, Dave. "it isn't necessary on electric" is what I said, which is true, it is not necessary, but helpful (very for most people).

Get off your high horse and stop giving out bad information Dave_MC, you should be the last person giving people guitar advice. Telling this poor guy there is nothing wrong with a technique that causes pain and permanent damage.

You should be ashamed of yourself, especially after trying to make me sound like the bad guy, when you are trying to destroy this poor guys technique. You just don't care, asshole.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #17
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The threadstarter is talking about electric guitar (I assume- everything he listed is electric). He's also talking about stuff which has a lot of bends in it.

I've never said classical isn't proper technique- for certain things it absolutely is. For certain other things, it absolutely isn't. I'd be the first to admit my classical technique sucks, but that doesn't mean I'm advising not using it, because I'm not, nor that thumb over the neck is wrong for certain things, too.

Stop picking fights and throwing muck and deliberately selectively misquoting things.
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Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.



Last edited by Dave_Mc : 10-17-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #18
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I have an honest question for you. Note this is not just for the sake of arguing. Okay, when I use the thumb behind the neck technique my hand starts getting pain at the point where my thumb is connected with the rest of my hand, but when I use the thumb over technique I get no pain. Also note that this may be a cause of my thumb being kinda messed up and making a right angle when I bend it at the joint and when pushing my thumb on the neck it is bent back quite a bit. Also how do artists like Brian May and Jimi Hendrix and even some guitar teachers on youtube still go on using the thumb over technique. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #19
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If you're getting any pain, stop. That's the first rule. Try to figure out why it's hurting, or even talk to your doctor or something like that. The last thing you want is an injury. EDIT: you might be pushing too hard with your thumb when it's on the back of the neck. I think you should just be resting it there (though I could be wrong, I've never really analysed it).

Thumb over the neck is absolutely fine for certain styles of playing. I'm always wary of anyone who says you absolutely have to do something a certain way. Don't get me wrong- sometimes advice like that is good if doing it any other way is dangerous or will risk injury etc. But often it's just one person's opinion and/or they don't know another way to do it or aren't comfortable going outside their comfort zone to teach something a different way. I used to hate teachers like that, they can eff right off if you ask me.

Here's Guthrie Govan.



Note the thumb over the neck for large parts of this song. And note how he also moves to thumb-on-the-back-of-the-neck where it's more comfortable to do so.

That's a pretty sensible way to do it, if you ask me. Technique is a means to an end, it's not the end in itself, if you ask me. Again, I'm wary of anyone who claims it is.
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I had a Blackstar. I felt like I was lied to by Chappers, that fat ****.


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Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.



Last edited by Dave_Mc : 10-18-2013 at 02:44 PM.
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