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Old 02-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
Deadpool_25
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Trouble using thumb around top of neck

I've been trying to wrap my thumb around the neck to fret the low E on some chords. For example

e ---5
B ---5
G ---4
D ---3
A ---X
E ---5

So the thumb wraps around, frets the Low E and mutes the A. The ring finger is on the D string, middle on the G, and index barreing the B and high E. My trouble is that the index doesn't like to barre the high e--usually mutes it unless I press REALLY hard. Also I can't seem to get my thumb around the neck AND arch my ring finger enough to not mute the G string.

Anyone else have those issues? I'm 6'1" and have medium sized hands. Medium-large golf glove FWIW.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
In-Flight-Radio
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For this voicing of the Fmaj7b5 chord I would probably use my thumb for the low E, index for the D, middle for the G, ring for the B and pinky for the high E. I'm not tall and I'm a teenager with small hands, just work on finger flexibility and make sure you're warmed up.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
Deadpool_25
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It's really just a G major chord without the 5th string D note. The pinky needs to be free to add embellishments on the B and G strings at the 3rd fret I think (Gsus4 and G6 respectively).

Another way to play the full barre chord shape would be:

e ---5 (index)
B ---5 (index)
G ---4(middle)
D ---3 (pinky)
A ---3 (ring)
E ---5 (T)

I have the same issues with that chord though. Maybe I just need to work keep trying until I figure it out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
barbuzim1
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for this specific chord you can use an open A string instead of using the thumb.

the fingering you suggested is really wonky & physically impossible. the ring finger can't be on a lower frat then the index finger. Maybe what you meant was:

e- 5 (ring=3ed)
B- 5 (ring=3ed)
G- 4 (middle=2ed)
D- 3 (index=1st)
A-x
E- 5 (thumb)

same goes to the second chord.

for the thumb use: what is your nut width? if it's over 40mm it's a wide neck (fender american standard is 43mm but the Mexican is 40mm [I think]), try doing it on a guitar with 39mm nut width.
using all five fingers at the same time is not easy. you need to ease into it stretch you fingers buy trying to play just the thumb & one of the other fingers- make sure that both notes ringing and move to the next finger with the thumb- going over all the four combinations one at a time.
After doing that do the same but with two fingers & try all the different combinations (thumb+1+2, thumb+1+3, thumb+1+4, thumb+2+3, thumb+2+4, thumb+3+4), than thumb and three fingers combinations and at the and all five. start as low as you can on the neck were it's thinnest.

Important notes: stretching exercises can hurt you and even cause injuries.
ease into them & don't over do it.
make sure that your hands are warm and muscles relaxed.
start with some scale playing warm-ups or just play for a bit before you go to the stretching.

Good luck.

P.s.

Generally specking If you got an A as the lowest note its an A or an inversion of a chord with an A as a part of it's 1357.
If you have a A than C Than F on the lowest notes- it's an inversion of F major. In the firs chord option you got a Fmaj7b5/A. In the second chord it could be: Amb6/9 or Fmaj7b5/A
Shape-wise you are correct it does look like a major G, but it is not.

when you add the pinky you can't use a lower fret. if you play middle on the 4th fret you can't use the 3ed fret. maybe you meant 5th fret? that will just double the note you play on the 5th string and the chord will still be the same.
same goes to the pinky on B string. you cant use it on the 3ed fret when you press the 5th. maybe you meant the 6th fret? that would just double the 4th string and the chord will still be the same.

Last edited by barbuzim1 : 02-08-2013 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
barbuzim1
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oh!

another option is not using the thumb:

e-5(ring)
b-5 (ring)
G-4 (middle)
D-3 (index)
A-X (or 3 bard with the index finger)
E-5 (pinky)

good luck
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:30 PM   #6
In-Flight-Radio
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I think you mean this

e-3
B-3
G-4
D-5
A-5 (or x, as in the OP)
E-3

either I'm not reading your chord right or it's that.

e-5 is an A note
B-5 E
G-4 B
D-3 F
A-X
E-5 A

A Gmajor chord contains G D and B. but if it is the first chord I posted, try to make the curve of the neck rest in the V of your palm. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
Freepower
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Quote:
It's really just a G major chord without the 5th string D note. The pinky needs to be free to add embellishments on the B and G strings at the 3rd fret I think (Gsus4 and G6 respectively).

Another way to play the full barre chord shape would be:

e ---5 (index)
B ---5 (index)
G ---4(middle)
D ---3 (pinky)
A ---3 (ring)
E ---5 (T)

I have the same issues with that chord though. Maybe I just need to work keep trying until I figure it out.


Yeah, you're correct about the technique and the embellishment names but your tab is completely wrong. Look over it quickly - playing 5th fret with index and 3rd fret with pinky?

Generally speaking, barreing is really hard with the thumb over the top. A lot of people just leave out the high E on those chords if using the thumb.

Might be worth watching this to understand the mechanics but it's up to yourself.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #8
Deadpool_25
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Haha. Yeah, I was trying to picture it in my head. Oops. It should be

e - 3 (index)
B - 3 (index)
G - 4 (middle)
D - 5 (ring)
A - X (muted by thumb and/or ring)
E - 3 (thumb)

For the full chord it would be:

e - 3 (index)
B - 3 (index)
G - 4 (middle)
D - 5 (pinky)
A - 5 (ring)
E - 3 (thumb)

Thanks Freepower. Good lessons. I need to watch more of your stuff for sure. I remember there was one on muting unwanted strings...need to hunt that one down again....

Edit: LOL. Yes, I typed 5...meant 3.
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Last edited by Deadpool_25 : 02-11-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
barbuzim1
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Still wrong & impossible...

Index can't be higher than any other finger.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
Bikewer
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I have never been able to use my thumb in that manner. Simply didn't work for me. Lots of the old "folk" methods show fingering a first-position "F" chord like that... I tried for a while and simply gave up.
I barre the chord and just don't play notes I don't want to.
"A man has to know his limitations". I long ago (I started playing in '76) realized that I was simply not going to be able to do some things.
Several of my friends could finger a standard "A" chord with the first joint of the index finger. I simply cannot do that.. Short of breaking my finger which seems counter-productive.
Long, awkward stretches as are common in many jazz chord voicings... Not gonna happen.

So you compensate. There are ALWAYS other ways to voice chords, and there are ways to "suggest" chordal sounds without actually fingering the whole thing.
Remember, the idea is to present pleasant sounds to whoever is listening; not display your incredible fingerboard gymnastics.
That may impress other guitarists, but it's not necessarily music.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
Freepower
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^ as regards stretchy jazz chords, the common advice is to leave out the root note, or the lowest note if the root isn't present. That's what I do with Holdsworth voicings anyway.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #12
Deadpool_25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In-Flight-Radio
I think you mean this

e-3
B-3
G-4
D-5
A-5 (or x, as in the OP)
E-3

either I'm not reading your chord right or it's that.

e-5 is an A note
B-5 E
G-4 B
D-3 F
A-X
E-5 A

A Gmajor chord contains G D and B. but if it is the first chord I posted, try to make the curve of the neck rest in the V of your palm. Hope this helps.


Yeah, that. Thanks. I did that and worked on posture and guitar positioning as in Freepower's video. I wouldn't say it made it magically work, but I did notice some improvement right away.
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