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Old 05-08-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
Ragdim
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Grasping the Guitar Neck?

Hey, I'm currently learning a song from a video (and with sheet music) where the guy is clutching the guitar neck for most of the song without leaving a gap at the bottom (like I learned you're supposed to). Why is he doing this, and should I do it too? Thanks in advance!

Here's the vid on youtube: /watch?v=irPoWMzNdx8‎
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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There's no reason for him to be doing it apart from that his fretting hand technique is lacking; you should definitely not follow his example.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
My Last Words
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Just because it works for him doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Just do what suits you the most.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
Ragdim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
There's no reason for him to be doing it apart from that his fretting hand technique is lacking; you should definitely not follow his example.

I know I'm the one who asked for input on this, but I'm hesitant to agree that his technique is lacking -- I'm not 100% certain, but I think he does this for a living, and I think he also had to get the rights from someone to do this version of the song since he's making money from it.

Expanding upon what you said, though, is it not okay to do this under *any* circumstances? What are the reasons behind the advice of leaving a gap at the bottom? Thanks, and I don't mean to discard your advice after asking for it.

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Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Just because it works for him doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Just do what suits you the most.

Well, I've been mirroring him up until this point, and it feels pretty natural since I've done it quite a lot now. It only popped into my head today that I was going against the advice of leaving a gap between your hand and the guitar neck.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragdim
I know I'm the one who asked for input on this, but I'm hesitant to agree that his technique is lacking -- I'm not 100% certain, but I think he does this for a living, and I think he also had to get the rights from someone to do this version of the song since he's making money from it.

Expanding upon what you said, though, is it not okay to do this under *any* circumstances? What are the reasons behind the advice of leaving a gap at the bottom? Thanks, and I don't mean to discard your advice after asking for it.


He's a perfectly capable musician, I'm not going to deny that but that doesn't change the fact that his fretting hand isn't ideal. He also doesn't use his pinky much, if at all, either. You can tell because he has to really twist his hand to reach some of the chords, like at about 1:50 he reaches back with his first finger and has to change his hand position entirely to get there.

That's not to say that having the thumb over the top is always bad, you should have it over the top when bending to give you leverage. Also there are some chords and Hendrix style things you generally use your thumb over the top to fret with to leave your other fingers free.

Those are both pretty specific things though, as a general rule your thumb should be in the back of the neck, running roughly parallel to the frets, just about between the first and second fretting fingers. This gives you the most flexibility and reach with the fretting hand in a neutral position and if you need more reach you can drop your thumb further down the neck and tilt the guitar up a bit and get all the reach you need.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
Ragdim
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@Zaphod_Beeblebr

Thanks for clearing that up! I haven't had any issues with reach while having my hand all bunched up on the neck, but I'll start leaving a gap again so that I maintain good habits.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragdim
@Zaphod_Beeblebr

Thanks for clearing that up! I haven't had any issues with reach while having my hand all bunched up on the neck, but I'll start leaving a gap again so that I maintain good habits.


Well it really depends what you're trying to do, watch this:

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