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Old 05-04-2006, 11:27 PM   #1
HedBanger24/7
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Thumb Behind or Over the Neck?

I really didn't know where to put this but this is the forum for speed technique and stuff so.

Anytime i practice a fast lick or solo 90% of the time i have my thumb over the neck (at least slightly). But i saw a video of Dimebag Darrell playing the Domination solo and he played the entire thing with his thumb behind the neck, also i saw a video of Trivium playing Dying In Your Arms and Corey was playing the solo with his thumb behind the neck too. To me Dimebag and Corey seemed to be able to play more smoothly. On the other hand i also saw a video of Metallica playing Creeping Death and during the solo Kirk was playing with his thumb over the neck the hole time. So im basically asking if its easier to play fast licks or solos with your thumb over the neck or behind it?

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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preference I guess.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:32 PM   #3
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which ever you like more...
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:35 PM   #4
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Preference, but the proper technique is with the thumb behind the neck.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:37 PM   #5
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i would have said the proper technique was with thumb over the neck, but really, it's whatever suits you best. try both and see
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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Whatever you feel more comfortable playing. The "right" way is with it behind the neck, but it's all up to the player. I have watched many pros play doing it either way and it doesn';t seem to affect them. I myself play both ways. I find that when playing higher notes, my thumb creeps over, but when playing lower notes it it seated behind fine.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #7
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Classical guitar never has the guitar over the neck.
I don't know what it really does but I'd say behind the neck makes fretting faster, because you can move your hand more and don't have to stretch around the neck too much.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:42 PM   #8
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It dosn't affect pro's because they've played that song or solo so many times that they can do it with their eyes closed and their finger muscles just go there.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:43 PM   #9
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Depends on which lick I'm playing. If I'm on the 3 high strings, my thumb usually creeps to the top. If on the 3 bass strings, it's far beneath the neck.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:46 PM   #10
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From my experience, it depends on a couple things. The complexity of what you're playing, how long your fingers are, etc etc.

Most of the time, I have it behind the neck. But for certain bends, and situations, it sneaks over the top.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:00 AM   #11
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Depends on which lick I'm playing. If I'm on the 3 high strings, my thumb usually creeps to the top. If on the 3 bass strings, it's far beneath the neck.


That's exactly what I mean. Glad to see I ain't the only one doing this.

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It dosn't affect pro's because they've played that song or solo so many times that they can do it with their eyes closed and their finger muscles just go there.


Although it was ignorant of me to say a word like "pro" and not define what I meant, let me clarify: I didn't specifically mean the name-brand famous band pro's. I know guitarists who play in local bands who play over-the-neck all the time, including the first time they've played a song they wrote. My future robotics teacher plays over-the-neck 99% of the time; and he is quite good mind you; and everytime he writes a song and wants me to hear it the first time he plays it, he is always playing over-the-neck . So no, what you said is not always the case. Good effort though
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:25 AM   #12
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thumb behind is usually the best (mostly situational though). Its impossible to do big stretches otherwise.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:15 AM   #13
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thumb over the neck is for the blues where you need to mute the top strings
thumb under neck is usually used for arpeggios and exception is yngwie malmsteen
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:47 AM   #14
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When I do bends, I keep my thumb over the neck to give counter power to the fingers. Allthough, when I do long stretchs it's pretty essential to keep it behind the neck.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:32 AM   #15
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MAB says you cant do 90's licks with 60s fingering, he even warns you may develop tendonitis type problems.
If im bending, vibrato or playing chord double stops etc then i often wrap my thumb round--i play barre chords with my thumb as well because it frees up the pinky to play different chord inversions that are impossible with the classical style.

However, if im embarking on a fast, linear picking run or a huge stretch---ie, 5th fret to the 11th fret then i always use my thumb fixed to the back of the neck, about where the G string is.

Practising both styles will allow you to choose which one you want in any situation.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:33 AM   #16
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:36 AM   #17
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I was told to keep your thumbe behind the neck to gvie your fingers support.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:50 AM   #18
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^When you bend your hand doesn't give much support, if you keep it behind the neck.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:52 AM   #19
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agreed.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:37 AM   #20
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I have the impression that if you need to think about where your thumb goes, you're doing something wrong...
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