Hi ...

So I've been practicing scales and working on my legato and alternate
picking for a while now and Im completely confused about this
aspect of the techniques.

What is the best way to position your palm around the guitar neck ?
With the thumb below the neck or above the neck .

Lemme show you what I mean ...

Palm below the neck :
If you look at this video ... John Petrucci has his thumb below the neck when playing:


Palm Above the neck :
If you look at this video Paul has his thumb above the neck from 2:57 to 3:10


What I want to know is which is the better way to play ?.
Cuz I just dont like playing with my thumb below the neck,
it just puts more strain on the palm. But my teacher keeps telling me
to position the thumb below the neck . Its just constantly confusing me.
I know you will have to wrap your thumb above the neck for support
for bending ...but leave that out ..im just talking plainly about alternate picking
and legato techniques
perfect technique would be thumb behind neck. this allows for greater stretching and speed.
thumb over neck might help with bends or if you just stick with one position for a quick little run.
Normally, when you're play blues style stuff, you put your thumb above the neck a little. It's to help with bends, and keep your hand steady. When I'm playing power chords, I usually keep my thumb way down on the neck. It's usually just personal preference, but I hear that putting your thumb above the neck hinders your playing. I don't think so.
personally i like to keep my thumb in the center of the neck.
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You thumb should be in the centre of the back of the neck for anything that involves a stretch or any kind of speed; having it back there helps with spanning your hand out and also keeps your fingers in a more perpendicular position against the fretboard which leads to more accurate fretting.

For any kind of bending lick beyond about 1/2 a step then thumb over the neck is recommended; you can develop the finger strength to do large bends without needing the leverage of the thumb over the top but it's not that useful to have really...if you can do it good for you but don't go out of your way to practice it.
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