#1
i recently noticed that my thumb hangs over the fretboard all the time (except for when playing barre chords) and especially when im bending strings

example, when im playing a D chord my thumb covers the two top strings (which i guess is normal) but i could easily cover the top 3 strings or even 4 if i realy stretched

my question is this: where is your thumb when you play, and what can i do to correct this weird overhanging thumb thing?
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#2
if you're just playing chords, it shouldn't be a problem. When I'm strumming, my thumb hangs over too. You can even use it in your chords.


If you want to play insane shreddy stuff though, you'll probably want it on the back of the neck, about halfway up.
#3
The overhanging thumb is not really a problem. Just make sure that your thumb doesnt "drag" behind when you slide up to different positions. Your thumb should always stay in the area of the index finger, only on the back of the neck (obviously). My thumb always stays in the position that im playing and it "overhangs" sometimes. It really isnt a big issue. But if you want to get rid of that overhanging thumb, then like I said, thumb behind index finger in whatever position you are in. Make sure the thumb moves where your hang moves, dont let it "drag". Hope I could help.

EDIT: this overhanging thumb comes useful sometimes. You can use it to help with chords or even to mute the low E string.
Last edited by a7xplayer at Sep 22, 2009,
#4
thanks alot for the help, so i should keep my thumb in line with my index finger on the back of the neck?

i dont find my thumb much of a problem except sometimes i mute the low e string without even relaizing it
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#5
Quote by bellamy_morello
thanks alot for the help, so i should keep my thumb in line with my index finger on the back of the neck?

i dont find my thumb much of a problem except sometimes i mute the low e string without even relaizing it


Ya, about index finger, middle finger kind of area. Keep on practicing without the "overhang" and eventually you will get it. Only use it when you have to.
#7
I believe proper technique requires that most of the time your thumb remains behind the neck and not over the top. It should only venture up there when you want to do a bend - at least thats my opinion.

Holding the guitar in that way will inevitably lead to unnecessary and excess tension building up due to having a tight grip on the guitar. Its a habit you're better off without. But heck, if you are comfortable at your level of playing in that manner, then by all means...rock on!
#8
some good guitar players like hendrix seem to play really fast stuff with their thumb around the back so dont be worried man
#9
Quote by esp 4 life
some good guitar players like hendrix seem to play really fast stuff with their thumb around the back so dont be worried man


I doubt Hendrix played really fast, so he could manage playing with the thumb over the neck.

Paul Gilbert is a different story though. He shreds >180 bpm alternate picked licks with the thumb over the neck.

If you're a shredder, it would probably be easier playing with the thumb behind the neck, unless your fingers are as long as Paul's, as it would be MUCH easier playing stretchy fast licks
#10
I use my thumb as a pivot for my hand on the back of the neck. that and my fingers are tiny so I really have no choice.
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#11
The simple answer is, if it's play for what you want to play and your musical purposes, then it's not bad at all.

When it may start to cause problems is if you suddenly found you wanted to start playing fast/stretching licks - you'd have to basically re-learn your technique from scratch.
#12
Quote by Timothongz
I doubt Hendrix played really fast, so he could manage playing with the thumb over the neck.

Paul Gilbert is a different story though. He shreds >180 bpm alternate picked licks with the thumb over the neck.

If you're a shredder, it would probably be easier playing with the thumb behind the neck, unless your fingers are as long as Paul's, as it would be MUCH easier playing stretchy fast licks

Gilbert rarely plays over 150bpm. What he does do though is triplets and sextuplets which makes it (obviously) a hell of a lot faster at that tempo than doing 16ths, which is what people tend to measure bpm speed in.
#13
I always have my thumb overhang [apart from when sweeping].
I use it a LOT when playing [especially when playing chords. Hit a root note on the low e and the the notes on gbe strings], and for support during bends.
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