#1
Hey, is it wrong to heave thumb finger over fretboard( my english isnt that good to explain it, I hope you understand.) EXAMPLE

I am playing like this but my new guitar teacher is saying that i must not play like this, with thumb finger over fretboard, but instead i have to have my finger behind fretboard all the time. I said OK i will try but my wrist really hurts that way. Is it really that important?



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Last edited by vaaan at Nov 8, 2009,
#2
You mean your thumb?
Do whatever is comfortable. I usually have my thumb next to the fretboard, so I can use it for thumb-over chords, but not quite to the extent as Jimi.
#3
Quote by Baby Joel
You mean your thumb?
Do whatever is comfortable. I usually have my thumb next to the fretboard, so I can use it for thumb-over chords, but not quite to the extent as Jimi.


Oops, i meant thumb. Thanks.
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#4
If you want to be a fancy classical guitarist with good posture play with your thumb behind but I almost always have it over the fretboard and it hasn't done anything to hurt my playing
#5
Do what you feel right with. A lot of my playing is probably wrong, but it hasn't affected me.
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#6
Unless your technique really hinders your playing there is no reason that you shouldn't play with your thumb behind the fret board. Maybe try to look into guitars with thick necks to help you to keep your thumb behind the fret board. i usually don't play with my thumb over the top of the fretboard, except for chords, but for someone with small hands it is much easier to play that way.
Last edited by tact420 at Nov 8, 2009,
#7
I am not a guitar-god or anything like that, just a regular joe who like playing a few hours every now and then. When I play guitar solos, my thumb usually goes over the fretboard (like that Hendrix picture). When I play cords, my thumb goes behind the fretboard (like the other picture). I don't have control over it, it just goes where it needs to goes. Try looking at videos on youtube and see how other people play, maybe you'll get a better idea. I would listen to your guitar teacher, but it doesn't mean that because he is a guitar teacher, he is right, but there is a good chance nonetheless.
#8
Although if you have small hands you'll find it very difficult to play barre chords while using your thumb, there really is no right way. The best guitar players in the world can play both with their pick AND fingerstyle, they can play rhythm AND lead, they can play Bach AND Vai...

If you prefer using your thumb, that might just be the way to go for you but know that both techniques have their limitations, and if you can, learn how do it both ways

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#9
some people use their thumb to mute the top string/s, but like everyone said; do what feels comfortable to you.

I have small hands and have difficulty using my thumb to use to mute the top string. for some chords it sits in the middle (C major open), for some chords it sits next to the fret board (G major open), and some it comes forward (D major open). it all depends. when I solo it all depends on where I'm fretting, if im bending, if i'm vibratoing... it always changes.
#10
I used to think it didn't matter where your thumb was, I usually had it near the top of the fretboard... Nowhere near as bad as Jimi but still bad. It caused all sorts of problems with my left hand speed and my finger independance.
My playing improved massively once I started controlling where my thumb was. Most of the time you want to have your thumb centered on the back of the neck behind your index finger. The only time you should put your thumb over the neck is when bending or doing vibrato.
Listen to your guitar teacher, that's what you're paying him for right?

Edit: Just felt the need to say this, as it's something a lot of people fail to see. Just because something's not currently inhibiting you, doesn't mean it won't inhibit you in the future. I played for a long time with poor technique and had no drawbacks, it was only when my playing skills plateaued that I realized that I could advance no further with what I was doing. I changed what I was doing to what was considered technically correct and I'm a much better player now than I've ever been before.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Nov 8, 2009,
#11
Its best to learn it with thumb behind the fingerboard at first because it will also give you more pinky control when you do that. And pinky control will be your biggest enemy if you are a beginner (at least thats how it was for me). Once the habit sticks then you can do whatever you want, because sometimes thumb over the fingerboard can help with muting and doing pentatonic scales.
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#12
Quote by That_Guitar_Man
Its best to learn it with thumb behind the fingerboard at first because it will also give you more pinky control when you do that. And pinky control will be your biggest enemy if you are a beginner (at least thats how it was for me). Once the habit sticks then you can do whatever you want, because sometimes thumb over the fingerboard can help with muting and doing pentatonic scales.

You shouldn't need to use your thumb to mute, if that's necessary then you need to learn correct muting techniques. Also, in what possible way can curling your thumb over the neck help you to play a pentatonic scale?
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#13
So..I am trying to play with thumb behind neck for a week now. I can see improvement in my playing with this technique so I want to keep playing like this and get use to it. BUT it gives me a lot of pain in my wrist and fingers, even now when I am not playing the guitar:/ What should I do? Wait? Stop playing like this?
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#14
Quote by vaaan
So..I am trying to play with thumb behind neck for a week now. I can see improvement in my playing with this technique so I want to keep playing like this and get use to it. BUT it gives me a lot of pain in my wrist and fingers, even now when I am not playing the guitar:/ What should I do? Wait? Stop playing like this?
Watch Freepower's posture video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyvGD9edWcg

Unless you are playing with lots of tension, you shouldn't be getting pain from having you thumb behind the neck.

There are lots of things that are easier to do with your thumb behind the neck - barre chords are easier (I can only play them that way), you can reach further, and you are likely to be able to play faster and cleaner. Its useful to be able to play with your thumb over too - eg it helps for bends and can give you more options with chord voicings, as fretting with your thumb frees up your other fingers, but I think you are limiting yourself if you do it all the time.
#15
Quote by vaaan
So..I am trying to play with thumb behind neck for a week now. I can see improvement in my playing with this technique so I want to keep playing like this and get use to it. BUT it gives me a lot of pain in my wrist and fingers, even now when I am not playing the guitar:/ What should I do? Wait? Stop playing like this?

When you play with your thumb behind the neck you should be keeping your wrist as straight as possible. It won't always be possible to have it straight but for the most part it should be. Also make sure you're not tensing up or pushing your thumb against the back of the neck, it should be on the back of the neck but not with any real pressure on it.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#16
Yeah, I think the problem is that I dont't have my wrist as straight as possible. Thanks.
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#18
I told him and he said that I have guitar to low, now i have it as high as i can(like Steve Howe:P)..it look funny but who cares I guess metal guitarists who have their guitars ridiculously low have a lot of arm injuries.
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#19
Quote by vaaan
I told him and he said that I have guitar to low, now i have it as high as i can(like Steve Howe:P)..it look funny but who cares I guess metal guitarists who have their guitars ridiculously low have a lot of arm injuries.
I have mine ridiculously high as well I might look a bit daft to some people, but I figured I'd rather look daft because my guitars a bit high than look daft cos I can't play anything properly cos its too low
#20
I have large hands, well long fingers at least, and I find it impossible to play with my thumb up over the fret board, even for bends and stuff. Of course, I can't bend worth a damn anyways.

Also, I cannot play an electric guitar sitting down. I practice acoustic sitting down, but electric standing up. I try to keep the nut at shoulder level on the electric, so I guess that qualifies as "riding high".
#21
You can do it both ways, both have its pros and cons.
For bending's control, the thumb over the fretboard helps a lot and for large stretchs, the thumb behind the fretboard, sometimes is the only way to go.
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