#2
thats actually how i learned to play, i mostly taught myself on an acoustic so i had no idea how to actually hold the thing. it was a hard habit to break but it definitely works for songs with a lot of bar chords. on an electric guitar the strings are easier to bend so its very hard to play with your thumb without screwing it up. whatever works for you though, as long as it sounds good and its comfortable
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#3
lots of people say its bad habit because it can affect the reach of your third and fourth finger, plus the reach between fingers for chords, but hey jimmy used it all the time and we all know how that worked out for him
#4
My thumb wraps around the neck, doesn't inhibit me at all. Randy Rhoads' thumb did too.
#6
Having your thumb over the neck is really bad technique. It will limit your ability to play fast because you are gripping the neck, thus making it harder for you to move around. Really, all that should happen is that your thumb should be touching the back of the neck just for support. Like there should be a gap between the fretboard and the bottom of your index finger. Watch the videos of guitar players who are known for good technique, like Shawn Lane. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Although, keep in mind that it's ok to have your thumb over the neck when doing bends and vibratos.
#7
you're not supposed to do it in the classical school of guitar. but rock 'n' roll hates rules, so that doesn't apply unless you're playing classical guitar. in fact, putting your thumb around the neck gives you more stability when playing standing up and thrashing around. also gives you better leverage for non-classical vibrato.
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#8
there are some instances where the thumb around the neck improves playing, like for muting the bottom strings. really popular with bands where one person plays the rhythm and lead.
#9
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
you're not supposed to do it in the classical school of guitar. but rock 'n' roll hates rules, so that doesn't apply unless you're playing classical guitar. in fact, putting your thumb around the neck gives you more stability when playing standing up and thrashing around. also gives you better leverage for non-classical vibrato.

Unless you want to, you know, have great technique.

The thumb over the neck is good for bending and vibrato. Other than that, tuck that thumb back!
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#10
Actually most of the amazing players i've seen play hold it with thumb over neck, so that made me wonder if my playstyle was actually the wrong one(thumb behind neck player here).
I think you should be able to do both, since they both have their uses, thumb over neck is awesome for bends and vibrato, while thumb behind neck is great for reach.
#11
I play with my thumb on top of the neck fretting/muting the top 1-2 strings. When learning guitar all my idols played this way so I followed in suit. It feels much better when I play vs. behind the neck. You can definitely play faster with your thumb behind the neck though.
#12
Quote by xStargazer
Actually most of the amazing players i've seen play hold it with thumb over neck, so that made me wonder if my playstyle was actually the wrong one(thumb behind neck player here).
I think you should be able to do both, since they both have their uses, thumb over neck is awesome for bends and vibrato, while thumb behind neck is great for reach.


ive seen pros do it both ways, so im thinking its just a matter of preference, but i saw a video where John Petrucci warned against it, and one of my friends pointed it out, so idk.
And for reach, i can reach pretty much everything (other than the 19th-20th frets on the E and A strings on my lp) with my thumb over the neck.
#13
Quote by sporkman7
ive seen pros do it both ways, so im thinking its just a matter of preference, but i saw a video where John Petrucci warned against it, and one of my friends pointed it out, so idk.
And for reach, i can reach pretty much everything (other than the 19th-20th frets on the E and A strings on my lp) with my thumb over the neck.


They mean reach width ways: Like having your thumb over the neck and trying to play frets 1 - 3 - 5. It's alot harder with the thumb over the neck.

It's best to do both. Thumb over the neck for vibrato and bends, thumb behind the neck for the rest.
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#14
Quote by pigeonmafia
It's best to do both. Thumb over the neck for vibrato and bends, thumb behind the neck for the rest.

This. For me, it's just more comfortable to have my thumb over the neck when doing bluesy stuff, but when I want any sort of stretch, I tuck my thumb back onto the back of the neck.
#15
for things at the 17th fret and above, it's thumb over all the way for me. thumb on the back this high litterrally hurts my hands to do it.
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#16
This has been said a few times in this thread, but I'd just like to add more "weight" to it. You should see the general idea here or what everyone is saying.

The idea is, you should use the thumb behind the neck for most chords, lead playing, or anything that involves large stretches but your thumb SHOULD be over the top if you're doing bends or wide vibrato.

The way you should hold the guitar depends on the technique you're using. I might also add that on most guitars, when you play right at the top frets (by the body), your thumb has to reach over the top of the neck (just to be able to reach around the body). This is especially true if you've played a Les Paul or similar guitar.
#17
It causes tendinitis. if that helps.
Unless your hands are massive, don't do it. You can have your thumb higher on the neck, but not ontop. Remember-flat wrist
#19
I wrap my thumb around the neck because my hands are pretty big. It's useful for muting the bottom string in a chord that does not use that string. And since I have big hands....
#20
i play with my thumb on the exact back of the neck pointing straight up. I know people who are fine players but absolutely fail horribly at playing anything lead because they cant stretch due to holding it with their thumb across.
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#21
I'm going to reiterate what others have said because this is important: the only times your thumb should be over the neck is when doing bends or vibrato. Other than that, you want your thumb behind the neck.
You might think it's no big deal but really it is! I used to play with my thumb over the neck all the time and it lead to issues with speed and issues with finger independance (flying fingers). It may not appear to be hindering you at first but at some point you'll hit a road block in your playing and it really sucks to have to slow waaaay down and work back up to speed with the correct technique.
Honestly, I used to think stuff like this wasn't a big deal and I ran into so many barriers due to bad techniqe. Now I'm pretty much a technique nazi and I can hear and feel how it's improved my playing.

So yeah, just learn it correctly the first time or you'll regret it later.
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