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#1
first if this is in the wrong section i'm sorry. I've noticed that when i play sitting i tend to bend way over the guitar so that the top is touching my chest! I do that because when i move my thumb behind the neck to play legato and stuff it makes my wrist hurt if i play with my back more or less straight. I don't think this is right. so how do i make my wrist not hurt while playing with correct posture?
#3
I've never ever seen anybody play classical style (the thing with the guitar on your left leg) when they have to put their thumb behind the neck. like for legato or power chords. I don't think every single one of those people has bad posture....their wrists are bent when they do it...ARE they just all wrong?
#4
ok i just watched steve vai playing and somehow he has his wrist not bent with his thumb behind the neck....?
#6
my question is how do you get your thumb behind the neck and your wrist pretty straight without being in classical position. i've seen just about everybody doing it.....it's really starting to annoy me....
#7
Raising the right knee helps, as does making sure not to lean the fretboard back towards yourself. A little experimentation should solve the problem - bear in mind that arm position is a big deal.
#8
ok thanks i'll go try it out. One thing though. Should the fretboard be at a 90 degree angle from the ground? or should it be tilted toward you very slightly?
#9
Should the fretboard be at a 90 degree angle from the ground? or should it be tilted toward you very slightly?


I've never really thought about it that much, but a slight tilt is fine for me.
#10
ok well that definitely helped with the 3 higher strings but the lower ones still cause my wrist to bend quite a bit....sorry to be so persistent with this. i know. i'm a n00b.
#11
Quote by jerronimo30000
ok well that definitely helped with the 3 higher strings but the lower ones still cause my wrist to bend quite a bit.

Put forth the elbow. Experiment with different positioning.
#13
Well say you have to do a wide 4nps pattern on the thick strings. Put your elbow so instead of being close to your body, it's more under the guitar neck, away from your body, like if you were going to uppercut someone with your elbow.
#14
ok well when i do that it seems to put my wrist at a very sharp angle. would it help if i put a video on youtube so you can actually see what I'm doing?
#16
and thanks so much for putting up with my total n00bness. I feel kinda stupid asking this question after a year of playing.....i really can't stand doing something wrong. I've learned the hard way that when you do something new you want to get it down as fast as possible which usually results in very wrong technique. better to slow down and get it right and be able to play it perfectly even if it takes a little longer.
#20
Quote by jerronimo30000
I've never ever seen anybody play classical style (the thing with the guitar on your left leg) when they have to put their thumb behind the neck. like for legato or power chords. I don't think every single one of those people has bad posture....their wrists are bent when they do it...ARE they just all wrong?



No, they're not.

Putting your thumb directly behind the neck is overrated. It's pretty essential for barre chords, but other than that doesn't do much good. The myth got started that because classical players did it, it was somehow good. Problem is, classical guitars are held differently and have totally different neck profiles. It's basically misinformation.

When you do need to put your thumb behind the neck, bending your wrist a bit won't kill you.

Ultimately, put your left hand wherever it feels most comfortable and the least strained.
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#21
Quote by tenfold
Try it with the guitar on the left leg with the leg raised by something like a stool.



Nothing says slutbanging metal like a footstool
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#22
Quote by Even Bigger D
No, they're not.

Putting your thumb directly behind the neck is overrated. It's pretty essential for barre chords, but other than that doesn't do much good. The myth got started that because classical players did it, it was somehow good. Problem is, classical guitars are held differently and have totally different neck profiles. It's basically misinformation.

When you do need to put your thumb behind the neck, bending your wrist a bit won't kill you.

Ultimately, put your left hand wherever it feels most comfortable and the least strained.


I just want to say how much I disagree. This technique isn't a myth, and it's not misinformation.

A guitar is a guitar. Just because classical guitars tend to have slightly wider necks doesn't mean a whole change in technique. Granted, some of it has been updated, but what is wrong for one guitarist is wrong for another.

I think sometimes people put too much emphasis on "if I just get the right technique, all my problems are solved" and it doesn't work like that. It takes determination and practice.

If you just put your hand where it feels least strained it'll get you nowhere. There is definitely an element of building up the right muscles for guitar- which requires what might feel like strain.
#23
Putting your thumb directly behind the neck is overrated. It's pretty essential for barre chords, but other than that doesn't do much good.


It's pretty much essential for legato that goes beyond the odd hammer and pull and it's essential if you want to comfortably finger scales. Not that one necessarily needs the guitar on the left leg and a footstool, but sensible wrist position is a must.
#24
Quote by Even Bigger D
Nothing says slutbanging metal like a footstool


Nothing says "oh shit my wrists hurt oh **** is this carpel tunnel syndrome oh shit I can't play guitar ever again" more than playing at weird angels
#25
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Nothing says "oh shit my wrists hurt oh **** is this carpel tunnel syndrome oh shit I can't play guitar ever again" more than playing at weird angels

The standard guitar in the palm of your hand position with the guitar hanging normally while standing or sitting doesn't cause any wrist problems. In fact, it's trying to rotate your thumb behind the neck that puts everything at a funny angle.

But go on, bring stool metal to the masses
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#26
Quote by chainsawguitar

A guitar is a guitar. Just because classical guitars tend to have slightly wider necks doesn't mean a whole change in technique. Granted, some of it has been updated, but what is wrong for one guitarist is wrong for another.


Bullshit. The necks of classical guitars are both much wider and much thicker than electrics. This totally changes the technique. There's a damn good reason not a single successful pop/country/rock/metal/whatever player plays with a chair, footstool, the guitar cranked up at an absurd angle on their left leg, and their thumb twisted around on the back of the neck. Even the neoclassical and shred guys don't do that.

But go on, tell us they're all wrong and you're right because you learned it on the internet. I dare you
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#27
Quote by Even Bigger D

But go on, tell us they're all wrong and you're right because you learned it on the internet. I dare you




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Last edited by Nilpferdkoenig at Dec 17, 2009,
#28
There's a damn good reason not a single successful pop/country/rock/metal/whatever player plays with a chair, footstool, the guitar cranked up at an absurd angle on their left leg, and their thumb twisted around on the back of the neck. Even the neoclassical and shred guys don't do that.


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6504813154525836790#


And it's not just the shredders -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=476vNb6thyM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI5P9REpiPM

Not to mention because classical guitar is simply more difficult and utilises more barres and half barres, with contrapuntal lines (obviously) requiring more finger independence.

Every person playing really hard material successfully either has HUGE hands (Gilbert, Holdsworth, Govan) or they hold their guitars in something approaching classical position for the tough stuff. (Check out Shawn Lane, Rusty Cooley and John Petrucci - even when standing, they change position when they require more reach and finger strength).

But go on, tell us they're all wrong and you're right because you learned it on the internet. I dare you


I'm saying I'm right - not that they're wrong. Whole different thing.

The standard guitar in the palm of your hand position with the guitar hanging normally while standing or sitting doesn't cause any wrist problems. In fact, it's trying to rotate your thumb behind the neck that puts everything at a funny angle.


Guitar in palm of hand is fine for small pentatonic licks and it's better for bends (that's a real difference between classical and "rock") but it's useless for barres (see thumb over neck for E shapes) and for any kind of stretch or reach.
#29
Quote by Even Bigger D
Bullshit. The necks of classical guitars are both much wider and much thicker than electrics. This totally changes the technique. There's a damn good reason not a single successful pop/country/rock/metal/whatever player plays with a chair, footstool, the guitar cranked up at an absurd angle on their left leg, and their thumb twisted around on the back of the neck. Even the neoclassical and shred guys don't do that.

But go on, tell us they're all wrong and you're right because you learned it on the internet. I dare you


rusty cooley sits like that and shawn lane always has is guitar at a severe angle to help with stretches, it makes sense to do it as it means you can keep your wrist straight
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#30
I don't have a problem doing it if you have to - I agree that certain barres and stretches require that position. I just don't agree that it's common, or that big of a deal, or how one should play all the time.
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#31
Generally speaking, if you're a vanilla rock player, you could be fine your whole life without it.

However, if you're not it's going to become essential to be aware of the advantages of different postures - and for some people, including me, it's a big deal, because without changing my posture to a more classical position I would not be playing guitar (let alone teaching guitar for a living and loving it) due to practice based injuries.

It's not like I play 100% classical, but I know how to get the reaches and chords that damaged my wrist safely now, and I can help others avoid the same problem.

In short, for mainstream rock, not that common, not that big a deal, definitely not how one plays all the time.

For someone into classical, jazz or more technically demanding music, some use of that kind of position is a must.
#32
I've spent time in plenty of smoky bars playing plenty of jazz, and no one plays like that. As far as I know, classical is the only place it ever shows up.

Seriously, I think you have very little experience with what you're talking about.
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 18, 2009,
#35
Quote by Even Bigger D
I've spent time in plenty of smoky bars playing plenty of jazz, and no one plays like that. As far as I know, classical is the only place it ever shows up.

Seriously, I think you have very little experience with what you're talking about.


So despite the fact that you have been shown to be wrong, and we could show you more and more, you cling to your "I'm older and have experience therefore I'm right" viewpoint? Cute.
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#37
Quote by Freepower
^ whoa, bit ott thar Zaph. Lets clear up what we're saying before we argue over it, eh?


This guy's been throwing himself around in a couple of other threads as well and showed more or less the same tactics of debate... namely ignoring anything he can't effectively debate and saying "I've got experience, I'm right you'll see eventually when you're my age".
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Dec 18, 2009,
#38
ok guys can we stop arguing l ike little five year olds please? I'm just looking for your guys' advice on good posture. you don't HAVE to agree with each other.
#40
Quote by Freepower
We were trying to argue like grown-ups, but I'll leave it to another time and place.

Exactly, this is UG, we don't do that here.

The reason that Classical players play with their thumb behind the neck, is that the necks are wider, and playing with your thumb behind the neck increases mobility along the fret board, and allows easier use to chords.

Now, If a player wants more of the above, they put their thumb behind the neck. This is not always needed though, as raising your left leg slightly gives the angle that your wrist needs for more mobility. You don't have to use a stool, I use my right foot turned on its side. (Like rotated flat on the pinky toe.)
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