#1
Hey UG.
This might be a stupid question, but it's kinda something that i've been wondering about for a while.
When seeing live perfomances of guitarists playing, some are having their thumb over the neck almost all the time. I am aware that it's used to sometimes mute the upper strings, like in an open a power chord. But when playing standard rhythm stuff, i've seen them doing it as well.
This might be a bad example, but when i watched this video it came to my mind:
Click
So is it just for the looks/posing, or does it give some advantage?
#2
i think it is muting the string, i have never done it personally,, and cant imagine doing it confetably, though i dont play the same music as him. its not anything necercery.

some guitars use there thumb to fret the low e if its to much of a stretch wih there fingers. check out reconing day by megadeth.
#3
I know Hendrix, John Mayer, and Eric Johnson use their thumbs for fretting. I do it for muting and fretting the low E string. If its your style I would recommend learning to use it.
#5
It's a matter of preference and comfortability(sp?), they might have learnt playing guitar that way and stuck with it. Apart from when playing barre chords, I always put my thumb over.

It also depends on style, many rock guitarists (Hendrix, Page etc) put their thumb over as well, for rhythm and lead. If you're going to play fast metal or something, then thumb over is not recommended because it restricts the use of the pinky finger when playing really fast passages.
Last edited by 007dude at Oct 2, 2010,
#6
Cool. Thanks for the many answers.
In the example it doesn't seem like he is fretting the top string with his thumb though, so it might just be a habit he has got.
#7
I play this way.

One reason is instead of making a normal barre chord, I'll use my thumb to fret the low E to form it the "Hendrix way"; it keeps my wrist straight and thus, more comfortable than having to bend my wrist all up to make a barre chord.

Also, I bend a lot so having my thumb over the top all the time keeps my hand in a position to bend quickly instead of having to shift my thumb from the back of the neck to the top to get the leverage.

When it all boils down, playing that way gives me much more control.
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#8
You need the thumb over the neck to get good rock bends and vibrato, aside from that the "classical" position generally better. Please do read the stickies!

I'll use my thumb to fret the low E to form it the "Hendrix way"; it keeps my wrist straight and thus, more comfortable than having to bend my wrist all up to make a barre chord.


It's perfectly doable either way.