#1
Whenever I play guitar, I usually have my fretting hand thumb pressed against the bottom of the guitar neck. Whenever I watch videos of people playing it seems like their thumb wraps around the neck though. Will this end up hurting my technique at all or is it just a matter of preference?
#2
The only time I ever bring my thumb up on the guitar is to mute the E String when I'm playing the A Power Chord, yeah, dude, don't worry, it's just preference, unless you need to mute the E String.
#3
Hi ncr 1119,

I think that thumb position is a matter of preference. I'm taking lessons for a while now and no one ever told me that there is a proper way. My thumb position changes while I play, depends of what I play.
#4
you're doing it the "proper" way. It doesn't really matter though. Most people who do it like having extra leverage in bends. It's really just preference.
Honk
#5
The proper way is to have your thumb pretty much right in the middle of the neck and move it slightly down to play the lower strings and slightly up for the higher strings. i personally change my thumb position like crazy. if im playing blues or funk, my thumb goes over the top a lot so i can get enough leverage to put some insane vibrato on or bend 2-3 strings at a time. or if im just having some basic box pentatonic fun. if im sweeping, playing scale runs, arpeggios, anything involving mostly fast single notes and/or lots of moving up and down the neck, ill have my thumb in the proper position. i also use my thumb to mute the low E string a lot.
#6
Dude just play whatever is most comfortable and sounds best to you. I mute the e string with my thumb all the time and don't even think about it. I have no idea when I even started doing it. If you find it necessary keep working on it till it becomes natural.
#7
The thumb up at the top is good for muting (as someone already mentioned) or fretting low E, but it also helps give strength to bends (as observed by Freepower) when pivoting the entire hand on a bend as if "opening a door knob."

My hands are too short so I think it's a matter of hand size. I think the only time I put my thumb up there is for barre chords. Some guitarists have hands the size of Shaquille O'Neal's hands, and I can only guess that the thumb might simply be more comfortable there for them because of this.
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#8
Quote by ncr1119
Whenever I play guitar, I usually have my fretting hand thumb pressed against the bottom of the guitar neck. Whenever I watch videos of people playing it seems like their thumb wraps around the neck though. Will this end up hurting my technique at all or is it just a matter of preference?

As long as it's comfortable then your thumb position is probably fine. But it's good to experiment -- especially if you're basing your present thumb position on what somebody told you, rather than what feels good to you naturally.

There are times when it really doesn't matter where your thumb is... and other times it's absolutlely necessary to have it in a particular place -- so the ability to get your thumb where it needs to be very quickly is really what matters.
Most people don't have a single thumb position for every situation.... which is what i think you're seeing in videos.

Watch just about any Steve Vai video... you'll see his freakishly large thumb flying all over the place... but when he needs his thumb centered behind the neck - it's there before you can blink... Then right back to what's most comfortable to him at the moment.
#9
Generally it's whatever is comfortable, but if you are soloing or playing lead, you should make sure all of your knuckles are clear of the neck and free to move.

For rhythm it's less important, and having your thumb on top may make certain chords easier to fret.