#1
Hello,

I have a Yamaha pacifica 612V and I’ve been playing it for some time now. I like the guitar, it’s well made and has a great sounding Seymour Duncan humbucker at the bridge.

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of powerchords. However, I have a hard time muting the 6th string with my thumb because I have rather small hands. Practising will obviously help but do you guys have any other suggestions? Would buying a guitar with a smaller neck help? And if so : are there specific brands or types of guitars that are known for having small necks? Ibanez perhaps?

Thanks already.

Din.
#2
Why would you want/need to mute the 6th string with your thumb? Learn to pick instead of developing unnecessary habits that put a lot of strain on your fingers.
#3
Quote by Ascendant
Why would you want/need to mute the 6th string with your thumb? Learn to pick instead of developing unnecessary habits that put a lot of strain on your fingers.


I'm not very good (keep that in mind)

When I play chords with the root note on the 5th string I have a hard time avoiding the 6th string. Especially when I play fast. I think I saw some guy doing it on some online videolesson and thought it wasn't a bad idea.
#4
its a million times easier to mute it with the tip of your index finger than wrapping your thumb all the way around the neck
#5
Quote by knutjob
its a million times easier to mute it with the tip of your index finger than wrapping your thumb all the way around the neck
+1

If you wanna use your thumb to play the lower note(s) on barre chords (a la Hendrix) then yes: I guess having large hands actually helps. If it's just for muting I don't really think it's necessary -> my hands are average size and I have no trouble doing that. I just don't like doing it tho: feels kinda unnatural to me

Really: you don't have to buy a kiddy guitar or something -> just work on your strength. Yup, people with big hands usually have an easier time learning how to play those crazy Paul Gibert stretchy licks, but if you develop strong hands nothing should stop you from kicking major ass. Try playing some Andy Summers licks like Every Breath You Take or Message In a Bottle: the dude has tiny hands but he 's got a freakishly good grip

/] 三方 [\
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Last edited by shwilly at May 24, 2011,
#6
As previously posted, practice muteing with the tip of your indexfinger / gain better control over your picking hand. It will pay off in the long run instead of useing the thumb.
#7
If I'm just strumming a barre chord or whatever, I think I mute it (We ARE talking the low E string arent we? What all this 1-6 crap?) with the tip of my index finger. But you could just train yourself to only strum the strings you want to strum...

In any case, why would you mute it with your thumb?


EDIT: also, there are tonnes of great guitarists with tiny hands. In my experience guitar playing ability has much more to do with the determination than the size of one's hands.
Last edited by guy_tebache at May 24, 2011,
#8
Quote by guy_tebache

EDIT: also, there are tonnes of great guitarists with tiny hands. In my experience guitar playing ability has much more to do with the determination than the size of one's hands.


I agree : determination is everything.

I just had a feeling I was doing something wrong, that's why I started this thread.

Sorry about the 1-6 crap, I don't know what I was thinking. I was in fact referring to the low E string.

When you play a barre chord your index finger automatically touches the low E string. When you play a powerchord on the A string you need your index finger on the A string and the E string shouldn't be played. Like I said : I think I saw someone mute with their thumb.

I'll try training my right hand so i don't touch the e string. But still, this must be very difficult while jumping around on stage, for example . Isn't there a better way then just "avoiding" the low E.

Or is muting with your index finger the key?
Last edited by Din Viesel at May 24, 2011,
#10
and the fact that if you always leave your thumb up there, your going to be tempted to use your tendon instead of your muscle, you want your thumb to be what all your other fingers press the strings against, not your palm (imagine the guitar neck isn't there).

Otherwise, you will wear out your tendon, which does not get stronger or bigger like a muscle, and you will one day tear/injure it and be extremely limited in any movement with your hand after that.

You came to the right place with this question at least
#11
Stretching exercises will help. They won't make your fingers any longer, but they will help you reach that elusive sixth string.

Using the thumb for anything except holding the neck is a bad habit, in the long run you'll resent ever learning it that way. Holding the guitar in such a way that you can put your thumb on the 6th string limits the reach you have with the other fingers, which is undesirable.

Try putting the tip of your thumb on the back of the guitar. That way, even with small hands you'll be able to reach everything you need to.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
#12
Quote by knutjob
its a million times easier to mute it with the tip of your index finger than wrapping your thumb all the way around the neck


beat me to it but this. There's no need to buy a new guitar unless you're looking for a new sound. About all great guitarists having big hands i'd say no. Same with pianists. Although a lot of really good pianists seem to have really stumpy little hands.
'Slap bass refers to the slap delivered to the bassist when they play too loud or with any kind of attention drawing behaviour...'

'The dusty end, is not my friend.'
#13
I have big hands and I find it unnatural to not take advantage of using my thumb because it just kind of sits there when I play.
Back to the topic, if you are looking to practice string muting I would suggest looking up how to play Can't Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers the correct way, as it involves alot of string muting to sound well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QDvDremY0A
#14
Alright!!

Thanks everyone for the advice and for the links. No more thumb-muting for me. It'll be hard at first I guess but at least I'll be doing it the right way.

I really should get a teacher again. At first I had one but then the wife wanted to change the house and we went kinda broke. Around next year I hope to have recovered financially and I'll be getting a teacher again, I think.

Imho you can learn to play the guitar on your own but it sure helps if you have a teacher. And you improve faster.

D.
#15
I lightly rest the middle and ring finger (or just middle finger if you play powerchords adding the root an octave higher) on the strings that i want to mute.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

Gear:
Kramer Striker FR422SM
Roland Microcube
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


MY VIDEOS
#16
Sure its emberassing... but maybe a 3/4 size guitar? My guitar teacher uses one because he has small hands :P
#17
play bass. once you switch back to guitar, you'll find yourself overstretching for notes sometimes lol.
#18
Quote by deth medal761
play bass. once you switch back to guitar, you'll find yourself overstretching for notes sometimes lol.


That's not even a bad idea! Maybe I'll suck less at bass :-)
#19
Quote by Din Viesel
That's not even a bad idea! Maybe I'll suck less at bass :-)


No, you'll suck at bass as well, you'll just suck where no one cares how good you are.

/bitter bassist
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#20
Django Reinhardt had scar tissue that fused his ring finger and pinky on his left hand and was utterly amazing.


As you progress you will learn how to play what you want without trying to use techniques that are uncomfortable. The nice thing a about the guitar -- there's always more than one way to do it!!!
#21
Unless you're a midget there's no way your index finger can't reach the low E to mute it when you're barring - I can't even imagine why you're trying to mute with the thumb. Having said that muting is really just to stop the string vibrating sympathetically, you really shouldn't be hitting it in the first place.

Apologies if you are a actual midget btw, no offence intended.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#22
Quote by steven seagull
Unless you're a midget there's no way your index finger can't reach the low E to mute it when you're barring - I can't even imagine why you're trying to mute with the thumb. Having said that muting is really just to stop the string vibrating sympathetically, you really shouldn't be hitting it in the first place.

Apologies if you are a actual midget btw, no offence intended.


No midgets here. And I don't mean to imply that's a bad thing. It's just an objective statement and I don't mean any disrespect to any midgets, or normal people for that matter, out there. Not that I'm saying midgets aren't normal people. They are. They're just shorter than us normal people. I mean average size people.

Now I forgot what I was going to say about my index finger...