#1
I usually play with my thumb on top of the neck rather than in the middle but when I play barre chords and my thumb has to be near the middle my wrist is bent and it looks weird to me.

What position should your wrist be when playing?

Like this?



Or like this?



When I play barre chords or when I have to stretch to reach farther frets my wrist looks like the first picture otherwise it looks like the second.

And if its supposed to look like the second picture then would playing with a wrist brace help?
Last edited by TheDirkDiggler at May 24, 2011,
#2
I'd say neither, you want your thumb around the centre of the neck pointing upwards and your wrist straight.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#3
Picture 1 is kinda bad. If you have to rotate that far to barre, you probably need to adjust the position of your guitar. You may find if you hold your fretting hand elbow out away from your body that helps too.

Picture 2 is about how most experience players grip the neck, although there's a surprising amount of variation amongst even the best players. If it's working for you, it's the last thing you need to be worrying about.

The advice you got from Aleksi is nonsensical in the context of acoustic playing. It's not really right for electric playing either unless the guitar has an incredibly thin neck or is a 7/8 string, but that's a separate issue.
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#4
It's okay to start that way

The first pic looks like your holding your wrist very painfully though
It shouldn't hurt, and your hand/wrist should relax

And you shouldn't need a wrist brace
Just try to relax your hand and wrist, while still holding it
I know it's irritating to say, but it truly just is practice to get the right feel
Remember the key is that it shouldn't hurt

Ultimately though you want to get more of a blues grip with your thumb over the neck
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Last edited by AXmichigan at May 25, 2011,
#5
Quote by Aleksi
I'd say neither, you want your thumb around the centre of the neck pointing upwards and your wrist straight.


I was going to disagree with this, but then I realised that you probably meant up towards the sky rather than up towards the head of the guitar The second picture looks better, but your thumb should be opposite your fingers and pointing more towards the sky.

In the first picture you're almost facing the camera. Do you really play facing the head of the guitar? That seems to be putting your arm and shoulder at a weird angle to the guitar. Your body should be facing towards the strings of the guitar.
#6
2nd position puts less strain on your wrist.
Take it from someone who had done in his wrist, after 8 months it's still not 100%.
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#7
Quote by chainsawguitar
I was going to disagree with this, but then I realised that you probably meant up towards the sky rather than up towards the head of the guitar The second picture looks better, but your thumb should be opposite your fingers and pointing more towards the sky.

In the first picture you're almost facing the camera. Do you really play facing the head of the guitar? That seems to be putting your arm and shoulder at a weird angle to the guitar. Your body should be facing towards the strings of the guitar.

I did indeed mean that, I thought his thumb in the second picture was pointing too much toward the headstock and in the first picture his wrist was angled horribly.

@Even Bigger D: I can't be bothered starting this up with you again, you are unresponsive to reasoned argument. To avoid cluttering up this thread: it suffices to say that I think you know nothing about technique and that you think the same of me.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#8
The first pic is kinda useless - because you're turning to show us what you're doing, you've changed your posture and that's what we're meant to be analysing.

The second pic is totally fine and I wouldn't have an issue with it, although I would suggest if you need to make stretches or barres, the thumb should be pointing up (at the ceiling) and be roughly opposite the middle finger.

The most important thing is that the wrist should be relaxed and fairly straight, move the guitar to accommodate your comfort rather than the other way around!
#9
ok so my thumb should be pointing towards the sky, but what about my palm? should it be touching the neck of the guitar?
#10
Quote by TheDirkDiggler
ok so my thumb should be pointing towards the sky, but what about my palm? should it be touching the neck of the guitar?


Don't get too concerned about pointing your thumb up. You generally want it more up than along the neck of the guitar.

In terms of the palm of your hand, most players rest the neck on their palm except when playing certain barre chord forms, when they change grips to reach further around the neck. You will see a few players who always play with their thumb lower down on the neck, but they're a minority except for 7/8 string players.
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“Life is on the wire…the rest is just waiting” - Papa Wallenda
Substitute the stage for the wire, and he's got it.
#11
Quote by TheDirkDiggler
ok so my thumb should be pointing towards the sky, but what about my palm? should it be touching the neck of the guitar?

There should be a gap between the bottom of the neck and your hand.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#12
Personally I don't see many players with the actual palm of the hand against the back of the neck - your second pic is a good example of "average" technique and it looks pretty much fine to me.

Basically when you fret notes, the gripping action happens between the thumb and fingertips, it isn't the fingers pushing into the centre of the palm.

Again, second pic is fine.
#14
Why would you use a wrist brace?

As far as I can see, the main difference would be you'd have less flexibility with your wrist, which isn't much good, and I can't see any upsides.