#1
Hi all,

I have a problem, and although it doesn't particularly bother me, I'd like some feedback/inspiration.

When I hold a guitar, I don't place my thumb in the middle of the neck, instead having it over the top (pointing upwards. The middle of the neck sits in the webbing between thumb and finger.

Many people hold their guitar like this when they first start playing, but I've been playing for 7 years and still do this. Other than barre chords at higher (pitched) frets, my thumb sits in the wrong position.

Now this doesn't affect my ability to play at all, except when attempting to learn to sweep pick or anything that requires quick movements up and down the strings - I've come to the conclusion that unless I change my positioning I'll never progress past my ability of present.

As I say 7 years of playing (entirely self-taught) means changing my ways is a near impossibility as the way I play is second nature to me.

Anyone else experienced difficulties like mine, and overcome them? I'd like to hear some opinions....
I'm L.

emo_goth is a username from a long time ago - don't judge me for it!
#2
I used to have the same issue. I think what righted it for me, was picking up an acoustic. I noticed that playing an acoustic as proficiently as an electric requires significantly more finger strength, endurance, and dexterity. As my fingers became stronger, it became easier to apply the required amount of "pressure" on the strings without using my grip on the neck. Now I have a tendency to wrap the majority of my thumb around the top a la' Hendrix, and electric guitar playing is a breeze.
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#3
I used to play electric a lot and now I predominantly play acoustic - on either, there's no difference to my positioning - my thumb is wrapped over the top too although my fingers are strong enough to apply the correct pressure to make a clean sound. I can play (well so I'm told!) - I just don't seem to be able to move as quickly as I'd like to, and I believe it's due to the restricted movement of my fingers on my left hand because of where my thumb is.
I'm L.

emo_goth is a username from a long time ago - don't judge me for it!
Last edited by emo_goth at Jun 20, 2011,
#4
When I play my thumb is approximately in the middle of the neck. This is just the way I was used to play, my thumb rarely wrap around the neck. When doing fast passages like sweep picking, I think it is better to have your thumb in the middle of the neck, yours fingers can be more straight than curved, it helps to have more effective finger movement (least amount of pressure on the fretboard and least amount of finger movement).
#5
Quote by JFK9oo8
I used to have the same issue. I think what righted it for me, was picking up an acoustic. I noticed that playing an acoustic as proficiently as an electric requires significantly more finger strength, endurance, and dexterity..... and electric guitar playing is a breeze.


THIS.

I play my acoustic whenever I learn a new song (unless it's a total metal song that really wouldn't be possible on acoustic, or sound good enough.)

After playing acoustic for a week without picking up an electric, your electric guitar is like a child's toy. It's much easier to hold, the strings feel like fishing line (extremely thin and light) and hammer-ons and pull-offs in fast sixteenth notes suddenly become possible again :P
Searching for the perfect gear is endless. Buying a better amp you may notice how shitty your guitar is and vice versa. I've spent thousands of dollars in pursuit of the perfect sound, which I'll never completely capture. -B. Corgan
#6
Quote by David Lalumiere
When I play my thumb is approximately in the middle of the neck. This is just the way I was used to play, my thumb rarely wrap around the neck. When doing fast passages like sweep picking, I think it is better to have your thumb in the middle of the neck, yours fingers can be more straight than curved, it helps to have more effective finger movement (least amount of pressure on the fretboard and least amount of finger movement).


This is my problem - my hand won't settle with my thumb in the middle of the neck, it just slips back to being wrapped around it - its second nature, for 7 years I've played this way and only now am I realising how much it is a limitation to me.

Agreed, playing acoustic makes playing electric easier, but like I said it doesn't change the way in which I hold the guitar...
I'm L.

emo_goth is a username from a long time ago - don't judge me for it!