#1
This is starting to drive me a little crazy. I've been researching proper thumb position on the neck all week because I recently realized I was playing in the "hitchhiker" thumb position, and am now trying to play with proper thumb position. Except now it seems no matter how I position my thumb, I can't apply enough pressure on the strings without using my thumb, which inevitably leads to my hand + forearm cramping up. When doing this, my thumb has that concave look that people have said is part of the "vice" grip, which everyone says is a huge no-no.

I heard you're only occasionally supposed to use your thumb to put pressure on the strings. If that's the case then I have absolutely no clue how else to apply pressure. Other people have said to try using the "natural weight of your arm" to put pressure on the strings without your thumb on the neck, but when I do I feel like I'm pulling the entire guitar into me; my arm tires quickly and I can't imagine playing like that at length.

This is really bugging me because I've played for a year and NEVER had this problem. Now all of a sudden I do. I don't get it.

How are you supposed to put pressure on the strings if not by using your thumb for leverage?
#2
Step 1. Place finger on fret.
Step 2. apply superficial ammount of pressure
Step 3. Pick string or pull of or hammer on etc

What the **** does your thumb have to do with it, like, the thumb just sits there...
You could ampututate your thumb and you'd play guitar the same lol
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#3
Quote by Ultraussie
Step 1. Place finger on fret.
Step 2. apply superficial ammount of pressure
Step 3. Pick string or pull of or hammer on etc

What the **** does your thumb have to do with it, like, the thumb just sits there...
You could ampututate your thumb and you'd play guitar the same lol


I kind of agree with this. Not to mention i don't fully understand your post. The only time i really need my thumb is when i'm doing a big bend. I just find it helps to have it sitting over the top of the neck. I have no idea what the thumb has to do with applying pressure though. Yeah this thread has me confused :s
#4
I lol'd at the thumb amputation, but put your thumb on the treble side of the neck...but not pointed towards the headstock. If that doesn't help try lowering the action a little.
#5
Well, if i go down the neck where the strings aren't as tight, like say the 10th fret, I can actually fret the strings just fine without my thumb or even palm touching the neck. But if I try that on the 2nd fret or so, no thumb or anything touching the neck, I have to pull in with the muscles in my arm a little to generate enough force to put pressure on the strings.

So I think it might be that the action is too high? I'm not sure because it looks pretty low already. I'm going to get it checked tomorrow.
#6
Of course you use you thumb, that's why we evolved them. Granted you don't need an awful lot of pressure and don't need a death grip but yes, your thumb is involved - it has to put pressure on the neck, because it if didn't when your fingers press on the fretboard it'd move away from you., your thumb does the job of keeping the neck stable.
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#7
Pictures would do better than words. If you're comfortable with what you've been doing for over a year, I'm sure you're on the right track.
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