#1
A common one you hear in every 'beginners guide to playing guitar' is that the proper technique should be to pinch the guitar between the thumb and fretting finger so that the thumb is always hidden behind the neck.

Which is fine for the most part ... then you go and try to play something like a Paul Gilbert riff or Thunderstruck. Go ahead and try to play that song using 'proper' technique and the neck is gonna shake like a fat girls legs after chasing down the ice cream truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av3e

When you watch Angus play it he clearly grips the neck like a baseball bat, which allows him to keep the neck perfectly steady while still effortlessly sliding up and the down the neck.

I think it's rather silly to try and overcome people's natural tendencies. We arrive at decisions for a reason. So to try and snuff that out because of some purist's theory about 'ideal technique' is just counter productive.
#2
I can't help but feel that people are going to disagree with you...
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#3
Quote by Deaddog
A common one you hear in every 'beginners guide to playing guitar' is that the proper technique should be to pinch the guitar between the thumb and fretting finger so that the thumb is always hidden behind the neck.

Which is fine for the most part ... then you go and try to play something like a Paul Gilbert riff or Thunderstruck. Go ahead and try to play that song using 'proper' technique and the neck is gonna shake like a fat girls legs after chasing down the ice cream truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av3e

When you watch Angus play it he clearly grips the neck like a baseball bat, which allows him to keep the neck perfectly steady while still effortlessly sliding up and the down the neck.

I think it's rather silly to try and overcome people's natural tendencies. We arrive at decisions for a reason. So to try and snuff that out because of some purist's theory about 'ideal technique' is just counter productive.


Only time i use the "baseball bat" way is when im bending or doing vibrato, keeping the thumb in the middle of the neck works best for me in all other cases.

You should post this in lessons though, and not in the guitar technique forum. Since i know someone will come and report this thread.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#4
Quote by Deaddog
A common one you hear in every 'beginners guide to playing guitar' is that the proper technique should be to pinch the guitar between the thumb and fretting finger so that the thumb is always hidden behind the neck.

Which is fine for the most part ... then you go and try to play something like a Paul Gilbert riff or Thunderstruck. Go ahead and try to play that song using 'proper' technique and the neck is gonna shake like a fat girls legs after chasing down the ice cream truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av3e

When you watch Angus play it he clearly grips the neck like a baseball bat, which allows him to keep the neck perfectly steady while still effortlessly sliding up and the down the neck.

I think it's rather silly to try and overcome people's natural tendencies. We arrive at decisions for a reason. So to try and snuff that out because of some purist's theory about 'ideal technique' is just counter productive.

Angus Young is hardly a guitar virtuoso... Most of the icons of 80's rock have very poor technique, look at Jimmy Page/Slash/Angus Young/Hendrix.

And good luck playing Paul Gilbert's string skip arpeggios with the thumb over the fretboard.
#6
It's not a lesson, it's directly regarding specific techniques.

keeping the thumb in the middle of the neck works best for me in all other cases.
Sounds kinda vague, I wonder if you aren't just issuing blanket statements.

I can't help but feel that people are going to disagree with you...
Ahh, thanks magic 8-ball! Do you have an opinion of your own, or were you just banking on starting a trend?
#7
Quote by Deaddog
It's not a lesson, it's directly regarding specific techniques.

Sounds kinda vague, I wonder if you aren't just issuing blanket statements.

Ahh, thanks magic 8-ball! Do you have an opinion of your own, or were you just banking on starting a trend?


Oh my bad, chords aswell. Rest is behind the neck.

The most relaxed/economical way to do sweep picking, tapping, legato, alternate picking runs etc. is with the thumb behind the neck. That's what works for me, and i can only speak for myself.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#8
Quote by :-D
There's really no point to this.

"Proper technique" is actually knowing enough to be able to position your hand optimally for whatever you're playing.
So how do you solve the problem of keeping the neck steady while playing legato or fast licks that see-saw between the pinky and pointer finger?

This has a tendency to cause the neck to shake a bit because you're clamping and releasing the neck between to constantly moving pinch points.

Player's like Paul Gilbert who generally stick to 'proper technique' compensate for this by hugging the guitar close to the body and cradling it like a baby. Tilting the bottom of the guitar body up causes the neck to push down on the thumb, making it easier to keep the neck steady. However as he plays closer to the fulcrum (the neck joint) tiny variations in neck movement translate into missed notes, therefore he must compensate by falling back onto 'bat grip' technique in order ensure accurate playing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGA3vjMLgE

In fact, nowhere is this more obvious than at 1:18 when Paul start's tapping high up on the neck, his thumb practically rests on the D string because he is playing so fast it becomes paramount that he keep the guitar stock-stone still.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGA3vjMLgE&t=1m18s


Both are different forms of compensation for the same dilemma. Oops, see what I did there? I just took you to school.
Last edited by Deaddog at Mar 5, 2012,
#9
Quote by Deaddog
A common one you hear in every 'beginners guide to playing guitar' is that the proper technique should be to pinch the guitar between the thumb and fretting finger so that the thumb is always hidden behind the neck.

Which is fine for the most part ... then you go and try to play something like a Paul Gilbert riff or Thunderstruck. Go ahead and try to play that song using 'proper' technique and the neck is gonna shake like a fat girls legs after chasing down the ice cream truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av3e

When you watch Angus play it he clearly grips the neck like a baseball bat, which allows him to keep the neck perfectly steady while still effortlessly sliding up and the down the neck.

I think it's rather silly to try and overcome people's natural tendencies. We arrive at decisions for a reason. So to try and snuff that out because of some purist's theory about 'ideal technique' is just counter productive.


Based on that simile, I will forever accept anything you say without question.
#10
Quote by Deaddog
A common one you hear in every 'beginners guide to playing guitar' is that the proper technique should be to pinch the guitar between the thumb and fretting finger so that the thumb is always hidden behind the neck.

Which is fine for the most part ... then you go and try to play something like a Paul Gilbert riff or Thunderstruck. Go ahead and try to play that song using 'proper' technique and the neck is gonna shake like a fat girls legs after chasing down the ice cream truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av3e

When you watch Angus play it he clearly grips the neck like a baseball bat, which allows him to keep the neck perfectly steady while still effortlessly sliding up and the down the neck.

I think it's rather silly to try and overcome people's natural tendencies. We arrive at decisions for a reason. So to try and snuff that out because of some purist's theory about 'ideal technique' is just counter productive.



Everybody who tells you that only one or the other is right is probably a beginner himself. Every decent technique guide I know explains the domain of both postures.
I agree that the basball bat posture is more intuitive. There are some players that use that one exclusively and still play well. I can´t recall an example the other way around.
#11
Unless your hands are huge, you won't be able to play Hendrix style. I don't have huge hands, so i have to play classical style.
#12
Quote by Kenjisan231
Based on that simile, I will forever accept anything you say without question.
Yay, my own groupie. I give out penguin flippers as treats, as opposed to cookies, because it makes girls cry.
#13
Quote by Deaddog
So how do you solve the problem of keeping the neck steady while playing legato or fast licks that see-saw between the pinky and pointer finger?

This has a tendency to cause the neck to shake a bit because you're clamping and releasing the neck between to constantly moving pinch points.

I've never ever had a problem with the neck shaking so much that it's caused any sort of problem, nor have I heard of anyone bringing it up. In fact, I just went over to a guitar and tested it out - there's absolutely no adverse effect on accuracy, and needless to say it's a much better hand position for a wide variety of playing.

In addition, the guitar is stabilized by its proximity to the body as well as the picking arm so that this fails to be an issue.

Essentially you're just inventing a problem to say that you solved it and you're therefore smarter than all these people who have come before you giving "incorrect" advice.

Quote by Deaddog
Both are different forms of compensation for the same dilemma. Oops, see what I did there? I just took you all to school.

Nope, not at all, as a matter of fact. Are you related to this thread starter by any chance? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1524347 The two of you would get along famously.

Oh, just to show you that your point is moot, take a look at even just the first thing he does in this video, ascending towards the neck joint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USgvPBlzXT4

The thumb is always behind the neck and it's completely accurate at very high speed.
#14
I'm not exactly sure what this is about but I'll still say something about overcoming natural tendencies.. How natural is guitar playing? The human body has evolved for thousands of years with big whole bodied movements, naturally without teaching it otherwise it wastes many times the energy necessary just to tap a finger. So how much can you trust your own body when it comes to guitar playing?

So people figured out how to teach your body to play guitar well, relaxed and controlled, and a "proper technique" is the result of that. Why not follow what millions of people have followed, trusted, teached and improved over the years? (Please, don't bring up religion.)

Also, when playing for a crowd or for fun of course proper technique doesn't matter as long as you're getting the sounds you want out of the guitar and not injuring yourself. Doesn't mean you should settle for anything much less than perfect when practicing.

When fighters train to fight, they practice the punches and kicks as perfectly as they can, sharp and fast with correct balance and posture. But when they actually fight there is not ONE punch aimed at the opponent that is like they practiced, but even the less than perfect punch can be almost as effective as a perfect punch after perfect practicing.
#16
Quote by macashmack
Unless your hands are huge, you won't be able to play Hendrix style. I don't have huge hands, so i have to play classical style.
Wanna hear a funny story?

When I tell people I have small hand's nobody believes me. I have to hold my hands up to their 10 year old kid sisters before their like 'holy wow, you have small hands'.

If I can reasonably use bat technique, where it's appropriate, so can anyone.
#17
Quote by :-D
Oh, just to show you that your point is moot, take a look at even just the first thing he does in this video, ascending towards the neck joint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USgvPBlzXT4
Ya, he is also sitting down with the guitar wedged between edit: three pinch points his knee, his other thigh and his chest. The faster he plays the more he tenses this posture and the slower he plays the more he forgoes this in favor of a more relaxed position. At some point's he is simply able to compensate by using cradle technique.

The paramount thing to focus on is how much tension becomes necessary at shred speeds.
Last edited by Deaddog at Mar 5, 2012,
#20
You see with your eyes, and when they're misguided you resort to simply assuming everybody else is wrong. This is also at a point when you've been presented with concrete evidence that you have absolutely no logical rebuttal for.

Nice try, but step off the soapbox to work a bit harder on self-absorbed, esoteric bullshit next time.
#21
Quote by :-D
Any other excuses you'd like to keep trying?
At this point I should probably concede my original intention. I didn't create this thread to have a discussion. I just find it's easier when other people play devils advocate for me, because it helps me to drill down to the truth faster when I have an 'opponent'. You presented some potentially promising arguments but it's pretty clear you already lost. In fact you never had any real chance of winning in the first place.

At least everyone else watching can now see the clear and self evident truth, which you yourself can also benefit from if you'll just step aside and let your ego go through.
#22
Quote by Deaddog
At this point I should probably concede my original intention. I didn't create this thread to have a discussion. I just find it's easier when other people play devils advocate for me, because it helps me to drill down to the truth faster when I have an 'opponent'. You presented some potentially promising arguments but it's pretty clear you already lost. In fact you never had any real chance of winning in the first place.

At least everyone else watching can now see the clear and self evident truth, which you yourself can also benefit from if you'll just step aside and let your ego go through.

Nobody "has a chance" in the mind of babbling idiot, but anyone else who reads this exchange can draw their own conclusions, and I'd be surprised if they saw any merit to what you've said. Of course, they're all just "content to let light filter through" their eyes, so that won't matter to you either.

The only "clear and self-evident truth" here is that you're essentially the L. Ron Hubbard of guitar technique.

By the way, that last sentence absolutely nails down the definition of irony. This was nice for a laugh, thanks.
#23
Nothing would make me happier than to see you hit back with some crushing piece of evidence which would force me to rethink my entire argument. But given your limited track record of half baked evidence I'm not exactly over here cringing in anticipation.
#24
Quote by Deaddog
At this point I should probably concede my original intention. I didn't create this thread to have a discussion. I just find it's easier when other people play devils advocate for me, because it helps me to drill down to the truth faster when I have an 'opponent'. You presented some potentially promising arguments but it's pretty clear you already lost. In fact you never had any real chance of winning in the first place.

At least everyone else watching can now see the clear and self evident truth, which you yourself can also benefit from if you'll just step aside and let your ego go through.

Oh ok I'll lock it then

PS. you talk shite, and that entire statement is dangerously close to saying "I am a troll, but I think I'm better than that so I won't use that word"

Playing with the thumb behind the neck is "proper" technique. Fact. Same as driving with both hands at 10 to 2 is "proper" technique.

Are there situations when you can forego "proper" technique to perform certain tasks more effectively or make them easier? Absolutely.
Actually called Mark!

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