#1
I've been experimenting a bit with the placement of my thumb, since right now I'm playing a lot more barre chords than usual and my hand is getting tired and hurting.. It feels a bit like my thumb is too long. It's currently positioned pointing mostly up, on the other side of the neck from my second finger. I notice that I can also bend my thumb at the first knuckle and hold it like that, with my thumbnail against the neck.. any comments on that?
#2
The thumb goes behind the middle finger, perpendicular to the Neck.
Fingers stay arched and close to the fretboard, keep your wrist at a straight angle. (Tilt the guitar up if you are having trouble with the wrist angle.)

Apply just about enough pressure, to make the notes ring clearly.


Here are examples of bad technique:

http://www.pbguitarstudio.com/pdf_files/GUITAR_PDF/Bad%20Technique%20Page.pdf
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Sep 20, 2013,
#3
heh, those technique pics were good, and I think I'm pretty ok. The document doesn't answer WHY #4 is bad though...?
#4
Quote by Slashiepie
The thumb goes behind the middle finger, perpendicular to the Neck.
Fingers stay arched and close to the fretboard, keep your wrist at a straight angle. (Tilt the guitar up if you are having trouble with the wrist angle.)

Apply just about enough pressure, to make the notes ring clearly.


Here are examples of bad technique:

http://www.pbguitarstudio.com/pdf_files/GUITAR_PDF/Bad%20Technique%20Page.pdf


This pamphlet was made by an uninformed person. We had similar threads recently maybe they help you.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1615456

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1615341
Last edited by Facecut at Sep 20, 2013,
#5
Quote by Slashiepie


That's complete bollocks (technical term).

Thumb round the neck is perfectly fine for bluesy-type leads (anything with lots of bends and vibrato, frankly).

And if he never flattens his fingers (at least a little) I bet his rock/blues vibrato sucks ass.

He's taken something which is probably good technique for a certain type of music/playing and overextrapolated it to include everything.

FAKE EDIT: ah sweet it's not just me who thinks that link is total BS.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#6
Quote by Dave_Mc
That's complete bollocks (technical term).


FAKE EDIT: ah sweet it's not just me who thinks that link is total BS.


#7
...not this argument again.. inb4 jimmy hendrix (X guitar player) played/plays with his thumb around the neck...

Just ask any classical guitarist. For things other than bending and vibrato it is simply bad technique, you do not get any benefits you are actually at a disadvantages by using the baseball bat grip all the time. The way to do it correctly is to switch to it for bend and vibrato and revert back, else you are stuck with that weirdass Berkley vibrato where you move the whole guitar XD. There are many ways to justify bad habits. But bad technique is bad technique and classical technique with its hundreds of years of refining is the basis for electric guitar too.

I guess Buckethead's teacher is an uninformed person and spreads false information at the university he teaches.

TR: One of the many reasons why NR.4 is wrong is because you can injure yourself if you bend your thumb and push with the joint,

Here is how your hand should look:
http://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/left-hand-technique-and-position/

^^ Master Zerg?
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Sep 20, 2013,
#8
Quote by Slashiepie
...not this argument again.. inb4 jimmy hendrix (X guitar player) played/plays with his thumb around the neck...


I don't know which thread you're reading but I don't see any argument here... yet.

Quote by Slashiepie
Just ask any classical guitarist. For things other than bending and vibrato it is simply bad technique. And you do not get any benefits, actually you are at a disadvantages by using the baseball bat grip. The way to do it is to switch to it for bend and vibrato and revert back. There are many ways to justify bad habits. But bad technique is bad technique and classical technique with its hundreds of years of refining is the basis for electric guitar too.

I guess Buckethead's teacher is an uninformed person and spreads false information at the university he teaches.

TR: One of the many reasons why NR.4 is wrong is because you can injure yourself if you bend your thumb and push with the joint,

Here is how your hand should look:
http://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/left-hand-technique-and-position/

^^ Master Zerg?


That video actually demonstrates, in one small sentence, why classical technique often doesn't apply on electric guitar. He says at one point "you don't want to have your fingers like this because it will end up muting the string above" (or words to that effect) and most of the time when you're playing electric guitar you do want to be muting the other strings.

Classical technique is good for a lot of things but it does need to be altered for most standard electric guitar applications because of the different demands of the instrument and the nature of the music that tends to be played on it.

Now, on the subject of Pebber Brown... he's a killer player and has some high-profile students but I still don't think he's a very good teacher. He oversimplifies everything and doesn't explain anything. That leaflet is a prime example, he says all these things are just flat out bad when some of them are situationally good and doesn't explain why any of them are bad. There are perfectly good reasons why a lot of those things are bad so why not tell people what they are? I know it's supposed to be short and to the point but this is the written equivalent of a drill sergeant barking orders at you; it doesn't make you want to obey very much.

He has a lot of the same problems when he's talking about picking as well but I don't think this is the thread for it, I've explained my issues with him many times in the past.
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#9
Quote by Slashiepie
For things other than bending and vibrato it is simply bad technique, you do not get any benefits you are actually at a disadvantages by using the baseball bat grip all the time.


Nobody says you should use it all the time. Both postures have their purpose. Avoiding either one is an unnecessary limitation.


Quote by Slashiepie
^^ Master Zerg?


Former, yes Exam preparations takes up too much time to play seriously . You?
#10
Quote by Facecut




Quote by Slashiepie

Just ask any classical guitarist.


Why the **** would I ask a classical guitarist how to play rock guitar? Do many classical guitarists ask rock guitarists how to play classical guitar?

Quote by Slashiepie


er... from that exact link:

"Just remember that this is a reference for guitar and not necessarily how you will position your arm. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you."

Quote by Slashiepie
But bad technique is bad technique and classical technique with its hundreds of years of refining is the basis for electric guitar too.


Hundreds of years of refining before the advent of amplification, right? And before the advent of blues (and blues-based) music?

I mean by using that logic, you should use cycling technique on a motorbike because bicycles have been around longer.

Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

That video actually demonstrates, in one small sentence, why classical technique often doesn't apply on electric guitar. He says at one point "you don't want to have your fingers like this because it will end up muting the string above" (or words to that effect) and most of the time when you're playing electric guitar you do want to be muting the other strings.

Classical technique is good for a lot of things but it does need to be altered for most standard electric guitar applications because of the different demands of the instrument and the nature of the music that tends to be played on it.


+1

play like that on a 5150 on the lead channel and I doubt you'll even hear the notes that you're "fingering technically correctly"



Quote by Facecut
Nobody says you should use it all the time. Both postures have their purpose. Avoiding either one is an unnecessary limitation.


+1
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 20, 2013,
#11
this thread reminds me of that terrible book, The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar. using classical technique on electric guitar is going to destroy your hands. come back to me later in 2-3 years when you've developed tendinitis

never use classical posture on electric guitar, play with the thumb over the neck, kinda like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJlSYM2_qLc
Last edited by SuperKid at Sep 21, 2013,
#12
I was not asking about the thumb coming up and over the top. I do that on some chords and depending on what I'm playing, I don't think its a problem.
The OP was a question about bending the thumb at the first knuckle and pressing the knuckle into the neck (thumbnail touching the neck). this reduces the gap/angle/stretch between thumb and index finger, which is where I experience discomfort after a few mins of barre chords in a row. I'm starting to bend the thumb joint the 'wrong' way to provide an alternative and a mini break. It feels quite comfortable and I don't think its harming my motion or play, out I dunno, hence the question
#13
for barre chords I use the clamp position thump up to make the clamp
for half barre chords I used the slanted thumb position angled up
for all open/ closed (non barre with no open strings) chords other than a D chord my thumb extends horozontally towards the headstock of the guitar.

I have never heard of what you doing or seen anyone do it. But if you are making barre chords like that and they sound good then I can't see any reason not to do it. There is no right or wrong to do anything on the guitar. If you are hitting the notes you want and they sound good then you are playing the right way on the guitar. If your not then go back and practice until you are.
#14
Quote by SuperKid
using classical technique on electric guitar is going to destroy your hands. come back to me later in 2-3 years when you've developed tendinitis


I use the classical thumb position for anything involving speed or a stretch and have been doing so for a good 5-6 years now and have no issues with either my fingers, hand, wrist or arm. There is no reason that classical thumb position is going to harm you if you do it right.

Quote by macmanmatty
There is no right or wrong to do anything on the guitar.


Electric guitar seems to be the only instrument that has this stupid view associated with it. There are clearly both right and wrong ways of doing things; ways that make certain things much easier and ways that, if you do them, will make some things much harder. Coming up with ideal technique that will cover all bases very well is pretty easy.

Quote by innovine
I was not asking about the thumb coming up and over the top. I do that on some chords and depending on what I'm playing, I don't think its a problem.
The OP was a question about bending the thumb at the first knuckle and pressing the knuckle into the neck (thumbnail touching the neck). this reduces the gap/angle/stretch between thumb and index finger, which is where I experience discomfort after a few mins of barre chords in a row. I'm starting to bend the thumb joint the 'wrong' way to provide an alternative and a mini break. It feels quite comfortable and I don't think its harming my motion or play, out I dunno, hence the question


Your thumb shouldn't bend at that knuckle and it shouldn't be pressing in to the back of the neck either. Your fingers should be the ones providing the force for fretting, that's probably where the issue is really coming from.
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#15
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
(a) I use the classical thumb position for anything involving speed or a stretch and have been doing so for a good 5-6 years now and have no issues with either my fingers, hand, wrist or arm. There is no reason that classical thumb position is going to harm you if you do it right.


(b) Electric guitar seems to be the only instrument that has this stupid view associated with it. There are clearly both right and wrong ways of doing things; ways that make certain things much easier and ways that, if you do them, will make some things much harder. Coming up with ideal technique that will cover all bases very well is pretty easy.


(a) same here. I wouldn't say categorically for every single person, but yeah for most people it should probably be ok.

Don't trust me, though, I'm not a doctor.

(b) agreed- to a certain extent, anyway. If someone is a badass already and their technique isn't technically perfect, leave them alone.

for example, like jim furyk in golf.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
(b) agreed- to a certain extent, anyway. If someone is a badass already and their technique isn't technically perfect, leave them alone.

for example, like jim furyk in golf.


Well what I said is always true but there's also not much doubt that it would be a waste of time for someone like Marty Friedman to relearn how to play.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it" is a pretty good rule of thumb but the people for whom it ain't broke aren't going to be asking questions on this forum
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#17
yeah that's a very good point. you have to be brutally honest with yourself as to how good you actually are.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
The thumb placement is very irrevelant as long as the hand is relaxed and that you are playing with your finger tips even if youre barring.