#1
I've always played electric guitar so that the fingers of my fretting hand are parallel with bridge, but I've recently noticed that most guitar players have their fingers angled towards the bridge.

What is the correct technique?
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#2
It depends.If you watch for example classical guitarists their thumb is always behind the neck, they fret with the tip of the finger all the time and their fingers are never angled...thats a great way to play but in electric you have different challenges that you have to overcome so you ll deviate from that.For example in electric its ok to angle the fingers a bit or not fretting with the very tip all the time cause you have also to reign over big amounts of distortion and produce clean playing so different types of muting require different finger placements.For bending and vibrato for example its impossible to maintain the classical position:You thumb has to be over the neck and the fingers at an angle to produce a right precise bend or a vibrato.

So the answer is you make small adjustments depending at what you need to do and also at the physical size of your hands(the fingers in the photo for example are perfectly fine ) .
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Sep 30, 2013,
#3
Alexi Laiho haha, I'd trust how he positions his hands. I think if its working for you then theres nothing to worry about, I've got some pretty large hands so I notice my thumb is angled over the neck a lot more than other players.
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#4
Does not matter as long as your playing with your finger tips and that your wrist stays fairly straight.
#5
^ Nah I don't think so. If you're playing electric there are certain times when you'd want to deviate from "classical" posture etc., as Dreamdancer11 said. +1 on what he said, in other words.

Quote by RCA1186
Alexi Laiho haha, I'd trust how he positions his hands.


Isn't that yer dude from Trivium in your avatar? I mean, I'm not that well up on CoB, but what little I've heard of AL's playing, he seems to be pretty darn good. Way better than Matt Heafy, IMO.
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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.

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#6
for me the thumb should always be relaxed forcing it in the middle of the neck classical position isnt relaxed. For example when I play a three string sweep I dont place my thumb classical style nor baseball ball the thumb just naturally place itself if the hand / finger are relaxed
#7
Quote by Dreamdancer11
For bending and vibrato for example its impossible to maintain the classical position:You thumb has to be over the neck and the fingers at an angle to produce a right precise bend or a vibrato.


Mostly, you're right -- it depends. But it's very possible to maintain the classical position for precise bending and vibrato, and you definitely do NOT have to have your thumb over the neck. Mostly that's necessary if you have weak or arthritic hands. That's also why some guitarists simply can't play a guitar that does NOT have a thick neck; because they're using the palms of their hands (and the muscles of their forearms) to do bends and vibrato. I have monster meathook hands (XXL gloves) and can do some serious bends with any of the first three fingers with my thumb on the back of the neck and nothing but air touching the rest of my hand.
#8
BTW -- one of the things you find out very quickly when you move into extended range guitars is that your thumb often can't *reach* the other side of the neck to help out; the neck is just too wide.
#9
Quote by dspellman
Mostly, you're right -- it depends. But it's very possible to maintain the classical position for precise bending and vibrato, and you definitely do NOT have to have your thumb over the neck. Mostly that's necessary if you have weak or arthritic hands. That's also why some guitarists simply can't play a guitar that does NOT have a thick neck; because they're using the palms of their hands (and the muscles of their forearms) to do bends and vibrato. I have monster meathook hands (XXL gloves) and can do some serious bends with any of the first three fingers with my thumb on the back of the neck and nothing but air touching the rest of my hand.


For classical vibrato i agree...but for the rock vibrato 99.99999% of electric guitarists use, in order to get the..doorknob action going you need to have your fingers slightly slanted and your thumb climbing for leverage.You can only maintain the classical position if you push with your fingers alone and that its nowhere near as precise as the "doorknob" technique that everybody uses.What you decribe is precisely what everyone should avoid ...
#10
^ agreed. I don't like to generalise, because you'll probably find some badass who's the exception that proves the rule, but yeah.

Saying you should use classical technique always, even for electric (to be fair, that's not what dspellman is saying) is silly, if you ask me. It's like saying you should use bicycle technique for motorbikes. Yep, they're similar(ish), but they're not exactly the same, either.

I also think it's no coincidence that most of the people saying you should use classical technique for electric are mainly acoustic players...

Quote by dspellman
That's also why some guitarists simply can't play a guitar that does NOT have a thick neck; because they're using the palms of their hands (and the muscles of their forearms) to do bends and vibrato.


I use my thumb over the neck for bends and vibrato (for most guitar playing, actually, apart from things where it's impossible without using classical style ) and I love wizard-style necks.

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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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Et tu, br00tz?
#11
i think the nail part of the thumb should always be laying flat very important for ultimate control i juste discovered this and it seems to really be helping my playing.
#12
Quote by Dreamdancer11
.You can only maintain the classical position if you push with your fingers alone and that its nowhere near as precise as the "doorknob" technique that everybody uses.What you decribe is precisely what everyone should avoid ...


I'm not saying I maintain the classical position all the time, but I have no problems with precision. Here's the thing -- folks who don't have the finger strength for those positions will naturally revert to "doorknob" technique to get some other muscles involved. But precision levels aren't affected by NOT using that technique if you DO have the finger strength (and, I guess, muscle memory from having practiced that way).

The doorknob technique (don't think I've heard it described that way before, but it fits) works, but it eliminates some options. If you've got a chord formation that could produce an interesting sound if you could bend one of the strings (leaving the rest fretted and ringing), or a "bendy lick" technique or a solo that would need to have a single-finger bend combined with a fingering move with the other free fingers, you're largely left out of that particular game. On the other hand, if that's all you've got to work with, then you work with what you've got.

I started as a classical pianist, moving eventually to jazz and somewhere in there to rock organ (B3, Fender Rhodes 88). At some point I picked up a set of what were supposed to be dead-accurate transcriptions of Dave Brubeck pieces and happily started working through them. At one point, I stopped, looked down at my hands, back up at the sheet music, back down at my hands, and then said, No flippin' Way. I can routinely hit a very clean C to F above the octave C. The music called for an A, another two keys above that. I simply couldn't do it. Several months later I caught Brubeck at the Hollywood Bowl and had a friend that works there get me backstage. First question out of my mouth was, "Can I see your hand?" He laughed and said, "Oh, you must have tried doing [name of the piece]" and he unfurled these long skinny alien tentacles that made my hands look small. You work with what you've got <G>.
#13
Quote by dspellman
I'm not saying I maintain the classical position all the time, but I have no problems with precision. Here's the thing -- folks who don't have the finger strength for those positions will naturally revert to "doorknob" technique to get some other muscles involved. But precision levels aren't affected by NOT using that technique if you DO have the finger strength (and, I guess, muscle memory from having practiced that way).

The doorknob technique (don't think I've heard it described that way before, but it fits) works, but it eliminates some options. If you've got a chord formation that could produce an interesting sound if you could bend one of the strings (leaving the rest fretted and ringing), or a "bendy lick" technique or a solo that would need to have a single-finger bend combined with a fingering move with the other free fingers, you're largely left out of that particular game. On the other hand, if that's all you've got to work with, then you work with what you've got.

I started as a classical pianist, moving eventually to jazz and somewhere in there to rock organ (B3, Fender Rhodes 88). At some point I picked up a set of what were supposed to be dead-accurate transcriptions of Dave Brubeck pieces and happily started working through them. At one point, I stopped, looked down at my hands, back up at the sheet music, back down at my hands, and then said, No flippin' Way. I can routinely hit a very clean C to F above the octave C. The music called for an A, another two keys above that. I simply couldn't do it. Several months later I caught Brubeck at the Hollywood Bowl and had a friend that works there get me backstage. First question out of my mouth was, "Can I see your hand?" He laughed and said, "Oh, you must have tried doing [name of the piece]" and he unfurled these long skinny alien tentacles that made my hands look small. You work with what you've got <G>.



Sorry mate but 99.9 percent of pros using it dont have arthritis or weak hands its just proven time and time again that it works the best.If someone needs "Strength" to do anything on the guitar he has a lousy technique.

Bending and vibrato only with fingers is what amateurs do...but lets say-for arguments sake- that you do some bends and vibrato with only fingers going towards the floor where its easier to use something like that....when a vibrato or bend calls for an upward motion though(towards the ceiling) lets say a one or two step bend with vibrato on top and distortion to boot then you are done,cause you have to hit the bend with the finger then ease the pressure and come up again,(again with finger alone) for the vibrato while at the same time muting the adjacent strings that may ring or caught by your finger.

So in all cases this is mechanically unsound.I started from classical guitar and then moved to electric so for some time i tried to maintain the proper position whatever the cost but the instruments are not the same.Distortion and muting alone are enough to change the game.

Example:Make a dramatic one step(or two if you want ) bend with a wide vibrato on top like Malmsteen or George Lynch, dead accurate and only by finger pushing.Then do it with the rest three fingers(including the pinky of course ).Post a video of you doing it and you ll get in the guitar and kung fu hall of fame at the same time .Iam not kidding.I want to see a pinky one step bend with wide vibrato on top (perfectly tuned of course), going upwards with full distortion and without a hint of noise and all that by just pushing your pinky .
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Oct 2, 2013,
#14
Quote by RCA1186
Alexi Laiho haha, I'd trust how he positions his hands. I think if its working for you then theres nothing to worry about, I've got some pretty large hands so I notice my thumb is angled over the neck a lot more than other players.



Can't believe you knew it was Alexi Laiho. I chopped his head out of the picture!
#15
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Sorry mate but 99.9 percent of pros using it dont have arthritis or weak hands its just proven time and time again that it works the best.If someone needs "Strength" to do anything on the guitar he has a lousy technique.

Bending and vibrato only with fingers is what amateurs do...but lets say-for arguments sake- that you do some bends and vibrato with only fingers going towards the floor where its easier to use something like that....when a vibrato or bend calls for an upward motion though(towards the ceiling) lets say a one or two step bend with vibrato on top and distortion to boot then you are done,cause you have to hit the bend with the finger then ease the pressure and come up again,(again with finger alone) for the vibrato while at the same time muting the adjacent strings that may ring or caught by your finger.

So in all cases this is mechanically unsound.I started from classical guitar and then moved to electric so for some time i tried to maintain the proper position whatever the cost but the instruments are not the same.Distortion and muting alone are enough to change the game.

Example:Make a dramatic one step(or two if you want ) bend with a wide vibrato on top like Malmsteen or George Lynch, dead accurate and only by finger pushing.Then do it with the rest three fingers(including the pinky of course ).Post a video of you doing it and you ll get in the guitar and kung fu hall of fame at the same time .Iam not kidding.I want to see a pinky one step bend with wide vibrato on top (perfectly tuned of course), going upwards with full distortion and without a hint of noise and all that by just pushing your pinky .


You do realise that you two don't actually disagree, right?

Quote by walker8476
Can't believe you knew it was Alexi Laiho. I chopped his head out of the picture!


The nail varnish, fretboard inlays, and tattoos all give it away quite easily to someone who's given Laiho's playing even a cursory glance.
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#16
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

The nail varnish, fretboard inlays, and tattoos all give it away quite easily to someone who's given Laiho's playing even a cursory glance.


yeah. not saying i'd have got it with no prompting, but once his name was mentioned, it was pretty obvious that that's who it was.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?