#1
Hello, I've been playing for a year now. My instructor, who I've been with for 8 months, is trying to get me to keep my fretting hand thumb behind the neck and putting pressure on the back. I find it a bit uncomfortable; especially when changing chords. I've seen guys play this way; while others have the thumb wrapped around the top of the neck. Mine wants to hang loosely a bit over the guitar. I'm sort of holding the back of the guitar with the heel of the hand; countering the pressure from the fingers in the front.

What do you guys think? How do you play? Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this

Thanks,
Ken
#2
My thumb is either behind the neck or over the neck. Depending on what I'm doing. There's no right way or wrong way, but if you ask me, putting the thumb behind the neck for open chords is as stupid as thumb over the neck for wide stretches.
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#3
Quote by kentrock1
Hello, I've been playing for a year now. My instructor, who I've been with for 8 months, is trying to get me to keep my fretting hand thumb behind the neck and putting pressure on the back. I find it a bit uncomfortable; especially when changing chords. I've seen guys play this way; while others have the thumb wrapped around the top of the neck. Mine wants to hang loosely a bit over the guitar. I'm sort of holding the back of the guitar with the heel of the hand; countering the pressure from the fingers in the front.

What do you guys think? How do you play? Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this

Thanks,
Ken


As a general rule your teacher is right: thumb behind the neck really should be the default position unless you need it somewhere else since it gives your fretting hand the biggest reach for the least effort and allows you the most accuracy.

Thumb over the neck is basically reserved for three things: using the thumb to mute the lowest strings if you have no other options; fretting the low E, Hendrix-style; and anything involving bending.

Bending is the main one you encounter, the others are much more rare really. Basically with bending you need as much stability as you can get in what you're doing and having your thumb over the neck takes a lot of the work away from your fingers.

Basically: stick with what your teacher is saying. It's uncomfortable because you're not used to it, if you stick with it it'll become comfortable quickly enough: nothing about guitar is natural but it all becomes second nature quickly enough.
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#5
Also don't get too worried if you can't do it. some chords i can't do at all with my thumb behind the neck while with others it just happens naturally. Unless you're either in danger of hurting yourself, or it's genuinely holding you back, I'm not sure forcing it is the best plan.
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