#1
I've been learning a few metal songs recently, i only have guitar (which is a great guitar don't get me wrong) it's a Tokai SG, but i've noticed that the neck seems to be a bit too thick for metal and is causing my thumb pain when i'm playing power chords (which a lot of Metal is, well at least the songs i'm learning are) am i holding the neck wrong or are SGs really not designed for Metal?
#2
I don't think guitar companies design guitars for a certain genre. SGs are solid guitars for various types of metal, rock, jazz, blues, etc.

I suspect you are holding your thumb incorrectly. Don't choke the neck so hard.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Sep 5, 2014,
#3
The SG design predates metal. Whether or not the neck on your particular guitar is an ergonomic problem for you or not is the real issue here.

If the neck is too big, you need to address that. SGs are fine for metal, but this is a playing/comfort issue and not a design issue.
#4
Quote by Roc8995
The SG design predates metal. Whether or not the neck on your particular guitar is an ergonomic problem for you or not is the real issue here.

If the neck is too big, you need to address that. SGs are fine for metal, but this is a playing/comfort issue and not a design issue.



Yup


Also yeah how are you holding the neck? Thumb behind or thumb wrapped over the top?
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#5
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I don't think guitar companies design guitars for a certain genre. SGs are solid guitars for various types of metal, rock, jazz, blues, etc.

I suspect you are holding your thumb incorrectly. Don't choke the neck so hard.

It's natural for me to choke the neck, could it be that i'm tense when playing it at full speed? (i notice that when i play slow (or slower) then my thumb doesn't hurt as much)
#6
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Yup


Also yeah how are you holding the neck? Thumb behind or thumb wrapped over the top?

Thumb is behind, i've never wrapped it round the top, the fleshy part of my thumb is what is making most of the contact with the neck (kinda like a slanted Barre position if that helps)
#7
Quote by Tcrumpen
Thumb is behind, i've never wrapped it round the top, the fleshy part of my thumb is what is making most of the contact with the neck (kinda like a slanted Barre position if that helps)



So do you feel like you're kind of anchoring on your thumb and putting extra pressure on it? How hard are you gripping the neck?
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#8
Quote by Tcrumpen
It's natural for me to choke the neck, could it be that i'm tense when playing it at full speed? (i notice that when i play slow (or slower) then my thumb doesn't hurt as much)

Maybe. Have you tried moving your thumb slightly? Without seeing exactly how you hold the neck, I can't really be any more specific.
#9
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
So do you feel like you're kind of anchoring on your thumb and putting extra pressure on it? How hard are you gripping the neck?

When playing power chords i feel that a lot of pressure is going on my thumb, it also tends to vary depending on the song i'm playing as well as well: for xample when i'm playing / practising my current song "For Whome The Bell Tolls" i seem to be tensing a lot, yet when i'm practise songs like Crazy Train and Pour Som Sugar on Me i tend to be less tense and put less pressure on my thumbs: when i'm practising songs with open chords, i sometimes naturally wrap my thumb around
#10
SG's were designed to play Free Jazz. Les told me in a dream.
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#11
Quote by Tcrumpen
When playing power chords i feel that a lot of pressure is going on my thumb, it also tends to vary depending on the song i'm playing as well as well: for xample when i'm playing / practising my current song "For Whome The Bell Tolls" i seem to be tensing a lot, yet when i'm practise songs like Crazy Train and Pour Som Sugar on Me i tend to be less tense and put less pressure on my thumbs: when i'm practising songs with open chords, i sometimes naturally wrap my thumb around



Is there a reason why you're tensing when you're playing metal? Are you playing really fast and having some trouble keeping up with the speed? Because if you're all tense where you're playing, it's going to hurt. If you feel like you're really straining yourself I'd recommend you slow down a bit, get used to what you need to play and then slowly build up speed instead of trying to go full blown Yngwie.


Since you feel a bunch of pressure going to your thumb maybe you could try moving it to a different position or maybe grip the neck differently? That's really the only thing I can think of.


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#13
Quote by Tcrumpen
It's natural for me to choke the neck, could it be that i'm tense when playing it at full speed? (i notice that when i play slow (or slower) then my thumb doesn't hurt as much)

Sounds like bad practice. The almost universal rules of practicing on any instrument are efficiency and comfort(lack of tension)

In this case, it sounds as if you're too rigid when getting up to more difficult speeds. The SG's thick neck shouldn't really be a problem, unless it's just a question of preference. Drop to lower speeds and get used to play with very little to no tension anywhere on your body. That's likely what's causing you to feel pain.
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#14
Your technique is wrong. look up a video on how to properly hold the neck.
Last edited by Sixxstarr at Sep 5, 2014,
#15
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#16
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I was about to comment on that. SG's for metal? Just ask Tony Iommi, the guy who basically invented metal music.

And if we leave Iommi out, in my opinion SG looks very metal and badass. I love the shape and I'd love to own one, if only I would know which brands/models do not have neck dive issues, a thing which is a big no no for me.

Anyway, neck thickness is entirely personal thing and not the genre you play. Some hands are comfortable with thin necks, other one needs baseball bat neck to avoid straining your thumb. And some can play both comfortably. If you want thinner neck, find a SG/Double Cut that has one. ESP/LTDs probably has thinner neck than Epi/Gibsons and Tokais.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Sep 5, 2014,
#17
Depends on the style in my opinion. I mean, it can do it, for sure, but it has way more vibe for stoner metal and the likes than for modern tight metal, for instance, in my opinion.

The neck is all about preference though. I actually have an SG with the best neck I've ever played and on the other hand, I've let go of one of the best sounding guitars I ever played because I cramped up on the neck.
#18
You and the amp have more to do with a metal sound then that SG ever will.
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#19
Quote by Tcrumpen
i've noticed that the neck seems to be a bit too thick for metal ?


I don't mean to offend, but that's one of the sillier things I've read on UG.

Followed closely by this:

Quote by I K0nijn I
Depends on the style in my opinion. I mean, it can do it, for sure, but it has way more vibe for stoner metal and the likes than for modern tight metal, for instance, in my opinion.


Aside from the fact that metal probably originated on an SG and that there are a fairly wide range of neck profiles on SGs and that "your thumb hurts" is a poor excuse for accusing the GUITAR of not being built for a genre of music, there simply isn't a neck profile specifically designed for playing metal, period. Nor will a specific neck profile take AWAY from the ability to play metal. And aligning "vibe" and "style" is just unicorn farts and fairy dust, in my opinion.
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 5, 2014,
#20
Quote by JustRooster
SG's were designed to play Free Jazz. Les told me in a dream.




Quote by Roc8995
The SG design predates metal. Whether or not the neck on your particular guitar is an ergonomic problem for you or not is the real issue here.

If the neck is too big, you need to address that. SGs are fine for metal, but this is a playing/comfort issue and not a design issue.


+1

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I don't think guitar companies design guitars for a certain genre.


I think they do... in at least some instances, anyway.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 6, 2014,
#21
Quote by dspellman
I don't mean to offend, but that's one of the sillier things I've read on UG.

Followed closely by this:


Aside from the fact that metal probably originated on an SG and that there are a fairly wide range of neck profiles on SGs and that "your thumb hurts" is a poor excuse for accusing the GUITAR of not being built for a genre of music, there simply isn't a neck profile specifically designed for playing metal, period. Nor will a specific neck profile take AWAY from the ability to play metal. And aligning "vibe" and "style" is just unicorn farts and fairy dust, in my opinion.


You misinterpreted my post, I think. I actually pointed out it can do metal for sure and that neck profile is all about preference, implying that it shouldn't matter what you play on it if it's comfortable.

That you think vibe and style is bullshit, is your opinion. My opinion differs from that.
#22
Quote by Tcrumpen
i've noticed that the neck seems to be a bit too thick for metal and is causing my thumb pain when i'm playing power chords?


You may have two issues, here, neither of which is the shape of the guitar.

One is that of technique. If you're flattening out that first joint of your thumb (some people almost bend their thumb backwards, it's so pronounced), you're going to experience pain at the base of your thumb, near your wrist. This is especially painful if you're trying to wear your guitar very low while standing. If you have a guitar that's neck heavy, your thumb may also be participating in trying to keep the neck of the guitar up. But in any case, if you usually wrap your thumb when playing NON barre chords, you've already gotten into the habit of using the base of your thumb to add strength to your grip, and that's not going to help you playing barre chords nor if you get an extended range guitar like a 7 or an 8. The solutions are to concentrate on keeping your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck and on keeping it rounded. Avoid neck-heavy guitars (here's where an SG may kill you). You might have to wear the guitar higher and put the neck up at a 45 degree angle to make it more comfortable to play. Doesn't look as cool, but it'll help the pain, and help prevent the carpal tunnel and arthritis you can develop later.

The second may be that of action height. My guitars are stupid easy to play because the action is low all the way up the neck. There's no need to gorilla grip even the most complicated chords. I'm a big believer in letting the electrics do the work on an electric guitar, and in NOT beating on it like an acoustic.
#23
Quote by dspellman
You may have two issues, here, neither of which is the shape of the guitar.

One is that of technique. If you're flattening out that first joint of your thumb (some people almost bend their thumb backwards, it's so pronounced), you're going to experience pain at the base of your thumb, near your wrist. This is especially painful if you're trying to wear your guitar very low while standing. If you have a guitar that's neck heavy, your thumb may also be participating in trying to keep the neck of the guitar up. But in any case, if you usually wrap your thumb when playing NON barre chords, you've already gotten into the habit of using the base of your thumb to add strength to your grip, and that's not going to help you playing barre chords nor if you get an extended range guitar like a 7 or an 8. The solutions are to concentrate on keeping your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck and on keeping it rounded. Avoid neck-heavy guitars (here's where an SG may kill you). You might have to wear the guitar higher and put the neck up at a 45 degree angle to make it more comfortable to play. Doesn't look as cool, but it'll help the pain, and help prevent the carpal tunnel and arthritis you can develop later.

The second may be that of action height. My guitars are stupid easy to play because the action is low all the way up the neck. There's no need to gorilla grip even the most complicated chords. I'm a big believer in letting the electrics do the work on an electric guitar, and in NOT beating on it like an acoustic.

I have noticed that my guitar is very neck heavy (if i give the neck no support, it droops down so that it is effectively pointed vertically down, and that the pain seem to be at it's worst when playing standing (The guitar's body is in line with my abs roughly, which feels slightly uncomfortable but any lower and it become hard to play the stuff i want to play)
#24
Quote by I K0nijn I
You misinterpreted my post, I think. I actually pointed out it can do metal for sure and that neck profile is all about preference, implying that it shouldn't matter what you play on it if it's comfortable.


In that case, I apologize -- I certainly agree on both counts.

Quote by I K0nijn I
That you think vibe and style is bullshit, is your opinion. My opinion differs from that.


And you're certainly entitled to it.

I have a black Fender bass with a (my opinion) silly "pirate" skull and crossbones graphic on the body, and a smaller version of that as an inlay on the 12th fret. The graphic looks a bit like a chipmunk, but it was cheap used (my first bass!), is set up beautifully, sounds surprisingly good and is a worthy P&J (Precision and Jazz pickups) type bass:



If I ignore vibe and style, I can play anything on it. The same goes for a bright Ferrari-red Carvin LB75 five-string with a Jacksonesque tilted pointy headstock. It's pristine and was traded in by a bowtie and tweed jazz player who worried that its vibe and style was "too rock and roll."

When I looked at the Variax JTV line, it was apparent that while the LP-ish 59 and the Strat-clone 69 appealed to the general herd of buyers, the 89 was heavily aimed at the metalistas, with black and "blood red" the only available colors. The original 89 even had a reverse headstock:



Line 6 also slanted the electronics, by adding more drop tunings to the factory switch. I'd normally have done an LP, but the other specs on the 89F (Floyd model) were so in line with what I wanted (24 frets, 16" radius, jumbo frets, 25.5" scale) that I ignored "vibe and style." The good news is that on the Floyd version, they put the headstock back with the tuners on the upside.

Same goes for a lot of my LPs; a Floyd on an LP is a "vibe and style" heresy to the traditionalists, and I have them on half a dozen.

I certainly realize that "vibe and style" exists. It's a herd instinct thing, and it can seriously limit your choices.
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 6, 2014,
#25
Oh, I think we completely crossed in semantics. I don't see vibe as something that limits, more as something that inspires. I definitely can agree with what you're saying.

People should look behind what a guitar looks like (in broad sense) and worry more about what the instrument makes you want to play and in what way it inspires you, in my opinion. Don't let imagine limit you to play what you really want to play.