marcovv
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2005
122 IQ
#1
Hi all ,im learning guitar and i'm confused about it :

i have read a lot of books about guitar and they all say that the thumb must be behind the neck , in the classical position, but i see all guitarrist playing with the thumb hooking the neck , in baseball bat position , so i don't know what is the best position i should learn . I read a book of Roger Evans and it says the best position is with the thumb behind the neck , my questuin is , Why do all books and authors say it's the best position if I see that Guitarrist , use the baseballbat fashion? They use it for chords,solos , etc.
Spl!nTeRgu!tAr
UG Playmate of the Year
Join date: Jun 2004
563 IQ
#2
**** any book that tells you how to hold it

you can adjust to your personal comfort as long as you can play best that way also
My Gear:
Carvin DC400C
Schecter Damien Elite 7 string
Boss Metalzone
Laney GH120 Head
Rhino 4x12 Celestion
-OG-UG'ER-
Put this in your sig if you've been a member over half a decade!
combs08
Yes, I'm a girl
Join date: May 2005
503 IQ
#3
^^ i agree its comfort

Member of the No-Testicle Club! PM gangster-dolly to join!


Founder of the 'I'm Abstaining From Sex Until Marriage And Damn Proud Of It!' Club. PM me to join!
JaYB06
Luv my guitar...
Join date: Mar 2003
66 IQ
#5
Having your thumb over the neck limits the mobility of your fingers and they aren't able to stretch as much. With your thumb over the neck, people tend to grab that neck when the next should be resting on your hand. The thumb behind the neck will give you the greatest reach and range of movement in your fingers. I keep my thumb behind the neck as much as possible unless im doing bends or playing high on the fretboard. As zamboni said though, if it messes with your playing then don't do it. Give it a chance though because it may feel a little weird at first. One more thing, try and keep your thumb and middle finger lined up whenever you can while you are playing.
Quote by tryhardslash
and plus you like blink 182 which prooves you are dumb and have no taste in music

you just follow trends

What a tard...
seljer
UG Resident
Join date: Apr 2005
1,380 IQ
#6
the baseball bat position is good for open chords, bending sometimes pentatonics too. The classical position for prettymuch everything else (barre/power chords), your fingers have much more range and you can use your pinky easily....

Just use whats ever is comfortable once you get used to both of them, you have too switch between them most of the time too...
dsundertaker
Registered User
Join date: May 2005
10 IQ
#8
Originally posted by edg
Thumb around the neck = Blues Grip. Use this position for bending. This grip will give you the most strength.

Thumb behind = Classical Grip. This position will allow your fingers the greatest extension for fretting.

Neither is "wrong". Itr all depends on your playing.


eh, i have issue with your blues grip comment. hand strength for bending does NOT come from the thumb wrapped around the neck. it's totally independent of that.

bending strength should come from the non-bending-fingers reinforcing the bend.

the classical position is by far the best position. it allows the hand to be relaxed, perfectly balanced, and able to reach as far as possible. you'll also be less likely to injure your hand in the long run, as well as play more accurately and faster.
If my wings should fail me, Lord Please meet me with another pair...

Well, well, well, so I can die easy...

Led Zeppelin
SilentDeftone
UG God
Join date: Jul 2003
1,732 IQ
#9
^ Agreed. Also some guitarists who have their thumb around the neck don't have their palm on the neck at all, which I find to be the hindrance (rather than the hooked thumb itself).

-SD
Jearl
yr bird.
Join date: Sep 2004
118 IQ
#10
while playing open chords, i have my thumb around the neck. for barre chords i have it under

i change a lot while doing riffs/solos...depends where im going
nightprowler
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2004
414 IQ
#11
I change my thumb position all the time while I'm playing....

The thumb around the neck is easier for bluesy stuff and chords. It also makes bends really easy.

If you are shredding or just need to move your fingers really fast, I would put your thumb behind the neck.
LrIeYhAmNiA
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2005
765 IQ
#12
if you're new... just play...
next time you can adjust easily...
My Gear:

Guitar : Ibanez RG350EX 400 dollar US
Pick : ernie Ball - half a dollar
Amp : borrowing friend
Pedal : behringer metal pedal

------------------------------------------------------------------------

'I trust no talent'
scroungemonkeys
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2003
66 IQ
#13
thumb behind fior hammers/pulls
Quote by bananajammin
wow

we need more of these givers of correct, thorough advice on UG
Eulogy
Shredder Apprentice
Join date: Jul 2004
297 IQ
#14
Well there is a reason behind the thumb behind the neck, of the many little helpful things it does the most important is how wide you can stretch your hand. You almost always see shredders with their thumbs behind the neck (I said almost so dont flame me) and with good reason, it allows for better fret accessb in most situations. I personally use the thumb around the next postion for bends, higher neck access (if needed), and some chords, but for me the thumb behind the neck is like a comfortable home where I always start. If need be I'll work away from it, but I always start there ^^.
Originally posted by TMH88
Im not trying to brag or anything, but im pretty good for only having been playing a month. I play about 1-2 hours every day, about 35 days strait....


Yay for 35 day months!
piper182
UG`s Leafs fan in Africa
Join date: Nov 2004
79 IQ
#15
The books... just play. Put your thumb wherever you want. Wherever it's the most comfortable.
Originally posted by Doolittle88
"You there! with the erection! stand up so everyone can see!"
Join the UG Hockey Pool!
Eulogy
Shredder Apprentice
Join date: Jul 2004
297 IQ
#16
Well, while many say the most comfrtable spot is the best....thats just not true sometimes. I know I sure as heck wasn't comfortable holding chords certain ways when I started out (holding them correctly at least) so I had to modify how I held my hand to have them ring out perfectly...but it wasnt comfortable. While having your hand around the guitar with your thumb over might feel more natural than propping up your thumb, it doesnt make it right. (I'm not dissing putting your thumb around, it has plenty of great uses.) Moreso, alot of playing guitar isn't comfortable, or natural at first....soooo *shrug*
Originally posted by TMH88
Im not trying to brag or anything, but im pretty good for only having been playing a month. I play about 1-2 hours every day, about 35 days strait....


Yay for 35 day months!
outlawgal
Registered User
Join date: May 2006
124 IQ
#17
I'm really having a problem with this issue. My pinkies are way short compared to normal folks (end at the knuckle of the ring finger instead of the top joint). At first I tried to keep my thumb in the center of the neck, but it seemed to naturally want to gravitate into the baseball bat grip.

Problem is, I can't seem to stop gripping the guitar like it's a lifeline and while I can play some songs (only been at it for 3 weeks) I'm creating a thumb and wrist pain problem which I'm fairly sure is because of this death grip I've got on the neck.

Any suggestions on how to break this habit without losing the ability to use my tiny pinkies?
buttknuckle
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
12 IQ
#19
You put your thumb wherever it needs to be for what you're playing at the time. Jeff Healey fretted, and even bent notes, using his thumb. Jimi used his thumb to hold the bass note on the low E string so he could comp around the barre chord.

Your thumb is as mobile as the rest of your fingers.
Last edited by buttknuckle at Jul 20, 2009,
Blind In 1 Ear
Git-Man
Join date: Jun 2006
2,962 IQ
#20
Quote by dsundertaker
eh, i have issue with your blues grip comment. hand strength for bending does NOT come from the thumb wrapped around the neck. it's totally independent of that.

bending strength should come from the non-bending-fingers reinforcing the bend.

the classical position is by far the best position. it allows the hand to be relaxed, perfectly balanced, and able to reach as far as possible. you'll also be less likely to injure your hand in the long run, as well as play more accurately and faster.

bending comes from the wrist. the thumb over the top allows this to be done properly. if you have the thumb behind the neck, the bending is comming from the fingers. its much easier to do it from the wrist. especially if you want to add virbrato.

anyways, to the TS, the reason why books and teachers say that is because its what has been laid out in classical technique which for pretty much any instrument is known as "proper" technique. but some of the "rules" can be bent. for example, in classical guitar the guitar is supposed to be on the left leg. but obviously you can play it on the right leg just fine. however you can reach certain notes easier when its on the left leg. and thats really what calssical technique is about: the most efficiant way to play the notes. bending wasnt a technique on guitar until pretty recently with blues music. having the thumb behind the neck allows you to reach notes easier and do better strectches.

so whats right? whatever feels comfortable. some things you may find are easier with the thumb behind or wraped.