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HedBanger24/7
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Join date: Dec 2004
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#1
I really didn't know where to put this but this is the forum for speed technique and stuff so.

Anytime i practice a fast lick or solo 90% of the time i have my thumb over the neck (at least slightly). But i saw a video of Dimebag Darrell playing the Domination solo and he played the entire thing with his thumb behind the neck, also i saw a video of Trivium playing Dying In Your Arms and Corey was playing the solo with his thumb behind the neck too. To me Dimebag and Corey seemed to be able to play more smoothly. On the other hand i also saw a video of Metallica playing Creeping Death and during the solo Kirk was playing with his thumb over the neck the hole time. So im basically asking if its easier to play fast licks or solos with your thumb over the neck or behind it?

Thanks.
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#2
preference I guess.
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supaman_63
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#5
i would have said the proper technique was with thumb over the neck, but really, it's whatever suits you best. try both and see
TheUltimateSin
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#6
Whatever you feel more comfortable playing. The "right" way is with it behind the neck, but it's all up to the player. I have watched many pros play doing it either way and it doesn';t seem to affect them. I myself play both ways. I find that when playing higher notes, my thumb creeps over, but when playing lower notes it it seated behind fine.
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Asthia
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#7
Classical guitar never has the guitar over the neck.
I don't know what it really does but I'd say behind the neck makes fretting faster, because you can move your hand more and don't have to stretch around the neck too much.
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Asthia
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#8
It dosn't affect pro's because they've played that song or solo so many times that they can do it with their eyes closed and their finger muscles just go there.
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#9
Depends on which lick I'm playing. If I'm on the 3 high strings, my thumb usually creeps to the top. If on the 3 bass strings, it's far beneath the neck.
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#10
From my experience, it depends on a couple things. The complexity of what you're playing, how long your fingers are, etc etc.

Most of the time, I have it behind the neck. But for certain bends, and situations, it sneaks over the top.
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#11
Quote by Beckerism
Depends on which lick I'm playing. If I'm on the 3 high strings, my thumb usually creeps to the top. If on the 3 bass strings, it's far beneath the neck.


That's exactly what I mean. Glad to see I ain't the only one doing this.

Quote by Asthia
It dosn't affect pro's because they've played that song or solo so many times that they can do it with their eyes closed and their finger muscles just go there.


Although it was ignorant of me to say a word like "pro" and not define what I meant, let me clarify: I didn't specifically mean the name-brand famous band pro's. I know guitarists who play in local bands who play over-the-neck all the time, including the first time they've played a song they wrote. My future robotics teacher plays over-the-neck 99% of the time; and he is quite good mind you; and everytime he writes a song and wants me to hear it the first time he plays it, he is always playing over-the-neck . So no, what you said is not always the case. Good effort though
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Erc
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#12
thumb behind is usually the best (mostly situational though). Its impossible to do big stretches otherwise.
Boghead
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#13
thumb over the neck is for the blues where you need to mute the top strings
thumb under neck is usually used for arpeggios and exception is yngwie malmsteen
Stratwizard
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#14
When I do bends, I keep my thumb over the neck to give counter power to the fingers. Allthough, when I do long stretchs it's pretty essential to keep it behind the neck.
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#15
MAB says you cant do 90's licks with 60s fingering, he even warns you may develop tendonitis type problems.
If im bending, vibrato or playing chord double stops etc then i often wrap my thumb round--i play barre chords with my thumb as well because it frees up the pinky to play different chord inversions that are impossible with the classical style.

However, if im embarking on a fast, linear picking run or a huge stretch---ie, 5th fret to the 11th fret then i always use my thumb fixed to the back of the neck, about where the G string is.

Practising both styles will allow you to choose which one you want in any situation.
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spunky_chooken
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#17
I was told to keep your thumbe behind the neck to gvie your fingers support.
Stratwizard
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#18
^When you bend your hand doesn't give much support, if you keep it behind the neck.
wil
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#19
agreed.
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Resiliance
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#20
I have the impression that if you need to think about where your thumb goes, you're doing something wrong...
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#21
Well, the thumb should be behind the neck for general playing (unless you're only playing pentatonics - try playing 3nps with it over the neck down at the lower frets) - but OVER it for anything resembling fast bends and the like.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Guitar_Technique/Bending.htm

I've never met anyone who could get a good bend and vibrato with their thumb behind the neck, and i've never met someone who could do a decent stretch lick with their thumb over it. (but i've seen Paul "Freakhands" Gilbert do it)
guywithaguitar1
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#22
On the lower/high note strings I have my hand over the neck but for the reason that freepower just stated I have my hand on back of the neck on the higher/low note strings.
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#23
You should place your thumb behind the neck, that way you don't have to stretch your pinky
Matt_Malmsteen
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#24
Quote by Freepower
Well, the thumb should be behind the neck for general playing (unless you're only playing pentatonics - try playing 3nps with it over the neck down at the lower frets) - but OVER it for anything resembling fast bends and the like.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Guitar_Technique/Bending.htm

I've never met anyone who could get a good bend and vibrato with their thumb behind the neck, and i've never met someone who could do a decent stretch lick with their thumb over it. (but i've seen Paul "Freakhands" Gilbert do it)



I can bend and do vibrato without my thumb over the neck, the bends sound ok but the vibrato sounds ****.

So yeah the only time I ever have my thumb over the nekc is for vibrato...and for big bends...but for everything else my thumb is always on the back.
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gtgram14
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#25
I think he's just unsure of weather or not hes doing the "right" thing and wants some advice.
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#26
I think having your thumb in the extreme classical position is a sign of great finger strength because your digits are basicly unsupported, though you should allways bend with your thumb over the neck.
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shredfan
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#27
I usually keep my thumb behind the neck if I'm playing on the lower strings or on lower frets. If i'm on higher frets, then my thumb comes up a bit, often over, unless I'm doing large stretches, which I tend not to.

Thumb grabbing's really not a massive deal, though. Gilbert, Petrucci, Malmsteen, Becker and Lane all do (or did) it to some extent.
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leezer
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#29
i've been playing guitar for nearly 2 years now and ive been practicing my bar chords recently (barre). neway i just cant get the hang of them, any tips? im having trouble with transition to different barre chords, finger placement and i find it hard to build up the strength in my index finger. also, i know that i've been playing for nearly 2 years and different people go at different speeds in learning but is that pretty S**t progression, honestly? its just fun
therealleekingsmore@hotmail.com any help much appreciated
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#30
Quote by shredfan

Gilbert, Becker and Lane...


The freakhands triplets?

PG does my STRETCH licks with the "wrong" fingering and with his thumb over the neck. Poof.
AngilasGuy
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#31
Quote by supaman_63
i would have said the proper technique was with thumb over the neck, but really, it's whatever suits you best. try both and see



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Here comes the technique nazi...
Playing the guitar with your thumb over the neck is hideously incorrect. We're talking in the shred forum (in a blues or jazz environment, it would be different), but for shred or metal or frankly 90% of guitar music, over the neck is awful.
You CANNOT reach all of the frets, and even if you can, it puts tremendous strain on your hands and fingers, and will limit your playing.
Shredders often adapt the classical approach to playing, this is why you see many shredders like Cooley, Romeo, Laiho, and others play their guitar in between their legs instead of on their right leg, it gives you the most freedom, and they will nearly ALWAYS have their thumb behind the neck, except for very large vibrato. If you look at Romeo and Cooley especially, you will notice that they will NEVER, ever, be limited by what they wish to play, ever.
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Last edited by AngilasGuy at May 8, 2006,
Doubleday
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#32
thumb behind is usually the best (mostly situational though). Its impossible to do big stretches otherwise.

Same here. I usually have it on the back of the neck so I can get those insane Van Halen streches in. I also need it there if I'm going to be playing high up on the neck. Sometimes I have it over the side. Sometimes I even use it if I'm playing blues or funk, a la Stevie Ray Vaghuan.
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HedBanger24/7
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#33
I have actually started practicing more riffs and solos with my hand behind the neck now (my thumb still moves over when im doing a wide bend or vibrato). But what about standing up and playing (like at a show)? Whenever i play a lick or solo with my hand behind the neck that would be easier sitting down its much harder standing up. If i want to play a solo like that i might as well place my foot on an amp or something and have the guitar on my knee to play the solo, witch i dont want to do for every solo.

Thanks for all the comments.
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AngilasGuy
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#34
Quote by HedBanger24/7
I have actually started practicing more riffs and solos with my hand behind the neck now (my thumb still moves over when im doing a wide bend or vibrato). But what about standing up and playing (like at a show)? Whenever i play a lick or solo with my hand behind the neck that would be easier sitting down its much harder standing up. If i want to play a solo like that i might as well place my foot on an amp or something and have the guitar on my knee to play the solo, witch i dont want to do for every solo.

Thanks for all the comments.


Like I described, try practicing guitar between your legs, like so:


Now imagine him standing, the guitar would almost be in the exact same position, this is SORT OF like practicing standing up, but sitting down, it also gives you SO much more room for playing.

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Gman400
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#35
lol thank god for that PS! I was like **** no wonder some people here are so ****in good, their family locked them in the basment with a guitar!

BTW I need one those little footy thingys that supports your left leg...chair legs don't cut it. What are they called and how much are they?
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AngilasGuy
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#36
Quote by Gman400
lol thank god for that PS! I was like **** no wonder some people here are so ****in good, their family locked them in the basment with a guitar!

BTW I need one those little footy thingys that supports your left leg...chair legs don't cut it. What are they called and how much are they?


Foot stools, I got mine for $12
But before that, I used my guitar case for like a year... Anything that can raise your foot up will do really.
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Beckerism
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#37
Quote by Freepower
The freakhands triplets?

PG does my STRETCH licks with the "wrong" fingering and with his thumb over the neck. Poof.


Add Marty in there and we're all set for the Freak Circus.
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#38
Well for normal playing I keep it behind the neck, and for bending and vibrato over the neck. Though some pros play all the time with their thumb behind the neck because they can do it comfortably. You have to take into account how big some of these guy's hands are. Same with how high you wear your guitar, I mean i try to keep it low enough where i dont look like a douche, but relatively high still cause im comfortable like that. Gilbert and Vai and them can keep their guitars lower because their hands are huge. Like my guitar teacher said when he saw gilbert live when he wasnt playing and had his hand on his guitar it stretched from like the 6th fret to the 12th, i mean its ridiculous.
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#39
I just leave it over the neck, as did Hendrix. That thumb can be useful to play weird chords....but technically the correct way is behind the neck.
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#40
I play with my thumb behind but, because I've never had any lessons and learned by playing the songs I liked this is a fairly new development (4 months ago). I have noticed that it makes everything a whole lot easier to play as (for me anyways) it makes it a lot easier to use all four fingers.
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