i dont really know where to be posting this but i need a little help with thumb-placement on the back of the fretboard. i was re-reading my first guitar book that i got and noticed that it says to place the thumb roughly behing the second finger, like you would do if you were playing a barre chord. i noticed that when i do chromatic exersizes like this, it slows me down a bit, maybe because i've never done this before. i place my thumb at the back as well but i have it facing upwards towards the head stock.

i was just wondering how and where other people place their thumbs and if there is a 'right way' to do it.
It's completely preference, whatever is comfortable is the right way. If it's not comfortable you may injur yourself.

Bodacious Bob

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Quote by tpot06
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Not complete preference. It depends on what you're playing.

On chords, your thumb can really be where ever you want it to be, like BodaciousBob said.

For finger picking, you want your thumb to be right below your pointer finger. Take your pointer finger and your thumb and make a pinching motion. Now, make that pinching motion on the guitar. Your thumb should fall in the middle of the back of the neck, right below your pointer finger. Pratice that. It is okay if your finger is slightly off of course, nothing is perfect. But attempt to keep along those guidelines.

This guy's thumb is right inbetween his index and middle finger. That's close enough.

Also, an exercies to make sure that you're putting the right amount of pressure on the guitar with your thumb, and the right amount with the rest of your fingers. You don't want to be pressing the strings down with your thumb, you want to use your arm and other fingers.

Choose one of your two middle strings. Put your index finger on the first fret, with your thumb directly under it. Now, hammer on your middle finger to the next fret. Then slide your hand up one fret and do it again. If your thumb ends up falling behind the rest of your hand, you are putting too much pressure on your thumb and can do damage. Then, once you get as high up the fret board as you want to go, go back down.


It will look a little something like that.

Edit: Just pratice until you get it down.
Last edited by Metatron at Jul 9, 2006,
^ Your thumb is for stability, there should be almost no pressure on it at all, ever. Period. The counterpressure for your fingers should come from your arm, not your hand. Beyond that, your thumb should normally be right around the center of your hand, somewhere around the middle of the neck.
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Isn't that the basics of what I said? The right amount of pressure as in...not too much?
^ You should just emphasize that the right amount of pressure is almost no pressure. Otherwise the threadstarter wouldn't have an idea of what the "right" pressure is.