#1
Hi, I have a problem..

According to guides, such as http://guitar.about.com/library/weekly/aagoodfingerposition.htm
this one, I am holding the guitar wrongly... I am holding it exactly as the improper way dictates.

However, when I try holding it the "proper" way, I can't curl my fingers, which I can in the improper way. My thumb doesn't rest any bit behind the neck.

So I was wondering if it is different from person to person, because the improper way feels proper to me.
#2
to be perfectly honest it dosent matter as long as its comfortable and you can get notes to ring
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#3
agreed

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#6
meh i dunno how you do that cause its hard for me too get my thumb liek that doing a G chord but its all about how your hand is
dont worry about it
#7
Most people I know, including myself, hold it the "improper" way. Just hold it how you feel comfortable, its nothing to worry about unless its interfering with your playing.
#8
Pick up a drinking glass with your left hand, but use only your fingers (no palm on the glass). Your thumb should be roughly opposite your middle and ring finger. Relax and only apply as much pressure as you need to hold on to the glass. Being relaxed is the most important part. Also make sure you have your fingers curled so you are using the round tips of your fingers (don't collapse your fingers flat onto the glass and don't do any unnatural bends). The flat part of your thumb should be resting on the glass, unlike your other fingers. And remember the right way is not always the most comfortable at first but it will pay off greatly in the long run. Don't try to reinvent the wheel here; if you throw away all the knowledge, technique, and pedagogy of your guitar elders you'll just be starting from square one when you really don't have to.
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#9
That was the exact guide I used when making a serious attempt to learn, and I also found out at that point that I had been holding the guitar wrongly up until then

As long as you can hit notes effectively the way you hold it, I don't suppose it matters too much (my thumb still drifts when playing open chords), but having the thumb on the back of the neck really increases your ability to move the rest of your fingers over the entire fretboard. I'd listen to DoctrDrew here.
#11
Please don't listen to these folks telling you to do what's comfortable.

Having the flat of your thumb resting against the back of the neck gives you the most freedom of movement, and will allow you to fret chords far more cleanly.

Does it make playing a particular chord easier when you're first starting out? No, probably not. Making it easy to play really isn't the point, though, playing well is.
#12
It's whatever makes you comfortable dude. The way you're holding the guitar will let you mute the E string easier, I can't do that because I have short finger lmfao. The other way will give you more room to reach to hit certain frets. But it's all in the way that you want to play.
#13
Quote by MauMichael
Please don't listen to these folks telling you to do what's comfortable.

Having the flat of your thumb resting against the back of the neck gives you the most freedom of movement, and will allow you to fret chords far more cleanly.

Does it make playing a particular chord easier when you're first starting out? No, probably not. Making it easy to play really isn't the point, though, playing well is.


I think it really depends on what you're playing. If its just simpler open chords it feels easier to use the incorrect grip, but when songs require you to move around more its just natural that you'll adjust you're hand position to suit the song. I don't even think about my hand position and its always worked fine - I don't experience any discomfort or find certain things harder to play because of it.
#14
It's not that i'm not comfortable... I just CAN'T play the G major in the proper way. My fingers can't curl around the neck at all. If I play the G major in a proper way, my fingers flatten, and no matter (mark my words... NO MATTER) what I do, they flatten... I've been playing G and C major chords for 2 hours now, trying to determine which holding way is right. And by looking at it, i'd say for me, the improper way is proper.

Besides, the example with the glass is pretty much invalid (to me anyway) because the glass i'm holding is far larger than the neck's diameter.
#15
Quote by zKod
I've been playing G and C major chords for 2 hours now, trying to determine which holding way is right. And by looking at it, i'd say for me, the improper way is proper.

if you find a way to make all of the strings sound out correctly, then you've found your proper way.
#16
Quote by zKod
Hi, I have a problem..

According to guides, such as http://guitar.about.com/library/weekly/aagoodfingerposition.htm
this one, I am holding the guitar wrongly... I am holding it exactly as the improper way dictates.

However, when I try holding it the "proper" way, I can't curl my fingers, which I can in the improper way. My thumb doesn't rest any bit behind the neck.

So I was wondering if it is different from person to person, because the improper way feels proper to me.


Rest your thumb behind the neck but relax it. That is probably why you can't curl your fingers.
#17
Quote by zKod
It's not that i'm not comfortable... I just CAN'T play the G major in the proper way. My fingers can't curl around the neck at all. If I play the G major in a proper way, my fingers flatten, and no matter (mark my words... NO MATTER) what I do, they flatten... I've been playing G and C major chords for 2 hours now, trying to determine which holding way is right. And by looking at it, i'd say for me, the improper way is proper.

Besides, the example with the glass is pretty much invalid (to me anyway) because the glass i'm holding is far larger than the neck's diameter.


Sounds like you need to bend your wrist more. Are you playing with your palm resting on the neck?
#19
Quote by Billyjson
Sounds like you need to bend your wrist more. Are you playing with your palm resting on the neck?


Oh it's bend to the point where it hurts... Then I tried relaxing it abit more... And more and more but to no avail... I can't curl my fingers while holding that way.

I've tried resting the palm on the thumb on the neck, and the thumb on the neck but still... Can't curl.
#20
Not sure if it helps but this is what my hand/wrist look like when I'm holding a G chord:




You can't really tell from the picture but I'm bending my wrist quite a bit and my palm is barely touching the neck.
Last edited by Billyjson at Mar 24, 2008,
#21
Just do whatever you want, as long as you can play the guitar screw anybody that tells you how to "hold it properly".
Really there is no "proper" way to hold it, it's whatever helps you play better.

If you look at just about every famous guitar player, they're usually doing like half of the stuff "improperly".
I saw this book that tells you how to hold the pick "properly", but i noticed like 3 major guitarists that hold the pick like they're pinching it or something.

Don't listen to those BS intruction books, they're just trying to make money!
O O

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#22
Im I the only one here who thinks its way easier to use your pinky instead of your ring finger when playing G?
#23
no, thats how my teacher taught me to play it too,
it was hard as **** at first though
Last edited by Word! at Mar 28, 2008,
#25
well i feel like it makes it easier to switch to em and d chords
just personal preference of course
#26
If it sounds okay, and it's comfortable for you, play how you like. If the way you're doing it doesn't sound good, keep practicing with your thumb behind the neck.
#27
I notice a lot of times people wrapping their thumb around the neck and using it to fret the E string (and possibly A). I asked a friend about this technique and whether I should start using it for barre chords, but he said I'd be better off learning to bar with my index finger alone as it would increase my overall mobility on the neck.

I still see guitarists in bands using the thumb to fret strings all the time though, so I would imagine its a viable way to play?