#1
hail bretherns!!!

i just joined the ultimate-guitar community and i'd like to have some info about guitar playing technique.

I am one of those self-taughts that learn to play by reading tabs and trying to reproduce riffs of their favourite songs.

Recently ive noticed that some awesome guitar players (like http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=nPizjNJBWBQ ) place their left hand in a way that the thumb finger never goes over the fretboard, I've also read that its how the hand should be placed.

Then I tried to play that way, but it is so hard for me to play like that, I feel really confortable with my thumb showing over the fretboard (i have big hands with long fingers), but I wonder if it will dampen my skill at some point.

The question is:

Should I force me playing with the left hand in the proper position or is it ok if I develop "my own style" and keep playing with the thumb over the fretboard? if its ok to keep playing like i do at this moment then I'd love to know why it is recommended that the thumb finger must be behind the fretboard and never over it.

Looking forward to your comments!!!
#2
By awesome I assume you mean fast? (i'm in work and can't watch the video)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your thumb placement unless you want to play blisteringly fast single string licks. I use my thum for virtually all bar chords and it makes sense to have it showing.

Watch Hendrix and Chuck Berry and see thier thumb placement.
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#3
i play with my thumb over sometimes, otherwise if u can play with ur thumb over it let it be, if its comfortable for u then its fine

if ur able to reach the high e and b string with ease then it wont hinder u at all
#4
it's ok to play like you do now. I don't even have big hands but I do it all the time. I just like it better than the way in the movie. for example, John Frusciante places his tumb over the fretboard too, and I'm 100% certain that it doesn't affect his ability to play guitar
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#6
I've seen some really good guitar players that tend to wrap their thumb over the fretboard (ex. John Frusciante ). I think you'll be fine, but you might want to try it the other way for a while and see if it helps you at all.
#7
Quote by bonzo_lives
By awesome I assume you mean fast? (i'm in work and can't watch the video)


the video is about one dude playing Kissing the Shadows from Children of Bodom, and by awesome I mean fast and accurate.

Quote by bonzo_lives
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your thumb placement unless you want to play blisteringly fast single string licks


can you please explain why? cause the answer is affirmative, I want to be able to play at the speed of light some day.
#8
Unfortunately I don't know the biomechanics of it. It just seems to be that way. Im sure there are a few guys on here who will be able to fully explain it.
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#9
Playing with your thumb showing will definitely make it easier to bend strings, since you are given more leverage. However, when playing "shred", you usually need to stretch your fingers a little bit more, and bends don't appear as frequent, which is eased by keeping your thumb behind the neck. I usually just use both, depending on what I'm playing. For barre chords, I keep my thumb behind the neck at all times, and I really can't imagine playing it with your thumb showing. It just seems to get in the way, and gives it an odd stretch, for me at least. For some open chords, I show my thumb sometimes. It's all about what I find most comfortable. I am constantly switching between the two.
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#11
Quote by Gacel
hail bretherns!!!

i just joined the ultimate-guitar community and i'd like to have some info about guitar playing technique.

I am one of those self-taughts that learn to play by reading tabs and trying to reproduce riffs of their favourite songs.

Recently ive noticed that some awesome guitar players (like http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=nPizjNJBWBQ ) place their left hand in a way that the thumb finger never goes over the fretboard, I've also read that its how the hand should be placed.

Then I tried to play that way, but it is so hard for me to play like that, I feel really confortable with my thumb showing over the fretboard (i have big hands with long fingers), but I wonder if it will dampen my skill at some point.

The question is:

Should I force me playing with the left hand in the proper position or is it ok if I develop "my own style" and keep playing with the thumb over the fretboard? if its ok to keep playing like i do at this moment then I'd love to know why it is recommended that the thumb finger must be behind the fretboard and never over it.

Looking forward to your comments!!!



having the thumb over the neck will not "dampen" your skills in any way. However there are situations where you will need to have the thumb low.


(classical posture) low thumb = good for stretches
(blues/rock posture) thumb hanging over = good for bends and vibrato

you should be able to do both.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 7, 2008,
#12
From what i've experienced and watching others; from a pure technical standpoint I was taught to keep the thumb near the middle of the neck. I tend to play with my thumb showing over the neck when doing some chord work & middle 3 strings note work, my thumb moves to the middle of the neck when I play notes on upper strings and upper frets (close to body), as well as other chords. Don't have guitar in hand to tell which varieties of chords my thumb shows with. I have seen other guitarists do it both ways, with some of them use the thumb to hold notes on the low e while doing chords.
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky


(classical posture) low thumb = good for stretches
(blues/rock posture) thumb hanging over = good for bends and vibrato

you should be able to do both.


i disagree with a part of the = 's as i keep my thumb low and i feel i still have a good bend and vibrato. but these are definitely true, there are 2 basic styles, classical and "bluesy" i do definitely agree that you should be able to do both

i personally play with the thumb low in the "classical posture" unless its needed and i use the thumb hanging over positioning only as needed, i will often switch between the 2 quickly to allow for the best fingering possible. i suggest trying and getting used to doing this as well so that you have fewer limitations in both what and how you play.
#15
Quote by z4twenny
i disagree with a part of the = 's as i keep my thumb low and i feel i still have a good bend and vibrato. but these are definitely true, there are 2 basic styles, classical and "bluesy" i do definitely agree that you should be able to do both



well yeah, it was a general statement. I didnt mean that you can't bend or use vibrato with the low thumb.


Quote by z4twenny
i personally play with the thumb low in the "classical posture" unless its needed and i use the thumb hanging over positioning only as needed, i will often switch between the 2 quickly to allow for the best fingering possible. i suggest trying and getting used to doing this as well so that you have fewer limitations in both what and how you play.



Im the opposite. I prefer the thumb over the neck. I use the low thumb for stretches, or for playing an actual classical guitar.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 7, 2008,
#16
Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, Matt Bellamy...


Good guitarists put their thumbs over the fretboard, and some (like the above) use it to fret barr chords. Shouldnt dampen your technique in any way.
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