#1
I've seen so many good players who keep most of their thumb wrapped around the fretboard and sticking out for example jimi hendrix keeps his thumb over the fretboard the whole time. I tried doing that and hitting all the strings except the top two. The low e and the other one (dont know what its called) Those two strings give me trouble when I keep my thumb over the fretboard, all my fingers seem to squash together and I lose flexabiltiy.

But I watch jimi hendrix play the song im learning with this thumb over.

Should I keep practicing with my thumb over, or should I just do whats comfortable for me.
#2
just do whatever's comfortable, my bass teacher always tried to get me to use all 4 fingers to fret, so i could play a whole scale without moving the actual position of my hand.
But i am way faster and much less sloppy playing with three fingers.
So in the long run it's better to do what's comfortable.
#3
Quote by harkkam
I've seen so many good players who keep most of their thumb wrapped around the fretboard and sticking out for example jimi hendrix keeps his thumb over the fretboard the whole time. I tried doing that and hitting all the strings except the top two. The low e and the other one (dont know what its called) Those two strings give me trouble when I keep my thumb over the fretboard, all my fingers seem to squash together and I lose flexabiltiy.

But I watch jimi hendrix play the song im learning with this thumb over.

Should I keep practicing with my thumb over, or should I just do whats comfortable for me.


This^
Rag Mop Do Do Duh DoDo Dedo Do!!!!!

R_A_G_G_M_O_P_P

RAGMOP
#4
Its prob that he just had big hands or something and it was comfortable...

I've played a few different chords (none come to mind unfortunatly) where you wrap your thumb around and hit a note on the low E string...

Everyone does have their own grip, and things that are comfortable for them.. so do what works for YOU. Dont try to emulate his technique for that one...
#5
For one thing..Jimi played a strat....

I have a squire strat and you can use your thumb all day..
Thats not gonna happen very easily with the baseball
bat of a neck some les pauls have...
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
#6
Im just curious, that if all humans have the same biology then why are some people better a thumb over the fretboard while others put it behind the neck. etc... Souldnt we all be that same.
#7
Quote by harkkam
Im just curious, that if all humans have the same biology then why are some people better a thumb over the fretboard while others put it behind the neck. etc... Souldnt we all be that same.


Same reason we look different.... genes
#9
Quote by harkkam
Im just curious, that if all humans have the same biology then why are some people better a thumb over the fretboard while others put it behind the neck. etc... Souldnt we all be that same.


wise guy
#10
Hendrix's thumb position was actually very unorthodox in that he would use it to fret notes in chords. Some of his chords require five fingers to fret properly. Hendrix's fingers were unusually long.

Most of the time, just put your thumb wherever it's comfortable. I like anchoring it on top of the fretboard, but for barre chords, I move it behind the neck for more pressure.
What I Play
70% classic rock, 20% metal, 10% blues

Guitar
Fender Highway One Stratocaster - SSS

Amplifier
Line 6 Spider III 15

Pedals
Vox V-847A Wah
#11
until your a little more advanced only use it for 5 note chords, eg the verse in californication by RHCP
If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all
#12
The guitar can be played any way you want, the question is just how efficiently. Putting your thumb over the fretboard is not wrong, just as efficient. There are many people that do it and they can play quite well. When your thumb is wrapped around the fret board, how freely do your fingers actually move? Would people who have this habit play even better and faster if they got used to a more efficient way of playing and be even better players than they already are? Yes, I believe so.
Michael Ferris
ferrisguitar.com
#13
For some chords you just need it (eg F7 133210 or D/F# 200232) but mostly it'll come down to what you find comfortable. If you don't like it, don't do it. And as mentioned before, it also depends on your guitar.
#14
I play with my thumb over the fretboard often, it's comfortable on thick necks like '50 LP, but not on thin ones like the Strat C-shape (yes, I consider that neck thin), and it helps my bends alot, and I do much bending and vibratos and don't move around on the fretboard so much when soloing. So it fits my style and feels comfortable for me.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#15
putting the thumb over the fretboard helps me with bends and hitting certain notes that i normally would have a hard time hitting.

However when I try to play the low e string by the 5th fret the distances between the frets get too big for me to keep my thumb over the board and hit them.

I noticed that when my thumb is over the fretboard that finger 1 tends to kind of bend inward and jam itself up against finger 2. The space between the fingers seems to decrease.

I was wondering if anybody else has experienced that?
#16
Jimmy Hendrix also liked to mix in little pentatonic licks to spice up
his chords..using a thumb can sometimes free fingers to hit those
notes..
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
#17
its all about what feels comfortable for you...
for me i sometimes wrap my thumb over, often for muting strings or maybe to fret a bass note.
AROUND THE WORLD



Click here if you like the Washington Wizards
#18
Quote by ColCommunism
Hendrix's thumb position was actually very unorthodox in that he would use it to fret notes in chords. Some of his chords require five fingers to fret properly. Hendrix's fingers were unusually long.

Most of the time, just put your thumb wherever it's comfortable. I like anchoring it on top of the fretboard, but for barre chords, I move it behind the neck for more pressure.



yes, thats what i do to, when you hang your thumb over, you often lose flexibility and strength, so for bar chords i drop my thumb down
AROUND THE WORLD



Click here if you like the Washington Wizards
#19
Wrapping your thumb over the top is a technique popularized by blues guitarists, and incorporated into bluesy rock.

Use it where appropriate, but otherwise it is probably easier to play single notes with your thumb behind the neck.
#20
I've allways played with my thumb over the fretboard, some guy said i should avoid it becouse it limits my playing ability..
#21
well its a safe bet you're playing rock etc. but i know for a fact that classical guitarists do not and should not wrap their thumb around the neck of the guitar. Also hendrix maybe had longer fingers than you?
#22
Also don't forget that hanging your thumb over is really good for muting your low E. Try playing an open C or A chord with your thumb lightly touching the low E. Works a treat and will be become automatic over time!
#24
Quote by baylewis
until your a little more advanced only use it for 5 note chords, eg the verse in californication by RHCP

No wonder I thought those chords were hard! I was using 4 fingers to get them all down, I did it too!
#25
Quote by StewieGriffin93
No wonder I thought those chords were hard! I was using 4 fingers to get them all down, I did it too!

??????
How the hell did you do that? With like a bar that doesn't touch high E?
#26
The only time I wrap my thumb around the neck is when bending. My legato playing style normally warrants me to have my thumb pretty central at the back of the neck.
All in all it's really what's most comfortable to you. Look at Eddie Van Halen for example, he used to hold the pick between his middle finger and thumb.
#27
Theres no one way to play a guitar. I use my thumb wrapped around to catch the E string sometimes sometimes its in the middle of the back of the neck. Whatever works for you. And it does work pretty good for muting the 6 string when playing some stuff.
#28
Also, the lower you have your guitar (the longer your band is), the more automatically you put your thumb over the fretboard.
#29
As stated before, Hendrix had large hands and long fingers... that and he was never taught right or wrong guitar playing coupled with drive, ambition and an incredible imagination, made possible those sounds in the 60s that just blew everyone away. While there are more technical players and such these days, Hendrix will still be the "tiger woods' of guitar for a long time to come. If your hands can do it and it's comfortable, then go for it, outside of the technical aspects of playing, it is all about feel.
#30
Quote by mfinnan101
The only time I wrap my thumb around the neck is when bending. My legato playing style normally warrants me to have my thumb pretty central at the back of the neck.
All in all it's really what's most comfortable to you. Look at Eddie Van Halen for example, he used to hold the pick between his middle finger and thumb.


Your style is exactly like me putting my thumb over the fretboard really helps with bends and vibratos, but when it comes to legatos I can't do hammer ons and pull offs as clean if I put my thumb over the fretboard, this is usually fine for me but I found that it slows me down alot if I have to switch my thumb back and forth between vibratos and legatos.
#31
Putting your thumb over the fret board inhibits better leverage for bending and vibrato, and also helps with the pinky.

However, I find it interferes with wider legato and gets annoying in the higher frets.
#32
Do what's comfortable. =]
"I've taken myself to the edges of life my way. And I'm still here."
#33
Quote by shammyshamsham
just do whatever's comfortable, my bass teacher always tried to get me to use all 4 fingers to fret, so i could play a whole scale without moving the actual position of my hand.
But i am way faster and much less sloppy playing with three fingers.
So in the long run it's better to do what's comfortable.


No, in the long run it's better to listen to your teacher, I am more comfotable playing smoke on the water than buckethead, that doesn't mean I'll just stick with SOTW and never try anything new.

Learn to use that pinky, you will love yourself for it later on. Practise makes perfect

On the thumb over the fretboard, I do it or bending and vibrato an occasionaly to fret bass strings, but with your thumb like that your stretching ability is severly impaired, so it wouldn't be a good idea to have it hooked over constantly.
Gear:
Gibson les paul Studio faded, modded Buckethead style (killswitch, 1 tone, 1 vol)
Taylor Big Baby 306-GB
Modded Cort KX-5, runaway (neck) and warthog (bridge)
Laney VC-15
Digitech Bad Monkey, EH Big Muff, crybaby JH-1
#34
Quote by Octavianus
No, in the long run it's better to listen to your teacher, I am more comfotable playing smoke on the water than buckethead, that doesn't mean I'll just stick with SOTW and never try anything new.

Learn to use that pinky, you will love yourself for it later on. Practise makes perfect

On the thumb over the fretboard, I do it or bending and vibrato an occasionaly to fret bass strings, but with your thumb like that your stretching ability is severly impaired, so it wouldn't be a good idea to have it hooked over constantly.

He's right. If you keep doing what you're comfortable doing, you shall suck forever. I don't like practicing (practising?) my technique every day, but I do it anyway, because if I only do what I'm comfortable doing, I'll never learn new things.

P.S. Dude you live like 6km from where I live.
Thomas hopes to not have offended anyone with this post. No responsibility whatsoever is taken for any spelling or grammar mistakes, should there be any.

last.fm
#35
Quote by harkkam
I've seen so many good players who keep most of their thumb wrapped around the fretboard and sticking out for example jimi hendrix keeps his thumb over the fretboard the whole time. I tried doing that and hitting all the strings except the top two. The low e and the other one (dont know what its called)Those two strings give me trouble when I keep my thumb over the fretboard, all my fingers seem to squash together and I lose flexabiltiy.

But I watch jimi hendrix play the song im learning with this thumb over.

Should I keep practicing with my thumb over, or should I just do whats comfortable for me.


Here's a tip to help remeber the strings

E very (Highest)
B unny
G ets
D runk
A fter
E aster (Lowest)
#36
Quote by Samothomas
He's right. If you keep doing what you're comfortable doing, you shall suck forever. I don't like practicing (practising?) my technique every day, but I do it anyway, because if I only do what I'm comfortable doing, I'll never learn new things.

P.S. Dude you live like 6km from where I live.


Yup, I am a student at uni in Nijmegen

On-topic, used to just use the techniques I was comfortable with, but since I started challenging myself I improved loads!
Gear:
Gibson les paul Studio faded, modded Buckethead style (killswitch, 1 tone, 1 vol)
Taylor Big Baby 306-GB
Modded Cort KX-5, runaway (neck) and warthog (bridge)
Laney VC-15
Digitech Bad Monkey, EH Big Muff, crybaby JH-1
#37


This is Jimi fretting C-major. He used to fret the fifth string (root note of the cord) with his index finger and barre the lower 4 strings with his pinky. He often muted the top string so he could strum every string (excluding the first one - because it wouldn't be Cmaj but C5 I believe ). His technique is largely based on his extraordinary hand physique (in my opinion, the most imortant thing in jimi's technique was string muting with his fretting hand - THAT was that made possible those defined hi-volume notes, as well as rythmic struming of those muted strings (in between the notes/riffs or sometimes simultaneously)...

P. S. Note that on this picture Jimi is actually playing a thicker neck - Gibson SG...
#39
I use my thumb with my PRS which has a fat neck. It's a habit I formed as a beginner and it helps to play a lot of hendrix stuff. Just do it every time you practice and eventually it will become something you do normally
Quote by Demonikk
+1 on everything phip said

Main Gear
PRS SE Custom
Jay Turser Strat
Classic 30
Effects
Beheringer Distortion pedal
Dunlop Cry Baby
DigiTech Bad Monkey
#40
I'm with AlucardZero. Use my thumb to dampen the lower strings on open chords. Haven't done it for a while now....joined a big band and am playing heaps of jazz, and haven't played an open chord for ages...