#1
most of the time when i play guitar the joints on my left hand thumb hurts.. even just playing the pentatonic scale am I playing wrong?.. I've been playing guitar for about 4 months now..
#2
How much pressure are you putting on the back of the neck? You should not use any more force than neccisary to hold the neck in place where you want and press the strings only enough to clearly ring the notes. Any extra force you use is causing uneeded tension and could cause your thumb to get sore. Take minute and think about how hard you are gripping and fretting. Its not going to feel totally natural at 4 months so this is normal. Once you are aware of it you can practice to play with a lighter feel.

I cant really give any other advice than that without seeing you play. If it hurts real bad dont injure yourself give it a rest.
#3
do you have some sort of arthritis or other types of inflammations? that could be a prob as well as the amount of tension you're creating with your thumb too.
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#4
What size are your hands? I mean, are they particularly small or large?

Don't worry, I don't have a hand fetish or anything

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#5
nah I dont have arthritis.. I'm 15 :p I have an average 15yr old hand..

I'm not pushing hard either.. maybe I'm doing it wrong?.. can someone show me the right thumb position?

thanks for the replies.
#6
There is no 'right' thumb position... some teachers will say 'do it like this', but they're just idiots with an opinion. Personally, I put my thumb over the top, I can play notes on the low E with it, or just leave it hanging, then put it lower when I'm playing leads on the thinner strings.

You should ask your doctor, if it makes it too hard to play.
#7
hmm I tried playing with the thumb over the top, it's feels kinda odd.. but it doesn't hurt anymore, but the problem is when I need to use some barre chords :P anyway thanks for the tip.
#8
Quote by slickerthnsleek
There is no 'right' thumb position... some teachers will say 'do it like this', but they're just idiots with an opinion. Personally, I put my thumb over the top, I can play notes on the low E with it, or just leave it hanging, then put it lower when I'm playing leads on the thinner strings.

You should ask your doctor, if it makes it too hard to play.


yeah, theres no such thing as proper technique

AliceInChains pretty much has it dead on here. don't listen to slickerthnsleek. you can play with your thumb over the top, thats one way but it limits how far your hand muscles will go due to how your musculature in your hand is designed.

when i play bar chords for extended periods of times my thumb might get a little sore from pressing down. you might be pressing down too hard on your fingers (not thumb) which in turn can require you to press down real hard on your thumb to make the "grip" used for playing guitar. if your strings are set high or are too thick of a gauge for the muscles in your hand you may want to see about having this changed.

as example i use standard gauge 56-13 for my acoustic and i have the strings dropped low to accomodate for this, i use 70-13 for my electric and i find it easier to play my electric as the strings are a little closer on my electric than my acoustic.
Last edited by z4twenny at Sep 17, 2008,
#9
Quote by slickerthnsleek
There is no 'right' thumb position... some teachers will say 'do it like this', but they're just idiots with an opinion. Personally, I put my thumb over the top, I can play notes on the low E with it, or just leave it hanging, then put it lower when I'm playing leads on the thinner strings.

You should ask your doctor, if it makes it too hard to play.

+1 my thumb could be over the top for bends or muting or grabbing bassnotes on the E finger picking or on the middle of the back of the neck for alt picking leads so I doubt theres a diffinative correct thumb placement.

^Z4twenny he wasnt advocating that one should always have the thumb over the top he ment it varies depending on the specific parts that your playing.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Sep 17, 2008,
#10
^ oh ok, thats fair enough. i did say that thumb over the top was one way and for certain things you need it there. but i figure its good to know how to do it both ways without hurting yourself i think it would be pretty hard to do power chords on the low E with your thumb over the top unless you have giant hands or a tiny guitar
#11
I don't know if this is what's happening to the thread starter, but in my early years I held the neck to tightly, Then when I changed positions on the neck, my thumb would kind of get dragged into the new position, rather then nicely gliding there. This resulted in some pain for me.
#12
Well first thing i'd suggest, if you don't already, is hold your guitar on the left leg. You then don't have to support the weight of the guitar, because the way it's held between both legs, it should stay perfectly in the same position if you let go. Also what I found is that in the first few months, the joints in my thumb and the muscle in the arch between the forefinger and thumb would get really sore. It seems to just be some muscle building in those areas though. Mine is hard as rock now.
#13
STRETCH!!!!!! STRETCH!!!!! THEN STRETCH MORE!!!!!

This is the most overlooked aspect of practicing that will absolutely prevent issues down the road, such as tendinitis. You should be stretching for a solid five minutes each hand before any sort of serious practice session or show. It will also help you to warm up MUCH more quickly.

You should also continue to stretch throughout your practice session and then again afterwards. Do not ignore this advice.
#15
Quote by ouchies
Also it could just be muscles developing.

Agreed. This is most likely the case, but stretching is key to preventing it from eventually being something else.
#16
hmm I admit I kinda forget stretching will do it from now on.... but I noticed something when I play longer I don't feel the sore.. like after 30 mins of playing.. but if i stop and play again it hurts again..

I played like 3 hours like non-stop yesterday I feel good lol first time to play that long.. but like i said after 30 mins or so the sore is gone..

this is weird..
#17
Quote by /-\liceNChains
+1 my thumb could be over the top for bends or muting or grabbing bassnotes on the E finger picking or on the middle of the back of the neck for alt picking leads so I doubt theres a diffinative correct thumb placement.

^Z4twenny he wasnt advocating that one should always have the thumb over the top he ment it varies depending on the specific parts that your playing.


Yeah, z4twenny, I was just stating what *I* do, wasn't saying he should do it. I know a lot of people that can't stretch their thumbs that far. Was just an example. ^_^
#18
Quote by Pat_s1t
Well first thing i'd suggest, if you don't already, is hold your guitar on the left leg. You then don't have to support the weight of the guitar, because the way it's held between both legs, it should stay perfectly in the same position if you let go. Also what I found is that in the first few months, the joints in my thumb and the muscle in the arch between the forefinger and thumb would get really sore. It seems to just be some muscle building in those areas though. Mine is hard as rock now.

+1 Playing on your left leg with good posture also puts you closer to the position you would be if you were standing than the right leg. So it will be easier for him to start playing standing when he trys.