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Bending & the thumb

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(@hummerlein)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 168
Topic starter  

I see that proper thumb technique includes a thumb (fretting hand) resting on the back of the neck. A proper bending technique is a doorknob turning motion, coming from the wrist/forearm.

How is it possible to get good leverage using this thumb placement? Shouldn't the thumb be around the neck baseball bat style to do a good bend?


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

Personally I grip the neck like a bat yes, but (like so much to do with the guitar) it all comes down to what works for you, and what is best for the situation you are in.

I find that if I am going to be ending on a bend note then going into a chord (barre chord especially) then having the neck gripped like a bat can cause slower transition of all fingers.

On the other hand, if you're playing an extended solo, grip that neck like there's no tomorrow and bend away! :)

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@lummoxx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 47
 

I never really paid much attention to my thumb. Then I started doing exercises to start my learning how to solo, now I'm regularly venturing into the higher frets. Now my thumb is regularly in the way. Still trying to figure out what to do with it. :D Keeping it behind the neck, it's real hard to stretch to the 22nd fret, if I let go of the neck completely with it, I lose my "anchor", and it just seems wrong.

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Lummoxx
-Fender Stratocaster Splatter
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

'Proper' technique comes from playing fretboard notes... if you're playing something not available on the fretboard (like a bent note), it doesn't really apply.

My thumb moves higher when I'm bending notes.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@akflyingv)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 406
 

Sometimes i'll anchor mine on the back and sometimes depending where i'm at on the fretboard i'll just reach around and grip it like a baseball bat.


   
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(@nexion)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 525
 

The only time when I have thumb problems is when I am trying to barre three or more strings with my ring-finger and/or pinky because my thumb is usually parallel to the neck (which is far away from the ring-finger and pinky) creating little resistance to push against with said fingers.

So I just have to remember to bring my thumb up and in when barre-ing with pinky & ring-finger.

"That’s what takes place when a song is written: You see something that isn’t there. Then you use your instrument to find it."
- John Frusciante


   
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(@hummerlein)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 168
Topic starter  

Hmmm okay. I'll just keep bending away without paying attention to it then. :)


   
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