Skip to content
Grabbing it like a ...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Grabbing it like a Gorrilla ... or Jimi Style

14 Posts
13 Users
0 Likes
2,439 Views
geoo
 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2801
Topic starter  

I was at my lesson last night. We have been working on "Dust in the Wind" for the past three weeks. I have a difficult time switching between some of the chords and my instructor was noticing that I really grab the back of my neck tightly.

He went on a rant about how I need to loosen my grip. He asked me to place each finger on the first four frets and told me too look where my thumb was.. it was in the center of the neck and there was alot of room.

So I tried to play like that a bit and he asked how that felt. I told him it felt like the strings were out of place. After the rant he pointed to a poster of Jimi Hendrex who was play with his hand wrapped around the neck like I do.

But he told me that really i had two options. I cant continue to play like I do and I will probaby get used to playing that way. Or I can correct my method now and relearn it. But that sometimes relearning it takes longer than learning it correctly in the first place.

I am leaning towards playing the way I do. I dont know if that will make some harder chords difficult later in life or not but I am comfortable playing this way. But at the same time. I wanna be as good as I can be.

Any suggestions or opinions? LOL What am I saying.. this is GN of COURSE there are suggestions and opinions.

Geoo

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
Quote
LifeIsThought
(@lifeisthought)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 16
 

I know of some instructors who teach the elevated thumb position so you're ready to fret with your thumb if it comes up in a song, but others I know teach you to place the thumb at the center and directly between your middle and ring fingers so you can stretch your fingers further down the fretboard.

'I know that change means there's still hope. To show this world that I am whole.'


   
ReplyQuote
David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

Why make it an "either/or" choice? I know I've got a reputation for seeing the middle ground, but I'm a believer that you can do both and, perhaps more importantly, often have to do both - sometimes in the same song.

If you realize the differences between the two and practice using both in the appropriate context of playing, you will find yourself able to do it both ways. It's a matter of paying attention to what you're doing more than it is a "bad" position.

Just my thought, anyway.

Peace


   
ReplyQuote
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

David is correct, listen to him. You *must* be able to play with yoiur thumb behind the neck for many chords but need the thumb wrapped over to make proper bends and stuff like that. Learn both ways, learn to change between them.


   
ReplyQuote
Ricochet
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Yes, David's right. Use whichever position's appropriate for what you're doing.

Your teacher may have a classical guitar background. Those folks seem to think there's only one right way.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
rocker
(@rocker)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1128
 

yes sir reeee bob, david and argen are right, practice both ways, you want to be able to play with no limitations 8)

even god loves rock-n-roll


   
ReplyQuote
geoo
 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2801
Topic starter  

Yes, David's right. Use whichever position's appropriate for what you're doing.

Your teacher may have a classical guitar background. Those folks seem to think there's only one right way.

Ohh, actually he wasnt implying that there was only one way.. he's a jazz player at heart just FYI..

I guess I am the one that was trying to decide one way or the other.

Thanks for the replies

Geoo

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
ReplyQuote
Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

If you look at the opening chords of "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" - Am, Am/G, D/F# and F - the only way you CAN include that bassline is by using your thumb....mute the E string for the Am chord, so the open A string is the root note....thumb on 3rd fret of the bottom E for the Am/G, thumb on the 2nd fret of the bottom E for the D/F#, and from there it's fairly easy to play the F chord with your thumb on the root F note....

It's just one of those little tricks that's handy to have in your arsenal, I can think of other songs where the bass run is done with the thumb - Needle and the Damage Done, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, for instance - so I'd say learn to use the thumb, you never know when you'll need it!

Now if I could just get this pinkie to work properly......

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
ReplyQuote
corbind
(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

If I remember right, that song can be played by using the pinky and later the middle finger on the low E. I couldn't do it with my thumb.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
ReplyQuote
Mike
 Mike
(@mike)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2892
 

I consider both to be a tool just like hammer on's and alike.

Hammer on's (etc) help me get the sound I like.
Fretting hand position (baseball bat or thumb behind the neck) gives me the flexibility to get to the sounds I like.

Just another tool in the shed for me. :D

Mike


   
ReplyQuote
kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

from an instructor point of view:

thumb wrapped around is not something I have to ever worry about teaching. Everyone does that pretty naturally.

thumb behind the neck so that you can have some reach needs to be taught. So my "rule of thumb" in my lessons is that unless it's IN USE for fingering a chord, it belongs behind the neck.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
ReplyQuote
kent_eh
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

geoo, take a look at the thumb position that some of the famous players are using in many of GNer's avatars.
Or In this pic of Roy Orbison

Like pretty much everyone has said, it can be valid to have your thumb not glued to the middle of the neck all the time.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
ReplyQuote
maged farid hosny
(@maged-farid-hosny)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 19
 

hey all, i have a question about this subject.
i have been having trouble with my thumb to, i seem to place it straight on the top of the neck, not in he middle, so my hand is like hangin lightly from there, but it usually slides down to the middle, which is really frustrating because i end up losing my grip.
when i wrap my thumb around the neck, it makes movement around the neck a little harder, which makes put change my thumbs placement and it makes me lose my grip"AGAIN", and my finger span decreases greatly.
it seems like i cant find a good method for myself, please help me anyway you can :roll: :roll: :cry:

chuck taylor roks


   
ReplyQuote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

If you look at the opening chords of "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" - Am, Am/G, D/F# and F - the only way you CAN include that bassline is by using your thumb....mute the E string for the Am chord, so the open A string is the root note....thumb on 3rd fret of the bottom E for the Am/G, thumb on the 2nd fret of the bottom E for the D/F#, and from there it's fairly easy to play the F chord with your thumb on the root F note....

Vic

Actually Vic, this is a perfect example of do what works for you. As Dennis says above he can't play it with his thumb. And I find I can do it either way, or even as a hybrid -- not particularly a big deal, as I'm a long time player. But the idea that David and Arjen put forth -- learn as many methods as practical -- will serve any player well. Do that, and one day you will just "let your fingers decide what works best," without even thinking about it.

-Greg

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote