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Hooking the thumb?

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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

So is muting the high strings with the thumb all that bad?

Just to keep it clear, muting the "high strings" is actually muting the 6th or possibly 5th string. Although they are the closest to your face, they are actually called the lowest strings (low in frequency compared to others).

"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."


   
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(@bennettp)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
 

I use my thumb as part of my normal playing. I use it even for my "barre" chords, I usually just mute the 5th string with the tip of my thumb, and play the rest of the chord with my other fingers. I started out using it last month when my Guitar Club supervisor/teacher said he wrapped his thumb around when his hand got tired, so I tried it, and I just use it all the time now, although I started out using it for 7ths and minor 7ths (5x565x or the minor being 5x555x) and just used the thumb for the bass. I guess it's just personal liking.

-Bennett


   
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(@houndog)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 21
 

Hello,
I thought hooking the thumb on this thread meant using it to fret the low E string, this is a technique I am trying on acoustic as it allows alt bass in G for example.
The real benefit for me is that I can play lead/melody on the high string whilst keeping a bass pattern on the low.

But I suppose this is mostly a acc rather than elec technique , although I always though Jimi used his thumb to form partial barre shapes.

adios,
Lovat

..play it..I just hit the damn thing...

Groovecats...The dawg at the bottom end

Houndog Fraser sliding about


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

Hello,
I thought hooking the thumb on this thread meant using it to fret the low E string, this is a technique I am trying on acoustic as it allows alt bass in G for example.
The real benefit for me is that I can play lead/melody on the high string whilst keeping a bass pattern on the low.

But I suppose this is mostly a acc rather than elec technique , although I always though Jimi used his thumb to form partial barre shapes.

adios,
Lovat
It's pretty common for electric players too.

Here's a couple of guys to demonstrate:

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


   
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(@houndog)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 21
 

Hello,
nice one Kent. That G position is a natural place both in that barre and the non-barre position ( what is that called ?)

I don't find it easy and I am wary of using my thumb to fret as it does stretch tendons for me and can get uncomfortable.

But at the end of the day it is another tool in the box .

adios,
Lovat

..play it..I just hit the damn thing...

Groovecats...The dawg at the bottom end

Houndog Fraser sliding about


   
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(@globetro)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 75
Topic starter  

So it sounds like hooking the thumb is just a matter of preference. I guess for me, I am not blessed with long fingers, so hooking the thumb doesn't work well for me. I actually find it's pretty hard for me to go between the hooking and not hooking... for example, if I've been practicing a section of a song with my thumb behind the neck, and then I try to play that same section with my thumb hooked over, I can't play it nearly as well.


   
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(@bennettp)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
 

So it sounds like hooking the thumb is just a matter of preference. I guess for me, I am not blessed with long fingers, so hooking the thumb doesn't work well for me. I actually find it's pretty hard for me to go between the hooking and not hooking... for example, if I've been practicing a section of a song with my thumb behind the neck, and then I try to play that same section with my thumb hooked over, I can't play it nearly as well.

Like everything new, it's gunna' take some getting used to, and some practice. Like if you've been fingerpicking for a long time, and then pick up a pick, it might be a little bit weird, don't ya' think?
So just keep at it, it shouldn't take more than a couple days to get used to it, or at least that's how long it took me to get used to it. Keep tryin'!

-Bennett


   
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