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thumb postion - behind or over?


(@velsing)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 34
Topic starter  

Hi

Just wanted some input on thumb position. I started playing on a classical guitar which has a wide neck so I found it easier to place the thumb in the middle of the back of the neck.

Now I have a accoustic guitar with a much narrower neck, and I am trying to place my thumb over the top of the neck. It is quite comfortable but sometimes the high e-string gets muted by the palm of my hand. Overall I'm just more used to keeping my thumb at the back, but I've seen most players play with the thumb over the top.

Should I change or just continue playing the way I always was?

Thanks


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

ultilize both techniques.
the high E mute from the palm means you are not sitting correctly. just sit up more.
the thumb over style is very useful for some chords and the thumb behind is essential for barre chords with your non classical guitar.

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 Jay1
(@jay1)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 47
 

the high E mute from the palm means you are not sitting correctly. just sit up more.

Is that true. Will give this a try when I get in. this is something I suffer from quite a lot. I hope thats right that all I need to do is sit up a bit. Fantastic :D


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(@niklas)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 248
 

I found that it's easier to play with your thumb over the neck for bending and to place the thumb on the middle of the neck is easier for really wide stretches, so I would say both positions are necessary. This mostly applies for electric guitar though where the neck is thinner. On my acoustic I always play with mu thumb on the middle of the neck.

"Talent is luck. The important thing in life is courage."


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

Thumb over is a pretty important, espescially when you want to form some chords that require you to fret notes with your thumb.


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(@bojack)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 33
 

The sound is what's important and also what you're comfortable with so try both. Do what you have to do to get the best sound without being too uncomfortable. But for some chords, as some others mentioned already, you might want to be able to use your thumb for the big E string.


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(@fah-q)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 103
 

i always play with my thumb over just because i played bass first but that position helps with bends and vibratos i also use thumb for the e and a strings for chords or picking notes


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(@decieved)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 56
 

ive been told that your thumb should behind the neck, but i personally dont think it matters. whatever is most comfortable for you


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

I play both ways. The thumb usually is behind the neck to play barre chords, but I hook it over the top of the neck for bends, vibrato, etc. and even for most open chords.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

If I'm playing open chords and then changing to barres, I find it easier to use my thumb....

ie, D to Bm.....

D......

E A D G B E
2 0 0 2 3 2 (thumb on bottom E string - that's the way I was taught!)

Bm.....

E A D G B E
2 2 4 4 3 2 (thumb on E and A strings.....

G to Bm is another tricky change, I always found it easier using a Barre G at the 3rd fret and a barre Bm at the 2nd - thumb fretting the bass notes in each case.....

just my way of doing it - then again, I have big hands, so it's no trouble stretching.....

: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.)


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(@kachman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 155
 

I play both ways, but I think having your thumb behind is the "proper" way to do it as it gives more clearance between your palm and the string and also makes the fingers (pinky especially) more mobile. Most people pull the thumb over cos its more comfortable, and its a habit you can work with rather than a hinderance. if you've got classical training and put your thumb behind, you're good. you don't "have" to use your thumb for fretting.

K

http://www.kachilive.com

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


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