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happy thumb

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(@smokehouse)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 525
Topic starter  

have you got a happy thumb :D i was trying out some guitars in a local store a while back and the assistant was watching me play and said what i was playing really good but i could improve it if i kept my thumb behind the neck and not stuck up over the neck, he said we call that happy thumb :shock: so these past months i have been keeping it behind the neck most of the time..guess what! he,s right :D playing has improved notes are on target most of the time,the hardest thing is changing you habits.

:WHO INVENTED WORK SHOULD COME BACK AND FINISH THE JOB OFF: http://www.soundclick.com/bartin


   
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(@metallicaman)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 312
 

Hmm never thought about it. I only really put my thumb way up high sticking up on this one arpeggio postion in the song Fade to black by metallica and i am definatly going to try out keeping my thumb on the low profile. Lol. Hopefully your right, I am really looking towards improving my skills any way i can. Thanks for the idea smoke :)

Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Sorry, but I disagree. Thumb behind or over the neck are two different positions you'll both need to use, depending on what you're playing. For example, try doing a full bend, keep the string bended and do a wide vibrato. Impossible with the humb behind the neck; People like Gilmour and Clapton aren't fools, they had their thumb wrapped over for a reason. Hendrix didn't use his thumb for cosmetic purposes either, using your thumb for the sixth or even fithh string is a very usefull skill to learn.

My advice: go tell that clerk that he needs some lessons himself. There is not one perfect position for your thumb.


   
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(@smokehouse)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 525
Topic starter  

ok, there are times i use thumb to do chord stuff and some other riffs, but i play ragtime and fingerstyle blues and i found in the main the boy was right, guess its a case of what works for you [or rather me ] i will say on picking it helps to keep fingers bang on target for nice clear notes. :wink:

:WHO INVENTED WORK SHOULD COME BACK AND FINISH THE JOB OFF: http://www.soundclick.com/bartin


   
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(@amnesia)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 58
 

Even though my hards are pretty big (not massive like a lot of guitarists) I still use my thumb to reach over the top and play bottom E to make basslines etc...

//--Amnesia--

Gutiars: Sheraton II | Yamaha APX-7A | Taylor 510CE-LTD
Equipment: Hiwatt 40 Amp | Switch Pedal | Zoom 200 FX Pedal
Piano: Roland 236


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

It definitely depends on what genre you play, and also on what guitar. For example a classical guitar has a much wider fretboard, you will often need the thumb behind to get the stretch you need. On my superstrat the neck is superslim so I don't need the advantages of the thumb behind the neck. If you play classical (a genre not known for it's bends) having the thumb over as an anchor is useless, playing blues with the thumb behind will hold you back. It really depends on what you do, how you want to do it, how your hands are formed and what guitar you're playing.

But anyway, practicing with the thumb behind is an excellent idea, and breaking habits is a pain in the back. So good luck. :)


   
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(@simonhome-co-uk)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677
 

heh, well I used to have great technique - thumb way round beind neck, shredding away accurately, untill I started getting a reccuring repetitive strain injury. So now after 2.5 months out of playing I now use the thumb a little over the neck so that my wrist isnt constantly curved in...
I found after all that time out I've lost sooo much of my speed n accuracy :cry: But i figure hey - if the likes of Vai, Paul Gilbert, Malmsteen and Becker can play fast with their thumb clearly over the neck so can I! But err, I do agree that behind the neck is better regardless. Maybe I'll post in a month or so on how the two positions compare...


   
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(@whoelse)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 110
 

Lot's of additional discussion on thumb placement in this thread...

https://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=22968


   
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