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> REQ: A shredders thumb
MickeM
post Feb 2 2007, 06:03 AM
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I need a lesson on left hand technique.

Especially on what's going on BEHIND the neck with the thumb. I've been playing blues and rock for too long and hence I even allow myself to bend my thumb over the top for muting, like holding a baseball bat or something. I also got this angled left hand blues grip if you know what I mean. For shredding I'm straightening up the hand... but how should I work with the thumb?

* When moving from up to down (think E string towards thin E strin). Should the thumb also move downwards?

* When moving to the side? Should the thumb be positioned on 12'th fret E f.ex when soloing in E, or place it behing the 14'th fret if the run is towards the higher frets or what?

* When on the thin strings, should the thumb be on the down side of the neck, in the middle or what?

I'm lost on this, nothing feels comfortable to me so trying to judge by what feels good doesn't cut it for me.


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j78
post Feb 2 2007, 05:56 PM
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This is a really good question...
I'm in the same spot as Micke. I tend to hold my thumb on top of the neck many times, because that's the way I've been holding my thumb until now.

//J78
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Zee Deveel
post Feb 2 2007, 05:38 PM
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It's only recently occured to me how important thumb position is. There are a few licks that I struggled to play in songs even though I knew I was capable of playing them, it's just come down to needing moving my thumb either further down or over the neck.


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Josiah
post Feb 3 2007, 01:32 AM
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This is a very good question, and kind of hard to answer! That is because with all the "trick" guitar techniques today, the thumb can be found positioned in all kinds of places! However, I feel that consistency of thumb placement during practicing fundemental techniques is extremely important for skill advancement.

Basically, I use only two thumb positions for playing single note lines. This works very well for me.

The first is the "classical" position, used for playing any type of scale. The thumb contact point is in the center of the neck and the thumb is perpendicular to the neck. The thumb position does not change as I play scales across the neck, it remains in the center of the neck. However if I am playing up and down the neck, the thumb slides with the position shifts and stays relative to the area somewhere behind and between the first and second fingers.

The second position is used exclusivly for bending and vibrato. The thumb comes up and slightly over the neck. How much it comes over, or if at all, will depend on the size of your hand and the size of your neck.

Watch videos of great players and study how they do it, then find a way that works well for you.
I hope this helps in some way.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Feb 3 2007, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (Josiah @ Feb 3 2007, 01:32 AM) *
The first is the "classical" position, used for playing any type of scale. The thumb contact point is in the center of the neck and the thumb is perpendicular to the neck. The thumb position does not change as I play scales across the neck, it remains in the center of the neck. However if I am playing up and down the neck, the thumb slides with the position shifts and stays relative to the area somewhere behind and between the first and second fingers.

The second position is used exclusivly for bending and vibrato. The thumb comes up and slightly over the neck. How much it comes over, or if at all, will depend on the size of your hand and the size of your neck.


This exactly what I would say about it - in fact, that's probably all I would say about it!


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RIP Dime
post Feb 4 2007, 06:13 AM
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I have no problem with thumb position when sitting down, but when playing standing up I have tons of problems doing big streches(just realised I'm not sure how to spell that tongue.gif ) on the low strings, I've been pulling the guitar up onto my knee to do them but it's pretty inefficient, and I don't like strapping the guitar up to my chin. huh.gif


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MickeM
post Feb 5 2007, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (Josiah @ Feb 3 2007, 01:32 AM) *
However if I am playing up and down the neck, the thumb slides with the position shifts and stays relative to the area somewhere behind and between the first and second fingers.

Thanks! I will try it out.


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Steelkonsum
post Feb 7 2007, 11:06 AM
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QUOTE
I have no problem with thumb position when sitting down, but when playing standing up I have tons of problems doing big streches(just realised I'm not sure how to spell that ) on the low strings, I've been pulling the guitar up onto my knee to do them but it's pretty inefficient, and I don't like strapping the guitar up to my chin.


hehe right there with you. When playing standing up I could probably fret the D string with my thumb by just putting it down laugh.gif


Gotta work on that!

This post has been edited by Steelkonsum: Feb 7 2007, 11:06 AM
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Zee Deveel
post Feb 7 2007, 02:31 PM
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I play with my guitar around my stomach area when standing up, so fairly high. It's just too hard to play if you have it hanging down by your cock.


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InstruMental Cas...
post Feb 7 2007, 03:57 PM
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I would add one thing to what Josiah wrote… sometimes in order to achieve wider stretches (maybe while practicing 4-notes-per-string exercises) you need to bring your thumb lower down the neck (closer to the thin/high E string).

But generally the uniform position is resting your thumb in line with your middle finger, and sometimes going over the top for a bend/vibrato/mute.


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Ragnar the Awful
post Feb 22 2007, 01:38 AM
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QUOTE (RIP Dime @ Feb 4 2007, 12:13 AM) *
I have no problem with thumb position when sitting down, but when playing standing up I have tons of problems doing big streches(just realised I'm not sure how to spell that tongue.gif ) on the low strings, I've been pulling the guitar up onto my knee to do them but it's pretty inefficient, and I don't like strapping the guitar up to my chin. huh.gif


Likewise, I'm in this spot, too. My current technique is just trying to consciously pay attention to what my hand looks like sitting down (reasonably better playing style than standing up), and trying to do the same standing up. I think it might just come down to practice and getting used to it. Most guitar players when learning are just naturally sitting down so much more often when playing, when we try to strap on a guitar and stand it's so unnatural. I hate that tongue.gif


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