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> Thumb Positioning
Kristian Hyvarin...
post Nov 28 2009, 12:41 PM
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Hi guys,

now I'm quite lost here. I have been playing guitar with my thumb being quite high, usually a bit above the fretboard so that you can see it "peeping" from the other side. Yesterday I read a GMC Wiki article about thumb positioning, and it said that the thumb should be placed in the middle of the guitar neck, preferably a little lower, too.

So I started practicing that, but then I realised that there are many possibilities how I can place my thumb in the middle of the guitar neck. How should I do this? Photographs would be an extremely good help!

And finally, for example in this lesson it can be clearly seen that Mr. Lavendell's thumb is far from the middle of the guitar's neck. How come the thumb should be placed in the middle, then? Or is Mr. Lavendell's thumb positioning incorrect?

Yep, I'm quite lost. biggrin.gif

-Kristian

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: Nov 28 2009, 12:54 PM
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Emir Hot
post Nov 28 2009, 01:44 PM
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If you're a classical player your thumb should be positioned in the middle. Every classical teacher will tell you that. That allows you to do big stretches and they claim that's the right way. Some modern shredders use that approach and I think it comes from that classical background. On the other side you have rock and blues players that position their thumb way above the neck. This allows you to have more grip for rock licks and bends. Vibrato also depends a lot on how you position your thumb. I personally use many ways. When I am playing some very fast stuff then my thumb is more towards the middle. When I am more into rock licks it instantly goes above the neck and I don't think much about it. In the end it is only important that you get the good sound out of your guitar smile.gif


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Sollesnes
post Nov 28 2009, 02:04 PM
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You shouldn't put too much thought into placing your thumb. It'll move by itself when you do different things with your other fingers. smile.gif You cant' do big stretches with your thumb placed over the fretboard, and you can't do wide bends with the thumb in the middle, and moving your thumb around will give you different vibratos. Of course you eventually can.. but it would take unneccesary effort for little results.tongue.gif
Don't limit yourself, but try it all biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Nov 28 2009, 02:06 PM
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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Nov 28 2009, 03:21 PM
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Thanks guys!! smile.gif I'm really grateful!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 28 2009, 03:59 PM
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lots of useful info here, just want to add that thumb positioning is relative to things you play. It is not a strict rule to keep it on the back side of the neck. The right thing to say is: keep the thumb in constant motion relative to what fingers are doing on the other side. Like Emir said, playing some fast runs needs fingers to run freely on the other side. In this situation, thumb should be on the middle or lower part of the back side of the neck, and very lightly pressing. When playing bends, it is good to grip the neck nicely, when you play the chords, it is good to press nicely with the thum the back side of the neck in order to support fingers.
So the point is: don't anchor the thumb on the upper side of the neck, move it as the fingers move, it is very straighforward and fluid motion - if you practice slowly you will clearly see how the thumb moves.


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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 29 2009, 02:49 AM
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Agreed with Emir and Ivan. You need the flexibility to be able to play on both positions and shift between them easily. So when you need any of them you can be comfortable playing.

That's the most important thing I think, to be comfortable.



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Marcus Siepen
post Nov 29 2009, 11:03 AM
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I also agree with Emir and Ivan, I even tend to use my thumb to hold down notes and play chords like that, if you check out my lessons I am sure you will see me playing like that from time to time wink.gif


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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Nov 30 2009, 01:05 AM
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Emir already said it and explained. There isn't only 1 position where you should put your thumb. You will note when you need to put your thumb on the middle of the fretboard, or above.


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Gerardo Siere
post Dec 2 2009, 04:37 PM
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A few things about thumb: 1) You press the strings using more the wheight from your whole arm than just the streng of your fingers.
2) The placing of the thumb depends of what are you plaing and the whole placement of the left arm and the guitar.
3) It is important however to knaow whats the thumb doing like any other finger.
4) When jumping with the left arm release the thumb from the neck don´ñt kepp it dragging down your hand.
5) Check the placements of bpoth hands on the ir (yeah with no guitar) so you can test that you put both arms in such a position that is not uncomfortable. Don´t start in positions that requieres strenght before the start.


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