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> Using The Thumb
Nihilist1
post Jun 8 2012, 02:54 AM
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There is a popular blues Technique where people use their thumbs to play bass notes. I have been really good about leaving my thumb centered behind the neck since I have picked up the guitar, so my question is this, how did those of you who played with your thumb in the classical position break out and start using it to fret bass notes? it seems as though I lose a lot of the strength and coordination in my fingers since this is something I am definitely not used to.

Thanks in advance for your answers!


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PosterBoy
post Jun 8 2012, 06:25 AM
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I use it for the 3rd in the bass when playing a D shape chord


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 8 2012, 06:51 AM
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The "wrap around" technique with the thumb if perfectly valid for various uses. Blues, country, Bluegrass and Jazz all sometimes make use of this technique. I rarely employ it personally but I've seen it done to great effect on accoustic for example. I strongly believe that no techniques is "verbotten", but all should be employed with deliberate intent, not as a crutch if avoidable. Mastering the "center strategy" with the thumb in classical position is a really good habit to have. As a rule, it's a good place for the thumb, but rules wouldn't be rules without exceptions so if you find a good spot for the thumb, go for it!



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Ben Higgins
post Jun 8 2012, 11:15 AM
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It's a good technique for playing stuff like this:

E--------------------------
B--------------------------
G---5--------5------------
D---5--------5------------
A---------------------------
E------5--5-------5--5---

Check out PG using it for fretting 2 note shapes like this



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Nihilist1
post Jun 8 2012, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 8 2012, 10:15 AM) *
It's a good technique for playing stuff like this:

E--------------------------
B--------------------------
G---5--------5------------
D---5--------5------------
A---------------------------
E------5--5-------5--5---

Check out PG using it for fretting 2 note shapes like this



Thanks! I have been trying to use the technique to play Hendrix and SRV, but I am having issues since I am so 'good' with my thumb position.


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Alex Feather
post Jun 8 2012, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Jun 8 2012, 01:54 AM) *
There is a popular blues Technique where people use their thumbs to play bass notes. I have been really good about leaving my thumb centered behind the neck since I have picked up the guitar, so my question is this, how did those of you who played with your thumb in the classical position break out and start using it to fret bass notes? it seems as though I lose a lot of the strength and coordination in my fingers since this is something I am definitely not used to.

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Richie Blackmore used it a lot! Smoke on the water and Burn!





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SirJamsalot
post Jun 8 2012, 04:02 PM
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My volleyball coach told me once - you have 2 arms - why limit yourself to using only 1? (in regards to hitting).
I'll adapt that saying to guitar ~ you have 10 fingers, why limit yourself to using only 8? (you do have 10 right? haha.)

Before playing live, I rarely used my thumb ~ of course I was sitting down back then. When you start standing to play, your guitar is slung lower and your thumb becomes more available for use. You'll find it becomes quite natural to use it.The thumb in the middle of the neck works great for sitting classical style, but when you're on stage, it's a whole lot easier when your thumb is wrapped over the top of the neck.

cheers!



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Ben Higgins
post Jun 8 2012, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Jun 8 2012, 03:55 PM) *
Richie Blackmore used it a lot! Smoke on the water and Burn!


I was almost going to post this too ! biggrin.gif



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DeGroot
post Jun 8 2012, 05:58 PM
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I just started using the thumb "wrap around" in a jazz swing lesson. It is awkward at first for sure, but after a few weeks with some repetition its... its still weird. tongue.gif Really though, you'll start getting that coordination/strength with it if you keep at it for a while.


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