View Poll Results: Thumb over neck?

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147. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yeah, why not?

    94 63.95%
  • No, it stays behind the neck

    53 36.05%
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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeSF
    There is no "wrong" way when it comes to finger technique. Anything that gets the job done is fair game.
    This statement is obviously right, but the catch (and this is also obvious) is that when learning to play the guitar a kid should learn a 'right' technique. My son has lessons (on a spanish guitar) and this thumb-technique is not considered a right way to play. It's not even considered at all . . .

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  3. #102

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    If I had it to do all over again, and I was physically capable of using my thumb that way, I'd do it.

    It allows you to play chords you couldn't otherwise play. That's huge.

    Has anybody here never had the idea to play a bass note with your nose? It doesn't work well, but you have the idea when you want to hear a low note you can't reach with your hand.

    Occasionally, in Eb, I'll end a tune with a descending run and, for the last note, detune the low E.

    Jose Neto's white guitar has a lever that lowers the low E to D.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 08-25-2020 at 03:07 PM.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    This statement is obviously right, but the catch (and this is also obvious) is that when learning to play the guitar a kid should learn a 'right' technique. My son has lessons (on a spanish guitar) and this thumb-technique is not considered a right way to play. It's not even considered at all . . .
    When a kid starts out it's good to set some ground rules re posture, left/right hand technique etc. because it serves to produce a good tone and prevents back/shoulder/tendonitis problems in the future - it should also be clear that these "rules" are NOT cast in stone but rather serve as a guidance , to be "bent" or even discarded in later years. When I studied classical guitar as a kid (12) I adapted to the traditional posture etc. but as soon as I got my first steelstring guitar (14) and a flatpick I learned to adapt again. Same story with my first electric guitar (16) - by then I knew that the tone begins in your head and your right hand has to try to make it happen, one way or the other, with a pick or with your fingers. Re the "thumb over" technique I first noticed that when I watched Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Havens in the Woodstock movie and the dam broke when I got a gig in a dance band that played dance tournaments , looooong nights of practically non-stop playing and several nights in a row. I had to find a way to save energy and avoid a raw lefthand index finger so using my thumb for the bass notes (only when needed) and generally reducing the number of notes in the chord to the minimum was the way to go, to this day. I developed a callous on my left thumb because of it but that's ok ....

  5. #104

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    There's no single right way to play guitar - just more or less dogmatic doctrines. Ha, says someone who went through a successful, but hidebound classical violin school (Otakar Sevcik)!
    Like most human-related things, human anatomy, here the left thumb, is bound to a Gauss-Poisson distribution, i.e., it varies.

    You can fret the notes with any finger. Just keep in mind that the thumb is the only opponent two-part finger, thus a bit more limited in its motion range, and more prone to chronic joint and tendon disorders. The thumb is also exposed to higher load-bearing, that's why it is generally the thickest of our fingers.
    So be gentle to the thumb, listen to your body (thumb), it will tell you after some time of training whether it'll endure without fuss what you're demanding from it, or not!



    Even if all the fingers won't be able anymore to fret the strings, some creative characters were able to help themselves:



    This may sound like raw music to some ears, but it often fulfills the function of music better, i.e., to express feelings through emotions and to address listeners, than virtuoso high-speed fretters with smooth, polished fretting techniques can achieve.
    Of course, this is no statement of denying the learning of an established guitar technique in the initial period, quite the contrary: some great teachers are out there!