homepage   sevenstring guitars   sevenstring registry   photo gallery   subscription   spy 
Sevenstring.org - The Seven String Guitar Authority
Go Back   SevenString.org > Music Discussion > Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques
Heritage Guitar Talk - Click here! LIKE SS.org on Facebook FOLLOW SS.org on Twitter
  
Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques Discussions on Theory, member submitted lessons, practice regimens and everything else.

Like Tree7Likes
  • 2 Post By FarBeyondMetal
  • 1 Post By Dayn
  • 2 Post By Solodini
  • 1 Post By Aerospace274
  • 1 Post By Splinterhead

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
Dat boy
 
Ibanezrg560's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 11
Thanked: 0
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Left hand technique opinions

I've been wondering since i started playing about 3 years ago what the "proper" technique for the fretting hand is. I usually play rhythm and low strings with my thumb on the back of the neck and switch to thumb over the neck for leads. What confused me is seeing a video of Chris Broderick playing for megadeth and he had his thumb on the back of the neck constantly and his technique looks incredibly efficient to me. When i tried this though, my wrist would always come into an odd angle and it was uncomfortable, so i stopped for fear of injury . I eventually want to play 7 or 8 string and it seems like fretting hand technique is alot more important than on a 6.

Please give your insight on what you think is right!
thanks in advance, sorry if this has already been mentioned, i searched it and couldn't find anything.
Ibanezrg560 is offline   Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Unread 05-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
SS.org Regular
 
FarBeyondMetal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Southeastern MB
Posts: 274
Thanked: 3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Chris Broderick has impeccable technique...anything that man does is done for a reason. I was taught to play guitar with my thumb placed on the middle to lower (closer to the floor) of the neck when playing lead. This has always worked for me and has grown to be very comfortable. I like this technique because it allows your fingers to be at the right angle for fretting notes. This especially works for me since I have smaller hands
But on the flip side, Buckethead plays a lotta the time with his thumb hooked over the neck, since he has ginormous hands!
When it comes time to bend strings, there are times when I hook my hand over the top of th neck to really get leverage and shake the .... outta the vibrato.
It just takes some practice...start off slow as with any new technique and remember never, ever play through pain
PetrucciVai and Solodini like this.
FarBeyondMetal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
not quite a shredder
 
VBCheeseGrater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hampton Roads
Posts: 3,720
Thanked: 63
Feedback Score: 7 reviews
I do both, even on a 7. I figured i would be behind the neck full-time with the wider neck but it didn't work out that way. I do have pretty large hands. I switch constantly depending on what i'm playing, its all subconscious. As long as it's not sloppy, i think its all good. I'm not sure about health benefits of either, but the poster above gives good advice on that.

ICEMAN IC400, RG921F-BK,ARZ307, RG652
Hafler T3, POD HD Pro, Mesa 50/50, 3xDiavlo V30 1x12 Cabs
VBCheeseGrater is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2012, 02:02 AM   #4
SS.org Regular
 
Santuzzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Posts: 4,124
Thanked: 78
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'd say learn to use both. In some situations the more classical position of the left hand works better, and in others the 'thumb-over-top-of-neck' position works better.

I personally use the classical position for something like scale runs, but when I play lots of bends I prefer having my thumb over the neck.

my website - free licks - some of my music

I offer online guitar lessons on Skype in different styles. Send me a PM if interested.

Santuzzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2012, 02:45 AM   #5
silly person
 
Dayn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 1,180
Thanked: 4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'm self-taught, and for some reason I started playing in the classical position with my thumb on the back of the neck. I've never changed since. I only have my thumb over the neck if I'm zonked out on the floor, inefficiently fumbling around because I'm a lazy arse and too out of it to bother with proper technique.

So yeah, that's about it. My wrist isn't affected at all, because it's barely bent with the way I play.
Solodini likes this.

...?!
Dayn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2012, 05:50 AM   #6
MORE RESTS!
 
Solodini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: East Lothian, Scotland.
Posts: 3,178
Thanked: 26
Feedback Score: 0 reviews


If your wrist is at a weird angle, pull your elbow back/push the guitar forward.
Eptaceros and FarBeyondMetal like this.


Check out my book: "Playing Guitar Musically: A Guide to Creativity on Guitar & Bass"
Buy the full book here. eBook - 5. Physical copies also available.
http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/4063031-post14.html
PM me if you want to discuss it or just fancy a chat.

I also give lessons over Skype, and within the Lothians.
Solodini is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
Scotty G!
 
Aerospace274's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mankato, MN
Posts: 240
Thanked: 3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Yeah, "proper" technique for fretting would be thumb straight down the back of the neck with a straight wrist. Thumb placement is less important than having your wrist straight as a board. If you bend your wrist it can increase tension on the tendons going through the carpals and it can cause tendonitis and or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Solodini likes this.

-I'm an 8 string guitarist, not an 8th string guitarist.

-Music is an expression of emotion, not a challenge of who can play faster or who can tune lower.
Aerospace274 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
Sojourner
 
Splinterhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 1,387
Thanked: 26
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Another variable that may come into play is how the guitar is sitting on your lap. I find that using the "classical position" (guitar between the legs) is much more comfortable and allows much easier positioning of the wrist/thumb. I bring my thumb up and around if I have to mute my lowest string. Other than that it pretty much sits behind the neck opposite of my middle finger.
Solodini likes this.
Splinterhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
Dragonblade629
 
Hemi-Powered Drone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sunrise, FL
Posts: 3,336
Thanked: 36
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I tend towards having my thumb around the neck, especially when playing a six string, because I have rather large hands and also for when I mess around with hybrid picking or finger picking so I can thumb notes on the lower strings while playing a melody on the higher strings in an amateurish imitation of George Van Eps.

Another technique, I sort of took it after Buckethead, is when tapping moving my hand around the neck and playing with it overhand, as I find it easier, especially on long stretches. I've heard of some people using this style at all times but haven't actually seen it and don't exactly find it comfortable. Also note that some people find tapping overhand to be pretentious, so if you care about that ...., beware.
Hemi-Powered Drone is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-07-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
SS.org Regular
 
mindwalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 349
Thanked: 3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'm self taught and came to find a good balance between the 2 ways (thumb behind neck, thumb over neck). I'm not anywhere a great player or anything but I realize that for fast leads it helps me to have the thumb low and behind the neck.. when I do this, the rest of the fingers can rest closer to the strings and therefore it's easier to play precise runs. When having the thumb over the neck the hand angle slight changes and the fingers have to travel more to hit the strings = sloppier playing.

But yeah I also have short hands so helps me reach farther frets with the thumb behind the neck too. It's a matter of getting used to it..

For hard bends with vibrato.. thumb over the neck most of the times!!
mindwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Our Network: PRS Guitar Forum | Luthier Forum | SG Guitar Forum | Les Paul Forum | Marshall Amp Forum | Acoustic Guitar Forum

SS.org proudly supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Copyright © 2004-2015, SevenString.org. All Rights Reserved.