FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Apex Tube Matching

WD Music

Guitar Center

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Musician's Friend

Advertise here

Amplified Parts

MOD KITS DIY

Antique Electronics Supply

Jensen Loudspeakers

Sweetwater


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder

LOST YOUR PASSWORD?

......................................................................

   
FDP Jam
Calendar
Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Serious effort to use thumb on the E string

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Nov 26th, 2017 11:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Began today.. One of the things about my playing that would help is utilizing my thumb. I have 30 minutes in so far and it seems like I will improve quickly.

I was watching a YT demo of a classic vibe tele and the guy doing it was doing some chickin pickin style and I just started figuring it out.

Its fun.

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Nov 26th, 2017 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Arthritis does not like that too much, man that is smarts. eeee! Is there a doctor in the house?

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 2nd, 2017 04:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thumb over the top especially for the E string is something you'll never see a classical player do, because they have figured out the most ergonomic way to play the instrument. To me, thumb over the top, unless your strap is super low, is making an already ergonomically challenged instrument less ergonomic. I have tried to remain diligent about this in my jazz/rock endeavors because my dequervains will just ruin me if I do it. I have a hard time even using proper technique without being in pain, honestly.



langford
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**

Toronto, Canada

Dec 2nd, 2017 06:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Be careful, Frog. I was working on a bunch of Merle Travis tunes a few years back. Lots of thumb over the neck chord voicing. I was using a guitar with a stiff action and ended up giving myself a wicked case of tennis elbow. I couldn't play for weeks while I healed up... and still feel occasional twinges to this day.

If your start feeling strain, take a break.

(This message was last edited by langford at 10:16 PM, Dec 3rd, 2017)

Malcolm
Contributing Member
******

Edmond, OK

Dec 3rd, 2017 07:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow!
That's all.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Dec 3rd, 2017 10:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...Thumb over the top especially for the E string is something you'll never see a classical player do, because they have figured out the most ergonomic way to play the instrument..."

True enough, but as langford points out, there are some chord voicings that just can't be played without the left thumb. So one could say that classical players are limiting themselves by adhering to a rigid concept of good technique.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 3rd, 2017 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If a voicing can't be played without a thumb, I file it under voicings that do more harm than good. Though I have yet to come across a voicing that can't be played multiple ways anyway. Can I see an example?

But as two posters have mentioned above, it may not be worth it because of long term injuries incurred from such an unnatural position.

Thumb over is probably ok once in a blue moon, but if you are practicing it for any length of time, be careful.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 10:52 PM, Dec 3rd, 2017)

langford
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**

Toronto, Canada

Dec 3rd, 2017 08:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm with Achase. There are loads of ways to play chords. When I see voicings that cause strain, I figure out another way to play them. Once in a while, I'll have to settle for a voicing where I lose a note... but honestly, I'd rather be able to keep playing than blow it on being a stickler for couple of chord forms. (My tennis elbow was that bad. It hurt just to hold a guitar.)

FYI. I say this recognizing that what makes a difficult grip is going to be different for different players. Merle had a very long thumb. I don't, ergo the problem. I'm just saying 'be careful out there.'

(This message was last edited by langford at 03:54 PM, Dec 4th, 2017)

Dolemite

What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Dec 4th, 2017 07:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thumb on the right hand is critical if we're talking rockabilly.. did he mention the left hand thumb?

langford
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**

Toronto, Canada

Dec 4th, 2017 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good point, Dolemite! I saw the word "thumb" and went straight to "thumb over the neck"chords. Never had a problem with thumbpicking.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 4th, 2017 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

He mentioned neither the right or left, actually. I saw "serious effort on E string" and that made me thing thumb over. Never had serious effort for thumb picking...

If we are talking fingerpicking thumb, yea it can cause you some problems if you never really did much of that and you just up and start thumbpicking for an hour one day.

Dolemite

What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Dec 4th, 2017 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just curious. I can identify, I actually had trigger thumb surgery on my left thumb, not from that move particularly, but just playing a ton.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Dec 4th, 2017 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...Though I have yet to come across a voicing that can't be played multiple ways anyway. Can I see an example?..."

Here are a few. They're all from Merle Travis or Chet Atkins. These kinds of thumb chords show up a lot in fingerstyle guitar because of the necessity to keep an alternating bass or moving bass line going.

E A D G B e

4 x 4 4 3 4 ... E9/G#
3 3 2 2 3 3 ... C69/G
3 3 2 3 3 3 ... C9/G
6 x 8 6 8 0 ... Eb7b9/Bb
2 3 4 2 1 0 ... D9/F#

I've been playing thumb over chords for decades without problems, but I would agree that if they cause you pain you probably shouldn't use them.


Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 4th, 2017 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So while I do know that these chords are often played with a thumb, most are playable for me without the thumb, with exception of the D9 over F#,which I can barely even play WITH the thumb, and the Eb7b9/Bb which I would 9/10 voice differently anyway.

Then begs the questions, are these eighth note or staccato bass notes, or must they ring over when alternating? Because I can lift the third finger in many cases to alternate the bass.

One thing I have been practicing from my teacher that isn't exactly fun but is an alternative in many cases, is one fingertip for two strings.

Forefinger 1, middle 2, ring 3, pink 4

chord 4 x 4 4 3 4 ... E9/G#
fingering 2 x 3 3 1 4

chord 3 3 2 2 3 3 ... C69/G
fingering 2 2 1 1 3 3 or
fingering 2 2 1 1 3 4

chord 3 3 2 3 3 3 ... C9/G
fingering 2 2 1 3 3 3


6 x 8 6 8 0 ... Eb7b9/Bb - I would play

6 6 5 6 5 x or with the A on top for the #11.


2 3 4 2 1 0 ... D9/F# - you got me on this one. There are more ambitious folks who will curve the forefinger to get two adjacent strings for adjacent frets, but that is madness.

Different strokes. If the thumb will work, or if it's the only way, just make sure you ease into it. I have dequervains right at that thumb joint and wrist, so usually that's a no go.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Dec 4th, 2017 02:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I know some people can fret two strings with one finger and still have the next higher string ring clearly, but my fingers won't do that, the last joint just won't bend in that direction.

I guess the message is that how and what you play on a guitar is going to be affected by your unique physiology, there's no one size fits all.

Here, I'll let Clint...

...say it.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 4th, 2017 02:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yea. My fingers definitely don't like doing two strings per tip, but then again, lots of chords are uncomfortable in the beginning and some slow practice will certainly make it possible after some time. But physiology is the big key in the end.

It makes it difficult if you want to be available for every type of gig. Middle voices, finger styles, full voicing's with or without walking bass to accompany a horn player by yourself - upper voicings for playing with a horn and bass.

Same for piano of course, but I think the techniques to change those styles are a little more involved for guitar.

Ah well.

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Dec 4th, 2017 04:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not much of a finger picker here, my goal is to use my left thumb when chording where you only need to hit the E and A strings. The urgent pain went away the next day. I was trying to learn a BOC song and the guy teaching it used his thumb effortlessly to move between the F and G chords.

Primarily the F chord using the thumb at the first fret and the ring finger on the third fret. It will take a while like everything else. If I had bigger hands it would probably be easier.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
******

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Dec 8th, 2017 03:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was watching a Tommy Emanuelle vid the other day and he not only wraps his thumb over but also moves it up two frets without moving off his original chord. He said that it will work if you do it long enough. I've always wrapped my thumb over the top for the E string but I've never tried to move it up two frets. It will work but it sure doesn't feel good .

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Serious effort to use thumb on the E string




Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:




Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Furtkamp.com 
Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2018 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved