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#1: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 22:43:50 by Max Leggett

I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
guitar students.

I'm watching Peter Bernstein's DVD - v nice, btw - and his left hand is
wrong. Tsk tsk! LOL! Sure sounds fine, it does exactly what Peter wants to
do as far as sound is concerned, and his thumb is wrapped around the neck
and he only uses three fingers when soloing, except in very rare cases when
he has to change his hand position to enable his fourth finger to reach the
strings. There's a photo in the current JJG of Pat Martino, and his thumb is
sticking up beside the neck and his fourth finger is pointing up to heaven,
miles away from the fingerboard. His hand position is 'wrong', too. I tell
ya. :-)

I'm just pondering right and wrong, not trying to suggest that anyone use
any particular method. But, just like for Wes, it appears that what's right
is what works. If some 14 year old showed up at a teacher's doorstep with
Bernstein's, Martino's, or Wes's left hand, though, I wonder how much effort
would go into 'correcting' them. Which is not to denigrate the teaching of
classical hand position - it's certainly a mechanically efficient method.

Part of the reasonf or this post is that I get hung up on the 'correct' way
to finger things - I think that comes from classical double bass and violin
lessons as a kid, and classical guitar lessons as an adult. In those areas,
there IS a correct way, and you won't forget it. But the 'correct' way isn't
necessarily the best way to express yourself in a pursuit as individual as
jazz improvisation. I know I tend to stutter in my playing when I use a
'correct' jazz tone - a la Joe Pass - because I have these preconceptions of
what I'm supposed to play and sound like if I use that tone. So,to match
those preconceptions, I end up playing licks. Blech. But if I put on a bit
of overdrive and chorus then I free myself from my preconceptions of what I
thin I'm supposed to play, and just play. If the tone is 'wrong', the I
don't care what I play and just ... play. Except that I don't much like that
tone. :-)

A mindless post as I try to figure out how to play what I want with the tone
I want without being captive to preconceptions. Maybe if I bought another
book ......








-----------------------------------------------------------
Since music is a language with some meaning at least for the immense
majority of mankind, although only a tiny minority of people are capable of
formulating a meaning in it, and since it is the only language with the
contradictory attributes of being at once intelligible and untranslatable,
the musical creator is a being comparable to the gods, and music itself the
supreme mystery of the science of man.
Claude Lévi-Strauss

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#2: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:03:16 by woland99

I had few classical guitars - they tend to have beefy necks compared
with electrics. And WIDE. so thumb on the back of of the neck may
be the only way you can get your way with them. With electrics I keep
first joint at about 30-40 degrees away from middle of the neck.
Unless I need big interval. Depends on geet - generally try to find
good balance between abily to freet and keeping hand close to
natural position.
If you watch Robben Ford DVDs it is maddening - he has such big
hands he can fret ever blues lick with just two fingers - watching him
play you only get confused about fingerings.
And I use classical right hand technique as I was taught - straight
wrist and fingers moving across strings at 45 degrees.

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#3: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:04:06 by windcrest

Max Leggett wrote:
> I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
> with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
> the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
> guitar students.
>
> I'm watching Peter Bernstein's DVD - v nice, btw - and his left hand is
> wrong. Tsk tsk! LOL! Sure sounds fine, it does exactly what Peter wants to
> do as far as sound is concerned, and his thumb is wrapped around the neck
> and he only uses three fingers when soloing, except in very rare cases when
> he has to change his hand position to enable his fourth finger to reach the
> strings. There's a photo in the current JJG of Pat Martino, and his thumb is
> sticking up beside the neck and his fourth finger is pointing up to heaven,
> miles away from the fingerboard. His hand position is 'wrong', too. I tell
> ya. :-)
>
> I'm just pondering right and wrong, not trying to suggest that anyone use
> any particular method. But, just like for Wes, it appears that what's right
> is what works. If some 14 year old showed up at a teacher's doorstep with
> Bernstein's, Martino's, or Wes's left hand, though, I wonder how much effort
> would go into 'correcting' them. Which is not to denigrate the teaching of
> classical hand position - it's certainly a mechanically efficient method.
>
> Part of the reasonf or this post is that I get hung up on the 'correct' way
> to finger things - I think that comes from classical double bass and violin
> lessons as a kid, and classical guitar lessons as an adult. In those areas,
> there IS a correct way, and you won't forget it. But the 'correct' way isn't
> necessarily the best way to express yourself in a pursuit as individual as
> jazz improvisation. I know I tend to stutter in my playing when I use a
> 'correct' jazz tone - a la Joe Pass - because I have these preconceptions of
> what I'm supposed to play and sound like if I use that tone. So,to match
> those preconceptions, I end up playing licks. Blech. But if I put on a bit
> of overdrive and chorus then I free myself from my preconceptions of what I
> thin I'm supposed to play, and just play. If the tone is 'wrong', the I
> don't care what I play and just ... play. Except that I don't much like that
> tone. :-)
>
> A mindless post as I try to figure out how to play what I want with the tone
> I want without being captive to preconceptions. Maybe if I bought another
> book ......
>
>

Classical tecnique is a good basis for guitar playing IMO, especially
the more upright neck thing. Then you go from there into jazz and find
that you HAVE to use that thumb to play the low E string in order to
get nice bass movement as well as full sounding chords. The classical
guys seem to eschew using their thumbs to play notes, I've never
understood that, maybe because the classical guitar repertoire does not
require it often.

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#4: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:13:47 by Kevin Van Sant

On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 13:43:50 -0800, "Max Leggett"
&lt;<a href="mailto:hepkatreetaroonie&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">hepkatreetaroonie&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
&lt;lWrff.4275$<a href="mailto:XR4.12688&#64;newscontent-01.sprint.ca" target="_blank">XR4.12688&#64;newscontent-01.sprint.ca</a>&gt; :

&gt;I'm just pondering right and wrong, not trying to suggest that anyone use
&gt;any particular method.

I always tell my students that there is no &quot;proper&quot; technique for the
jazz guitarist. A player's technique should evolve as needed to fit
what he's trying to play. If your technique allows you to execute the
things you have in mind and you're not harming yourself, it's good
technique.


_________________________________________
Kevin Van Sant
jazz guitar

<a href="http://www.kevinvansant.com" target="_blank">http://www.kevinvansant.com</a>
to buy my CDs, hear sound clips, see videos, and get more info.

Visit my new Instant Download Mp3 Store at:
<a href="http://www.onestopjazz.com/mp3-store.html" target="_blank">http://www.onestopjazz.com/mp3-store.html</a>

Alternate site for gig tape soundclips
<a href="http://www.soundclick.com/bands/kevinvansant_music.htm" target="_blank">http://www.soundclick.com/bands/kevinvansant_music.htm</a>

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#5: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:22:49 by kjs

Max Leggett wrote:
&gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
&gt; with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
&gt; the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
&gt; guitar students.

Lately I have been just making sure that the wrist is straight.
Particulary at say the 10th fret with any bar form. I had been turning
my hand up to far to keep the thumb in the &quot;correct&quot; position. I was
noticing some strain on the wrist because of that. It seems if I just
try to keep the wrist straight everything else falls pretty pain free
and comfortable.

I have noticed many players that I would consider highly accomplished
who deviate from the classical position. My first serious teacher was
an excellent player (Berklee guy) who had me playing roots on the 6th
string with my thumb. My later teachers didn't appreciate that sorta
thing.

Ken

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#6: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:27:35 by windcrest

kjs wrote:
&gt; Max Leggett wrote:
&gt; &gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
&gt; &gt; with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
&gt; &gt; the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
&gt; &gt; guitar students.
&gt;
&gt; Lately I have been just making sure that the wrist is straight.
&gt; Particulary at say the 10th fret with any bar form. I had been turning
&gt; my hand up to far to keep the thumb in the &quot;correct&quot; position. I was
&gt; noticing some strain on the wrist because of that. It seems if I just
&gt; try to keep the wrist straight everything else falls pretty pain free
&gt; and comfortable.
&gt;
&gt; I have noticed many players that I would consider highly accomplished
&gt; who deviate from the classical position. My first serious teacher was
&gt; an excellent player (Berklee guy) who had me playing roots on the 6th
&gt; string with my thumb. My later teachers didn't appreciate that sorta
&gt; thing.
&gt;
&gt; Ken

After a 10 year hiatus due to a bone fracture. I started taking
lessons about 3 months ago, at my first lesson I just played for the
teacher and he listened taking notes for an hour straight. At the end
of the lesson he said, &quot;we gotta get your thumb playing the bass&quot; and I
have not stopped since. I say use all the fingers you can.

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#7: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:36:55 by kjs

If it feels right and helps you get the music out, it works in my book.
I haven't used the thumb for roots in years, and for me its pretty
impossible to do on the 7 string anyway. I have a friend who had a
teacher try to keep him from using his left hand pinky for single line.
The guy would have probably took a shit if he used his thumb.

How's the hand holding up?

Ken

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#8: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:44:48 by windcrest

kjs wrote:
&gt; If it feels right and helps you get the music out, it works in my book.
&gt; I haven't used the thumb for roots in years, and for me its pretty
&gt; impossible to do on the 7 string anyway. I have a friend who had a
&gt; teacher try to keep him from using his left hand pinky for single line.
&gt; The guy would have probably took a shit if he used his thumb.
&gt;
&gt; How's the hand holding up?
&gt;
&gt; Ken

Thanks for asking, the hand is great, I only have 80% range of motion
in the wrist compared to before, but apparently that's enough. I cant
imagine playing lines without a pinky, for pete's sake all the standard
scale forms use a pinky, I cant understand why he would actually
instruct not to use the pinky.

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#9: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:54:04 by windcrest

David Raleigh Arnold wrote:
&gt; On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 13:43:50 -0800, Max Leggett wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
&gt; &gt; with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
&gt; &gt; the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
&gt; &gt; guitar students.
&gt;
&gt; I took my wife to see Stephane Grapelli with a real good bass player
&gt; and Bucky Pizzarelli. After a few seconds I told her to look at their
&gt; thumbs. Grapelli and the bass player had their thumbs opposite the
&gt; center of pressure of the fingers, while Bucky's was all over the
&gt; back of the neck to give him leverage. He was not able to cut it
&gt; on the fast tunes. He could almost keep up. Almost.
&gt;
&gt; No, using the thumb as a lever is not ok, no matter who says it is.
&gt; Too bad Bucky didn't have a decent teacher. daveA
&gt;
&gt; --
&gt; Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
&gt; &quot;Dynamic Guitar Technique&quot;: <a href="http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html" target="_blank">http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html</a>
&gt; email: &quot;David Raleigh Arnold&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:dra&#64;openguitar.com" target="_blank">dra&#64;openguitar.com</a>&gt;|&lt;<a href="mailto:darnold4&#64;cox.net" target="_blank">darnold4&#64;cox.net</a>&gt;
&gt; (Full name in address field is needed to pass filter)

Most of the time my thumb is behind the neck classical style, but if I
need a note on the E string and the other fingers are busy I have no
hard and fast rule against that I'll just grab it with the thumb. For
normal non-prodigy mortals classical technique is still the best. But
if your a Jimi Hendrix you can turn the strings/guitar upside down and
all the technique out the window, in his case, a good teacher would be
the one that left him to his own devices.

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#10: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-18 23:57:59 by Ray

RickH wrote:
&gt; Classical tecnique is a good basis for guitar playing IMO, especially
&gt; the more upright neck thing. Then you go from there into jazz and find
&gt; that you HAVE to use that thumb to play the low E string in order to
&gt; get nice bass movement as well as full sounding chords. The classical
&gt; guys seem to eschew using their thumbs to play notes, I've never
&gt; understood that, maybe because the classical guitar repertoire does not
&gt; require it often.
&gt;

The neck is usually too fat on a CG to get any real use of the thumb
curled over the top of the neck. Unless you have huge hands, curling
the thumb over the top of a CG neck makes it pretty difficult to use the
rest of your fingers effectively. I have seen performances where the
thumb is brought under the neck and onto the fretboard to assist in
making some really crazy stretched out chord.

ray

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#11: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 00:48:16 by David Raleigh Arnold

On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 13:43:50 -0800, Max Leggett wrote:

&gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
&gt; with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
&gt; the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
&gt; guitar students.

I took my wife to see Stephane Grapelli with a real good bass player
and Bucky Pizzarelli. After a few seconds I told her to look at their
thumbs. Grapelli and the bass player had their thumbs opposite the
center of pressure of the fingers, while Bucky's was all over the
back of the neck to give him leverage. He was not able to cut it
on the fast tunes. He could almost keep up. Almost.

No, using the thumb as a lever is not ok, no matter who says it is.
Too bad Bucky didn't have a decent teacher. daveA

--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
&quot;Dynamic Guitar Technique&quot;: <a href="http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html" target="_blank">http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html</a>
email: &quot;David Raleigh Arnold&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:dra&#64;openguitar.com" target="_blank">dra&#64;openguitar.com</a>&gt;|&lt;<a href="mailto:darnold4&#64;cox.net" target="_blank">darnold4&#64;cox.net</a>&gt;
(Full name in address field is needed to pass filter)

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#12: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 01:28:23 by David Raleigh Arnold

On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 14:54:04 -0800, RickH wrote:

&gt;
&gt; David Raleigh Arnold wrote:
&gt;&gt; On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 13:43:50 -0800, Max Leggett wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; &gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm
&gt;&gt; &gt; aligned with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's
&gt;&gt; &gt; pretty much the default position, along with one finger per fret,
&gt;&gt; &gt; that's taught to all guitar students.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; I took my wife to see Stephane Grapelli with a real good bass player and
&gt;&gt; Bucky Pizzarelli. After a few seconds I told her to look at their
&gt;&gt; thumbs. Grapelli and the bass player had their thumbs opposite the
&gt;&gt; center of pressure of the fingers, while Bucky's was all over the back
&gt;&gt; of the neck to give him leverage. He was not able to cut it on the fast
&gt;&gt; tunes. He could almost keep up. Almost.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; No, using the thumb as a lever is not ok, no matter who says it is. Too
&gt;&gt; bad Bucky didn't have a decent teacher. daveA
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; --
&gt;&gt; Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
&gt;&gt; &quot;Dynamic Guitar Technique&quot;: <a href="http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html" target="_blank">http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html</a>
&gt;&gt; email: &quot;David Raleigh Arnold&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:dra&#64;openguitar.com" target="_blank">dra&#64;openguitar.com</a>&gt;|&lt;<a href="mailto:darnold4&#64;cox.net" target="_blank">darnold4&#64;cox.net</a>&gt;
&gt;&gt; (Full name in address field is needed to pass filter)
&gt;
&gt; Most of the time my thumb is behind the neck classical style, but if I
&gt; need a note on the E string and the other fingers are busy I have no hard
&gt; and fast rule against that I'll just grab it with the thumb. For normal
&gt; non-prodigy mortals classical technique is still the best. But if your a
&gt; Jimi Hendrix you can turn the strings/guitar upside down and all the
&gt; technique out the window, in his case, a good teacher would be the one
&gt; that left him to his own devices.

Ask him now. The problem is that if you have to move your arm and
wrist to do it that will slow you down. If you don't, it won't. Bucky's
problem was moving the thumb *along* the neck. I don't remember him
thumbing the 6th string.

It's no problem to keep your thumb in place and reach up the neck
so you can get back, *provided* you don't press with the
thumb. If you play like Bucky, you press with the thumb, and that
very bad habit was a serious problem for him. If you have played
long enough with your thumb opposite the pressure center your thumb
no longer presses the neck, so you can orient better. When you
reach that point, it doesn't matter any more where your thumb is.
Bucky never got there. Tough.

I like to use my thumb on the 6th string in HVL Etude 4, just to
upset people who know you're not supposed to do it. That was
HVL's intention, I'm sure.

That would be great practice for flatpickers wouldn't it? Never
occurred to me. daveA

--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
&quot;Dynamic Guitar Technique&quot;: <a href="http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html" target="_blank">http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html</a>
email: &quot;David Raleigh Arnold&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:dra&#64;openguitar.com" target="_blank">dra&#64;openguitar.com</a>&gt;|&lt;<a href="mailto:darnold4&#64;cox.net" target="_blank">darnold4&#64;cox.net</a>&gt;
(Full name in address field is needed to pass filter)

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#13: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 02:30:10 by ralphpatt

Max Leggett wrote:
&gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm aligned
&gt; with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's pretty much
&gt; the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's taught to all
&gt; guitar students.
&gt;
&gt; I'm watching Peter Bernstein's DVD - v nice, btw - and his left hand is
&gt; wrong. Tsk tsk! LOL! Sure sounds fine, it does exactly what Peter wants to
&gt; do as far as sound is concerned, and his thumb is wrapped around the neck
&gt; and he only uses three fingers when soloing, except in very rare cases when
&gt; he has to change his hand position to enable his fourth finger to reach the
&gt; strings. There's a photo in the current JJG of Pat Martino, and his thumb is
&gt; sticking up beside the neck and his fourth finger is pointing up to heaven,
&gt; miles away from the fingerboard. His hand position is 'wrong', too. I tell
&gt; ya. :-)
&gt;
&gt; I'm just pondering right and wrong, not trying to suggest that anyone use
&gt; any particular method. But, just like for Wes, it appears that what's right
&gt; is what works. If some 14 year old showed up at a teacher's doorstep with
&gt; Bernstein's, Martino's, or Wes's left hand, though, I wonder how much effort
&gt; would go into 'correcting' them. Which is not to denigrate the teaching of
&gt; classical hand position - it's certainly a mechanically efficient method.
&gt;
&gt; Part of the reasonf or this post is that I get hung up on the 'correct' way
&gt; to finger things - I think that comes from classical double bass and violin
&gt; lessons as a kid, and classical guitar lessons as an adult. In those areas,
&gt; there IS a correct way, and you won't forget it. But the 'correct' way isn't
&gt; necessarily the best way to express yourself in a pursuit as individual as
&gt; jazz improvisation. I know I tend to stutter in my playing when I use a
&gt; 'correct' jazz tone - a la Joe Pass - because I have these preconceptions of
&gt; what I'm supposed to play and sound like if I use that tone. So,to match
&gt; those preconceptions, I end up playing licks. Blech. But if I put on a bit
&gt; of overdrive and chorus then I free myself from my preconceptions of what I
&gt; thin I'm supposed to play, and just play. If the tone is 'wrong', the I
&gt; don't care what I play and just ... play. Except that I don't much like that
&gt; tone. :-)
&gt;
&gt; A mindless post as I try to figure out how to play what I want with the tone
&gt; I want without being captive to preconceptions. Maybe if I bought another
&gt; book ......
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; -----------------------------------------------------------

To be truthful, I probably shouldn't advise on anything medical, but I
do have strong feelings about the subject...&quot;correct hand
position&quot;...here goes.

The lower the neck of the guitar is, the more the wrist has to bend.
Rock guitarists (standing up with the guitar) are the most extreme
(bending the wrist) and have the greatest potential for carpal tunnel
(cp) problems.

Think of violinists and how they hold the violin.

I read a book about this subject called the Physiology of Piano Playing
(Adolf Ortmann, 1929). He describes man (and his hands) as developed
for tree climbing...(sorry Kansas)...

The most efficient angle for the hands is in the position you would
hold you hands for climbing a tree. (Ortmann pointed out that the piano
was not natural for the hands. The accordian is more natural.)

The reason I was first interested wrist angle was the position of the
right hand. My classical guitar teacher (Alexander Bellow) taught the
right hand angle as almost at 90 degrees. Segovia (he claimed) played
with a limp (right) wrist angled down and very loose (meaning relaxed).


Ortmann argued there is a difference between physiological relaxation
psychological relaxation. The tendons have to be tight in order to
perform work...he described a rope on a pully that can't do any work
until it is tight.

When I described the teachers right hand position and what I was
learning from the Ortmann book to Barry Galbraith, he laughed and said
did you ever see Julian Bream play? &quot;He holds his hands like he's
climbing a tree&quot;.

Next I watched lot of string players. They practice ten and twelve
hours a day and play a lot of notes and rarely get cp.

I also have strong feelings about not using the thumb of the left hand
(also from Ortmann and violinists). Squeezing the thumb on the neck
limits the ability of the fingers to release off the strings.

In short, my advise is to get your hand(s) in a position to &quot;climb
trees&quot;.

Ralph

www.ralphpatt.com

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#14: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 05:59:29 by Joey Goldstein

I think you'll find that the vast majority of really good jazz
guitarists have their thumbs hanging over the top of the neck a good 85%
of the time.

But for that other 15%, when they need the thumb to be in the &quot;classical
position&quot; for this or that grip or line, they'll simply move it where it
needs to be.

Playing with the thumb over the top of the neck can be extremely
relaxing and may allow a player to play for longer periods of time
without fatigue. It may also facilitate string muting on the 6th string
as well as allowing for certain notes to be fretted with the thumb.
Still, some things that you might want/need to play will be impossible
with the thumb like that. For these things these good players simply
move their thumb where it needs to be.

There's a lot to be said for not always doing the same thing all the time.
Placing the fretting hand thumb in various places for various things.
Holding the pick differently for different things.
Picking on a different area of the string for various timbres.
Etc., etc.

It's good to watch videos to see how the heavies do things.

--
Joey Goldstein
<a href="http://www.joeygoldstein.com" target="_blank">http://www.joeygoldstein.com</a>
joegold AT sympatico DOT ca

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#15: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 13:15:36 by Hans van Leeuwen

&quot;Joey Goldstein&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:nospam&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">nospam&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; schreef in bericht
news:<a href="mailto:437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net..." target="_blank">437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net...</a>
&gt; I think you'll find that the vast majority of really good jazz
&gt; guitarists have their thumbs hanging over the top of the neck a good 85%
&gt; of the time.

How you play isn't that important as long as the output is OK. But I have
been trained classically years ago and I don't like to see the thumb hanging
over the fretboard like a desperate prick-with-a-nail.
;-)
H.

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#16: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-19 17:18:28 by thom_j

&quot;hans van leeuwen&quot; wrote:
&gt; How you play isn't that important as long as the output is OK. But I have
&gt; been trained classically years ago and I don't like to see the thumb
&gt; hanging
&gt; over the fretboard like a desperate prick-with-a-nail.
our US porn friends over here do prefer the woid dildo.....

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#17: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-20 23:58:42 by funkifized

&quot;hans van leeuwen&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx" target="_blank">jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:4e0bc$437f176b$547561a4$<a href="mailto:27178&#64;news.chello.nl..." target="_blank">27178&#64;news.chello.nl...</a>
&gt;
&gt; &quot;Joey Goldstein&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:nospam&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">nospam&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; schreef in bericht
&gt; news:<a href="mailto:437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net..." target="_blank">437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net...</a>
&gt;&gt; I think you'll find that the vast majority of really good jazz
&gt;&gt; guitarists have their thumbs hanging over the top of the neck a good 85%
&gt;&gt; of the time.
&gt;
&gt; How you play isn't that important as long as the output is OK.

Well, how you play is far more important if the output is OK, but for a
couple of years, before the carpal tunnel syndrome sets in. &quot;I used to be
able to play that line flawlessly; the output was fine back then...&quot;



--
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sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking
and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way.&quot;
- Jack Handey

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#18: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 00:25:03 by Max Leggett

&quot;Mike C.&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:Funkifized&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">Funkifized&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:zLidnWmj6c_wYh3enZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d&#64;comcast.com..." target="_blank">zLidnWmj6c_wYh3enZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d&#64;comcast.com...</a>
&gt;
&gt; &quot;hans van leeuwen&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx" target="_blank">jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:4e0bc$437f176b$547561a4$<a href="mailto:27178&#64;news.chello.nl..." target="_blank">27178&#64;news.chello.nl...</a>
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; &quot;Joey Goldstein&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:nospam&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">nospam&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; schreef in bericht
&gt; &gt; news:<a href="mailto:437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net..." target="_blank">437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net...</a>
&gt; &gt;&gt; I think you'll find that the vast majority of really good jazz
&gt; &gt;&gt; guitarists have their thumbs hanging over the top of the neck a good
85%
&gt; &gt;&gt; of the time.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; How you play isn't that important as long as the output is OK.
&gt;
&gt; Well, how you play is far more important if the output is OK, but for a
&gt; couple of years, before the carpal tunnel syndrome sets in. &quot;I used to be
&gt; able to play that line flawlessly; the output was fine back then...&quot;
&gt;


That was my problem - I did a nasty number on my back, arms, and hands with
poor posture. 8 months later it's getting better.

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#19: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 00:37:37 by icarusi

&lt;<a href="mailto:ralphpatt&#64;wbcable.net" target="_blank">ralphpatt&#64;wbcable.net</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1132363810.460689.192040&#64;f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1132363810.460689.192040&#64;f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...</a>

&gt; The most efficient angle for the hands is in the position you would
&gt; hold you hands for climbing a tree. (Ortmann pointed out that the piano
&gt; was not natural for the hands. The accordian is more natural.)

I've always tried to adopt 'least stress' positions for playing guitar,
primarily to avoid fatigue, but with a bonus of freeing up the hands/fingers
to move more fluidly and quickly over the fretboard. I had a recent
nerve/shoulder problem caused by using a less than ideal playing whilst
sitting position. Correcting that aspect was the only way to cure the pain
permanently. BTW my 'grip' is like a motorbike throttle. Playing high
strings the thumb is more 'over', but playing the bass strings it's more in
the classical postion, with all points in between. I have small hands and
bend strings so the classical positon 'always' wouldn't work for me.

Icarusi
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#20: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 01:17:43 by Keith Freeman

&gt; I'm watching Peter Bernstein's DVD - v nice, btw - and his left hand is
&gt; wrong.
I dunno about that, but I was thinking while I was watching, I love that
poetic curled-over-the-guitar position but I sure hope he straightens out
when he gets outside the club!

-Keith

Music samples, tips, Portable Changes at
<a href="http://home.wanadoo.nl/keith.freeman/" target="_blank">http://home.wanadoo.nl/keith.freeman/</a>

E-mail: keith DOT freeman AT wanadoo DOT nl

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#21: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 01:24:53 by Jacques

There are many reasons for the thumb hanging over the neck, all of them
valid.
I'm pretty sure that Pat Metheny hangs his thumb over the 6th, 5th and
sometime all three top strings for feedback attenuation.
It's not easy to play this type of guitar in such loud environments,
and that thumb becomes the ultimate feedback supppressor.
It seems like this discussion is a little biased towards CG, and IMHO
may not fully apply to jazz guitar.

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#22: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 01:47:15 by Max Leggett

&quot;Jacques&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jack.pelletier&#64;gmail.com" target="_blank">jack.pelletier&#64;gmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1132532693.105372.324410&#64;g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1132532693.105372.324410&#64;g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt; There are many reasons for the thumb hanging over the neck, all of them
&gt; valid.
&gt; I'm pretty sure that Pat Metheny hangs his thumb over the 6th, 5th and
&gt; sometime all three top strings for feedback attenuation.
&gt; It's not easy to play this type of guitar in such loud environments,
&gt; and that thumb becomes the ultimate feedback supppressor.
&gt; It seems like this discussion is a little biased towards CG, and IMHO
&gt; may not fully apply to jazz guitar.

I agree - in my original post I said, &quot;... it appears that what's right is
what works,&quot; and I think that about sums it. There are mechanical things
associated with CTS etc, but if it sounds good and doesn't hurt, then it's
right.

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#23: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 11:55:17 by Hans van Leeuwen

&quot;Mike C.&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:Funkifized&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">Funkifized&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; schreef in bericht
news:<a href="mailto:zLidnWmj6c_wYh3enZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d&#64;comcast.com..." target="_blank">zLidnWmj6c_wYh3enZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d&#64;comcast.com...</a>
&gt;
&gt; &quot;hans van leeuwen&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx" target="_blank">jsnmekl&#64;mflpreoiqq.xx</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:4e0bc$437f176b$547561a4$<a href="mailto:27178&#64;news.chello.nl..." target="_blank">27178&#64;news.chello.nl...</a>
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; &quot;Joey Goldstein&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:nospam&#64;nowhere.net" target="_blank">nospam&#64;nowhere.net</a>&gt; schreef in bericht
&gt; &gt; news:<a href="mailto:437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net..." target="_blank">437EB131.78629E02&#64;nowhere.net...</a>
&gt; &gt;&gt; I think you'll find that the vast majority of really good jazz
&gt; &gt;&gt; guitarists have their thumbs hanging over the top of the neck a good
85%
&gt; &gt;&gt; of the time.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; How you play isn't that important as long as the output is OK.
&gt;
&gt; Well, how you play is far more important if the output is OK, but for a
&gt; couple of years, before the carpal tunnel syndrome sets in. &quot;I used to be
&gt; able to play that line flawlessly; the output was fine back then...&quot;
&gt;
Sure, but what about Django? It's said that there is a 90 year old
jazzguitarist in Oezbekistan who plays with only one finger.

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#24: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 13:44:32 by Stu

You can do a lot with one finger!

I'm aiming to be a one finger player with my left hand. I got into this
idea whilst pondering fingering schemes that minimise actual finger
movements.

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#25: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 14:56:46 by Dan Adler

I think it's important to experiment with 2 and 3 fingers on the left
hand. 2 Fingers ala Django sounds impossible at first, but then you
suddenly realize that because jazz eighths come in pairs there is
actually some advantage to that. With 3 fingers, you have to learn to
slide up and down, which is a valuable skill even if you play with 4
fingers (see Pat Metheny's left hand for example). So, it's all worth
checking out. Spend a few days/weeks doing it one way to gain the
skill.

One more thing you realize playing with 2 fingers is that you have to
rotate your whole hand towards the bridge so your fingers have better
reach, and then you start to see why the thumb wants to go on top...

-Dan
<a href="http://danadler.com" target="_blank">http://danadler.com</a>

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#26: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-21 22:44:34 by Martunes

most guys with the kind of experience we have, 'know' what's right for
them. I've also studied classical and had the technique nazi for a
teacher. This hasn't hurt me. I teach my students to use proper
classical technique when playing scales and arps but to do
whatever-the-hell-you want when it come to playing the guitar.

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#27: Re: "Correct" hand position

Posted on 2005-11-29 19:32:21 by David Raleigh Arnold

On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 14:22:49 -0800, kjs wrote:

&gt;
&gt; Max Leggett wrote:
&gt;&gt; I use a classical left hand position - thumb behind the neck, palm
&gt;&gt; aligned with the neck - it comes naturally and feels comfortable. It's
&gt;&gt; pretty much the default position, along with one finger per fret, that's
&gt;&gt; taught to all guitar students.
&gt;
&gt; Lately I have been just making sure that the wrist is straight.
&gt; Particulary at say the 10th fret with any bar form. I had been turning my
&gt; hand up to far to keep the thumb in the &quot;correct&quot; position. I was noticing
&gt; some strain on the wrist because of that. It seems if I just try to keep
&gt; the wrist straight everything else falls pretty pain free and comfortable.

The 'classical' position has the wrist straight. Some bending out
is needed by most intermediate players to learn to slur and occasionally
to stretch, but the tendency is to straighten the wrist in any case.
daveA

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