I’m going through JustinGuitar Grade 1, I’m currently on Module 7 and I’ve noticed that while practising songs (ie strumming and chord changes) my thumb kind of crawls up where it’s hanging above the fretboard.
I know earlier in Grade 1, Justin had said to always keep your thumb at the center of the neck. When doing one minute changes or chord perfect exercises I always keep my thumb on the center of the neck as taught. However I had a look at Justin’s recent lessons in Grade 1 to see if I’m making a mistake and I see that Justin’s thumb also pokes up above the fretboard.
While practising songs, I’ve now tried both positions of my thumb and I’m a lot better at chord changes when I stick to my natural way ie thumb poking above. I always fumble my chords when I keep my thumb at the center of the neck (even though I practice all my chords with that position). Moreover, as I keep strumming and changing chords my thumb naturally goes into the position where it’s above the neck.
Is this a mistake I should be fixing? Or am I good, considering Justin does it too?
It sounds like you have given this a fair shot, and it is not working for you. So I wouldn’t worry about it right now…with the proviso that you may need to revisit this when you start playing barre chords.
This question comes up a lot. I understand Justin’s reasoning for teaching it this way, but sometimes wonder if he stresses it too much.
I think his main point is that you don’t want your thumb to stick up a lot - like above the first joint.
For me thumb over the neck is more natural and comfortable. My chord changes and fingers placement are more precise, I feel frets better. Also I mute a lot with my thumb. And for bends it’s necessary. But for barre chords and playing on the lower strings it won’t work.
So from my experience I can suggest you to find out what works for you depending on what you’re playing and don’t worry about it. We’re all different and general suggestions have to be adjusted for everyone individually.
I’ve never been able to play with my thumb in the middle of the neck. As soon as I lift my fingers to change chords my thumb pushes the neck away from me. So my thumb’s been reaching over the top from very early on in my journey. And I quickly learned to use my thumb to mute the low E string when playing open A and C chords.
And I don’t think the middle-of-the-neck thumb position builds hand strength for barre chords. Playing barre chords builds hand strength for barre chords.
I’m inclined to agree. My experience is that it’s 20% strength and 80% technique…applying just the minimal amount of force to just the right places. (though TBH, I don’t play lot of barre chord songs and could be wrong about this)
Thanks a lot for the responses. I think I’m going to stick with the natural position of my thumb, I’ll just make sure that it’s not poking out too much. As for barre chords, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
That’s exactly what’s happening in my case as well.