Do you fret with your thumb?

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equalsqlequalsql Frets: 3162
This is a technique I've never used as in my youth as I was a very dedicated bass player whose hero was Percy Jones..so it was all about thumb on the back of the neck etc. As I moved towards guitar this technique stayed with me. However I do sometimes regret never having learnt using the thumb over the neck technique.. and thus it has always interested me..especially when I see sublime players like Chris Buck using it in the recent video that @ThorpyFX ; put up for his superb Gunshot overdrive :

 http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/131677/chris-buck-of-buck-and-evans-did-this-cracking-video

I've tried to use it but my 59 year old thumb refuses to comply... (bastard thing)

I wondered how many of you folks use the thumb technique? 
I would imagine it's more for blues/classic rock style players i.e. old school. 

It would be interesting to see if any younger players (still?) use this style.
(pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • vizviz Frets: 4951
    It always grosses me out a bit but even amazing players such as Greg Howe do it so
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 932
    If the easiest way of playing a note (or chord) means using the thumb over the neck then I'll do it. Often that goes with muting the A string. Depends on what I played immediately before and where my hand needs to be immediately afterwards. 

    And I started off as a classical guitarist, and still usually play with a dropped left wrist. 
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  • BGGBGG Frets: 391
    My hands and thumbs are too small :(

    www.groovetrain.co.uk
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 96
    All the time. Not for everything, obviously, but doing it frees up fingers to do more things. 

    I've also had classical guitar training, so I'm comfortable the other way, too. But for some jazz type things, it really helps with being able to play certain voicings, or play a chord and embellish it.
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5446
    edited May 15

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2020
    Increasingly as I get older because there are some songs where thumb-over puts less strain on my index finger. You’ll sometimes see me alternate between full barre and thumb-over within the same song.
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5446

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823
    edited May 16

    Doubt if I fall into the younger player category any more (though by standards on here... naughty), but yes, I got into doing it with this Fsus2, which should be in @bigjon's thread, if it isn't already:

    133011 

    I found it in the tab book transcription of

    "Promise Her the Moon"

    from Mr. Big's Bump Ahead album.

    After that, I discovered that thumb over worked nicely for adding a low F whatever to D-shape cowboy chords:

    maj 200232 

    min 100231

    sus2 200230

    etc.

    and that one can get in and out of a G chord from there nicely, too.

    Speaking of which, doubling up the G in the middle of a pseudo barre chord voicing is YUGE [/Trumpcaps] with a crunch tone:

    355033

    I think that one was in a guitar mag article on Blackmore.

    An interview with Mr Facehugger Hands himself, Paul Gilbert, also made me wise to what he himself had filched from Mr Tall Thumb Hendrix: fret the bass note on the low string with the thumb and play fills on top.

    Also great for comping in three-pieces, as I noticed from ZZ Top's Tush when the Hamsters did their Top tunes tour.

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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    I’ve never had a guitar lesson and I don’t like jazz, but I fail to see why anyone would completely ignore any single techie questions simply because someone once said it was “not proper”. 
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  • Guitar_SlingerGuitar_Slinger Frets: 1318
    edited May 16
    Sometimes do it on acoustic if a chord's bassline decends.

    The only time I can think of doing it on electric is playing Yellow Ledbetter - learned from the Marty Schwartz tuition video on YouTube. Choon!
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • Absolutely, all of the time, guitar is hard, an extra player on the pitch goes along way!
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1680
    I started learning from Jimi Plays Monterey and Zep's Denmark TV special so I thought it was normal. It is though isn't it?
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 379
    No my hands aren't big enough, and it feels weird doing it.
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3970
    Rarely. Only example that instantly springs to mind is open D with a B bass such (as in U2's With or Without You, or The Byrds' Chestnut Mare).
    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • missmisstreatermissmisstreater Frets: 120
    All. The. Time.

    Couldn't live without it - all my best chords use it.
    Support me on Youtube or Patreon
    https://www.patreon.com/leviclay    |    https://www.youtube.com/c/leviclay
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3327
    Sometimes - including on bass.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    Yeah I do it on certain chords.  
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7197
    I tend to hold the neck with a death grip so the thumb has some work to do in muting the low E. But playing notes with my thumb doesn't come up much in my tiny playing world although I seem to remember the D/F# (?) in Crossroads requires it (from the time I imposed that on an audience). 
    But if I play bass that's strictly thumb behind and my right hand technique is completely different too. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 79
    edited May 17
    DLM said:

    Doubt if I fall into the younger player category any more (though by standards on here... naughty), but yes, I got into doing it with this Fsus2, which should be in @bigjon's thread, if it isn't already:

    133011 

    I found it in the tab book transcription of

    "Promise Her the Moon"

    from Mr. Big's Bump Ahead album.

    After that, I discovered that thumb over worked nicely for adding a low F whatever to D-shape cowboy chords:

    maj 200232 

    min 100231

    sus2 200230

    etc.

    and that one can get in and out of a G chord from there nicely, too.

    Speaking of which, doubling up the G in the middle of a pseudo barre chord voicing is YUGE [/Trumpcaps] with a crunch tone:

    355033

    I think that one was in a guitar mag article on Blackmore.


    Good info! Similarly, 557055 makes a nice A7.
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  • neilgneilg Frets: 19
    I've started doing it recently due to subscribing to Paul Gilbert's guitar course.
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 543
    edited May 17
    Yes a lot, always have, especially barrechords with the A string muted; allows you to do more fills etc with the other fingers ala Hendrix and Frusciante 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7660
    whilst technically impressive that was a right load of gash
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 868
    smigeon said:


    Good info! Similarly, 557055 makes a nice A7.

    That'll be 577055?

    Good chord though, never thought of that one.

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