Thumb Over the Neck Chords

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by travs, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. travs

    travs New Member!

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    Hi!
    I'm new in here. I have just recently started to practice the thumb-over-the-neck chords. I've been practicing for a week, and I have noticed great some improvements but I am still not perform the correctly. My hands are quite small (15 cm; 5.9"), and I think this is not a very big issue as I see how my fingers stretch a little more everyday, but I would like to improve this technique as faster as possible. Could anybody give some tips for it? Moreover, how minor chords are played? I am unable to ring the high E, is it necesarry to ring it or can it be muted?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Weaselcoon

    Weaselcoon Strat-Talker

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    It’s cool if u can do it but if I were you I wouldn’t really spend much time on it outside just when you can sort of naturally work it in. I seldom find real necessary reasons to play thumb over.
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Welcome! I have no other tips than to practice it, a lot. Thumb over can be really useful but it depends onbyour plying style.

    Don't worry about the high e string, all you need for a chord is three notes, or 4 in some cases. You can grab every major and minor chord using just the E, A and D strings but generally they sound better if you mix in the top strings as well. So again, don't worry about high e for now.
     
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  4. Hydr0

    Hydr0 Senior Stratmaster

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    You can get away with it being muted, but keep working at it. You'll miss out on some nice embellishments you can play with your pinky and pulling-off to the root note unless you can master that.

    For minor chords, you just bar the notes with your index finger.

    I would also suggest doing finger stretches before you play, something like this:



    Keep at it and you'll get there! :thumb:
     
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  5. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Or better yet. Mute the A string and focus on playing E, D, g, b and e.
     
  6. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    This may be helpful.

    Kind of similar to what @Cerb is saying.
     
  7. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-o-hackster Silver Member

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    Me personally sir, I use this method a LOT. But never any more than then wrapping around the thumb for the 6th string only. It is so much simpler and easier to make a lot of different chords on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th strings than by trying some huge wrap around of your wrist to make some sort of barre chord. I'm actually not sure of what others mean by chording with the thumb, I can do the 5th and 6th super easy but what for? I was always under the impression that thumbover meant (mostly) 6th string use. I think there's some impossible (barre) chords that can be done very easily with the thumb on the 6th. In time wrapping your thumb will feel super natural. This is one case where having thin necks and big hands is way easier...

    Here's a chord with my fat fingers, thumbover 6th string FWIW... :oops:
    Fat thumbover.jpg
     
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  8. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-Talker

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    Also went the Jimi route as of late. My thinner neck Strat suddenly became my main player.. for obvious reasons.
     
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  9. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Strat-Talker

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    It's got a lot to do with how the neck fits in your hand. Maybe you need a narrower, thinner neck. You might also want to try a guitar with a shorter scale, like a Mustang or a Duosonic if you have trouble reaching four or five frets.
     
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  10. Monkey

    Monkey Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi, TRAVS, WELCOME, THUMB TO PLAY THE BOTTOM E IS GREAT FOR PLAYING FUNK STRUMMING AS THIS LEAVES THIRD AND PINKY FREE WHEN PLAYING MINOR 7THS CHORD.
     
  11. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I use the thumb over method almost universally now because of age/arthritis condition of fingers and the inability to form a normal, clean bar chord. The method becomes quite natural as declining abilities force changes to style!!
     
  12. Danny D

    Danny D Strat-Talker

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    Best of luck to you! Learn to play the Montrose version of Good Rockin' Tonight. The thumb is stationary, the triads move.

    If you really want to go down a rabbit hole, listen to George Van Eps. He was able to slant his index finger and cleanly play a major 3rd on the E and B strings while thumbing a bass note. He also routinely could play fourths with one finger tip (like the chord on One Rainy Wish by Jimi H.) Huge sound chords resulted from his astounding ability.
     
  13. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    It depends.
    Thumb over hurts the reach.
    But I normally do rest my thumb pretty high and only drop it when needed.


    20200214_205457.jpg
     
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  14. Jasco

    Jasco Strat-Talker

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    I use my thumb over the neck all the time to play notes on the low E and A strings and to mute notes on the low E through G strings. Both for chords and soloing.

    One thing that helped me was practicing all the thumb-over stuff on a nylon string guitar - big neck. Then any electric guitar was easy.
     
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  15. spyglass

    spyglass Strat-O-Master

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    I use the thumb over all the time these days and now find full barre chords awkward.Thumb for the root, skip the 5th on the A string and play the rest of the voicing on the top 4 strings.
     
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  16. travs

    travs New Member!

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    I fact, I am learning it using a classical guitar to stretch my hands as much as possible. I notice improvements everyday!
     
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  17. travs

    travs New Member!

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    How do you mute the low A string? Do you use your thumb or your ring finger?
     
  18. HazyPurple

    HazyPurple Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    The tip of your thumb will mute A.
     
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  19. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    I find just the opposite. Learning thumb-overs really opened up my playing by allowing the small finger to augment the chords with other notes, frills, and fills, making ordinary chords much more exciting.
    I was thinking about thumb-overs yesterday after watching Ike Turner from the mid-60s, and wondering if anyone was doing this before Turner, Curtis Mayfield, that Hendrix fella, etc.
     
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  20. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    For the A string, I use the ring finger to dbl fret the A and D strings of an F-shape chord.
     
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