Is something wrong with my thumb?

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...

Is something wrong with my thumb?

Post by Sanjin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:22 pm

I have a question about correct thumb placement. After looking through some previously posted questions about left hand correct position and
scouring internet pics of the correct thumb position, Ive figured out that my thumb is kind of "off". If placed straight on the back of the neck, my remaining fingers are twisted way out of their proper place on the strings, and they come on them sorta sideways and frequently touch and mute two-three strings at a time, however, if I place the thumb a bit sideways, the inner left side, closer to the nail on the neck, then the rest of the finger look normal to me, they are perpendicular to the strings, and curved above them. Is something wrong with my thumb, that I cant place the fleshy, middle part, the pad, straight on the neck?

This image - - kind of shows what I mean, this position feels natural to me.

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Re: Is something wrong with my thumb?

Post by ameriken » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:31 pm

I'm no teacher but your hand position with the splayed fingers does not look right.

Douglas Niedt has some 'niedt' tips on left hand position with several suggestions and how to form it, not just with the thumb but all fingers. Been watching it myself to correct my own position.

This is really worth watching.
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Re: Is something wrong with my thumb?

Post by lagartija » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:14 pm

If you relax your hand and rest your forearm on your leg with your palm facing up, what does it look like? Can you show a picture of your hand at rest?

When I do that, my thumb pad faces the pinky side of my hand, not toward my fingers.

If I bring my fingers into a gentle curve as if I were going to place them on the 5th 6th 7th and 8th frets, and bring my thumb toward my fingers as if I were going to gently place it on the neck, the thumb lines up between the first and second finger, but would touch the neck at the left side of the thumb joint at edge of the pad, not flat on the pad. That is the default position. Forcing my thumb to be on the pad introduces inner hand and wrist tension which impedes mobility. This is not to say that in some instances when I need to move the balance of my hand toward the pinky side that I would not move my thumb ... because I do move it more toward the pad in that instance. It is not the default position, though.
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Re: Is something wrong with my thumb?

Post by pogmoor » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:04 am

Your thumb is very flexed at the second joint. A more usual position would be to have the first and second thumb joints more or less straight and the thumbs flexed at the this joint (where it joins the wrist). This put the thumb in a better position in relation to the fingers. Can you do this, or does it feel unnatural to you?
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Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).


Re: Is something wrong with my thumb?

Post by Sanjin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Thanks for all the replies! The hand in the provided picture is not mine, its a picture from another player who described identical issue. Ill post a picture of my position as soon as I get someone to take a picture of me in position.
Lagartija, you describe it perfectly, and according to what you say, it seems to me that the position I put my thumb in is "default". My thumb feels ok when its pretty much straight, flexed slightly where it joins the hand.
The video is really great, thanks Ameriken!

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