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spookelele
01-19-2017, 04:49 AM
Do you use your left hand thumb?

I was told early on in guitar, not to use thumb.
But I'm not sure that was good advice.

* for clarification, I was told that thumb was not to be used to fret, just for pressure.

UkieOkie
01-19-2017, 04:54 AM
I do sometimes.

jer
01-19-2017, 04:56 AM
I don't.

Do what works for you though. It doesn't matter what anyone else says.

spookelele
01-19-2017, 05:42 AM
mostly.... I have avoided it and have gotten by.

But lately I've been trying to do more.. bass line + melody... and it just seems like thumb is necessary.

Gary52
01-19-2017, 05:57 AM
I use it occasionally to mute the 4th string, such as playing a G-flat chord.

actadh
01-19-2017, 06:10 AM
Apparently, my hand is not big enough to use my thumb for anything but back of the neck pressure. No way would it wrap around to fret a string.

kypfer
01-19-2017, 06:40 AM
I use my thumb occasionally on a guitar for the odd bass note when my fingers are busy elsewhere ... on a ukulele, four strings, four fingers - hasn't seemed necessary.

Having said that, using the thumb is part of classic technique when playing the balalaika, and that's only got three strings ... still haven't got the hang of that!

Given the free-spirited do it your own way approach to a lot of ukulele playing ... who cares what anyone else says, if it works for you, do it! Just be aware that there's probably good reason why it's frowned upon in some circles ... it may actually cramp your style in some situations, so be prepared to be flexible if necessary ;)

:music:

Debussychopin
01-19-2017, 07:15 AM
For me I try to position my thumb as properly in classical guitar. Thumb must be pad placed on middle of neck and out of view from front.
But on soprano uke, this had been the most cumbersome thing to practice or do due to its narrow neck width. Now it is possible but in some circumstances I can't still.

spongeuke
01-19-2017, 07:30 AM
Going from a G7 to Cdim]

Camsuke
01-19-2017, 09:32 AM
For me I try to position my thumb as properly in classical guitar. Thumb must be pad placed on middle of neck and out of view from front.
But on soprano uke, this had been the most cumbersome thing to practice or do due to its narrow neck width. Now it is possible but in some circumstances I can't still.

It must be extremely difficult to keep your thumb positioned this way, please be careful not to strain your wrist.

Snargle
01-19-2017, 10:09 AM
For me I try to position my thumb as properly in classical guitar. Thumb must be pad placed on middle of neck and out of view from front.
But on soprano uke, this had been the most cumbersome thing to practice or do due to its narrow neck width. Now it is possible but in some circumstances I can't still.
If it's cumbersome and difficult, maybe it's not the best thing for a ukulele. Classical guitar technique does not necessarily translate to ukulele technique. There are times (certain chord/barre positions) when it makes sense, but many times, I can play cleaner and easier by just resting the thumb on the upper edge of the fret board.

Debussychopin
01-19-2017, 10:09 AM
It must be extremely difficult to keep your thumb positioned this way, please be careful not to strain your wrist.



It isn't a strain since I hold the uke up sort of at an angle like my guitar. It is all about correct neck angle/ arm positioning. Not just thumb position per se.
To hold the thumb at a wrapped type of hold, it hinders on proper fretting quickly from position to position.

Tootler
01-19-2017, 11:11 AM
Using the thumb doesn't really work for me except for Fm where I have to adopt and awkward position to play first position Fm with just my fingers. One of my uke group (now sadly defunct) used to play it with an Em shape moved up 1 fret for the same reason.

ukatee
01-19-2017, 12:00 PM
My hand just isn't big enough. I use a strap to the headstock so my left hand is completely free, with the thumb sliding on the back of the neck.

stevepetergal
01-19-2017, 04:01 PM
I used to, on occasion. Then, as my technique improved, I realized I could get better results faster by not resorting to this practice. I think it's a bad idea.

WCBarnes
01-19-2017, 04:16 PM
In two separate on-line teaching videos (Craig Chee and Matt Dahlberg) they both mention holding the uke in the "notch" of your hand and both of their thumbs curled around the neck of the ukulele. I have tried this way but find it difficult as I was initially taught to keep my thumb behind, like debussychopin mentions. I think you should go with whatever feels best and allows you to play your best. Here is a link to Matt's website (http://mattukulele.com/ukulele-web-sessions) where he has several tutorial videos, including holding a ukulele.

Ukejenny
01-20-2017, 05:24 AM
My left thumb slides around quite a bit on the back of the neck.

TheCraftedCow
01-20-2017, 06:24 AM
Not everyone wears the same length and width of shoes or belts. To make a sweeping generalization of what is "the right way" is the same as to specify only one correct length and width. Add to that size of hand and size of size of instrument as well as finger dexterity makes this a specious discussion. It makes about as much sense as saying I am married to my wife, and you should be married to my wife too.

Gwynedd
02-06-2017, 01:56 AM
I'd say, if you ever intend to play classical guitar, don't use the thumb. I'm struggling to keep my thumb in center of the neck, which is necessary to move flexibly around the fretboard. I started classical guitar in the Fall, and strangely, the uke was NOT a big help learning guitar. Other than reading music and knowing where some notes are--the hand position and strength needed are quite different.

So if you want to add guitar to your repertoire, don't.