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View Full Version : Do you guys ever play without your thumb holding the neck?



Dane
04-21-2010, 07:52 PM
Sometimes I find that after a long while of playing, my thumb will get quite sore (it bends really far backwards and the strain tires it out) So I sometimes find myself accidentally playing without my thumb holding on, I just wedge my right arm on the body and it's not an issue if you're just playing for a few minutes. I've never seen anyone else do this though, I've also done it when I've had to extend my finger reach, because without the thumb holding the uke it allows the hand to fan out larger.......am I just weird?

MisoHappy
04-21-2010, 08:05 PM
I do the same thing as you sometimes, but not a lot. Maybe you're just holding to hard?


But usually, when my thumb gets tired, I just let the neck sit in between my thumb and pointer. It's a last resort actually, it makes playing some things tricky for me. (It's not a good habit either)

Dane
04-21-2010, 10:32 PM
My thumbs are really flexible, they bend really far back, and my hand wants to grip that way a lot of the time. I should control my grip more but I don't think to very often. I used to grip REALLY hard and it was difficult to play a song that was longer than a minute, but I don't do that anymore.

ichadwick
04-22-2010, 02:26 AM
Depends on the chord. I often use my thumb to fret the fourth string, so the neck sits in the palm of my hand. With an F chord, the neck is held by the fleshy part between thumb and first finger. With a G it's held by the thumb but along the length, not by the pad. With a C or A it's the pad (tip) of the thumb.

Dane
04-22-2010, 08:05 AM
Depends on the chord. I often use my thumb to fret the fourth string, so the neck sits in the palm of my hand. With an F chord, the neck is held by the fleshy part between thumb and first finger. With a G it's held by the thumb but along the length, not by the pad. With a C or A it's the pad (tip) of the thumb.

What size uke do you play?

Melissa82
04-22-2010, 08:21 AM
I can't recall my thumb ever getting tired. I think most pressure comes from my first two fingers.

paraclete
04-22-2010, 08:27 AM
I can't really imagine playing without my thumb on the neck, mostly to counterbalance my fingers. Are you still gripping the neck or pressing your thumb against it? I'm not clear on why your thumb is getting sore.

Dane
04-22-2010, 09:46 AM
Here maybe this will explain.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LKKxHsmWvk

Dane
04-22-2010, 09:47 AM
sorry it's really dark in my room right now, and this little camera doesn't allow me to control exposure.

arashi_nero
04-22-2010, 10:40 AM
haha, my thumb does the same thing. i'm trying to not bend it backwards like that when playing, but it's habitual. and my thumb gets tired after a while. i'm getting better at playing longer without my hand cramping

GrumpyCoyote
04-22-2010, 10:50 AM
Here maybe this will explain.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LKKxHsmWvk

Ok - that looks painful.

I often put my thumb horizontaly along the neck or even lift it altogether when picking out a solo - particulary for slides and "stretchy" bits. Basicaly, if it gets in my way, or is under stress - I move it.

I think the trick is to play comfortably. If it hurts or causes exess fatigue - you may want to rethink it. You can do some damage over time if you force unatural positions.

Dane
04-22-2010, 11:51 AM
haha, my thumb does the same thing. i'm trying to not bend it backwards like that when playing, but it's habitual.
Glad I'm not the only one haha


Ok - that looks painful.

I often put my thumb horizontaly along the neck or even lift it altogether when picking out a solo - particulary for slides and "stretchy" bits. Basicaly, if it gets in my way, or is under stress - I move it.

I think the trick is to play comfortably. If it hurts or causes exess fatigue - you may want to rethink it. You can do some damage over time if you force unatural positions.


It doesn't hurt at all, it's just that over extended periods of time it fatigues the thumb more. It's actually plenty comfortable, and I sometimes switch into it when plying up really high on the fretboard, dunno why. It is something that I would like to NOT do, but it's something my hand just wants to do when I'm playing, I can't explain it really.

arashi_nero
04-22-2010, 12:48 PM
It doesn't hurt at all, it's just that over extended periods of time it fatigues the thumb more. It's actually plenty comfortable, and I sometimes switch into it when plying up really high on the fretboard, dunno why. It is something that I would like to NOT do, but it's something my hand just wants to do when I'm playing, I can't explain it really.

ditto! 1234

AC Baltimore
04-22-2010, 01:22 PM
I lost all reason and response after the video. That thumb bend is astonishing bro lol.

Dane
04-22-2010, 01:39 PM
haha! I did a horror shoot with a friend of mine once and he has these really grubby hands, and I had him holding these pliers and makin it look like he was breaking my thumb, it was really quite humorous

Dane
04-22-2010, 01:47 PM
I actually found it! This was very early in my college work, so obviously it is a little crappy, and is no reflection of my work to date, but hey, I still think it's pretty funny. I might re-visit this sometime.

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/4909/thumbbreak.jpg

arashi_nero
04-22-2010, 06:27 PM
ahahahahahahaha, great idea. i've taken pics doing "thumbs bent backwards" instead of "thumbs up" before, but this takes the cake. i wonder how many people on here can bend their thumbs like that. there you and me.

funny story. today at work, i was playing my uke and i've always known my thumb does that when i play, but i didn't realize how much until i was watching my left hand today while i was playing. it almost freaked me out because of unnatural it really looks :rofl:

Dane
04-22-2010, 06:32 PM
ahahahahahahaha, great idea. i've taken pics doing "thumbs bent backwards" instead of "thumbs up" before, but this takes the cake. i wonder how many people on here can bend their thumbs like that. there you and me.

funny story. today at work, i was playing my uke and i've always known my thumb does that when i play, but i didn't realize how much until i was watching my left hand today while i was playing. it almost freaked me out because of unnatural it really looks :rofl:

Yeah I imagine it looks quite strange to some people, but I'm so used to it now. I bet it looks strange when I put my feet behind my head too

Dane
04-22-2010, 06:33 PM
I call it my hitch-hikers thumbs