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Thread: Four finger B flat

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    > Your thumb is not planted dead center in the back of the neck ( neither is mine, usually)
    > but you’re also not jamming the neck down into the web between thumb and index finger
    > in a power grip like you might hold a baseball bat.
    > It’s that baseball bat grip that makes barre chords very difficult, in my experience.

    I think these grips are those whom you call baseball bat grip.

    Yep - that's the one...in more general terms, it's the "power grip" - as opposed to the "precision grip" in which the thumb and index finger are used in a sort of pinching hold.

    Hey - if a player can cleanly execute Bbs and barre chords, with the power grip - and that player has no problems switching to other chord shapes consistently and quickly, then there's nothing inherently "wrong" with using it. But I'd argue they're likely to be the exception, rather than the rule.

    In my experience, that grip causes all sorts of problems with those chords - in the case of the Bb, it makes it much more difficult to "banana" with the index finger while arching the ring and middle fingers over the E and A strings so as to fret the C and G strings at the second and third frets, respectively. Likewise, if the player is using the full barre with the index finger...

    But by rotating the hand counter clockwise, the thumb moves to the back of the neck and all those other fingers can do their duty more easily...assuming the player does not have other hand related problems which prevent them from using that grip.

    And given how often I've seen the "power grip" with new players - and how common it is that new players complain about Bb and barre chords.... it seems to me that is stands to reason that they ought to look to the way they're holding the neck to potentially solve these problems.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    Perhaps it is a matter of hand size. I've got small hands and, as far as I'm concerned, "normal ukulele play" means holding the pad of the thumb at the back of the neck - always. If someone insisted that I'm doing it wrong, and that I should rest the neck on the web between finger and thumb, I would find it impossible to play.

    I've never used a strap, and I prefer to perform standing up, though I practise sitting down.

    John Colter.
    I have small hands as well - and I also have an old and painful scar that runs along the pad of my left thumb from the nail almost to the knuckle. That forces me to hold the uke neck with my thumb at a bit of an angle, catching the neck with the flared bit of bone at the first knuckle - the result being that the tip of my thumb is usually sticking up a bit past the neck.

    The biggest problem this grip presents for me though is that I have to play sitting down or with a strap - as I can't really clutch the ukulele firmly enough with my right elbow to hold it in place. So when I'm standing strapless, I find myself going to the baseball bat grip to hold the uke up.

    Kudos to you for getting past that problem!
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  3. #23
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    Hi, Swamp Yankee.

    According to your posts in this thread, I think you can only play A. Is that right?


  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    Hi, Swamp Yankee.

    According to your posts in this thread, I think you can only play A. Is that right?

    A and B are OK for me. C is doable, but very muddy which is OKish if Iím muting chords... like a Reggae strum.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  5. #25
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    If you could play B, you did not write the sentence below. Because A and B's thumb positions are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    And with both Bb and barre chords in general, I stand by my opinion that thumb position is very important.


    In your posts, you insist to talk about A and C and blame C and beginners. B may be hard especially many people doesn't know how to hold like this without web attach (green arrow in the photo below).

    I thought you can not play B and even did not know B.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    If you could play B, you did not write the sentence below. Because A and B's thumb positions are different.





    In your posts, you insist to talk about A and C and blame C and beginners. B may be hard especially many people doesn't know how to hold like this without web attach (green arrow in the photo below).

    I thought you can not play B and even did not know B.
    Not quite sure I understand you but the way I interpreted photo B is that the thumb is still pressed against the back of the neck but closer to the edge of the fretboard, and the “web” is not in contact with the neck. I often play something like the B way (as I interpret it) when the scar on my left thumb pad that I mentioned is acting up. As I explained, I often hold the neck by pressing it against the bone of the tip of my thumb where it flares at the knuckle.... because the pad of my thumb is badly scarred.
    Last edited by Swamp Yankee; 06-16-2019 at 01:27 PM.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  7. #27
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    Hi, Swamp Yankee. Sorry I misunderstand your Bb. I thought your Bb is as follows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    With a Bb, or a barre chord, my thumb pad is planted in the middle of the neck with the tip pointing towards the tuners.
    I thought you can only play A (See the photo below), and you can not play B. But now I see you can play B and you diverse to enter this discussion with us.

    Last edited by yahalele; 06-16-2019 at 09:35 PM.

  8. #28
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    I second the recommendation that you turn your hand slightly so that you are barring the E and A strings with the side of your index finger closest to the thumb. Not all the way on the side, but enough where the finger is a little firmer.

    You’ll get there!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    I second the recommendation that you turn your hand slightly so that you are barring the E and A strings with the side of your index finger closest to the thumb. Not all the way on the side, but enough where the finger is a little firmer.

    You’ll get there!
    A Bb first position method we figured out works best for my wife is to pivot the entire fretting hand, with the thumb pad in the middle of the back of the neck, until the thumb is pointing more towards the body of the uke. Then the index finger can arch up over the nut and the pad of the index finger falls diagonally across the E and A strings. In that position she can hold both strings down without using any barring or banana-ing at all and her other fingers are in position to form the rest of the chord. It won't work if you have really skinny fingertips though
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

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