Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Thumb Position?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cork, Ireland
    Posts
    26

    Default Thumb Position?

    Hi all!
    Just wondering if thumb position is a big deal with the ukulele as i try to keep it below the fretboard but it keeps progressively moving out as i play, should i be trying to keep the thumb under the fretboard or is thumb position relative to the chord you are playing or does it matter at all?
    Cheers,
    Kieran

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,925

    Default

    You get lots of opinions on this one.

    Personally, I put my thumb where ever it needs to be so that I can A) play the chord and B) keep from dropping the uke.

    JJ
    "Talent is just a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do." -- Bob Ross

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cork, Ireland
    Posts
    26

    Thumbs up

    great thanks for clearing that up me i actually nearly dropped my uke trying to adjust my thumb today so i reckoned it was time to ask the question

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Herts, UK
    Posts
    3,608

    Default

    I really wish I could keep my thumb on the back of the neck like "real" musicians do. I've been trying to do that for decades on guitars, mandolins and now ukes. I an't get the hang of it, so I guess I'll always be crap.

    Seriously, try as I might, the neck just nestles in there between my thumb and finger and goes to sleep. It looks so comfortable that I don't have the heart to keep disturbing it.
    Last edited by buddhuu; 04-22-2009 at 11:28 PM. Reason: typo!
    And whether the blood be highland, lowland or no,
    And whether the skin be black or white as the snow,
    Of kith and of kin we are one, be it right, be it wrong,
    As long as our hearts beat true to the lilt of a song.

  5. #5

    Default

    I must be a "real" musician as my thumb is almost always planted in the middle of the neck. My chords get real sloppy when my thumb is sticking up above the neck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, Mn
    Posts
    1,016

    Default

    I try to keep my thumb on the back of the neck. It does facilitate getting to things higher up more easily (I try to play a lot in second positions for the Uke Orchestra to fill out the sound). But I've also got a lot of sloppy ingrained guitar habits. There's still a lot of conscious effort that needs to go into playing correctly and keeping the instrument balanced so I'm no constantly dropping the neck.

    It's definitely something to work towards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cork, Ireland
    Posts
    26

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanark View Post
    I try to keep my thumb on the back of the neck. It does facilitate getting to things higher up more easily (I try to play a lot in second positions for the Uke Orchestra to fill out the sound). But I've also got a lot of sloppy ingrained guitar habits. There's still a lot of conscious effort that needs to go into playing correctly and keeping the instrument balanced so I'm no constantly dropping the neck.

    It's definitely something to work towards.
    cool ya im going to keep trying to keep it there then i think im in the same boat as you alot of sloppy guitar techniques creeping into my uke playing
    thanks for the advice and thanks to everyone elses advice too i'll try and take it all on board

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Collingwood, ON Canada
    Posts
    3,839

    Default

    You evolved through a couple of million years from rudimentary primate to Homo Sapiens just to have the fabled "opposable thumb."

    Use it as it was meant to be used. Which of course is however it feels best for you, the tool user at the pinnacle of your species.

    I sometimes use my thumb to stabilze my grip so my chording fingers are pressed firmly into the fretboard. Other times I cradle the neck between thumb and forefinger so my hand can move up and down the neck with little fear of dropping the instrument. Yet other times it wraps around the neck and plunks down on the C string to help me form a chord while the fingers flex in search of other strings to ply.

    All of that thanks to the wonders of evolution. So in honour of that, I will name a ukulele Darwin.
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
    Seneca the Younger
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cork, Ireland
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ichadwick View Post
    You evolved through a couple of million years from rudimentary primate to Homo Sapiens just to have the fabled "opposable thumb."

    Use it as it was meant to be used. Which of course is however it feels best for you, the tool user at the pinnacle of your species.

    I sometimes use my thumb to stabilze my grip so my chording fingers are pressed firmly into the fretboard. Other times I cradle the neck between thumb and forefinger so my hand can move up and down the neck with little fear of dropping the instrument. Yet other times it wraps around the neck and plunks down on the C string to help me form a chord while the fingers flex in search of other strings to ply.

    All of that thanks to the wonders of evolution. So in honour of that, I will name a ukulele Darwin.
    and make a song called the origin of ukulele on it

    cheers for the advice again peoples its helping me out alot!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Loveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,478

    Default

    I started out learning from a Mel Bay book back in August, and it said to keep your thumb at the back of the neck, so you can press the strings properly.

    Lately, it seems I've been curving/curling my wrist more to maintain that position and still reach some strings, arching the fingers. And I'm starting to get pain. Also, for some reason, I make some chords (G and G7) pointing my fingers more towards the bridge-end of the uke, not straight up-and-down.

    I see a lot of people with the thumb way up high, behind the neck, with the neck seeming to rest in the crook of the thumb and pointer finger. How in the world do you do that and still reach the strings and arch your fingers?

    I am really struggling with this right now--I've been playing for 2 months, and at first I seemed to be doing okay. But since I've been trying harder (to me) chords, I've been having to curve my wrist more to reach things.

    There must be a better way. Are there any photos or videos online to show me how to do this?

    Thanks!

    CountryMouse
    Flukes: Island Design custom; Red Cowboy | Fleas: Denim concert; Grape soprano | Enterline CBU #7
    Lanikais: LB6-S banjolele; LU-21 | Eleuke Mahogany | aNueNue U900 pineapple | Luna Great Wave pineapple
    Kalas: Purple Paisley Ukadelic; Watermelon | Red Hilo soprano | Dolphins: Pearl White; Pink Burst; Green Burst;
    Blue Metallic | Mahalos: Blue Tr Fruit; Smiley Face; Hearts; Black Les Paul | Tom Pocket Uke | Plastic: Woodi; TV Pal

    Twitter | Blog | Facebook | YouTube | YouTube Too

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •