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Thread: Does anyone use the thumb for chords??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Does anyone use the thumb for chords??

    I noticed that certain chords seem easier to play w/ the thumb. I can play the chord normally but can't switch fingers quickly enough to play a song. I think it's mostly jazz chords. Just wondering

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    I do sometimes. Not often.

    I don't feel good about it. :-)

    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
    Oct 2010
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    UK
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    Default

    I do sometimes as well because it leaves my fingers free.
    Ukulele is more than just a hobby. Its a way of life.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Not too often...I choose thin necks for my ukes and therefore don't need them....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Thanks to early conditioning that it's bad practice, I don't. When reach is an issue I've often found it's easier to barre, rather than use 4 fingers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Kent, UK
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    Smile Sometimes...

    Yes, I do quite a lot. I know it's probably not the correct technique, but it's comfortable for me, so I don't mind.

    In my own case, I think it comes from being a guitarist and using the thumb to alternate bass notes in chords, so that's where I picked it up.

    I suppose I would say do whatever you're most comfortable with

    Anna

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    I do it all the time. I've been doing it for 35 years. I'm self-taught, so I didn't have anyone around to tell me that I shouldn't do it. And as a result, I'm perfectly comfortable playing chords like E and Fm7 that many people try to avoid. There's not a thing wrong with using your thumb. You still have to practice to do it cleanly, and to get to and from chords in whatever song you're playing, but there's a lot of things I can play easily that would be very difficult to play without using my thumb. Use every weapon in your arsenal to play what you're trying to play. Don't limit your abilities and options because someone else told you to.

    I use my thumb to barre the E and the 6664 F#. And I use my thumb a lot on the G string, even on simple chords like Am or Dm, to leave me with fingers free to pick out notes. With a low G string, I also sometimes play bass notes using my thumb -- the video "Uncle Wheels" on my YouTube page is an example.
    Uke can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find uke get what you need!

    YouTube: www.youtube.com/uke4ia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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    Default

    Use the thumb for the D chord every once in a while.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2010
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    Toronto
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    Default

    To me, playing is playing clear notes at the right time in the right order. I'm sure some will balk at this. So be it.

    The only thing is that if you use certain techniques to play certain notes or chords, it may limit you in terms of speed or accuracy. Using your thumb means orbiting the neck using the arc of your hand (area between thumb and index). This extra movement adds strain to the wrist, takes time, and to shift to another chord you've another large movement that takes time.

    If you can play the songs you want to play and play, say, D, by barring with your thumb, then all the power to you. You're playing the song. The timing is spot on. It sounds good. It's music!

    I know, though, that the songs I enjoy playing (almost all involve finger picking and sliding from the first to the 10th or 14th fret) require more left hand mobility than beginner strumming-only tunes that only involve the first four frets... so I forced myself to acquire more agile finger positions. Was painful. Took time. My neighbours hate me as my uke sounded like a molested rodent for weeks. But I got there.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2010
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    Kaneohe, HI
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    Default

    I never use my thumb for chords. I had no idea it was bad to use it though, it's just my thumbs are super stubby so using them for chords would be too much trouble.
    Kanile'a K1-T, Kamaka HF-3 (Finally!)

    My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ItsAMeCasey
    My Blog (warning: I'm a newb and don't know what I'm doing): http://itsamecasey.wordpress.com/

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