Proper wrist/hand position when playing chords
Proper wrist/hand position when playing chordsin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:39 am
by sammydee • 7 Posts
I saw Pebber's video on proper wrist poition when fretting single notes. I've been playing just over a year and already do something similar i.e. tips of fingers, fingers parallel to frets, thumb opposite middle finger on the back of the guitar, so that's good on the single note picking stuff.
On to chords. Some chords give me issues. Especially with chords like G and A, if I want to keep a normal guitar position, I can do either of two things.
1) Bend my wrist excessively and keep my thumb low on the neck
2) Keep my wrist relatively straight and raise my thumb up so it is poking over the top
I have tried many many permutations of hand/arm position and the mechanics simply do not allow a low thumb position and straight wrist. My hand doesn't bend like that. Perhaps I need to change the position of my guitar?
Is it imperative that the thumb does not come up over the top of the neck when forming chords? In Pebber's chord video I noticed for C and G, his thumb comes over the top of the neck also. What should I be aiming for here?
Also in order to keep a straight wrist I often need to make large movements with my elbow in and out, this does not seem very efficient. If somebody has photos of exactly how these chords should be formed I'd love to see.
RE: Proper wrist/hand position when playing chordsin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:16 am
by Slashiepie • 118 Posts
Cool to see more new faces working on their technique :)
Since you didn't mention it, i have to ask.. are you tilting the neck up ?
bending the wrist or sacrificing technique is the last step after all else has been exhausted, sometimes a slight wrist angle is unavoidable, but only after you are sure you are doing everything as perfect as possible, so try this out.
Adjust your strap high enough and put that neck right next to your ear, i bet you will form a decent G chord easily...
RE: Proper wrist/hand position when playing chordsin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:40 pm
by pebberbrown • 867 Posts
I used to have several Classical teachers that would get pissed off when I didnt have my thumb behind the neck on C and G and F and D chords. There are extreme teachers out there. If you play classical its the proper technique - however for jazz and rock I have adjusted mostly so the thumb is behind the neck on barre chords, jazz chords and any scales with more than 2 notes per string. As I practice now I am more into the pure classical techniques all over again. So its a matter of how much do you want to perfect it.
RE: Proper wrist/hand position when playing chordsin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:17 am
by sammydee • 7 Posts
Thanks a bunch for the replies guys. For barre chords my thumb naturally sinks down fairly low, it's only really A, G, B7 chords that I need to push my thumb up higher.
I will start out by getting the neck up at a higher angle. I think part of my problem is that the last six months I have been traveling South America. The only guitar I've had access to is this travel guitar:
It has a very small body which makes it somewhat awkward to hold and impossible to get any leverage on with my right arm. I've read that many people use their right arm as leverage so their thumb does not have to squeeze very hard (or even at all) to press the notes, perhaps this is something that comes automatically with a largebody guitar. For me I have to really get a vicegrip going on with my left hand to fret the strings properly.
Hopefully when I return home soon I will have access to a full size guitar and my chords problems will work themselves out a little bit.