Thumb over neck struggle?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Thumb over neck struggle?

bouncee

Registered User

Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 20

So for the past 5 or 6 months I've been trying to master the thumb over neck technique. No luck and I finally feel defeated and have come to the realization that either I got too short and chubby fingers or maybe I got the wrong guitar neck shape, radius, curvature in regards to my fingers ability or even finger lengths?

Tbh. Until today I didn't even know or think about neck shapes or thickness or width of the neck until I saw a video on the topic today. I've got a fender clone electric and a nylon string with a wide neck. I manage chords and even barre chords on both guitars. But not the thumb over neck.

I've tried to adjust wrist angle, change the grip, the finger angles and all other things I can think of. Still don't master it. On the electric guitar I am able to wrap my thumb over the neck on fret 1 to 3. Any higher up the neck and it's a failure.

It's not like I haven't tried. I've even done finger gymkhana and stretches for months. And had a five minute go at this at every warm up practice. Yet no result to show for the effort.

But why pursue the thumb over neck if it is so hard you might ask? Well to be more expressiv and add fills or coloring notes with the pinky. I would need to fret the 6th string with my thumb in a clean and clear sounding matter up the neck. And prefferable also dampening the fifth string with the tip of the thumb. And using regular barre chords does not do it for me in regards to fills and coloring tones.

1: Either I am doing it all wrong. That is possible because I never had a guitar teacher and likely will never do, due to life and schedual and all that jazz. But I've watched videos and tried to mimmick what I've seen others do.

2: Is there any type of neck shape, curvature, width etc that might help me and make this easier? I am willing to shop for a new guitar to master this.

3: Any general tips or tricks I can try, or changes to fingersetting, hand, wrist of finger angles I should play around with to master this?

4: Should I just accept failure and move on, either find a new hobby or stick to songs and styles that does not require any thumb over neck?

#1

So for the past 5 or 6 months I've been trying to master the thumb over neck technique. No luck and I finally feel defeated and have come to the realization that either I got too short and chubby fingers or maybe I got the wrong guitar neck shape, radius, curvature in regards to my fingers ability or even finger lengths?

Tbh. Until today I didn't even know or think about neck shapes or thickness or width of the neck until I saw a video on the topic today. I've got a fender clone electric and a nylon string with a wide neck. I manage chords and even barre chords on both guitars. But not the thumb over neck.

I've tried to adjust wrist angle, change the grip, the finger angles and all other things I can think of. Still don't master it. On the electric guitar I am able to wrap my thumb over the neck on fret 1 to 3. Any higher up the neck and it's a failure.

It's not like I haven't tried. I've even done finger gymkhana and stretches for months. And had a five minute go at this at every warm up practice. Yet no result to show for the effort.

But why pursue the thumb over neck if it is so hard you might ask? Well to be more expressiv and add fills or coloring notes with the pinky. I would need to fret the 6th string with my thumb in a clean and clear sounding matter up the neck. And prefferable also dampening the fifth string with the tip of the thumb. And using regular barre chords does not do it for me in regards to fills and coloring tones.

1: Either I am doing it all wrong. That is possible because I never had a guitar teacher and likely will never do, due to life and schedual and all that jazz. But I've watched videos and tried to mimmick what I've seen others do.

2: Is there any type of neck shape, curvature, width etc that might help me and make this easier? I am willing to shop for a new guitar to master this.

3: Any general tips or tricks I can try, or changes to fingersetting, hand, wrist of finger angles I should play around with to master this?

4: Should I just accept failure and move on, either find a new hobby or stick to songs and styles that does not require any thumb over neck?

Guitar Tricks Admin

Full Access

Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 3036

I would highly advise two things: 1) Head to your local guitar shop and handle some guitars. Talk with the employees about your goal. See if there aren't different neck shapes/widths that help you achieve this. 2) Made a 1on1 live lesson with one of our instructors. This way, someone can see how you are approaching the techniaue and evaluate what you can do to better help yourself! Maybe there's an approach that you haven't thought of, but an instructor would be able to point out to you. Good luck!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

I would highly advise two things: 1) Head to your local guitar shop and handle some guitars. Talk with the employees about your goal. See if there aren't different neck shapes/widths that help you achieve this. 2) Made a 1on1 live lesson with one of our instructors. This way, someone can see how you are approaching the techniaue and evaluate what you can do to better help yourself! Maybe there's an approach that you haven't thought of, but an instructor would be able to point out to you. Good luck!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

bouncee

Registered User

Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 20

Smart. Thank you will do both.

#3

Smart. Thank you will do both.