Left thumb relaxation, how?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Re: Left thumb relaxation, how?

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:58 pm

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Luis_Br wrote:...But it is not the final solution to the overall technical and health problem, IMO.
Keeping a straight wrist is a structural aspect, where controlling to muscular tension in the arm/hand/wrist is a muscular issue. The two are neither independent of one another or dependent.
I agree. What I mean is that the straight wrist should not be used so tightly as a constraint and should not be treated as an easy short-term solution without working the mobility and other issues. I am sure you certainly know to address this issues in a correct way. I say this to beginners and others who haven't thought deeper in the problem, because I find several with straight wrist, but still with lot of internal tightening and below average final result.

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Re: Left thumb relaxation, how?

Post by meouzer » Sat May 13, 2017 7:09 pm

Hold your left hand horizontally flat, palm side up. Move the thumb to your first, second, or third finger. Notice how the thumb lies on its left side, which is the position the thumb can/should take in playing. Continue with the demonstration by moving the right wrist in-between the left hand thumb and fingers as though you were taking your pulse with your left thumb. Notice that the thumb is still lying on its left side - good. Now press and notice that the thumb moves from its left side to the power position where it is lying flat with full pad contact - bad. The power position is the position where one reflexively presses too hard. Simply don't go into the power position, which you have to unnaturally force by the way, by keeping the thumb straight, relaxed, and at least somewhat on its left side. This thumb position is recommended by no less than Charles Duncan in part because it encourages light pressure with the thumb.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Left thumb relaxation, how?

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat May 13, 2017 7:44 pm

Hi Jason, CY,

I have arthritis in my left thumb and have to be careful about too much left thumb pressure. I've been re-working technique of late and in my lessons (I'm a hobbyist player) we've talked about left hand movements from one position to the next as sort of a ballet movement. I've started using the fretting finger for the lead note of the upcoming arpeggio as my initial weight for the notes rather than planting my thumb first and then my fingers. By concentrating on that lead note finger it seems to help with a more relaxed thumb plus it helps with legato playing. The only time it doesn't seem to work is when the first note of the upcoming arpeggio is say an f on the bass e string.
It's continuing work to keep the thumb relaxed.
Hauser III 2014!

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