Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

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Pkdawg
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Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by Pkdawg » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:57 am

I tend to want to start my thumb stroke at the very left side of my thumb on the flesh and then it hits my nail ramping and sliding existing towards the middle right.

It seems most everyone I see starts the contact more in the middle then the string releases off to the left.

Is one way more correct than the other?

RockyWestTexas
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by RockyWestTexas » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:55 am

As my contact point is at the middle, I have a little trouble envisioning the trajectory of your thumb movement. Is your thumb plucking the string toward the pinky finger? If so, can you perform a full thumb stroke (i.e., not terminate the thumb movement after it plucks the string)? Do your thumb movements ever interfere with the i-m-a finger movements?
I only ask out of curiosity. I am just an amateur who found your question very interesting.

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lagartija
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by lagartija » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:10 pm

My teacher says that it depends on your thumb. Some people have a lot of thumb curvature at the tip joint and some do not. Some people have thumb base joints that can reach far from the index finger without strain and some don’t. So there is no one “right way” for everyone. It depends on your personal anatomy and a good teacher can help you find what is best for you.
In most cases, if not all, it should feel natural and not strained.
That being said, in general you do not want your thumb stroke to interfere with your i finger stroke because sometimes you are doing both simultaneously and want a default that works in both cases. So if your thumb trajectory takes you inside your index finger’s path in the follow through, you might want to reconsider that path.
In general, the thumb is held forward of the fingers so they can move unimpeded towards the palm and the space for the thumb stroke is in the space forward of the fingers. The contact point and motion of the thumb from there will depend on the sound you want and how your anatomy allows you to get that sound
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Pkdawg
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by Pkdawg » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:33 am

I can’t figure out how those that ramp their thumb nail from left to right being longer and yet contact the string in the middle/right and release off to the left side? Wouldn’t you want the have the string release in the direction the ramp is getting longer? It looks like most people do it that way with their fingers, but the opposite with thumb for some reason. No?

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otirroz
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by otirroz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:41 pm

ramp their thumb nail from left to right being longer and yet contact the string in the middle/right and release off to the left side?
Hello Pkdawg,

The question is interesting and I have asked myself the same. However, I find your description of left and right confusing. When you are referring to left and right, do you mean as you are looking at the back of your hand or when looking at the palm?

Otirroz

Pkdawg
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by Pkdawg » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:54 pm

RockyWestTexas wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:55 am
As my contact point is at the middle, I have a little trouble envisioning the trajectory of your thumb movement. Is your thumb plucking the string toward the pinky finger? If so, can you perform a full thumb stroke (i.e., not terminate the thumb movement after it plucks the string)? Do your thumb movements ever interfere with the i-m-a finger movements?
I only ask out of curiosity. I am just an amateur who found your question very interesting.
I mean left and right by looking at the knuckle side of my thumb

RockyWestTexas
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by RockyWestTexas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:22 pm

Pkdawg

I understand what you are saying. I just never tried to analyze the mechanics of the motion. However, let me give it a try: In general, the point of contact will always lie at a “higher location” on your fingernail than the point of release (refer to figures A and B). The terms “higher” and “lower” are relative to the distance from the soundboard. Figure A illustrates a thumb posture that places the point of contact at the middle of the thumb nail. The point of release should occur at some location below (to comply with the desire that the string is pushed toward the soundboard as the string is plucked). Figure B illustrates a thumb posture that will place the point of contact on the left edge and the point of release at the middle of the thumb nail.

Image

So contrary to your second post, I believe the relationship between the points of contact and release are conceptually the same regardless of whether the point of contact is at the middle or the left side. In either case, the thumb nail should pushes the string toward the sound board and thus the point of release must be located lower than the point of contact. The main differences between the two situations are (1) orientation of the thumb and (2) the trajectory of the thumb stroke (not shown in my drawings).

Hope the above helps -- Rocky

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cefyn
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by cefyn » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:25 pm

I play with the left side of my thumb - it's physically impossible for me to strike the string with the middle - if I did, my fingers wouldn't reach the strings.

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Pkdawg
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Re: Contact Point for thumb? Middle or left

Post by Pkdawg » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:30 pm

Rocky, thanks for the great post. You are what makes this group fun and inviting.

When I look at Figure A. It seems to me the release point would at a long place than a shorter meaning the string would contact where you put it, but then the nail would increase in length at the release point providing a bit of nail to pluck the string. In your diagram it looks to me like the string would slip off of the nail with no real bite. Your diagram is what I believe most do, but I just don’t get how there is enough nail to have any meaning at that release point. It would be like playing with your pick backwards.

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