Tim22 wrote:1) I am concerned that my left hand thumb positioning may be wrong and, through habits formed over years, may be hard to correct. How much should I worry about this? I mean, how will poor thumb positioning limit or hinder me? And what even is a good thumb position? I think my thumb might sometimes extend too high up the back of the neck, but I'm not sure. I realise this is kind of 3 questions...
Rick Hutt wrote:In general the LH thumb should be positioned behind the 2d finger about in the middle of the fretboard. Thisis what I was taught and what i teach. Of curse it is not a hard and fast rule but I think it's a good rule of thumb. )Sorry)
A lot of people are teaching something different than this ...
- try this:
Allow your left arm to hang loosely by your side - keeping it totally relaxed, take a peek at the position of the thumb. This is a guide
to its optimum position when you raise the hand to its playing attitude. For many the thumb lies just outside
the span of the fingers i.e. to their left.
The idea that the thumb should stay directly opposite the first or second finger, somehow "balancing the hand" is how I was first taught - it is an old fashioned, unexamined concept, needlessly rigid, paying little regard to individual physiology and often a cause of dysfunctional tension. It is possible of course that, for some
, it is indeed a natural position which is fine - but for most this is not the case.
There are many who will argue against the above and equally many (including myself) who are perfectly capable of playing well under that old regime - which however does not prove it to be the best way for all. The fact is that there is not one and only one best position for your thumb - it should be mobile; indeed if your technique is well formed it is possible to remove the thumb altogether and continue to play.
I suggest that you read Glise, Berg and Urshalmi on technique. I seem to remember that Larry McDonald (forum member) once posted some free guidance online - maybe he will respond if he sees this.