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Old 05-03-2019, 02:39 PM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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Default If only I didnít have this physical limitation...

I will never be the player I could be because I lack the physical ability to wrap my thumb over the top of the fretboard.

It feels good tho say it in public but it makes me sad nonetheless...
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:42 PM
Nyghthawk Nyghthawk is online now
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When I was in my teens I had an acquaintance who played classical guitar. Bach, Mozart kind of classical. He had fingers that would not only handle a 2" wide fret board but could span 5 frets. It looked like a tarantula crawling around as he played.

My physical limitation is short stubby fingers. At least that's what I tell myself. David practiced more in one session than I practice in a week but I tell myself it was his fingers.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:44 PM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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I will never be the player I once was because my hands no longer work as good as they did when I was younger.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:51 PM
beatcomber beatcomber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyghthawk View Post
He had fingers that would not only handle a 2" wide fret board but could span 5 frets. It looked like a tarantula crawling around as he played.
Look at Mister Johnson's fingers!!!

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Old 05-03-2019, 03:00 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slothead56 View Post
I will never be the player I could be because I lack the physical ability to wrap my thumb over the top of the fretboard.

It feels good tho say it in public but it makes me sad nonetheless...
There have probably been some amazing players who have not been able to wrap their thumb. I can no longer do it due to a hand injury so I hear where you are coming from. People find ways to adjust to their limitations. Joe Montana had a weak arm and next to no ability to throw deep. He did pretty well for himself in spite of it.

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Old 05-03-2019, 03:03 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I have short stubby fingers too, (although they are getting scrawny now, and fat/flat fingertips - so I play guitars with wider fretboards and although its not very long (my thumb!) I can curl it over enough to fret the 6th string - you don't actually need to press that hard.

I put this video up recently, I am playing a Harmony with a 2" nut width, and you'll see that I'm not actually folding my thumb "right over" - just "peering over the top like Chad.

I'm saying this because I hope it might just help.

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Old 05-03-2019, 03:06 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Originally Posted by beatcomber View Post
Look at Mister Johnson's fingers!!!

It is thought by some that he (and Jimi Hendrix, and Paganini) that they might have had Marfan's syndrome.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:16 PM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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It is thought by some that he (and Jimi Hendrix, and Paganini) that they might have had Marfan's syndrome.
And suddenly Google is overwhelmed with inquiries about Marfanís Syndrome....
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:09 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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I will never be the player Django Reinhardt was even though I have use of all ten fingers.

Perspective.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:21 PM
vintageom vintageom is offline
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Take a look at world-class Classical guitar players and see how many wrap their thumbs over the top of the neck to play. Virtually none, that I know of.

When I was taking Classical lessons, my teacher forbid it. I had been wrapping my thumb over the top for years to play full chords, so had to unlearn it to conform. I learned how to stretch and strengthen my fingers to play full chords in different positions. Some chord changes became harder, but I adapted.

You can also choose a narrow and shallow neck profile and a narrow nut width to accommodate your hand size. Electric guitars have some very shallow and narrow necks and players routinely go over the top with their thumb, up and down the neck. Acoustic players can do the same with the right neck profile and width.

Low action also helps, so you can play cleanly and without strain when reaching the outer limits of your physical ability to stretch and fret cleanly.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:25 PM
tomiv9 tomiv9 is online now
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Someone beat me to the django Reinhardt comment. He was one of the greatest. Only had full use of his index and middle fingers.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:39 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slothead56 View Post
I will never be the player I could be because I lack the physical ability to wrap my thumb over the top of the fretboard.

It feels good tho say it in public but it makes me sad nonetheless...
I have large hands and can easily do a thumb wrap. I've been playing over 40 years and never did a thumb wrap until maybe 2 years ago - I never needed to. I still don't need to. I just figured I'd try it.

D'jango had his left hand horribly disfigured in a fire and became one of the greatest players ever. Tony Iommi and Jerry Garcia were missing digits and whole fingers. I used to play with a woman who was missing her entire right arm below the elbow. I used to duct tape a pick to her stump.

The only thing most people are missing that limits them is guts and attitude.

Last edited by Kerbie; 05-03-2019 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Rule #1
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:50 PM
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I've never wrapped my thumb, and don't know why one would need to (other than personal preference)? Not sure what I'm missing by not doing this, but what I don't know can't (and hasn't) hurt me.
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Last edited by drplayer; 05-03-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:54 PM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I have large hands and can easily do a thumb wrap. I've been playing over 40 years and never did a thumb wrap until maybe 2 years ago - I never needed to. I still don't need to. I just figured I'd try it.

D'jango had his left hand horribly disfigured in a fire and became one of the greatest players ever. Tony Iommi and Jerry Garcia were missing digits and whole fingers. I used to play with a woman who was missing her entire right arm below the elbow. I used to duct tape a pick to her stump.

The only thing most people are missing that limits them is guts and attitude.
It’s a joke.

Last edited by Kerbie; 05-03-2019 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Edited quote; Adjusted accordingly
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:59 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slothead56 View Post
It’s a joke.
Sarcasm does not translate well in written emails.

Last edited by Kerbie; 05-03-2019 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Edited quote; Adjusted accordingly
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