Author Topic: [Wrist Position] Power Chords  (Read 1294 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hadi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 6
  • Good Vibes 0
[Wrist Position] Power Chords
« on: May 19, 2017, 07:28:53 pm »
Hello,

Could you please tell me if my wrist position is correct or not? Because it fatigues quite quickly when I play power chords.




Thanks!

Offline tobyjenner

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2776
  • Good Vibes 96
  • You're never too old to Rock'n'Roll
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 08:09:27 pm »
Hadi

Welcome to the forum. Wrist is a little bent but not too bad but I remember when I first started playing power chords I got muscle fatigue very quickly. Think its just practice and muscle memory. Even now if I've not played them for a while I know I'm gonna pay for it. Keep practicing and things should improve.

Toby
8)
 
BC Mar 2013 to Jan 2015 IM April 2015 to Mar 2016
Currently consolidating IM then Blues Rhythm & MTMS
https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
TOBY JENNER’S CAS DE LA ROUTE / ROADCASE
https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg339454

Offline hadi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 6
  • Good Vibes 0
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 08:16:34 pm »
Hadi

Welcome to the forum. Wrist is a little bent but not too bad but I remember when I first started playing power chords I got muscle fatigue very quickly. Think its just practice and muscle memory. Even now if I've not played them for a while I know I'm gonna pay for it. Keep practicing and things should improve.

Toby
8)

Thanks Toby,
Don't you think that my elbow is extremely locked? It particularly happens when I reach the 9th+ frets

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 03:25:05 pm »
Everything you are doing in those photos is wrong. Yes, I replicated your arm, hand, finger, wrist positions.

It will in no way further your desire to play guitar and it will be painful.

Here is a starting place for you. It will probably be a finishing place as well but you may need to make minor adjustments.

E Barre Chord 6th fret.

1.Sit somewhere that your guitar is not restricted physically and you can sit fully upright. The guitar should balance on your leg without falling away. It will rest on your leg and lean on your torso. No hands. It will just sit there on it's own. Do NOT move on to step 2 until you can do this easily.

2. Place your index finger across the 6th fret and your thumb on the back of the neck. You r index finger should be near vertical similar to the fret wires. the tip of your index finger will touch the 6th fret wire and the outside edge of your index finger will NOT touch the 5th fret on the high e string side. there will be about a 1/4" fret board visible between 5th fret high e string and edge of your finger. At the same time, the pad of your thumb will be very near the skunk stripe on the back of neck or center line. It will be just above the center line and behind the 5TH FRET area ... NOT... the wrapped up towards the 7th Fret as you are doing. DO NOT move forward until you can do these two things easily.

3. Now repeat Step 1 and Step 2 parts A and B ( Index finger and Thumb ). Do this until you can simply pick up the guitar and very easily and with ZERO hand tension rest your hand and Index+thumb in the described manner. Do that 100 times... with ZERO TENSION.

4. Next simply place your ring and pinky on the 5th and 4th strings. Again there should be NO TENSION.

5. Now repeat Step 3 but use the entire chord grip... thumb, Index, Ring, Pinky. all very lightly, deliberately, and without tension.

6. If you develop tension go to Step 1 and be mindful of having to "capture" the guitar as though it were a pet trying to get away. It's just a piece of wood. Place it correctly and it will stay. DO NOT get into the habit of jabbing your elbow into your side. That is often associate with trying to control the guitar physically.

7. Once you have accomplished step 5 in a relaxed and repeatable manner go to step 8.

8. Rock out.


EXTRA CREDIT:
I am sure that after you learn the E Barre you will follow it with the A Barre and have the desire to use the ringer finger barre across strings bgd ( high to low ).

So here's what you... Play your Bb chord as above in the E-Shape and then transition to the Eb A-Shape. Just go ahead and do it your way first. Just grab the chord and stop and look at you r fingers and elbow. What you should notice is that your fingers become more vertical and he distance between the edge of your index finger and 5th fret wire increase slightly. Maybe it was 3/8" to 1/4" before.. now it is good 5/8" AND your elbow moved away from your body maybe 1/2" to 1"... IF NOT.. go back to Step 1.

So try that a bit. Back and forth from Bb to Eb..
Bb - Chang chang a lang, dang dang dang dang.
Eb - Chang a lang dang dang chang dang.
and so on back and forth. BUT... as you keep doing this I want you to intentionally move your elbow out to the side like 2" - 3"... Your wrist, thumb, hand, pinky.... should all just rotate very loosely, tension-less, and in all ways easily and the only "new and unusual" thing you will notice is that you are actually moving your elbow/arm to facilitate BETTER PLAYING and that there is little to no tension anywhere. That should be a revelation for you that will serve you for the remainder of your guitar career.  If it's not working and obvious... go back to Step 1 and perhaps you need a strap, stand up, or some such means that you do not have to handle / balance the guitar as you try to play it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 03:43:32 pm by TB-AV »
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline hadi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 6
  • Good Vibes 0
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 06:33:24 pm »
Everything you are doing in those photos is wrong. Yes, I replicated your arm, hand, finger, wrist positions.

It will in no way further your desire to play guitar and it will be painful.

Here is a starting place for you. It will probably be a finishing place as well but you may need to make minor adjustments.

E Barre Chord 6th fret.

1.Sit somewhere that your guitar is not restricted physically and you can sit fully upright. The guitar should balance on your leg without falling away. It will rest on your leg and lean on your torso. No hands. It will just sit there on it's own. Do NOT move on to step 2 until you can do this easily.

2. Place your index finger across the 6th fret and your thumb on the back of the neck. You r index finger should be near vertical similar to the fret wires. the tip of your index finger will touch the 6th fret wire and the outside edge of your index finger will NOT touch the 5th fret on the high e string side. there will be about a 1/4" fret board visible between 5th fret high e string and edge of your finger. At the same time, the pad of your thumb will be very near the skunk stripe on the back of neck or center line. It will be just above the center line and behind the 5TH FRET area ... NOT... the wrapped up towards the 7th Fret as you are doing. DO NOT move forward until you can do these two things easily.

3. Now repeat Step 1 and Step 2 parts A and B ( Index finger and Thumb ). Do this until you can simply pick up the guitar and very easily and with ZERO hand tension rest your hand and Index+thumb in the described manner. Do that 100 times... with ZERO TENSION.

4. Next simply place your ring and pinky on the 5th and 4th strings. Again there should be NO TENSION.

5. Now repeat Step 3 but use the entire chord grip... thumb, Index, Ring, Pinky. all very lightly, deliberately, and without tension.

6. If you develop tension go to Step 1 and be mindful of having to "capture" the guitar as though it were a pet trying to get away. It's just a piece of wood. Place it correctly and it will stay. DO NOT get into the habit of jabbing your elbow into your side. That is often associate with trying to control the guitar physically.

7. Once you have accomplished step 5 in a relaxed and repeatable manner go to step 8.

8. Rock out.


EXTRA CREDIT:
I am sure that after you learn the E Barre you will follow it with the A Barre and have the desire to use the ringer finger barre across strings bgd ( high to low ).

So here's what you... Play your Bb chord as above in the E-Shape and then transition to the Eb A-Shape. Just go ahead and do it your way first. Just grab the chord and stop and look at you r fingers and elbow. What you should notice is that your fingers become more vertical and he distance between the edge of your index finger and 5th fret wire increase slightly. Maybe it was 3/8" to 1/4" before.. now it is good 5/8" AND your elbow moved away from your body maybe 1/2" to 1"... IF NOT.. go back to Step 1.

So try that a bit. Back and forth from Bb to Eb..
Bb - Chang chang a lang, dang dang dang dang.
Eb - Chang a lang dang dang chang dang.
and so on back and forth. BUT... as you keep doing this I want you to intentionally move your elbow out to the side like 2" - 3"... Your wrist, thumb, hand, pinky.... should all just rotate very loosely, tension-less, and in all ways easily and the only "new and unusual" thing you will notice is that you are actually moving your elbow/arm to facilitate BETTER PLAYING and that there is little to no tension anywhere. That should be a revelation for you that will serve you for the remainder of your guitar career.  If it's not working and obvious... go back to Step 1 and perhaps you need a strap, stand up, or some such means that you do not have to handle / balance the guitar as you try to play it.

Wow, I really appreciate your thorough answer!
I will try to follow the steps and upload new pictures.
One more question on this point: "It will be just above the center line and behind the 5TH FRET area ... NOT... the wrapped up towards the 7th Fret as you are doing. DO NOT move forward until you can do these two things easily."

Do you mean my thumb will not be placed in the same fret as my first or second finger? Because thumb positioning videos out there usually advise to place the thumb behind the index or middle finger.
I'd appreciate a picture if you can.

Thanks.

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 09:28:21 pm »
Your thumb will be aiming towards the peghead and somewhat slightly upward at a very shallow angle.

It will resemble this to a great degree...



The exact nature of your thumb position will change depending on what fret you are playing at and which chord you are playing. Right now we are talking about playing Bb 6th Fret as that is what you demonstrated in your original photos. You thumb position may also change depending on your posture position. Again we are replicating as closely as possible what you posted. Which is a standard seated position.
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline hadi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 6
  • Good Vibes 0
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 09:36:17 pm »
Your thumb will be aiming towards the peghead and somewhat slightly upward at a very shallow angle.

It will resemble this to a great degree...



The exact nature of your thumb position will change depending on what fret you are playing at and which chord you are playing. Right now we are talking about playing Bb 6th Fret as that is what you demonstrated in your original photos. You thumb position may also change depending on your posture position. Again we are replicating as closely as possible what you posted. Which is a standard seated position.

Why don't you recommend placing it behind the 2nd finger?
Check this:



Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 09:59:47 pm »
Why don't you recommend placing it behind the 2nd finger?
Check this:


Well as a wise young guitar player once said..... "Because it fatigues quite quickly when I play power chords."

Thread Title: "[Wrist Position] Power Chords"

Look at the photo I just posted and have a look at the wrist angle. Pretty much "Zero degrees".

Also you are not holding your guitar the way PB does. If his strap wasn't there his guitar would fall in the floor. That's a whole different geometry situation. Speaking of Zero... that's how many power chords he played.

There is no one cure all position but you need to learn a time tested correct one as a base to work from.

Go to this video at 8:40... it's very hard to see but occasionally his thumb will peek out around 9:30 then 9:53 and a couple other times.  But it's generally back near his index finger or further back. Now he is making and setting up for a big stretch so it might look like at first he's aligned with his middle finger but he is doing just a slightly modified version of what I'm telling you... out of necessity.




« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 10:37:23 pm by TB-AV »
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 12:14:52 am »
Go to 02:15 thru 02:25. Hit your space bar to pause. Try to pause at 2:16... but even if you miss try to catch a pause at 2:20 then watch 2:23

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdDhV45lYHU

Go to 3:30 in this one....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrDfsrdDOeo

TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline Matt125

  • Concert Hall Hasbeen
  • ****
  • Posts: 308
  • Good Vibes 12
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 02:19:08 am »
Hi Hadi

I would NOT recommend the thumb position shown in the picture below.
Pic 1


In fact if you go to the website it explicitly states that with  this thumb position "you won’t be able to spread your fingers out enough or get enough pressure coming down on the strings in order to achieve the positioning described for the other fingers in this article."
Here is the link
http://andylemaire.com/bar-chord-hand-positions/



The recommended thumb position is this
Pic 2



I suggest you look at this video on Barre chords and apply the basic principles to power chords.



This video helped me to significantly improve my barre chord and power chord technique.  Take particular notice of his elbow position. By moving his elbow away from his  body he is able to pull perpendicularly against the fretboard. By doing this you can play a barre chord or power chord without using your thumb at all.

So try to minimise the bend in the wrist (perhaps raise the neck slightly), position your forearm more perpendicular to the fretboard (i.e. move your elbow out), try the thumb position suggested in Pic 2,  stay relaxed.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 03:01:23 am by Matt125 »

Online Drubbing

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 3042
  • Good Vibes 95
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 02:48:53 am »
Thumb needs to be lower, in the middle of the neck, pointing up. The thumb is what allows you to play power and barre chords. It provides the counter pressure to your fingers.

Guitar neck is too horizontal, which =  too low and so pulled away from your arm. Emulate the classical guitar neck position more, and pull the neck up to an angle. Drop your shoulder a little to straighten your arm and wrist.

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 02:57:16 pm »
Hi Hadi

I would NOT recommend the thumb position shown in the picture below.

In fact if you go to the website it explicitly states that with  this thumb position "you won’t be able to spread your fingers out enough or get enough pressure coming down on the strings in order to achieve the positioning described for the other fingers in this article."


Well let's hope the OP only ever plays the finger positions mentioned in that article.

Try playing an Ebm7#9 both ways. I think you will find the more vertical thumb is least helpful.
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 03:27:33 pm »
@OP.. if you are looking on the Internet for the holy grail "thumb position" then good luck to you. What I am trying to get you to is a basis to work from that will facilitate the other positions and variations actually falling into place automatically. The reality is, your thumb will be constantly moving unless you intend to only play one chord in one position on the neck.

That is the reason I posted the "Extra Credit".. it was so that you experience slight changes that occur naturally as you actually play chords. I'll try to post up a video later with an angle you can see both sides of fret board.

Not sure what the other web page is getting about not being able to reach fingering positions nor do I care to refute every web page on the Internet but generally speaking if your thumb is aligned with the neck the wider stretch you can make. The more vertical the lesser the stretch. That's just how our hands and the guitar generally work.

I think the confusion on the picture I posted that Matt125 would NOT do... is simply that in that photo he looks to be extending his thumb too far back. I think he was trying to over emphasize that. But the angle and aim is fine. Likely the pad would be pulled back closer to where his index finger is. In Pic2 if he were to actually stretch his pinky up the neck his thumb would likely rotate to a position very much like that shown in Pic 1. It's just something that happens naturally.

The point being our hands function in certain ways. Go pick up a golf club or baseball bat,,, or hell a coffee mug. If you pick up a coffee mug by the cylinder your thumb will point at your middle and ring fingers.... Now release your thumb but don't drop the mug. Notice it's very easy to simply rotate your thumb to point towards the ceiling and retain the mug... BUT.. try to just lift your thumb straight away from the mug... you can't do it! So think if you doing that on a guitar... that clamp / unclamp function. Watch a go;fe hold a golf club.. thumb points along the club not wrapped around the fingers. Even a baseball bat the thumb wraps sort of on top of the index finger and if you lift the thumb it pretty much naturally points the length of the bat rather than around the middle fingers.

So when you play the guitar which is a constantly changing thumb and fingers oriented device and in fact your accomplishments will be ruled by your ability to control your thumb / finger interactions..... DO you want to be in the clamp / unclamp world... or do you want to be in the natural relaxed movement world?

The guitar requires some specific clamping / gripping by nature but all the rest of the time you want your hands functioning relaxed and with the least activity to get the job done.

When you reach out to shake hands how is your hand shaped... ok... now just turn your wrist and lay a guitar neck in there. You can't get much more relaxed than that as your starting position and I just demonstrated with coffee mug example above which methods will give you the best gripping abilities and most relaxation. So that translates to less pain and stress. which is what you asked.
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

Offline hadi

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 6
  • Good Vibes 0
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 04:37:46 pm »
Thanks all of you. I've read the discussion and I'll watch the videos you've posted.
Meanwhile, I watched Justin's video on posture and thumb position.



Here he recommends to rest the guitar on the right leg and I found that it's the most comfortable position for me until now while crossing my legs. But I'll keep experimenting to make sure which posture makes me perfectly relaxed




Here he makes it obvious that there's no one perfect thumb position for it depends on what I'm playing, but he (generally) recommends to place it slightly above the center of the neck for beginners.

Tell me what you think and I'll check the videos you've posted and I'll check if they suit me better.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 05:09:00 pm by hadi »

Offline TB-AV

  • Honorable Ex-Mod
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 14936
  • Good Vibes 326
Re: [Wrist Position] Power Chords
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2017, 04:54:18 pm »
Yes, I was going to post that second vid of Justin's for you... The problem is, as you have found out, trying to find "your way" can often start off in a bad place. So that's what I am trying to show you a basis that will develop into your way without the risk of pain or injury.



@OP  see this ...
 




You will notice in the first segment I am using pretty much every thumb position imaginable... however... this is in Am and that is what I consider my home. When I play the Am chord my thumb is pretty much like Pic1. As you see me play the G chord the thumb comes close to the index finger and while a lot of this 'looks' like my thumb is considerably vertical.. it is not. That's just the camera angle. I would say the majority is somewhere in between Pic1 and Pic2. But if this were in say D or F#, my thumb might be in a somewhat different orientation. The Am or Bb in your case is conducive to the Pic1 orientation for the most part.

Now when I play the Em7 and Dm7 you notice my thumb is absolutely vertical and nearly aligns with my ring finger.... but that's to facilitate that pivot and it's all very relaxed. It's not a grippy thing it's more like pole vaulter.. .the thumb is simply carrying the hand to another position so the fingers can do their thing. Then the thumb over neck chords but right after that it's back to home base which is the relaxed hand, thumb aiming back towards peg head, handshake type relaxed action. So again, my base no stress comfort position is Am thumb pointing towards headstock very much like Pic1 and everything else is 'connected' to that base by as little effort as I am able to do.

In the second clip that is your Bbm along with a stretch chord which apparently the guy in the other pics says you won't be able to do or some such nonsense. Anyway they are Bm Ebm7#9 and Fm7#9 and you can see the stretch is both an index finger and pinky going in opposite directions and the thumb is placed like Pic1 very comfortable and with very little stress or strain. Very relaxed overall yet I am playing an aggressive Punk or Metal type attack on the strings.

The bottom line is you need to spend some time exploring a "base" for yourself. That will never occur until you approach these various techniques with an open mind and practice them long enough to give them a chance to work. Obviously you have given the 'middle finger clamp' a chance and it has become painful. Now try some other techniques, give them a fair chance. You will eventually find what works for you as your basis.

What you are going to find is that your thumb is going to gravitate up and you will utilize different areas of it. But you need to get a good comfortable starting place that allows you shift to other chords with out some major ordeal of clamping and unclamping your grip. your thumb should be the last thing on your mind because it will seem like it's on auto-pilot when you get things right.

Here is another good video...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwKyRMPRqGg

You are looking for that sweet spot both in aim and location of pressure and you want that to be your home base relaxed grip.
TB-  SOUNDCLOUD
HexaramaQuadraFunk© -- HeXMoD©

 

Get The Forum As A Mobile App