My Thumb Hurts

I’ve recently (in the last year) joined the ranks of a whole slew of guitarists who use their thumbs to fret strings. Besides the obvious benefits of having an “extra” digit, I’ve discovered that many chords are more comfortable to play this way.

This is not one of them: 6x354x

The idea here is to wrap your thumb around the neck and use it to fret the 6th string @ the 6th fret. Once you add the other fingers, you’ll find that your pinky is still available for hammer-ons, etc. In this case “available” should be read “could be used except for the crippling pain shooting thru your thumb.”

Quite possibly the hardest chord I’ve ever tried to play.

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3 Responses to “My Thumb Hurts”


  1. 1 Matthew Boedicker July 13, 2005 at 6:00 pm

    I picked up a little of this from playing Hendrix songs. Once I got used to it, it started feeling like the easiest way, especially in certain positions like playing lazily while lying down.

    I love those pinky hammers-ons in the style of Hendrix and John Frusciante.

  2. 2 Mark July 13, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    Matt,

    Yea I picked it up first thru John Mayer, but eventually SRV and Hendrix as well. Seems that a lot of so-called “blues guitarists” do this. It also seems like most of them have larger hands, or at least thumbs, than I 🙂

  3. 3 Jonny July 14, 2005 at 1:13 pm

    Maybe you need to start playing one of these instead:


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