Originally Posted by Jhass
I know it is ideal to use arm pressure to "pull" your fretting fingers against the strings, rather than clamping with the thumb. But when I try to do that, even lightly, the neck just moves as I pull my fingers against the fretboard. How do I keep the neck steady? Should my thumb be there just to provide resistance, but not to squeeze the neck?
You have it it in the last sentence, it provides resistance to the fingers.
But the design and shape of the neck makes it convenient to grip, just because we can grip it does not mean we should.
The way we are designed means because of our opposable thumb we can grip things, but with in that is grip pressure.....the one thing we cannot see.
So to learn about it we need to feel what no pressure is.
This is the purpose of videos that show and teach with the thumb off the neck.
It allows you to "reverse engineer" the technique.
Rather than start with more pressure than needed learn to reduce it to the correct amount, you start with none and a relaxed hand and bring it up to the correct pressure....but always relax the hand to return back to a position of no pressure, or minimal pressure as often as you can.
Check out the links.
That Pesky Thumb (Pt. 1&2) http://youtu.be/OM-rkoy2H8I http://youtu.be/WREN22BYGQQ