Picking Hand Position


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Ablazean
12-07-2005, 07:35 PM
Should the picking hand rest on the bridge of the guitar or float above the strings? Or could you do either one? I was looking at http://guitarprinciples.com/ and they say the correct thing to do is not rest your hand on any part of the guitar. But I've read and seen otherwise (you can rest your hand on the face of the instrument).

And one more thing, anyone know Al Di Meola's picking hand position?

Masknought
12-07-2005, 07:43 PM
i think part of it is preference, but some positions are just better than others because your hand will be in an easier position to do something. personally, i play with only my pinky anchored to the pickguard and nothing else touching.

washburned
12-07-2005, 07:50 PM
i play with my hand on the bridge. it helps when you do fast parts.

Night_Lights
12-07-2005, 08:04 PM
i place my palm on the bridge, because i play metal guitar mostly and that requires quick palm muting and alternate picking.


i think its quite a good place to put it. see no problem in anchoring it.

Freepower
12-08-2005, 02:33 PM
^ it creates tension. Im getting over anchoring, and the difference already in fluency and feel is incredible.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5608723890520356526&q=shawn+lane

This is unanchored.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-999800149020216746&q=paul+gilbert

This is unanchored.


Enjoy the vids! But seriously, play unanchored. It is 100% better, slightly harder, but freer, less tense...you can more easily improvise without learnt picking patterns showing up too much...etc, etc.

Ablazean
12-08-2005, 04:58 PM
Unanchored is a lot less accurate though right? And I don't feel much difference in tension between the two. In fact you would think playing unanchored would be more tense having to support the weight of your arm and hand. MAybe I'll just develop skill in both.

Quadque72
12-08-2005, 08:50 PM
What was the name of the song Shawn Lane was playing?

edg
12-09-2005, 12:22 PM
Anchoring your hand and palm muting are totally separate concepts.

Guitar Principles is a great place to go for technique. The best really.

Ultimately it is NOT a matter of preference. If you don't learn how to pick with
your hand floating, unanchored on the guitar, you will be handicapped. When
your hand is floating, it forces you to be aware of your entire arm. And your
entire arm does play a role in picking. When you've learned how to control the
pick with a your entire arm relaxed, without the crutch of anchoring your hand
on the guitar, your picking will become more fluid and faster.

It is NOT less accurate. It only seems that way to begin with, because it's more
difficult to learn.

Once you've actually learned to do this, then get into palm muting or rest your
hand if you want -- whatever the music calls for.

I've found that its only the people who can't play without anchoring, saying its
OK to anchor. That its a preference. The thing is, since they can't play without
anchoring, they have no choice in the matter. Once you've learned it its like
the difference between running and walking.

PooKoo
12-09-2005, 12:39 PM
sounds like gray pianos flying to me.

Also, i play unanchored, and while it may take longer for some to get used to, i can say i strongly prefer it over anchored.

OrgyJorgy
12-17-2005, 03:30 PM
would it be considered anchoring if your forearm rests on the body of the guitar? also do vai and satch anchor?

ZeppephOSOne
12-17-2005, 06:00 PM
would it be considered anchoring if your forearm rests on the body of the guitar? also do vai and satch anchor?


Not sure about the forearm resting on the body if that's considered anchoring. Good question.

edg
12-17-2005, 09:14 PM
Not sure about the forearm resting on the body if that's considered anchoring. Good question.

It's pretty much ok to have your forearm supported by the guitar.

Freepower
12-18-2005, 07:24 AM
^ if it doesnt hinder you, i suppose you can go ahead, it'll affect your wrist a little, but if you arent doing anything too difficult you'll be fine. :)

RoughDraft
12-18-2005, 09:05 AM
my problem with unanchord is what to do with my other fingers. if i make a fist I an't play properly and if i leaved themlose they get in the way. Will I relaxe once I get better at the technique?

Freepower
12-18-2005, 10:48 AM
Lol, its exactly the other way around!

But you probably want to keep them in a loose fist. :)

edg
12-18-2005, 01:52 PM
I'd like to examine this whole anchoring business.

Why do many do this and think its ok to do this?

I think it goes something like this:

When you first learn the guitar none of your muscles are trained and everything
is awkward and uncomfortable. In order to be able to pick and hit the correct
strings at all at first, people plonk the hand on the guitar to steady it. That way
they only have to use the wrist to hit the strings and can quickly gain a certain
amount of accuracy.

So, they continue playing this way and perhaps the wrist gets better at picking
over time. The other muscles of the arm, elbow and shoulder, are never trained
in any way. In fact, since they are completely ignored, they are probably all
locked up and tense.

Then, they hear someone say that you should pick from the elbow and not to
anchor the hand. So they try it. After a short time, they'll conclude there's
NO possible way they can control the pick that way. It's too hard! They'll
come back and say anchoring is ok and pick only from the wrist. That's more
comfortable. Do what's comfortable.

What do they expect? They've spent almost 0 time and effort trying to train the
elbow and arm! It's ALL gone into training the wrist and they now probably have
really bad tension and other bad habits in picking that will forever prevent them
from being able to pick well.

Well, I can tell you it IS hard to learn that way, but you absolutely CAN learn to
control the pick without anchoring and using your arm muscles. If you can learn
to do it, your picking will become MUCH more fluid and you'll be able to do things
you couldn't do before.

Freepower
12-19-2005, 10:54 AM
^ :golfclap:

Freepower tag on -
And even if you do pick from the elbow, dont ignore the wrist, and vice versa - keep it loose, and let it move freely to help get the motor motion to where you want it. Nothing should be unnecessarily tensed.

DeathDealer
12-19-2005, 03:27 PM
to me these are just outdated teachings...or just full on **** talking

kinda like when they used to say drinking cold water while excercising was bad yet now they advocate it

I don't think it really makes a difference aside from the cramps sometimes...the human body is adaptive to almost any situation

ZeppephOSOne
12-23-2005, 05:24 PM
to me these are just outdated teachings...or just full on **** talking

kinda like when they used to say drinking cold water while excercising was bad yet now they advocate it

I don't think it really makes a difference aside from the cramps sometimes...the human body is adaptive to almost any situation

It makes sense to get your entire upper body trained, loose, and relaxed when playing guitar, so learning to play unanchored and becoming aware of what muscles you use but before weren't aware of can only benefit your playing.

I'm still beginning, so I do play mostly anchored. But lately I'm becoming aware of anchoring my pinky to my pickguard, and when I notice it I take my pinky off and let my hand float. When my hand is floating, I notice that I now have all of my fingers to be aware of, and when I get better, I can put them 4 floating fingers to use.

~~

It's just like when I first learned to play 5th string A formation barre chords. At first, I played the 3 barred strings with my ring and pinky, but my fingers are pretty short, so sometimes I couldn't press all three down properly with just 2 fingers. So then I came across a lesson in a rhythm guitar book, and it showed an alternate way to play A Form. Barre chords. This way was to just barre the 3 strings with the end section of your ring finger. At first it was pretty awkward, but everytime I caught myself using 2 fingers, I quickly changed to just my ring. In over a month of becoming aware of this, I could never go back to using my 2 fingers. It just wouldn't work. With the ring finger barring all 3, sometimes I do deaden the 1st string, so I still need practice, but I don't think i could ever go back to using the 2 fingers. Sure the 2 fingers are easier when switching from A form. to E. form., but once you play awhile using A form with the ring barring all 3 strings, it becomes just as fluent.


Annnnyway..........

Freepower
12-23-2005, 05:33 PM
^ i like you already, you pay attention to your playing and type long long posts. :)

I'd like to add that people have been playing guitar since....well, whenever you start counting a certain instrument as a guitar as distinct from something else. Anyway. In all that time, very few people have disagreed with the principle of looseness. And i've never heard of anyone ADVOCATING anchoring. Everyone i know, have heard of, have seen, kick anchoring (i am currently, loving it!), has said it has been one of the hugest leaps in their picking. Check out edg's dmusic. Playing decades, stops anchoring, immediately jumps on the "ANCHORING IS THE GREATEST EVIL IN THE WESTERN WORLD" bandwagon and drinks a pint with me.

JaYB06
12-23-2005, 07:46 PM
IMO opinion I think it would be best to try and learn the floating hand. If you can pick using a floating hand, you can easily pick with your hand anchored. It's a lot of hard work, but it would be better in the end since you woulden't be limited by anchoring. Also from what I have read, Paul Gilbert doesn't rest his picking hand (even though it looks like it), he floats it.

viciodk
12-23-2005, 11:00 PM
It's just like when I first learned to play 5th string A formation barre chords.

[...]

Just barre the 3 strings with the end section of your ring finger.

[...]

With the ring finger barring all 3, sometimes I do deaden the 1st string, so I still need practice.

I barre with my ring finger as well, but half of the times I finger that type of chords, there is no sound from the first string.

Recently I have tried to barre with my pinkie instead.

After I read some lesson by John Petrucci where he fingers a Gmaj7sus2 chord, I have discovered at a lot of concerts that the guitarist barre with his pinkie. Sometimes also when he's playing powerchords!

It was pretty awkward in the beginning, but I'm sure it'll sound a lot cleaner when I finally can manage it.

Also, check out this Gmaj7sus2 chord. It's pretty cool, but hard to finger.

e|---3--- 1 = G
B|---7--- 7 = F#
G|---7--- 5 = D
D|---7--- 2 = A
A|---5--- 5 = D
E|---3--- 1 = G

edg
12-24-2005, 01:35 PM
I'd like to add that people have been playing guitar since....well, whenever you start counting a certain instrument as a guitar as distinct from something else. Anyway. In all that time, very few people have disagreed with the principle of looseness. And i've never heard of anyone ADVOCATING anchoring. Everyone i know, have heard of, have seen, kick anchoring (i am currently, loving it!), has said it has been one of the hugest leaps in their picking. Check out edg's dmusic. Playing decades, stops anchoring, immediately jumps on the "ANCHORING IS THE GREATEST EVIL IN THE WESTERN WORLD" bandwagon and drinks a pint with me.


:cheers: :cheers:

Jamie, at Guitar Principles put it pretty well: Your fingers have no consience.
The don't know right from wrong. Good from bad. But, your brain does. It's
up to your brain to teach them. And, they'd rather be good!

It's amazing how quickly you can lose a bad habit if you try. There's some things
I used to do, that I couldn't imagine doing now. Particularly with picking.

Got some extra time this week, so I'll probably be putting up some more recordings.
Right now I'm mixing Stones' She's So Cold. But, I think I need to lay down another
track first....

Freepower
12-24-2005, 02:20 PM
^ lol, i was wondering if you'd notice that post!

Welcome to the shred forum, feel free to stay and enjoy the informal, friendly, guitar-loving atmosphere. :cheers:

DeathDealer
12-24-2005, 03:09 PM
which brings me back to the guy playing guitar with his feet...

unless you're going to play classical guitar or be finger picking I don't see any reason for you not to anchore.

outadated

Ablazean
12-24-2005, 03:14 PM
which brings me back to the guy playing guitar with his feet...

unless you're going to play classical guitar or be finger picking I don't see any reason for you not to anchore.

outadated

Try it for a while, I bet you will find it really does work.

Not outdated.

kirbyrocknroll
12-24-2005, 03:30 PM
I play with my forearm rested on the edge of my guitar. It helps me pick faster but I bet if i dont anchor in any way, I'll go even faster. So I guess no anchor=faster and more fluid.

Freepower
12-24-2005, 03:31 PM
^ you bloody moron, you dont give up do you? One can explain how a hammeron and pull off are completely different, but you still cant understand. One can explain how much better it feels not to anchor for everyone who's stopped, how no-one advocates anchoring yet EVERYONE who's stopped it advocates stopping it, and how it actually reduces tension, and yet...

If you dont SEE any reason not to anchor, listen to shawn lane. If you dont FEEL any need to stop anchoring, find out just how much energy you waste by pressing your arm against the body, or how inflexible it is to anchor with your pinky.

Guitar technique doesnt date. Simple. Why not? It works to be economical and loose, and technical points help you with that.

Bkkkk
12-24-2005, 03:37 PM
Hmm im confused I dont really know if im playing anchored or not. If I keep my hand COMPLETELY off the guitar then I cant reach the strings with the pick unless I go, classical style which is not what Shawn lane is doing in that video. I do use my elbow to move from string to string and wrist to pick.

Freepower
12-24-2005, 04:19 PM
Its because your using translatory or rotatory motion (side to side wrist or swivel). What shawn is doing is kind of "grabbing" the notes with a "door knocking" motion, using his thumb to angle the pick so that it catches the notes well. :)

Ablazean
12-24-2005, 04:41 PM
so are you supposed to completely lift your arm off the guitar or can you put your elbow on the edge?

Freepower
12-24-2005, 04:58 PM
so are you supposed to completely lift your arm off the guitar or can you put your elbow on the edge?

How much tension does it generate? I find its generally okay as long as you arent trying anything difficult, it does get tiring holding your arm up all the time, but picking only "gels" for me and only feels fluid and fast with my elbow off too. I'll double check.

On my guitar body shape, i wouldnt rest my elbow unless my arm was tired and i was in a weird position, its definately going to **** up your picking a little no matter how you anchor your elbow. Elbow looseness is just as important as wrist looseness. And no matter how loose it is, its useless fixed to a single point on your guitar!

DeathDealer
12-25-2005, 03:53 AM
I play about 75/25 anchored/unanchored ...I never notice the difference whenever I do it

adaptation
you just sound like old farts talkin about how everything used to be better back in the day
I knew you were gonna bring the hammer-on thing out sooner or later haha,still cought up on that??

my god,get over yourself dude...you never heard anybody advocating anchoring?? well I have,and I advocate using whatever comes natural to one-self. what next,your gonna tell me that people who hold the pick in a place other than inbetween their index and thumb are in the wrong?? OMG they must be creating so much tension!! they must get daily cramps...pffft

Freepower
12-25-2005, 06:01 AM
^ whatever comes natural? So we should always rest our guitar on our right knee, play with our thumb over the neck, not use our pinky and use only downstrokes?

Id recommend holding the pick bewteen index and thumb, sure, but if someone really does prefer something else then why not? Using the middle finger, for example, gives different options with harmonics.

And how could i not bring up the hammerons? Its another resounding reason why people should very calmly generally ignore your advice on the finer (or even broader) points of technique.

I honestly bet you can't find anyone who plays anchored say "I used to play unanchored, but now i anchor. Anchoring is the best thing that happened to my technique.". Or perhaps even "Anchoring is a good idea." - i've heard one person say that anchoring makes you less sloppy - though it probably would if you had a wild picking technique and you needed something to decrease the range of your motion.

What do you mean by 75/25 anchored/unanchored? Percentage time?

edg
12-25-2005, 01:35 PM
In my opinion doing what's "natural and comfortable" all the time is a direct path
to guitar mediocrity. If you never take on anything hard and uncomfortable, you make no progress. However, if the type of music you play isn't all that demanding its
ok. You can still be a great musician and farily mediocre guitarist.

I think it's ok to rest your elbow on the guitar to support your arm. If you don't
do that and have the entire arm unsuppoprted, then make sure you're not
raising your pick arm shoulder to keep it up. You'll be able to tell if you play for
a little while and your shoulder starts getting sore.

SnowballofDoom
12-25-2005, 02:51 PM
A question about floating: I anchor the karate-chop (for lack of a better name) edge of my picking hand on the bridge only to help with muting. How can you mute unwanted string noise with this floating the hand method?

Freepower
12-25-2005, 05:09 PM
^ be really, really good at it. ;)

Or, alternatively, when i benson pick (which is badly, atm, but its coming together, it "clicked" today, and lets just say, the results weren't discouraging!), my thumb brushes VERY LIGHTLY against the strings. That and good left hand technique helps. Its a matter of knowing when to completely float as well. PG in the latest issue of guitar techniques, when string skipping, he floats, and then the second he doesnt need it any more, straight back to his normal position.

SnowballofDoom
12-25-2005, 05:19 PM
Oh, ok. So it's not "100% floating and if you don't you're going straight to hell", it's for use in combination with a good left hand technique and the occasional anchoring.

That makes much more sense; thank you :)

Freepower
12-25-2005, 08:06 PM
^ nothings a 100% ANYTHING. :) 9/10 times you'll hear "THUMB BEHIND THE NECK, BITCH", and not "THUMB BEHIND THE NECK EXCEPT FOR BENDS, BITCH!". People like to miss the odd case. Still, when not "floating", one should remain "unanchored". :)

edg
12-26-2005, 01:59 PM
A question about floating: I anchor the karate-chop (for lack of a better name) edge of my picking hand on the bridge only to help with muting. How can you mute unwanted string noise with this floating the hand method?

I think it's really important to understand "floating hand". It doesn't mean you
won't be muting the strings by resting your hand on them. It just means
LEARN first without touching. That means a lot of practice beforehand without
touching at all. Once you're comfortable with that control your picking motion
should now be working right and you can then go on to work on muting and
wrist etc....

ZeppephOSOne
12-27-2005, 02:34 PM
I can understand why anchoring would be a handicap too. You're stuck to one spot across the picking area. If you weren't anchored, you would have full, free motion with your hand and 3 extra fingers to do some fancy finger picking.

Ablazean
12-28-2005, 01:18 AM
^ nothings a 100% ANYTHING. :) 9/10 times you'll hear "THUMB BEHIND THE NECK, BITCH", and not "THUMB BEHIND THE NECK EXCEPT FOR BENDS, BITCH!". People like to miss the odd case. Still, when not "floating", one should remain "unanchored". :)

I know you were using it as an example, but you don't even really have to put your thumb behind the neck at all. Jimmy Page plays fine without doing that.

Freepower
12-28-2005, 09:46 AM
^ yeh, buy he does a fair few bends and has a pentatonic based soloing idiom. You wouldnt want to be doing stretch licks or 4nps scales like that...