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Old 02-11-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
Templar0220
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How to NOT anchor and other questions

Hello,

I had made a previous topic on how to hold the pick but that topic is backlogged been done to death and this is sort of different. Essentially I'm rebuilding my entire picking technique into using a loose fist technique because my index finger needs the support or it suddenly gets sore for some reason now. But the thing is I always have my pinky resting on the body, not necessarily held there, but it gives my hand more balance so that I can focus more on using my wrist and it helps me be accurate. The thing is obviously with a loose fist I cant seem to find a sure fire way to compensate. I tried curling the three other fingers and keep the pinky out but that has been causing issues with my ring finger because I seem to have trouble keeping it comfortably curled up (probably because the pinky is extended) and to not let it touch the strings. So basically I guess I should just give in and use the loose fist. My thing is this, it feels awkward and not as accurate as before, is this normal at first? Although I wasnt pressing my pinky on the body was that still considered anchoring? How do I not 'anchor' while palm muting? What I mean is I know people use their palm to anchor and thats not good either, but wouldnt i still be doing that if I was palm muting with the loose fist? I know this is a ton of questions sorry. Also, if someone can give me a good instructional video on how to properly not anchor I'd appreciate it, thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:15 PM   #2
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Drop your hand flat on the guitar body. Relax everything except what you absolutely need to hold the pick.

Feel that lack of tension? that's how picking should feel. Don't worry about holding your hand this way or that as long as there is no tension. My pinkie just sticks to the guitar's body, but because I'm not putting any tension or force into that, there's no problem.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
Templar0220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geldin
Drop your hand flat on the guitar body. Relax everything except what you absolutely need to hold the pick.

Feel that lack of tension? that's how picking should feel. Don't worry about holding your hand this way or that as long as there is no tension. My pinkie just sticks to the guitar's body, but because I'm not putting any tension or force into that, there's no problem.


Well yes but thats just it. I used to always use just my index and thumb and the rest of the fingers would just flail out but naturally. But lately my index finger gets really sore from playing now especially when i focus on picking and no, I wasnt gripping too tight.

That being said ive been shown and reccommended the 'loose fist' technique and how not anchoring is the best way to go about it and im trying to figure it out. Its awkward at first but without palm muting I can stay pretty relaxed. But once I try placing my palm on the strings, im not sure if its tension im feeling or maybe the muscle, but its not comfortable around the forearm/wrist.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
GuitarFreak1387
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I have tried to anchor just to see what it feels like and see for myself on why it should not be used. I really don't see how people can play like this. It felt beyond unnatural to me.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
Templar0220
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Anybody have an advice on doing this correctly? As well as with palm muting, thats the thing im not entirely sure of because im not sure if by resting my palm on the bridge lightly to palm mute, i am in effect creating an anchor with my wrist/palm? Im not too sure.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
Junior#1
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It's only anchoring if one or more of the following conditions are met:
1. It limits your range of motion.
2. It increases tension.
3. Your hand/arm is in a fixed position and must be in that spot in order for you to pick accurately.

If none of those are happening, you're not anchoring.

You mentioned that your index finger is getting sore. Pain means you're doing something wrong. If you aren't holding the pick too tight, like you say, it's probably how you're holding it that's the problem. Or it could be some completely unrelated problem that has nothing to do with the guitar. Post a video of you playing or at least a picture of your right hand and we will be able to help more.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
The thing is obviously with a loose fist I cant seem to find a sure fire way to compensate. I tried curling the three other fingers and keep the pinky out but that has been causing issues with my ring finger because I seem to have trouble keeping it comfortably curled up (probably because the pinky is extended) and to not let it touch the strings.


You don't have to avoid touching the strings unless you're hitting them and getting noise.

Quote:
So basically I guess I should just give in and use the loose fist. My thing is this, it feels awkward and not as accurate as before, is this normal at first?


Sure, it's different to what you've practised before and it'll be awkward for a while.

Quote:
Although I wasnt pressing my pinky on the body was that still considered anchoring?


In my opinion, no. If you weren't exerting any pressure or forcibly extending the finger, there's no real problem.

Quote:
How do I not 'anchor' while palm muting? What I mean is I know people use their palm to anchor and thats not good either, but wouldnt i still be doing that if I was palm muting with the loose fist?


You can palm mute and get a good sound with nearly no pressure. Some pressure is still necessary. Don't worry about this - obviously fixing the palm to the strings restricts motion but it's getting a whole different sound.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
barbuzim1
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Palm muting by definition is anchoring. when you rest your wrist/palm on the strings to mute them you anchor you hand on the strings.

try curling the pinky as well, rest your hand on the side of the pinky that should set some tension free...

for every anchoring style you should find three or six "elbow positions"- meaning: in every style you move around- you are not bolted to the guitar.
If you anchor with your wrist on the bridge: you put it around the 6/5 strings to play on this two string, around 4/3 to play on them & around 1/2 to play on them, to get this done you need to open the elbow, lowering or elevating the entire arm and wrist to the right position.

when you anchor your wrist on the strings: the first position to play the 6th string will be a on the body just a bit over the 6th string. to play the 5/4th string you rest on the 6th sting, 4/3 you rest on the 5th, 2/1 rest on the 3rd.

when you anchor with the pinky: you have three positions: to play th 1/2ed strings- put the pinky around a strat's volume nob. 3/4- tuch the 1st string with the pinky. 5/6- put the pinky on the 1/2 strings.

an important note: this is a very rough description of what is good for me- I don't know what is you height & how big/small your hands or guitars are. This is just a place to start- you would probably find other positions that are better for you- but the principle is the same.


To practice this: play a scale- very slow (!!!!!!!!) before you move from one "elbow position" to another stop, mechanically change the position & keep on playing until you need to switch position again- then stop change & continue. Do the same with solos that you like & riffs.

Last edited by barbuzim1 : 02-13-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
Templar0220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freepower
You don't have to avoid touching the strings unless you're hitting them and getting noise.



Sure, it's different to what you've practised before and it'll be awkward for a while.



In my opinion, no. If you weren't exerting any pressure or forcibly extending the finger, there's no real problem.



You can palm mute and get a good sound with nearly no pressure. Some pressure is still necessary. Don't worry about this - obviously fixing the palm to the strings restricts motion but it's getting a whole different sound.



Well I didn't think it was anchoring until I realized how much I NEEDed to have my pinky placed there. I have no control without it. So I'd rather just now have a crutch in a sense you know? With doing a lot of reading online I think it would be better for me to just adapt to the loose fist.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
Templar0220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbuzim1
Palm muting by definition is anchoring. when you rest your wrist/palm on the strings to mute them you anchor you hand on the strings.

try curling the pinky as well, rest your hand on the side of the pinky that should set some tension free...

for every anchoring style you should find three or six "elbow positions"- meaning: in every style you move around- you are not bolted to the guitar.
If you anchor with your wrist on the bridge: you put it around the 6/5 strings to play on this two string, around 4/3 to play on them & around 1/2 to play on them, to get this done you need to open the elbow, lowering or elevating the entire arm and wrist to the right position.

when you anchor your wrist on the strings: the first position to play the 6th string will be a on the body just a bit over the 6th string. to play the 5/4th string you rest on the 6th sting, 4/3 you rest on the 5th, 2/1 rest on the 3rd.

when you anchor with the pinky: you have three positions: to play th 1/2ed strings- put the pinky around a strat's volume nob. 3/4- tuch the 1st string with the pinky. 5/6- put the pinky on the 1/2 strings.

an important note: this is a very rough description of what is good for me- I don't know what is you height & how big/small your hands or guitars are. This is just a place to start- you would probably find other positions that are better for you- but the principle is the same.


To practice this: play a scale- very slow (!!!!!!!!) before you move from one "elbow position" to another stop, mechanically change the position & keep on playing until you need to switch position again- then stop change & continue. Do the same with solos that you like & riffs.



This was very helpful thank you!
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
Templar0220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbuzim1
try curling the pinky as well, rest your hand on the side of the pinky that should set some tension free... .



I have a couple of questions regarding this: Do you mean curl it up and rest my hand on the side of it as in the pinky is resting on the strings? And if so wouldnt that be essentially anchoring as well just on the strings instead? I know you said palm muting is essentially anchoring, but what about the pinky?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #12
Templar0220
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Also in this video he says to place the palm on the bridge and use your wrist. Is this in itself considered anchoring? And would it be advised NOT to do this?

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:15 AM   #13
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You should practice with the right hand as free floating as possible. You'll have a natural tendency to let some small part of your hand touch the guitar, which is fine as long as it's limited to a light touch that you don't rely on. I usually let my non-picking fingers relax and kinda mute the unused strings.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:28 AM   #14
barbuzim1
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it will mute the strings only if you try to play on them- which is physically very hard to do. for every string or two strings you anchor your hand in a slightly different place (as I wrote in my lest comment).
I am covering all your questions in my first comments just read it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:05 AM   #15
Dreamdancer11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar0220
Also in this video he says to place the palm on the bridge and use your wrist. Is this in itself considered anchoring? And would it be advised NOT to do this?



Yes you should do exactly what you see in the video.....plant your hand there or where the low 6 string meets the bridge and use your wrist.The big point is when i say plant i dont mean forceful in any way....just touching.This is NOT anchoring.Loose wrist,light grip on the pick and you ll be fine.The main part of your hand that is "planted" on the guitar is your forearm.But thats not what is considered achoring either.Do as the man says in the video.Its the most sound way of picking...just like the jumpshot in basketball....its done by most in the same way cause its more mechanically sound and works for 90% of the players.Same deal here .
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #16
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Thanks guys that all helped a lot
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:32 PM   #17
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Hello, im back reviving this topic. Ive been practicing unanchored and have gotten used to it however, I do notice that it still is hard for me to tremolo pick fast, more so on the 6th string without putting down my pinky in order to have stability. When I just try to tremolo (while palm muting) with just the loose fist, I can do it for so long before my wrist gets tired because its hard to keep it stable and make small precise pick attacks. But I notice that if I rest up my curled pinky down on the high strings, it produces the stability I need for my wrist to make fast precise even up and down strikes on the string and requires less effort. The problem is it feels rather uncomfortable on my pinky, have the strings its laying on kind of feeling rough on my pinky. Any advice? Should I avoid putting my pinky down and trying to rest my wrist for stability and just keep trying to do it with a complete floating anchored loose fist?
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:54 PM   #18
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If your wrist is getting tired or sore, you are either putting too much tension on it, or trying to go faster than you are ready to go, or both. We've already told you what anchoring is and what to avoid. How you are playing and what you are playing is irrelevant.

What I think is your main problem is you don't have the necessary control to comfortably and effortlessly tremolo pick with any speed. Slow down, and focus on making the smallest movement possible.
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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It really is just that it takes a hell of alot of practise. You just keep your palm on the strings and move from the wrist. It really is that simple. But it takes months - not days or even weeks to get good at floating. I like that style alot. Im just not into the sound of palm muting much.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:53 AM   #20
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OK so my picking is fairly good. Not as good as the guy in the videos (I've seen some of his other stuff and he is a very fast picker) but it's probably better than average. I'm just saying this so that you can judge for yourself whether to trust my opinion on this or not.

Personally, I don't like the idea of moving only from the wrist, which is what the video says and what I've seen many other people say. I think the picking motion itself should come from just the wrist, but the motion to cross strings coming entirely from the wrist to me seems awkward and less fluid than it could be.

The thing is, your wrist is at its most loose and most flexible at its centre of movement. If you start putting your wrist at more extreme angles for different strings, you're getting further than further away from your wrists most natural, flexible and least tense position. Whether this is exactly what the guy in the video is saying you should do, I'm unsure, but I've seen this advice interpreted in this way and people try to force themselves to move exclusively from the wrist.

The other problem is that, if you do exclusively move from the wrist when changing strings, when you get to the high E your wrist will be at a fairly extreme angle, as will the pick. By the time it's there, there is very little you can do about the angle of the pick unless you have an incredibly flexible thumb that can bend back on itself.

I guess my point is more - there is generally no one rule that will apply to every situation. When someone tells you to move from the wrist, yeah that works, and it does work for string crossing to a degree. But there's a point where you'll want to move between the high E and the low E, and if you consciously force yourself to move ONLY from the wrist, you're going to be putting your wrist at very very weird angles. On the other hand, if you simply feel like you're just moving from the wrist but didn't watch it and didn't force the movement to come only from the wrist, then videoed yourself, you'd probably notice your forearm moves slightly to reposition your wrist more comfortably for different strings.

Most advice you get is going to be a general rule - "this applies to most situations", you have to use a bit of common sense to determine when it does apply and when it doesn't. Often if you "just play" your body will adjust accordingly, it's simply a matter of making sure it adjusts correctly.
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