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Old 11-11-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
MasonFromMars
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Question how important is anchoring?

hey guys, I've been playing guitar for a few years now but something has always been bothering me. I had a guitar teacher for awhile but due to working part time and going to school I don't have the time to see him. Anyway, I was told by my old guitar teacher that it is very important to anchor my hand down by the bridge. I'm playing an Sg and I don't find it very comfortable at all, it seems like when I anchor my right hand my left hand has a harder time up on the first few frets on the neck.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
FireFromTheVoid
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I`ve never had anybody tell me I need to anchor, it`s usually the opposite.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonFromMars
hey guys, I've been playing guitar for a few years now but something has always been bothering me. I had a guitar teacher for awhile but due to working part time and going to school I don't have the time to see him. Anyway, I was told by my old guitar teacher that it is very important to anchor my hand down by the bridge. I'm playing an Sg and I don't find it very comfortable at all, it seems like when I anchor my right hand my left hand has a harder time up on the first few frets on the neck.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?


It isn't. You'll be better off in general if you don't anchor. Watch this:

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Old 11-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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yeah, usually people tell you not to anchor, but to be honest, people often make much more of a deal out of it than it actually is. just do what feels right for you
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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yeah, usually people tell you not to anchor, but to be honest, people often make much more of a deal out of it than it actually is. just do what feels right for you


I agree, in the past had my pinky lightly touching the guitar body then I changed to absolutely no contact and I thought it was better.

After a few months I just went back to the way it was before because the reality was it made almost no difference to my playing and I liked it better. Besides your picking had will need to touch the guitar when PMing.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MegadethFan18
I agree, in the past had my pinky lightly touching the guitar body then I changed to absolutely no contact and I thought it was better.

After a few months I just went back to the way it was before because the reality was it made almost no difference to my playing and I liked it better. Besides your picking had will need to touch the guitar when PMing.


Touching isn't the same thing as anchoring, this has been discussed at massive length on these forums over the years. Anchoring is when you have part of your hand fixed to the guitar in such a way that it reduces movement or causes tension in your hand/arm.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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Just don't worry about it, and it won't be a problem. Don't do anything with your hands that feels unnatural. If floating your hand above the guitar feels unnatural, don't do it. If holding your hand against the guitar feels unnatural, don't do it. I rest my hand against the guitar, but in some runs I float it. The important thing is to not press your hand really hard into the guitar, that will just tense up your arm.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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When I pick I have the tip of my pinky resting on the body of my guitar because I can control my picking more and I also tend to use my wrist more when my pinky is touching. When I strum I don't touch the body at all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:58 AM   #9
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No floating, no anchoring here. I'm more of a blues man really so my runs aren't mega fast but when playing Slash stuff I generally rest on the bridge to mute what I don't use.

I'm lucky in the sense that I didn't pick up loads of bad habits, although my pinky could be a bit more controlled
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:39 AM   #10
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I would just like to say that if everyone in the world just stuck with what they were comfortable with, very little improvement would ever occur. (AKA Reality)

Going from anchored to un-anchored was very odd for me at first, but using Pebber Brown's daily practice routine cleared this up for me very quickly and I can now clearly feel just how helpful it was for me to move away from an anchored picking hand.


Pebber Brown daily practice routine:
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #11
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My guess is that the TS needed to improve his palm muting technique, and his teacher called it anchoring instead of palm muting.

TS, PALM MUTING is very important in some situations. Anchoring, however, is generally considered to be a bad habit.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 11-13-2012 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:47 AM   #12
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I used to anchor but changed and can say that for me it's MUCH better not to.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #13
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yep me too always anchored and pinky on scratchplate
I too thought it did'nt matter
but since changing to floating have doubled my picking speed..
give it a try both ways see which is right for you
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #14
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I only do it when I am tremolo picking. Is that still a bad thing?
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas_Erak_Fan
I only do it when I am tremolo picking. Is that still a bad thing?


Tremolo picking is just fast alternate picking, it should be the same technique. If you're doing anything different when you're "tremolo picking" you're doing something wrong.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #16
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I'm in the "do whatever works for you" boat. Just take a look at Marty Friedman's right hand, talk about unorthodox technique. Personally I tend to anchor when speed picking on the bottom 3 strings only.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kaes
I'm in the "do whatever works for you" boat. Just take a look at Marty Friedman's right hand, talk about unorthodox technique. Personally I tend to anchor when speed picking on the bottom 3 strings only.


Yeah and have you ever seen him play rhythm or do any really taxing alternate picking? He has to completely change up his technique to play rhythm and never does really quick alternate picking.

Doing whatever you like and ending up with technique like that ends in limitations.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #18
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I'd be pretty stocked if playing with limitations meant playing like that guy. My point is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. When it comes to anchoring, I just see it as preferrence rather than bad habit. I've tried both, a lot, Ive gone back and forth between the two and I always seem to be more accurate when my pinky is touching the body for fast licks. Works for me.......and John Petrucci.
OP, if anchoring doesn't work for you, don't do it, simple.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:37 PM   #19
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Think the point he's trying to make is there's more to music than playing like Marty Friedman or John Petrucci. But your own interests are your own interests, so yeah. All good. I'd say anchoring "works" for the good majority of people who do it, including my self before I stopped. Doesn't stop it from being an unnecessary source of tension. It's all about creating possibilities.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:00 AM   #20
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of course anchoring is necessary.

how else are you going to prevent your seaworthy vessels from crashing into icebergs?
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