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Old 12-07-2005, 07:35 PM   #1
Ablazean
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Picking Hand Position

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?

Last edited by Ablazean : 12-07-2005 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:43 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
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i play with my hand on the bridge. it helps when you do fast parts.
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:04 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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^ it creates tension. Im getting over anchoring, and the difference already in fluency and feel is incredible.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...26&q=shawn+lane

This is unanchored.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...&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.

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Old 12-08-2005, 04:58 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:50 PM   #7
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What was the name of the song Shawn Lane was playing?
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:22 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:30 PM   #10
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would it be considered anchoring if your forearm rests on the body of the guitar? also do vai and satch anchor?
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Old 12-17-2005, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrgyJorgy
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.
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZeppephOSOne
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.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:24 AM   #13
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^ 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.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:05 AM   #14
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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?
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:48 AM   #15
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Lol, its exactly the other way around!

But you probably want to keep them in a loose fist.
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:52 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:54 AM   #17
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^

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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.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:27 PM   #18
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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
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathDealer
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..........
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Last edited by ZeppephOSOne : 12-23-2005 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:33 PM   #20
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^ 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.
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