sweetdude3000
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#1
Anyone who used to anchor there pinky and then made the switch to find that it was worth the effort? I would like some encouragement ... unfortunately I see I have ingrained this bad habit and it seems like it will be a lot of work to undo. Thanks
Tempoe
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#2
Absolutely worth it, and for me it wasn't hard at all. Took a month or so, I tried anchoring the other day, it really felt horrible now.
Andy Pollow
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#3
Some of the fastest alternate pickers anchor. The only thing that pisses me off alot is when I sweat it falls off my forehead onto the exact spot where Im anchored and it makes me slide all over and mess up. You could wear a headband but I dont like that at all.
Geldin
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#4
Quote by Andy Pollow
Some of the fastest alternate pickers anchor.

Appeal to false authority. Just because they're fast doesn't mean they're right. Al di Meola and Paul Gilbert are stupidly fast alternate pickers and they don't anchor.

Anchoring is when you're actively pressing part of your hand or arm into the guitar's body to give yourself a point of reference. It's bad because it creates unnecessary tension in your wrists and arms. If you're not creating tension, it's not anchoring. If you are anchoring, you're doing something utterly unnecessary for no gain at an exceptional cost.
perilio
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#5
I believe if you rest your finger in the guitar body without tension its good, many great guitarist do this and there is no problem.
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#6
Quote by Geldin
Appeal to false authority. Just because they're fast doesn't mean they're right. Al di Meola and Paul Gilbert are stupidly fast alternate pickers and they don't anchor.

Anchoring is when you're actively pressing part of your hand or arm into the guitar's body to give yourself a point of reference. It's bad because it creates unnecessary tension in your wrists and arms. If you're not creating tension, it's not anchoring. If you are anchoring, you're doing something utterly unnecessary for no gain at an exceptional cost.



LMAO - If you anchor the middle and ring finger tips in one place and you use a picking motion like knocking on a door combined with elbow at the same time it is very relaxed - no tension at all. I hate tension and I wouldnt tolerate tension while picking at all. You can see that is the way Michael Angelo picks in the old Speed Kills video but I cant find it right now. When I say elbow I dont mean the vertical motion that happens when you use a stiff wrist. Its a horizontal elbow movement combined with wrist oscillating.
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#7
I see some ridiculously amazing players anchor and I saw Eric Johnson on Youtube the other day and his pinkie was all over the shop. Lots of awesome players don't seem to bother unlearning stuff that we go on about.

But yea, it's not the most aesthetically pleasing technique and you should strive for perfection.

I've never anchored. I think I'm lucky because it seems a horribly hard habit to break.
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Andy Pollow
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#8
Looking for speed kills I found the old star licks MAB. Dr. Shred.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpKOC1baxf8

OOPS - I was wrong - he is doing the vertical elbow thing together with knocking cuz he bends his wrist to the right a little. Now I have to try that some more tonite. I never bent the wrist like that. You can be wrong no matter how much you know.
Last edited by Andy Pollow at Jan 16, 2013,
sweetdude3000
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#9
Quote by Tempoe
Absolutely worth it, and for me it wasn't hard at all. Took a month or so, I tried anchoring the other day, it really felt horrible now.


That's good to hear. Did you just focus on keeping your right hand relaxed for a month and before you knew it, you were not anchoring anymore? Did find you could play licks you had trouble with before unanchoring? Floating IS more difficult at first with dexterity, but I am sure in the long run it serves you better. It is amazing how your body adapts within time and repetition. I remember when a C chord felt awkward when I first began guitar...
My Last Words
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#10
I don't anchor, but I float in a more or less peculiar manner. Let's say the strings are at a 45 degree angle. I'll use my wrist to pick individual strings and my arm to switch strings, using a horizontal motion - That means my hand is above the neck pick up when playing the high E and close to the bridge pick up when playing the low E. It allows for excellent muting possibilities and the switching strings is easier. It's weird at first tho.

I remember when a C chord felt awkward when I first began guitar...


Put your axe in the opposite direction and play left handed. Now thats the definition of awkward.
baab
Last edited by My Last Words at Jan 17, 2013,
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#11
I changed over about 5 or 6 years ago. Took a few months but very much worth it for me.

I did this thread with a poll back then and results were pretty good (only one or two people out of dozens had any problems with playing unanchored, most found it a positive change, the rest noticed no difference).

Also worth pointing out I was in England last year with Andy James and Martin Goulding and both had stopped anchoring after doing so for years, they both found it was unnecessarily restrictive.

It's a minor bad habit, but it is a bad habit.

My detailed thoughts on anchoring if anyone cares - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXKxYwBU2f8
Angusman60
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#12
Anchoring has never been an issue for me since I tend to curl my excess fingers under my hand. However, many jazz guitarists insist that anchoring (ala George Benson) to the pickguard of a archtop while simultaneously turn the pick to be at a 45* angle with the strings, will improve the swing feel. I still don't anchor, but I do angle my pick for a more masculine tone.
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sweetdude3000
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#13
Quote by Freepower
I changed over about 5 or 6 years ago. Took a few months but very much worth it for me.

I did this thread with a poll back then and results were pretty good (only one or two people out of dozens had any problems with playing unanchored, most found it a positive change, the rest noticed no difference).

Also worth pointing out I was in England last year with Andy James and Martin Goulding and both had stopped anchoring after doing so for years, they both found it was unnecessarily restrictive.

It's a minor bad habit, but it is a bad habit.

My detailed thoughts on anchoring if anyone cares - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXKxYwBU2f8


Yea I saw your video.. Good stuff and it's good you did the poll! It does make me feel better that it's not a disastrous bad habit. I think hearing that other people have gotten benefits from unanchoring gives me and others confidence to unanchor.

Would proper right hand technique require you to keep the right hand as relaxed as possible and let your other fingers naturally just stay there? Or do you want to make a loose fist?
Freepower
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#15
Would proper right hand technique require you to keep the right hand as relaxed as possible and let your other fingers naturally just stay there? Or do you want to make a loose fist?


For me they're one and the same. I'd prioritise relaxation. I hybrid pick a lot so I guess I'd need my fingers kinda curled regardless.
Tempoe
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#16
Quote by sweetdude3000
That's good to hear. Did you just focus on keeping your right hand relaxed for a month and before you knew it, you were not anchoring anymore? Did find you could play licks you had trouble with before unanchoring? Floating IS more difficult at first with dexterity, but I am sure in the long run it serves you better. It is amazing how your body adapts within time and repetition. I remember when a C chord felt awkward when I first began guitar...


Yeah, it was about when I joined UG that I even read it was bad, I think from Freepower back then. Thanks! I don't really know how, I just stopped doing it by not doing it. My hands are large so brush the body a bit, but I used to actually press a bit. When I stopped It made me feel more comfortable and free, without really effecting my speed or precision at all at first, then it soon got better faster than it would have I think. Also somehow it feels more dynamic, and better for hybrid and economy picking for sure. I still rest my palm a lot for muting, but it really wasn't too big an effort to change so I'd say to anyone -do it.

That was over 4 years ago, wonder how I'd play now if I never stopped anchoring. shit, I might've been a guitar god by now
Last edited by Tempoe at Jan 17, 2013,
My Last Words
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#17
Quote by Tempoe
wonder how I'd play now if I never stopped anchoring. shit, I might've been a guitar god by now


Lol, everytime I discover new flaws in my playing in the category "How come I didn't think of that earlier!!??" I AWAYS have that thought in my mind

Sometimes I would like to start all over again with the knowledge I have right now, just to see how long it would take to get me where I'm now. Pretty interesting concept actually..
baab
Geldin
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#18
Quote by Andy Pollow
LMAO - If you anchor the middle and ring finger tips in one place and you use a picking motion like knocking on a door combined with elbow at the same time it is very relaxed - no tension at all.

Enjoy the carpal tunnel in your wrists and RSI or tennis elbow in your elbow.
sweetdude3000
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#19
I think it all boils down to this: using a pinkie as a guide is OK but here is the caveat : as long as you aren't putting pressure on the guitar! Why? Because when you put pressure you are basically tensing up, and we all know that tension is the no. enemy when it comes to playing fast and fluid. Most people, I suspect, and I am one of those, get that pinkie stuck out when they are tense. I can relate this to the piano as well. When people start learning to play, they get the teacup pinkie sticking out and this is because they are tense. They haven't yet developed the motor dexterity (and partly the muscles) and when they try to play faster than their nervous system allows, they subconsciously tensely up to SLOW down for accuracy. And when you are never told to practice relaxation, like so many people, it because ingrained as a bad habit. They never learn they need to relax to get to the next level and such the problem remains.
Last edited by sweetdude3000 at Jan 18, 2013,
Andy Pollow
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#20
Quote by sweetdude3000
I think it all boils down to this: using a pinkie as a guide is OK but here is the caveat : as long as you aren't putting pressure on the guitar! Why? Because when you put pressure you are basically tensing up, and we all know that tension is the no. enemy when it comes to playing fast and fluid. Most people, I suspect, and I am one of those, get that pinkie stuck out when they are tense. I can relate this to the piano as well. When people start learning to play, they get the teacup pinkie sticking out and this is because they are tense. They haven't yet developed the motor dexterity (and partly the muscles) and when they try to play faster than their nervous system allows, they subconsciously tensely up to SLOW down for accuracy. And when you are never told to practice relaxation, like so many people, it because ingrained as a bad habit. They never learn they need to relax to get to the next level and such the problem remains.


Yeah thats true. I dont know much about pinky anchoring but when you anchor the middle and ring fingers you need to rock them back and forth with your picking so you can move freely. Not stiff or pushing hard into the guitar. They stick to the paint and you dont really notice them much.
Last edited by Andy Pollow at Jan 18, 2013,
Jet Penguin
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#21
Used to rest my palm on the bridge/guitar body always; those days are over and I'm glad I switched.

Anchoring is restrictive; it's simple physics. No one ever ran faster (or more smoothly) in crutches or a cast. Less obstacles the better.
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Sickz
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#23
I used to anchor for 2 years, then made the switch. This is so much better, for me atleast.
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Last edited by Sickz at Jan 24, 2013,
Shor
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#24
I made the change a couple of years back after having anchored for 10 years+.
It feels so much more comfortable playing now, and contrary to what many feels anchoring helps with, I am much more accurate when I play now as well.
It didn't take very long to make the switch either...I just started playing with a (very very) loose fist...just like my hand would be normally when relaxed. It took maybe a month or two to start getting as comfortable as I was with anchoring.
Now I can't even play anchored even if I tried...it's just too awkward.
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chainsawguitar
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#25
Quote by Andy Pollow
Some of the fastest alternate pickers anchor.


As has been said: just because some other player does it, doesn't mean it's the best- or most efficient- technique.

I mean, just because MAB happens to anchor, and also happens to be able to play fast, it's a non sequitur to say that anchoring enabled him to reach those speeds.

It's an argument I see a lot, and it just doesn't follow. I've even received "hate mail" from angry internet users because I strongly support picking without anchoring! Mostly from people who play that way because that's just how they were taught- without regard to how these techniques are actually working.

I'm still yet to come across an argument that proves that anchoring is a superior technique. What advantages does it give? I don't think it's good enough to say that it gives you more stability (you can get just as much by floating), or that it just "feels right" (possibly the worst argument in favour of any guitar technique ever- it doesn't have to "feel right", it has to work with the design of the guitar and of your body- that doesn't always "feel right" at first).

Yet, in favour of not anchoring, there is the whole issue with reducing tension, easier switching to hybrid picking or tapping, and a freer movement of your wrist. In my mind there is no comparison.

I explain further my thoughts on anchoring in this video:

http://chainsawguitartuition.net/blog/what-is-anchoring-and-why-is-it-bad/
Andy Pollow
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#26
I'm still yet to come across an argument that proves that anchoring is a superior technique. What advantages does it give? I don't think it's good enough to say that it gives you more stability (you can get just as much by floating), or that it just "feels right" (possibly the worst argument in favour of any guitar technique ever- it doesn't have to "feel right", it has to work with the design of the guitar and of your body- that doesn't always "feel right" at first).


Anchoring to me is more about tone than speed. I can pick like Yngwie and Gilbert but I dont really like that palm muted sound. I prefer to not mute because I like the tone more. Ive tried playing with my whole hand all the way off and it really is nice - especially with rotation ( turn a key ) but I feel like you need more of a seat belt for shredding standing with a strap. Some jazz players pick good that way sitting down.

But it can help with speed too a little cuz you dont feel as much difference between up and down strokes... Its like when you use a guide when your cutting wood. It can make your wrist swing in an interesting consistent way like a see saw.

And why would anyone send angry emails?! That dont make no sense. Your allowed to play your guitar any way you want no matter what you read on a forum. It shouldnt be a heated argument. Ive been on both sides of that - I used to be against anchoring. Ive seen so many things I think they all work with alot of practice.
Last edited by Andy Pollow at Jan 24, 2013,
sweetdude3000
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#27
It's been a couple of weeks since I have stopped anchoring. I am already finding that I can manage just as well by floating. Funny enough, when I did try to anchor it felt weird and restrictive. I can conclude that float is more conducive to a relaxed hand so in the long run it should serve me better if you go by the firmly rooted and what I think true notion that tension is your enemy..
chainsawguitar
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#28
Quote by Andy Pollow
Anchoring to me is more about tone than speed.


Well, picking and technical efficiency isn't always about speed, either. I just find the best techniques are the ones that require the least amount of effort for the greatest effect.

...but I feel like you need more of a seat belt for shredding standing with a strap.


You don't need a seatbelt. I understand what you're saying about the tonal thing, though. I'm pretty sure MAB picks the way he does- at least in part- to get that really loud sound that he gets. Seriously, he's loud even when not plugged in to an amp!

If you really want that sound, then go for it...but there are much better ways to use a pick, and the volume increase is pretty negligible when playing at full volume through an amp

But it can help with speed too a little cuz you dont feel as much difference between up and down strokes... Its like when you use a guide when your cutting wood. It can make your wrist swing in an interesting consistent way like a see saw.


If you're picking motion is coming from the wrist, then your forearm is kinda like a guide, too- just a much less tense one. Keeping your arm fairly steady works much better with the design of your body. If you're been trying to pick sing strings using a motion from your elbow or shoulder, I can see why you would have problems with that...

And why would anyone send angry emails?!


I have a contact form on my website lol it wasn't directly related to these forums. The page I linked to above talks about anchoring and why I think it is wrong. That makes some people really angry, apparently

Just out of interest, what make you switch from non-anchoring, to anchoring? Was there a specific point where you changed, or did you just gradually adapt?
Andy Pollow
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#29
You don't need a seatbelt.


I guess Im a little different - most rock players wouldnt get this. I like to tie a sock around my neck so I dont have to mute. I like the tone best picking without palm muting close to the neck. So you could play with your arm anchored and your whole hand off but its really difficult to shred that way especially standing with a strap. If I slide the ring finger like Yngwie I still feel like I need the palm on the strings. So I have to anchor something for balance if I dont want my palm touching the strings. Ive tried every anchoring variety and I like the middle and ring fingers - on the tips of the fingers - not flat on the guitar. There is a BIG difference anchoring flat on the guitar or standing up on the tips.
deltadaz
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#30
To original question
YES worth trying my picking speed has doubled since i stopped anchoring.
But then i do practice a lot at my picking also, around an hour a day..
But this goes up to 11
Dreamdancer11
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#31
Quote by sweetdude3000
Anyone who used to anchor there pinky and then made the switch to find that it was worth the effort? I would like some encouragement ... unfortunately I see I have ingrained this bad habit and it seems like it will be a lot of work to undo. Thanks


Mate think of it this way:Tension is the mother of all evil when it comes to guitar playing.And that goes for both hands.So when you are anchoring at the very best you create loads of unecessary tension for your right hand, at the very worst hand injuries .

A relaxed floating hand also makes you tackle everything about guitar playing-strumming,fast picking you name it... with the SAME unified motion.When anchoring you cant do that.And giving mixed signals to your picking hand is the last thing you want.This ll become more and more evident while you progress and try to learn new things.Lets say you want to learn to hybrid pick for example and you are heavily anchoring....immediately you have to change almost everything about your picking hand but if you were floating only small adjustments... the list goes on and on.

Forget anchoring...a relaxed floating hand is more ergonomically sound and ll make you enjoy playing even more .All the work you are doing now to reverse the bad habit ll be paid of with huge interest in the future .
Andy Pollow
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#32
Jason Becker always anchored his pinky and sometimes the ring finger too. I think Perpetual Burn was just as good as Paul Gilbert or Al Dimeola... Thats true you have to lift your fingers up for hybrid picking and you might want your hand up for struming big chords.... With anchoring there is no tension if you move right - it just dosent allow you to move any way you want.

I love picking like Paul Gilbert but I think it would be sad if everyone was brainwashed against anchoring like its a bad habit. Cuz in some ways I think anchoring is actually better than floating. I gotta start makin videos. Im alternate pickin fast scales better than ever.
Last edited by Andy Pollow at Jan 29, 2013,
Drew-A
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#33
Interesting thread. I rest my forearm on the guitar, but that's it.

Never really even considered "anchoring" the way it's being discussed here. Seems to me that would feel pretty awkward, ever for a novice.

But hey, whatever works.
Last edited by Drew-A at Jan 29, 2013,
sweetdude3000
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#34
I practice almost everyday but yea, the switch was totally worth it. It didn't take too long to ingrain it out of my system. I am finding myself playing runs with greater ease and fluidity than before. I also found you can still get plenty of speed without having to angle the pick, and on top of that, you get a better tone to boot.
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#35
Actually, lately I found it easier to pick while wearing long sleeved shirts instead of short-sleeved T-shirts. The cloth allows my arm to move smoother while moving strings.

Quote by sweetdude3000
I also found you can still get plenty of speed without having to angle the pick, and on top of that, you get a better tone to boot.


It's not neccesarily better, it's just different.
baab
Last edited by My Last Words at Feb 6, 2013,
Geldin
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#36
Quote by My Last Words
Actually, lately I found it easier to pick while wearing long sleeved shirts instead of short-sleeved T-shirts. The cloth allows my arm to move smoother while moving strings.

Really? I hate playing in long sleeves. It just feels weird.