#1
I read the anchoring thread, but i just want to clear this problem up before I go reteaching myself something.

I've been playing anchored for... well forever now. No one told me up until now. See, the thing is I've really been trying to push my playing lately, and I've decided to learn the song Crossing the Rubicon by The Human Abstract. Its a very advanced song, but I feel like I'm up to the challenge, I have the determination to finish it.

I'm trying to learn this 16th note run during the solo that's played at 175bpm, and i just cant push my wrist enough to get over 120, it just locks up. I did some research and found out; Yay! I've been playing wrong this entire time!

So, today I've been trying to reteach myself the lick really slow, and I had some questions.

1). With unanchored alternate picking, you want the force of pushing down to come from your whole arm movement, right? As opposed to anchored where it just came from your wrist?

2). Is it okay for any part of my hand to be touching the guitar? I can't seem to just hover my hand over the strings, the back of my palm ever slightly touches the bridge, but I'm still deriving my picking strength from my arm movement. Is that okay?

3). How long is it going to take for this to set in and feel normal? I think Im doing it right, but its not subconscious at all.

Thank you for your help
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#2
Quote by woodsballplayer
I read the anchoring thread, but i just want to clear this problem up before I go reteaching myself something.

I've been playing anchored for... well forever now. No one told me up until now. See, the thing is I've really been trying to push my playing lately, and I've decided to learn the song Crossing the Rubicon by The Human Abstract. Its a very advanced song, but I feel like I'm up to the challenge, I have the determination to finish it.

I'm trying to learn this 16th note run during the solo that's played at 175bpm, and i just cant push my wrist enough to get over 120, it just locks up. I did some research and found out; Yay! I've been playing wrong this entire time!

So, today I've been trying to reteach myself the lick really slow, and I had some questions.

1). With unanchored alternate picking, you want the force of pushing down to come from your whole arm movement, right? As opposed to anchored where it just came from your wrist?

2). Is it okay for any part of my hand to be touching the guitar? I can't seem to just hover my hand over the strings, the back of my palm ever slightly touches the bridge, but I'm still deriving my picking strength from my arm movement. Is that okay?

3). How long is it going to take for this to set in and feel normal? I think Im doing it right, but its not subconscious at all.

Thank you for your help


1 - The majority of the motion should still be coming from your wrist really but as long as you're relaxed and controlled it shouldn't really matter.

2 - It's fine for you to touch the guitar, you need to go back and read the sticky again methinks.

3 - It'll take a long time, if you're very used to anchoring you'll basically be re-learning picking all over again from the beginning.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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#3
3) To be honest it will literally take about a week imo
Quote by John Petrucci
When it comes to practicing, I would spend about 63 hours a day
#4
Quote by mitch311
3) To be honest it will literally take about a week imo


in all seriousness? It just seems like reteaching my right hand is going to be an impossible task, its really discouraging.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#5
Are you sure it just isn't a problem with your alternate picking? Meh, anchoring. So much dogma concerning it. Did you check out the sticky int he Advance Technique section?
#6
yeah, about 6 times, idk. I need someone to show me how to do it, its hard to explain it over the internet.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#7
Okay, let me try help. As far as I'm concerned the only true non-anchoring guitar player I've seen is Marty Friedman, and quite honestly, that's not a technique you'd want to emulate. Not anchoring as far as I'm concerned does not mean your hand does not touch the guitar at all. Look at some Paul Gilbert videos; tube it until you find a good angle on his picking hand. His hand does rest on the strings; mostly at the very end of the bridge. When you're alternate picking notes on one string it seems natural to rest your hand on the strings and use a pivot motion to execute fast tremolo or alternate picked runs on ONE string. But the point of not anchoring is that when you move to another string your hand and indeed the potion of palm resting on the strings near the bridge should move as well. Of course, there are arguments to the contrary and I might be wrong. But studying Paul Gilbert's technique, of which I have done quite a lot I can assure he does gently rest his palm on the string but moves it effortlessly when ascending or descending across a multiple number of strings. Again, some guitarists will tell you that completely floating your hand is possible and also tell you what I just said is a load of BS, but meh. I anchor my pink all the time. I tried switching and I did switch for about a few months and honestly felt no difference except for when I sweep. I found sweeping harder when you don't anchor. So I went back to anchoring and again, no difference except for sweeping. Look, just use what works for you and if there is anyone to contradict any of my points I hope they do; cause after all that's what a forum is all about.


[EDIT]

What ever you do, do not anchor or rest your palm past the bridge. If you have a Floyd Rose you'd know what I mean.
Last edited by MisquotedTeabag at Dec 17, 2008,
#8
What do you mean past the bridge? I do have a floyd rose, and the way i rest my hand is as if im going to palm mute, sort of.

Thank you so much for your detailed description. I just find myself using anchored is preventing me from playing faster. Ive been at this wall of 120bpm for the last week, I've put many hours into yet nothing seems to be working. Hopefully (if im using this right) I'll be able to over come that.

You say anchoring my hand for one string tremolo picking is fine? Is that why they call it tremolo picking.... because your hand is resting on the tremolo.... and you make it spas out....

things are so much clearer now.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#9
Heehee, it's called tremolo picking because: Tremolo picking or double picking describes the musical technique of picking on a guitar or other string instrument in which a single note is played repeatedly in quick succession. It can be achieved either with the fingers or with a pick. In the latter case, the pick is moved up and down rapidly to hit the intended string of the guitar evenly. This technique adds sustain to a melodic line where the notes would otherwise decay rapidly.
#10
It is a little bit harder picking up near the neck, and its takes much longer than a week to break bad habits for most people. Practice picking around where the middle pup would be. I assume if you can play it fast anchored that your left hand speed and timing is good so don't be afraid to play it at speed and clean it up later, also as said, pick from the wrist, use the arm to control what string you are over. Eventually you will get it better than you ever had before.
Last edited by Tempoe at Dec 17, 2008,
#11
Quote by woodsballplayer
What do you mean past the bridge? I do have a floyd rose, and the way i rest my hand is as if im going to palm mute, sort of.

Thank you so much for your detailed description. I just find myself using anchored is preventing me from playing faster. Ive been at this wall of 120bpm for the last week, I've put many hours into yet nothing seems to be working. Hopefully (if im using this right) I'll be able to over come that.

You say anchoring my hand for one string tremolo picking is fine? Is that why they call it tremolo picking.... because your hand is resting on the tremolo.... and you make it spas out....

things are so much clearer now.



First of all take what I say with a pinch of salt, as I said, some guitarist would disagree.

And what I meant by saying that you shouldn't keep your hand past the bridge is that in a Floyde Rose placing the hand on the bridge alters the pitch. Yes, if your hand is touching the strings at all it should be on the strings as if you were palm muting.

Tremolo picking, by the way was a wrong choice of phrasing. What I meant was that if you're on one string, playing a 2,3 or 4 note per string group, I think it's okay to rest your hand on the strings temporarily only while you play those 2 or 3 of 4 notes, but as soon as you start fretting and picking on a different string the potion of palm resting lightly on the strings should move. In very simpler terms your palm might be touching, only very gently though, the strings on the guitar but as the string where you're picking notes moves your whole hand should move with it. Seriously, check out some Paul Gilbert videos on youtube. Or even Shawn Lane, who actually does a better job of the not anchoring thing.

Let me try put it differently. Your hand should not have any potion of it fixed to any potion of the guitar. If the string you're picking on moves so should your WHOLE HAND. Do you follow? Of course again I say, it is possible to completely float above the bridge without any potion of your hand on the strings but I find this a bit awkward and limiting, especially when trying to mute unwanted string noise.


Your hand should be free to move about up and down all the time depending on where you're picking regardless of whether it's touching the string or not. As far as I'm concerned that's what not anchoring is.

May I ask though, how did you use to anchor? Pinky on the pick guard?
#12
Quote by woodsballplayer

You say anchoring my hand for one string tremolo picking is fine? Is that why they call it tremolo picking.... because your hand is resting on the tremolo.... and you make it spas out....

things are so much clearer now.


Your technique should remain constant. If you're after the benefits of unanchored playing, you shouldn't revert to anchored playing when you tremolo pick. It's simply alternate picking one note over and over again, not as if your technique requires changing. And spazzing out isn't the way to go. It can seem like an easy way to play fast, but you can progress so much farther if you remain relaxed and in control.
#13
OKAY! Thank you so much, after a few hours of fooling around on my guitar with a metronome and reading here, I think i get it;

Pick like I've always picked except for when i change strings my hand moves with it, as opposed to be fixed on the corner of the bridge like i used to have it. I get what you mean, thank you so much.

but what can I do about my wrist tensing and ceasing up?
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#14
Quote by woodsballplayer
but what can I do about my wrist tensing and ceasing up?


Slow down and gradually speed up, paying constant attention to your technique and finding the point at which you start to tense up. Stay at that speed until you're relaxed again and start speeding up once more. You might want to start doing economy of motion drills.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#15
Quote by woodsballplayer
OKAY! Thank you so much, after a few hours of fooling around on my guitar with a metronome and reading here, I think i get it;

Pick like I've always picked except for when i change strings my hand moves with it, as opposed to be fixed on the corner of the bridge like i used to have it. I get what you mean, thank you so much.

but what can I do about my wrist tensing and ceasing up?



Speed isn't about speed, it's about economy of motion. Sentiments held by Guthrie Govan, one of the fastest. As you practice and practice not only does your accuracy and speed increase your motions start getting smaller and less demanding on your muscles. Just keep practicing and your motions will naturally find the easiest way to occur. Also your muscles will start getting used to the constant up and down motion and eventually get stronger. Your wrist will start getting a bit more flexible, you know. Just practice the right techniques, keep at it and have some fun. Your wrist locking up and tensing up should just fade away after a while.
#16
I see, thank you so much for your help today. You guys are awesome
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#17
Teabag, so you know in future, when we say "anchored" here we mean that the hand is fixed to the guitar at a certain point. I'd like us to be on the same page with that because otherwise it'll look like we're giving out the opposite advice when we mean the same thing.
#18
is it normal to feel a slight pain in my forearm, like a "i just worked out" type of pain? Or does it mean I'm doing this wrong?
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#19
Okay, I'm not really an expert on guitar and pain related questions but here's my opinion. I suppose your forearm hurts because you're using your forearm. As Tempoe suggested you should only use your arm, or forearm for that matter, to control where your pick is on the strings. I.e. to move your hand up and down. If your forearm is in any pain, I'm assuming your up and down picking motion is at least to a certain degree coming from your forearm. If we are to adhere to the shred mantra of economy of motion I should say this is bad technique. Your picking motion should come entirely from your wrists as when you use your arm you have to perform bigger movements to get the same movement you can get from your wrist with a lesser amount of effort. Now having said this, if you look at Rusty Cooley it is pretty apparent some of his 'picking power' comes from his arm and well he can pick hella fast for very long amounts of time. But, my advice, me consciously aware of where you picking motion is coming from. Um, do what Steve Vai did and look at yourself int he mirror, or record yourself playing on cam. See if your arm is visibly moving and if it is try to keep it to an absolutely minimum. Seriously, use arm to control where you pick on the strings, use wrist to pick.
#20
ill try that mirror/camera way out and post back, thank you so much for the effort. For such an important topic I'm surprised I have found very minimal results for it on the internet.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#21
Well, I don't want to see you go down the garden path.... The arm, the entire arm from wrist to neck, is all part of your "picking mechanism". It's not like it should be
like a phonograph needle that only moves your wrist to a picking position over the
string. It's also part of the picking motion.

If you were to look at the Guitar Principles picking fundamental exercises, the only
thing is says about the wrist is to "keep it relaxed, but don't move it", use the elbow.

There's a lot of wisdom in that. It doesn't mean you won't EVENTUALLY use the wrist.
It means INITIALLY developing the elbow, is the platform on which everything else
rests. I can vouch for that if you want to eventually reach a basic picking technique
with the fewest limitations.
#22
So you're telling me to use my elbow to push my pick down? and they are telling me to use my wrist?

haha kill me.

I think I'm just going to wait till Tuesday when I have lessons for his input, but i dont think hes going to see a problem with my old ways. Since I've been going to him for the last 2 years, I think he would have picked up on it if something were wrong. But idk, after this experimentation with unachoring, it feels like if i can tame my picking like this it will help me loads in terms of speed and comfort.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#23
Initially and eventually? Your picking motion should come from your wrist. It's the most economical and I think its as simply as that. If you're using your forearm and elbow you're using way too much effort to achieve a very small motion and you are certainly going to tire. Besides controlling a completely arm movement is tricky. Take everything all of us say with a pinch of salt, in the end, it's your music, your arm, your guitar; do what works best for you.
#24
Just some advice I got, I tried it, and can now see why it's basically so.

First of all, another principle working here is train from largest to smallest, or courser
to finer. In this case larger = elbow (even shoulder), smaller = wrist (and fingers).
The larger muscles have a job they can do most efficiently and the smaller ones do.
If either co-opts the job better done by the other, imbalance sets in. The larger also
tends to be a foundation the smaller rests on.

Secondly, people tend to ignore everything except the wrist and I'd say that's one of
the main reasons they have picking problems, limited picking and picking tension.
They usually concentrate on trying to pick fast on a single string, or tremelo pick, with
only the wrist and lock themselves up further with problems. The ability to pick as
easily across strings or string skip is usually weak. Weaknesses generally are avoided
and that's where limitations creep in.

So, my advice, which is also backed up by the extensive pragmatic results of the
similar advice from Guitar Principles, is work on primarily your cross string picking
mechanics with the elbow. These are the larger motions you make in picking and are
left weak in a lot of people When they become strong, you'll see that the finer motions from the wrist dovetail very nicely with them and that there's really no separation of
wrist vs elbow in the alternate picking motion. It's nearly the same motion just with
different blending and this helps make alternating across strings nearly identical to
alternating on the same string.
#25
that cleared up alot of things, thank you.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme