Hey all. I've been playing for a little while but I keep running into problems with my right hand. I've looked at several different guides on UG which all say different things and in the end all I've accomplished is to confuse myself. Anyway, my problem seems to be two-fold:

1. I can't find a comfortable place to rest my hand while I play
2. Whenever I try to pick fast my the muscles in my hand tighten up and my wrist ends up hurting

The pain is by no means unbearable, but I'm going to abide by Floyd's law and say that if it hurts, I'm probably doing it wrong. Anyway, any clarification or advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks

here's some things that will help us,
how old are you,
how big is your hand? for instance my hand is as big as the bridge.
and one thing that may tie in with both 1 and 2 is you hand muscles are
not use to doing anything like picking fast so they start complaining about it
thus why your hand hurts it may take awhile to get use to it.
Where comfort is concerned, there are a lot of types of bridges and fixed or floating isn't the end-all of it. You need to get out to guitar stores more, demo them, and find what works for you. Like with my primary guitar, I wouldn't trade my bridge for any other model in the world. It's got a solid metal saddle around it that is perfect for my picking style, I can rest my hand comfortably and freely plam mute+pinch any riffs as fast as I need to do it. (Incidentally I despise floating bridges/tremolo bars so the added bonus is it's mounted)

And I tend to leave my little finger resting across the body below the strings when picking, or use it to anchor my hand when finger picking.

For your other problem, it's difficult to know what's going on, but it may be related to your first problem. If your right hand just isn't comfortable, and your bridge is forcing you to hold your hand in some awkward position then it's going to screw up everything including your picking.

There are even more ways of picking than types of bridges. When I started, I held my pick with three fingers and down picked everything really fast. That probably strained my hand more than necessary. After I learned more alternate pickings, I settled into the more traditional two finger style.

For fast stuff, maybe you're just picking too hard and too low beneath the strings. Your picking needs to be a fluid motion that brushes over the strings freely--you shouldn't have any trouble alternate picking between different strings and keeping time. And the things you should be minimalizing are the distance that you move it away after striking a note, and the amount of movement actually generated in your wrist. Hold your pick closer to the tip for more speed and pinch harmonics, and learn basic methods like circle picking for triplets. Watch youtube videos of key guitarists and observe how they do things then try it for yourself. That's about all I can really suggest in text format.
Quote by Dimeborg

2. Whenever I try fast my the muscles in my hand tighten up and my wrist ends up hurting

stop wanking so hard then, jks

just keep practicing in the uncomfortable position and you will get used to it. your muscles willl adapt and get stronger
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I don't think that you should be resting your hand on the guitar at all. That's anchoring. Some consider anchoring good, others consider it bad.

This column presents an interesting view on anchoring:

As the column says, go with whatever your most comfortable with. If your hand and/or wrist hurt while you play, then you're not doing what you feel comfortable doing. Try playing without anchoring. If you can play faster and without any discomfort, then you've found where to rest your hand on the guitar: nowhere.
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