#1
Ok, I just read Freepowers anchoring thread and I guess I can't hide behind my "Steve Morse and MAB do it too" shield any longer.
Just today I noticed the tension that builds in my hand when I try to play a scale up and down 3 times at about 100 BPM 16ths.
Since I just started learning classical guitar 2 weeks ago (and will be playing for the next 4 and a half years so I won't be in a band, I've got time to re-learn picking, no pressure) and it is played somewhat unanchored (your elbow touches the guitar, your hand floats) and I've got way too much time on my hands anyhow I thought it would be great to learn unanchored picking on my electric.

So far, what I understand is that the hand should just not touch the guitar anywhere, not the palm touching the bridge, not the arm resting on the body, nothing, it should float about 1-2mm above the guitar.
Should I change my angle that I play at for this?+
Right now my arm run right up (they form a line with...) the neck because I have pretty long arms so it's just kinda how the fit themselves.
If you need a reference, Slash plays "from the top", his hand comes down like in a 70 degree angle to the neck while mine is in like a 0-15 degree angle to the neck.

Is there an official guide on the internet to breaking picking habits?


(I believe that not all of this is covered in the sticky, therefore I demand this not be closed! )
please...
Last edited by Nilpferdkoenig at Jan 30, 2009,
#3
Zoidberg's got it right - start like you're starting from scratch again, and you'll pick it up sooner than you think. As far as your hand not touching the guitar at all, I usually have the side of my pick hand just grazing the bridge, sometimes settling only when I don't need to move to parallel strings. Just start slow and keep at it, and trust me - as someone who anchored for almost 11 years and just recently dropped it - it makes a world of difference in how fast and accurately you play.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

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#5
the thing about playing unanchored isn't so much about not letting your hand touch the guitar, its about planting your fingers down and relying on them to guide your hand. my fingers touch the guitar all the time, but i don't use them as a guide and their not planted in place.
#6
Quote by z4twenny
the thing about playing unanchored isn't so much about not letting your hand touch the guitar, its about planting your fingers down and relying on them to guide your hand. my fingers touch the guitar all the time, but i don't use them as a guide and their not planted in place.


In the sticky it says that if any finger touches the guitar, you're anchoring.

edit: oh, so they just kinda move around on the body.
#7
yeah its not so much "your fingers can never ever ever touch the guitar" its more of a "ok do you HAVE to plant your fingers down for stability to play" if you do have to plant your fingers down then thats anchoring, but if they brush up against the guitar then yer fine. because of how my fingers curl they touch the guitar all the time, but i can tell i'm not anchoring because i can play fine regardless of where they are. it is recommended that to break the habit that you do want to initially make a concentrated effort to not have any fingers or anything touching the guitar. it was hell when i first stopped anchoring because i had to break like 11 years worth of habit..... lets just say i felt like a noob all over again.
#9
Who plays with their arm not resting on the body?
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#10
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Whas it worth it?

You can TOUCH the guitar, but 'firmly pressing your fingers and/or palm against the guitar in a way that inhibits loose, relaxed motions of the wrist' is what we mean by anchoring.

And yes - it is definately worth it. My playing has improved greatly since I stopped planting my ring/pinky on the body. Your wrist doesn't tire as quickly either.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

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#11
The reason people (have to) anchor is mostly because it starts when they started playing the guitar. It helps stabilize the hand for picking. Unfortunately, it also makes it very easy never to learn stabilizing without it (although some get over it).

Stability mostly comes from the arm. If you're going to redo your picking, forget about your wrist for the time being, just use your elbow. Walking pentatonic boxes back and forth can be good practice. When you get to the point crossing strings is just as fluid as picking the same string, you can start working the wrist back in.


EDIT: resting the arm on the guitar is fine. Actually, when you get to the point where you've achieved all the stability you need in your free wrist/hand, it doesn't really even matter much if you anchor or not. You just won't have to.
Last edited by edg at Jan 31, 2009,
#12
Yeah, it would feel really awkward to not have your arm touching the guitar.
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#13
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Whas it worth it?

its funny, cuz when i first started doing it i was so frustrated with it. looking back it was worth it and then some.
#15
To me it came natural.

Then I again, You don't wanna know how much I've been playing guitar lol.

I can both anchor and non-anchor picking.

I dunno, If I needed to go faster I would just "un-anchor".

EDIT: my finger is on the body, but it move around, it's more of a guide then a plant as in it moves around wherever it goes and I don't feel any tension.

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#16
So, is resting your ring/pinky under the bridgpe pickup anchoring or not?
#17
Quote by Zyl
So, is resting your ring/pinky under the bridgpe pickup anchoring or not?

If you need to do that to play smoothly and accurately, then yeah.
#18
So I'll just rest my arm on the body but have my hand in air, not touching the guitar unless PM is asked for?

Edit: wow, it works really well, I thought that this would take longer to get used to.
#19
*turns green and smashes stuff*

/jk

Anyway, long and short of it is, you've got the right idea except that angle of approach depends on posture and guitar position - not anchoring.

Just practice and pay attention. How hard it is to switch over depends on how much you relied on your training wheels - careful not let tension creep into your upper arm because you're trying to "lift it" off the guitar.

Oh, and totally worth it, btw.

In the sticky it says that if any finger touches the guitar, you're anchoring.


#20
Just want to mention that naming a well established player that uses it totally does legitimise it.

That out the way, I'm a bit concerned about my own technique actually. I mean I mostly fingerpick, and sometimes I'm anchoring and sometimes I'm not. It's like whenever I need not anchor I'm happy not to, but whenever I can get away with it I do. Is that wrong?
#21
Quote by anotherbluesguy
Just want to mention that naming a well established player that uses it totally does legitimise it.

That out the way, I'm a bit concerned about my own technique actually. I mean I mostly fingerpick, and sometimes I'm anchoring and sometimes I'm not. It's like whenever I need not anchor I'm happy not to, but whenever I can get away with it I do. Is that wrong?


Steve Morse has Carpel Tunnel in both hands because of it. It probably hurts like hell for him to play for a long period.
#22
Quote by anotherbluesguy
Just want to mention that naming a well established player that uses it totally does legitimise it.


Not in my view. Do you any reasons for your's other than they are "well-established"? I could list a number of reason's why I have mine, but for brevity sake, I'll just leave it as I think this topic is in the FAQ.
#23
So you CAN have your arm resting on the body of the guitar? The top of my forearm (the part closest to the elbow) rests on the corner of the body where it slants. I thought thats what the slant was for, to allow your arm to rest there?
#25
Quote by Freepower
Yes.


I might have to post a video or pic of me not anchoring in your thread to see ifimdoingitrite
#26
Oh crap so your arm can rest on the body? I thought I read somewhere that it couldn't. No wonder my shoulder was getting tight. I shall read more carefully from this point on.
Stuff I use:

Schecter C-1 Classic
Ibanez RG350DX
Peavey 5150 (Signature)
Marshall 1960AV
#27
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I dunno, If I needed to go faster I would just "un-anchor".


i hear that. thats what i do
if im going into a faster lead line i just stop anchoring
but for chords and fast rhythm work i just cant help but anchor i got used to the feel between strings using my pinky as a guide and coz i hardly ever look at the guitar while playing it. it just got into a habit and its working for me

but everybody has different techniques and different playing styles

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Last edited by phoenix666 at Feb 25, 2009,