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#1
So, recently I read a post by Freepower about anchoring, and I was kinda bored, or atleast, more bored than mad, so I decided to write about it. This is my counter arguement only! My opinion. This isn't exactly fact, but I think it's right. I also want to establish that I respect Freepower as a fellow guitarist, and admire that he made that whole huge post regarding technique. ANYWAY, here goes.

Anchoring is when you have a part of your arm or hand held or pressed against the same point of the guitar at all times.

The most common thread regarding anchoring is "Am I anchoring?" -

this can be solved very quickly, without irritating anyone. Is there a part of your hand has to touch the guitar in a certain way for you to be able to play well? If so, you are ANCHORING. It's not anything more or less than that.

My arm touches the guitar! - That's okay.
I palm mute! - That's okay.
I mute unwanted strings with my palm! - That's okay.

As long as you don't need to keep your hand touching the same place at all times in order to play.

This includes “resting” a pinky against the guitar.

People put forward a number of reasons “for” anchoring, which I will attempt to disprove.


Just to make sure everyone knows what anchoring is.

Really, I can't find much to dispute in the article up until this point. Mainly because I agree or just don't see how it affects people.

So-and-so does it – Yes, but are they the best player? Petrucci, MAB and Steve Morse are very impressive, but look how much effort it is for them to pick fast!


Here I would like to disprove a few of Freepower's theories.

Petrucci visibly relaxes at the end of every fast run and Steve Morse actually has carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.


Petrucci visibly relaxes, in my opinion, not due to anchoring, but with the extreme speed he must move his forearm, where he is quoted as saying so in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m0zLo1-CUI

As for Steve Morse; If he were to develop caral tunnel syndrome in his right wrist, I might've believed anchoring did it to him, but the fact of the matter is that many many guitarists suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. And both wrists suggest that maybe he's wearing his guitar a little low or just was prone to it from the start.

Conversely, look how relaxed Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert are when performing similar runs.


Here I would like to point out that John Petrucci and Steve Morse divulge alot into the tremolo picking technique, where as Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane are legato players. Tremolo picking means picking each note with the guitar pick, where as legato facilitates many hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Also, I've yet to find such a quote from Steve Morse about re-learning to not anchor.

Also, people such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and many others anchor as well. They seem very relaxed when picking. They all attended prestigious music schools as well. Joe Satriani went to a music college, John Petrucci and Steve Vai went to Berklee! You'd think that maybe one of their instructors would have warned them against it, right?

Also, in some electric guitar books, here I quote "The New Complete Guitarist" by Richard Chapman, where he suggests that, "one should put their palm on the bridge or pinky on the pickguard to stabilize the picking hand." Which also goes to Freepower's
Anchoring gives me a reference point so I know where the strings are
theory.

He later goes onto say
This at first appears to be a decent reason for anchoring. However, if this was true, moving the pinky of the right hand 3mm would cause the anchorer to miss every string! Doesn’t this happen? Why not? Because your real reference point is always the last string you picked, whether or not you anchor.

Which I really do agree with.

I anchor and it doesn’t affect me – wow! You’re different from every other human being out there and your pinky naturally sticks out from the rest of your hand? Or does the friction between you and the bridge not affect your amazing frictionless skin? More to the point, anchoring has various degrees. Imagine if you pressed down harder, would it be harder to play? Yes. If you used all 3 fingers to anchor, would it be harder to play? Yes. Anchoring is harmful to your playing relative to how hard you’re pressing down and how many fingers you have attached to the guitar, if any. If you anchor incredibly lightly with a single finger which is free to move over the guitar body, it is obviously better than anchoring hard with 3, but it still isn’t as good as a hand with no attachment to the guitar.


While this sounds good from a technical standpoint, I have to stick with my theory that you play how you play. Look at Marty Friedman for example. He has one of the weirdest pick hands I've ever seen, but he plays amazingly. I think that whatever works for you, works for you. There are ways to injure yourself playing without anchoring, as I have injured my elbow twice now. The most important thing to know is how your hand works and what you can do to hurt it and how to take care of it.

As an interesting footnote, there is an old thread with a poll on www.Ultimate-Guitar.com. More than 70% of UGers who have changed from anchored to unanchored have seen improvement.


It could be that they when they decided to stop anchoring, they started paying attention more to the picking hand; whereas it might seem natural and automatic before, they were forced to pay more attention to it, thus improving. But, that's my opinion.

This concludes my rebuttal. Say what you will, but I just want to say one last thing;
Reading this post really did get me to look at my picking hand, and I have more or less stopped anchoring. But then I decided I'd take a closer look at the subject, and I've concluded: Whatever is natural. Guitar isn't solely about technique: It's about the feel. Whatever way you can make your sound, do it. Just remember to be smart about it.
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#3
Quote by JAustinMunn
Here I would like to point out that John Petrucci and Steve Morse divulge alot into the tremolo picking technique, where as Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane are legato players. Tremolo picking means picking each note with the guitar pick, where as legato facilitates many hammer-ons and pull-offs


I would like to point out that both PG and SL were heavily into picking earlier in their playing careers and can and often do pick with the best of them; there's a reason they're both respected as being some of the best pickers in the world, they are both crazily relaxed when picking at speed with tiny movements.

Quote by JAustinMunn
Also, people such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and many others anchor as well.


Satch doesn't do ANY fast picking. Vai used to anchor and has since broken the habit, what does that say about it?

Quote by JAustinMunn
Look at Marty Friedman for example. He has one of the weirdest pick hands I've ever seen, but he plays amazingly. I think that whatever works for you, works for you.


Watch Friedman pick anything fast; he either economy picks it (during lead work) or switches to a much more conventional picking 'stance' as during the heavy rhythm work with Megadeth.


Quote by JAustinMunn
But then I decided I'd take a closer look at the subject, and I've concluded: Whatever is natural. Guitar isn't solely about technique: It's about the feel. Whatever way you can make your sound, do it. Just remember to be smart about it.


It's all very well and good saying "do what comes naturally" but chances are that won't get you to that 15nps picking run that you want to do; I sure as hell know that I've had to adjust my technique many times to get anywhere near where I am these days and I'm still not exactly what you'd call fast in the grand scheme of things.

Doing things the natural way will get you to a certain point that much is true but beyond a certain point you have to start analysing the tiny little details and see what's holding you back.
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#4
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I would like to point out that both PG and SL were heavily into picking earlier in their playing careers and can and often do pick with the best of them; there's a reason they're both respected as being some of the best pickers in the world, they are both crazily relaxed when picking at speed with tiny movements.


I don't recall that much tremolo pickning back in Racer X's first albums, but you may be right. I don't know much about SL, so maybe you're right there as well. As for "pickers?" They really are not. Unless you are referring to them in the way Nashville Session guitarists do.


Satch doesn't do ANY fast picking. Vai used to anchor and has since broken the habit, what does that say about it?


Crushing day is a very fast song. War is pretty fast too. I have seen Vai anchor recently as well, especially on the whammy bar (he's amazing, yes, but it is what it is). But then again, I do not keep tabs on how many times he anchored in '88 compared to present day.

Watch Friedman pick anything fast; he either economy picks it (during lead work) or switches to a much more conventional picking 'stance' as during the heavy rhythm work with Megadeth.


That wasn't my point. My point was that he has a weird way of doing it, and that's Okay. If it's natural to him, and he can still play like a bamf, then where is the harm?


It's all very well and good saying "do what comes naturally" but chances are that won't get you to that 15nps picking run that you want to do; I sure as hell know that I've had to adjust my technique many times to get anywhere near where I am these days and I'm still not exactly what you'd call fast in the grand scheme of things.

Doing things the natural way will get you to a certain point that much is true but beyond a certain point you have to start analysing the tiny little details and see what's holding you back.


There comes a time when everybody must fix minute details in their technique to improve their playing, yes, but that doesn't dispute that the natural way is the best way. Petrucci is an amazing guitarist whilst anchoring, whereas Paul Gilbert is not. The fact that one anchors and one doesn't does not dispute their prodigal skill.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Watch Friedman pick anything fast; he either economy picks it (during lead work) or switches to a much more conventional picking 'stance' as during the heavy rhythm work with Megadeth.



Zakk Wylde also holds his pick at a strange angle even when playing very fast stuff.
#6
Quote by JAustinMunn
I don't recall that much tremolo pickning back in Racer X's first albums, but you may be right. I don't know much about SL, so maybe you're right there as well. As for "pickers?" They really are not. Unless you are referring to them in the way Nashville Session guitarists do.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khs0Wl7Hvas

I think the point here is that you should not be practicing something that hinders you. It's like a security blanket.

These people may be awesome with anchoring. But Django Reinhardt was sic with two fingers; that doesn't mean you should go chopping two of your fingers off.
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#7
Quote by JAustinMunn
I don't recall that much tremolo pickning back in Racer X's first albums, but you may be right. I don't know much about SL, so maybe you're right there as well. As for "pickers?" They really are not. Unless you are referring to them in the way Nashville Session guitarists do.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcRHVkjLub4 Shawn Lane at 16, unanchored, out-picking the best of them. Not to mention his crazy string skipping diminished things that he picks perfectly cleanly and the pentatonic 5s he picks faster than most people can do anything. Paul Gilbert you can find examples of his picking all over the earler Racer X stuff, listening to Frenzy and Street Lethal from their first album should confirm just exactly how good his picking really is.

Quote by JAustinMunn
Crushing day is a very fast song. War is pretty fast too. I have seen Vai anchor recently as well, especially on the whammy bar (he's amazing, yes, but it is what it is). But then again, I do not keep tabs on how many times he anchored in '88 compared to present day.


Having the tremolo bar in hand ready for use isn't an anchor, it's not a fixed point and he's not applying and real force to it until he's actually using it. And Satch... I don't think I've ever seen him do any real concentrated picking licks, if you can find me an example I'd be glad to take a real good look at it.


Quote by JAustinMunn
That wasn't my point. My point was that he has a weird way of doing it, and that's Okay. If it's natural to him, and he can still play like a bamf, then where is the harm?


The point of good technique is (in my opinion) the versatility to be able to play whatever licks you want with whatever phrasing you want (legato, staccato, combination of the two); Friedman's spazzed out picking hand may work perfectly well for his almost entirely legato (from what I've heard) lead style but if he were to suddenly decide that he wanted to pick a lot more and a lot faster he'd have to go back to square one and change his technique entirely.

Quote by JAustinMunn
There comes a time when everybody must fix minute details in their technique to improve their playing, yes, but that doesn't dispute that the natural way is the best way. Petrucci is an amazing guitarist whilst anchoring, whereas Paul Gilbert is not. The fact that one anchors and one doesn't does not dispute their prodigal skill.


I'm not disputing anyone's skills but using famous people as an example of what can be achieved does not suddenly mean that anchoring is in any way good technique; there are several users on this very forum who will readily testify that they themselves either had or were close to having CTS before they changed their technique to what they use at the minute which is, unless I am much mistaken, unanchored.


Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Zakk Wylde also holds his pick at a strange angle even when playing very fast stuff.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk88CIMkwPk&feature=related

I would hardly call Zakk's hand strange, especially on the three note per string runs he does in that video (there's a good one at about 1:34 IIRC)

Edit: I find it strangely ironic that the above lesson is one of the very few pieces of Wylde's work I can really listen to and enjoy...
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jul 3, 2009,
#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr



I would hardly call Zakk's hand strange, especially on the three note per string runs he does in that video (there's a good one at about 1:34 IIRC)

Edit: I find it strangely ironic that the above lesson is one of the very few pieces of Wylde's work I can really listen to and enjoy...



That's because he's holding his hand ready to hybrid pick, check out this, this is his normal alternate picking stance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYMupc564zE&feature=related

when he starts alternate picking fast, his hand seems very uncontrolled and it is at a strange angle from what I can see.


btw, that last piece is called Speedball, it's usually played on an acoustic.

You might like T.A.Z. by him too if you liked that.
#12
Quote by RCalisto
^ no. i've asked. he never injured himself, and is pretty comfortable.


Can happen as well, MAB anchors and looks pretty tense but he doesn't hurt himself.
#13
my teacher has this special feature though, he's got huge hands. i know I don't anchor because of the reach i deprive myself of when i do it. cus you know, it looks cooler to anchor :P
has malmsteen hurt himself?

btw, please do take a look at my thread
#14
I don't anchor at all. I feel no pain or tension. I gradually increase my picking tempo as I go. Right now, playing 80 bpm stuff feels almost identical to playing around 120 bpm. I used to anchor and couldn't even play the intro to Sweet Child O Mine. Major change.
#15
Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane alternate pick like gods without anchoring, but John Petrucci can pick like that also. There's nothing different in the abilities of anchorers versus non-anchorers.
The fact is, anchoring causes tension which can result eventually in injury. Just because you play how you want (or "naturally") doesn't mean it's the best way from a technical standpoint.
#16
Quote by tenfold
Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane alternate pick like gods without anchoring, but John Petrucci can pick like that also. There's nothing different in the abilities of anchorers versus non-anchorers.
The fact is, anchoring causes tension which can result eventually in injury. Just because you play how you want (or "naturally") doesn't mean it's the best way from a technical standpoint.


But what I'm saying is that it's such a minute point, that it is almost insignificant! The guy earlier couldn't play the Sweet Child 'O' Mine intro whilst anchoring, but I can! I have no pain or tension, and the only injuries I have ever sustained are because I have practiced too long, without rest, only to do it a short while later. I can play 120 -160 bpm comfortable whilst anchoring, and also whilst not anchoring.
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#17
Quote by JAustinMunn
But what I'm saying is that it's such a minute point, that it is almost insignificant! The guy earlier couldn't play the Sweet Child 'O' Mine intro whilst anchoring, but I can! I have no pain or tension, and the only injuries I have ever sustained are because I have practiced too long, without rest, only to do it a short while later. I can play 120 -160 bpm comfortable whilst anchoring, and also whilst not anchoring.


Yeah, I can play that riff unanchored and anchored.
#18
I'm kinda tempted to put forward the argument that just because you haven't found something difficult to pick whilst anchoring/haven't had problems so far doesn't mean you won't?

Most of the people I've seen post about having problems while anchoring and who are learning how to pick without doing so is either because they've run into something they can't play while anchoring or something has started hurting. Sure it's a small thing, and because of that you mightn't hit the point where it's a problem for a while, but by the time you've worked up your speed and technique to a certain point it is the smaller things you've got to start looking at fixing or working on in order to improve. Imo that's why anchoring gets presented as a no-no so regularly, because it's a lot easier to not have that problem to run into in the first place than to run into it eventually and then have to fix it.
I've never heard of someone having to learn to anchor in order to play something, but I have heard of people having to unlearn how to in order to play something.
#21
I use a combination of both. I do find that anchoring begins to hurt if I play really fast stuff so if I start a passage that I just have to blaze through, if I'm anchored, I'll unanchor my hand and it becomes quite a bit more comfortable.
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#22
He doesn't really have to answer, but I'm interested in his response. Or perhaps he's seen the future thus making a sticky for anchoring which if read thoroughly disproves any argument? But I'm just speculating. Kudos to all though, I'm glad this has proven to be a mature discussion so far. Sorry if i ruined it there for a little. I might as well put in my two cents though.

People get used to anchoring early on and don't realize that they could be doing better until a problem with their performance arises. They ask around and realize they need to reform their technique which may or may not include anchoring at the moment. This has happened countless times. I guess the moral is to be aware of your technique at all times wether your a pro or your just starting out. It is vital to be able to play as smoothly and as proficiently as possible. Being able to do that includes avoiding anchoring for reasons stated above and in Freepowers sticky. I guess to me it seems pointless to say after all this but there you go....
#23
Quote by JAustinMunn
But what I'm saying is that it's such a minute point, that it is almost insignificant! The guy earlier couldn't play the Sweet Child 'O' Mine intro whilst anchoring, but I can! I have no pain or tension, and the only injuries I have ever sustained are because I have practiced too long, without rest, only to do it a short while later. I can play 120 -160 bpm comfortable whilst anchoring, and also whilst not anchoring.

First of all, it's impossible to have 0 tension. In order for muscles to move at all, there needs to be some amount of tension.
Second of all, it's a fact of physical science that anchoring brings about more tension than un-anchored. When you anchor a pinky to the guitar, for example, in order to move your hand, you have to work against that anchor, whereas un-anchored you can move freely with less tension.

Think of it this way. I tie a 20 pound weight to your foot, will it be easier to move with or without it? It will not only be easier to move without it, but less tension will be needed to move.
#24
Quote by tenfold
First of all, it's impossible to have 0 tension. In order for muscles to move at all, there needs to be some amount of tension.
Second of all, it's a fact of physical science that anchoring brings about more tension than un-anchored. When you anchor a pinky to the guitar, for example, in order to move your hand, you have to work against that anchor, whereas un-anchored you can move freely with less tension.

Think of it this way. I tie a 20 pound weight to your foot, will it be easier to move with or without it? It will not only be easier to move without it, but less tension will be needed to move.


I think that's a little exaggerated. If it's resting, it's not adding tension. Then it's more a less a pivot.

I play both ways, so I'm not knocking either one. It's just when I read the post by Freepower, I thought it was a little extreme. It's not like I'm anchoring's biggest advocate, it's just that I switch randomly in my playing unconsciously. In the same riffs, sometimes I might anchor, sometimes I might not. What I think is that maybe it really doesn't make a difference. You'll ask many sports coaches and exercise therapists that the biggest obstacle is the mind. Maybe, it is that if you think you have a problem with your tecnique (anchoring), and you think you overcome it, you play better. Which is why I think people like John Petrucci have kept on doing so well. Maybe they found other things to improve upon other than anchoring. I like my theory, I must say, but it could be way out in left field. Whose opinion I really want is an ergonomicist's.
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#25
Quote by JAustinMunn
I think that's a little exaggerated. If it's resting, it's not adding tension. Then it's more a less a pivot.



Before I go on, I'm not an expert in anatomy or anything, but...

You need to use muscles to place and keep the finger/fingers/whatever you're anchoring on the guitar, you need to use more muscles to pivot around that point. If you're not anchoring you're not using those muscles and as a result your picking should be more efficient. If you're not putting any pressure on the finger you're anchoring with (and ignoring the fact you're using muscles just to extend it out to touch the body of the guitar) I don't see how you can pivot and use it as a reference because to me you'd have to have some sort of force holding it steady.
#26
Quote by firesprite
Before I go on, I'm not an expert in anatomy or anything, but...

You need to use muscles to place and keep the finger/fingers/whatever you're anchoring on the guitar, you need to use more muscles to pivot around that point. If you're not anchoring you're not using those muscles and as a result your picking should be more efficient. If you're not putting any pressure on the finger you're anchoring with (and ignoring the fact you're using muscles just to extend it out to touch the body of the guitar) I don't see how you can pivot and use it as a reference because to me you'd have to have some sort of force holding it steady.



If you put your head down on a table, you're not forcing your likeness into a table, you're resting it there. If you rest your pinky on a guitar, you're not forcing a hole into the guitar, you're RESTING it there!
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#27
I have two problems with the resting idea - one is if you're truly resting it there it's not going to really give you any of the advantages people put forward for anchoring (ie. improved accuracy/a point of reference) so what's the point of having it there at all. Two if you are using it as a point of reference/pivot you're going to have to put some degree of pressure onto it in order to make it stay in the same place otherwise it's not going to work.

I'm not saying that you're forcing it, we're not talking large amounts of pressure (at least not until it's been there for a while and tension has built up) but the act of placing your pinky on the body of the guitar and then keeping it there as a point of reference uses extra muscles which you wouldn't be using if you weren't anchoring.
#28
Quote by JAustinMunn
If you put your head down on a table, you're not forcing your likeness into a table, you're resting it there. If you rest your pinky on a guitar, you're not forcing a hole into the guitar, you're RESTING it there!

You can't "rest" your pinky on a guitar because it's not flat with gravity. The table isn't sideways. The guitar is. You have to work against gravity to keep your arm up, but your arm & shoulder muscles take care of that. When you press your pinky into the guitar, you're creating tension in your hand to give your arm relief, but that gives an uneven balance of tension. To balance it, you should have the arm, shoulder, wrist, finger, and hand tension be at their lowest amounts possible. Anchoring takes away tension from the arm and adds to the hand & wrist, the exact place you need there to be less tension.
#30
there's one thing no one ever mentions in this subject. chordal picking. how would one play some stuff like al di meola without anchoring at certain parts of the song?
look at him. he anchors when picking chords, but he doesn't anchor while soloing.
if someone can pick chords like that without anchoring, vid please, i wanna see how it's done. i won't start doing it too, but would be pleasant to see.
#31
Quote by JAustinMunn
But what I'm saying is that it's such a minute point, that it is almost insignificant! The guy earlier couldn't play the Sweet Child 'O' Mine intro whilst anchoring, but I can! I have no pain or tension, and the only injuries I have ever sustained are because I have practiced too long, without rest, only to do it a short while later. I can play 120 -160 bpm comfortable whilst anchoring, and also whilst not anchoring.


Unless you mean 120bpm to 160 sextuplets then of course it's not holding you back, those are not high speeds, once you get past about 12nps these tiny minute details all of a sudden start making all the difference in the world.

It's like building a fast car -

You can build a car and speed it up to a certain point you can just do things like add a bigger engine, take some weight out and that's all very well and good but to get a car to go from say 195 mph to 200mph you're going to have to do a LOT more tweaking of all the tiny little things like aerodynamics, tyre tread and that sort of thing; playing guitar is much the same. You can get to a certain point without paying any attention to your technique but once you start getting to extremes of speed you are going to have to start making tiny adjustments to your technique that WILL make the difference between 14.5nps and 15nps.


RCalisto, what do you mean by 'chordal picking'? I'm not too familiar with Di Meola from a technique point of view, I just like the music

Quote by WishfulShredder
dont you think its funny that every single person that brings up a massive arugument against anchoring anchors themselves?

*coff*buthert*coff


Uhhh...like who? Also doesn't that just prove the point?
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#32
I'm just gonna jump in here. I mentioned earlier my own experience in this matter. Assuming personal experience is of no value in an argument, I will offer a more thought out response.

Think of it like this: anchoring provides stability to players. With that stability, there is less need to gain utmost control of the hand, but at a cost. They add unnecessary tension to their picking hands in order to play with what they think is more stability. The problem is that many people who anchor also attempt to play faster music. In this case, it would be like Lance Armstrong putting training wheels on his bike during the Tour de France. He slows his bike down and puts himself at risk with no benefit.

On the other hand, we have free floating picking. People imagine that would be very difficult because your hand should have minimal contact with the instrument in order to maintain minimal tension. However, it provides more stability to those who master picking in this manner then anchoring can, it makes string skipping easier, and it makes many techniques, such as sweep picking, easier and more fluid.

While it is true that a person who plays even completely free of anchoring can get CTS, the truth is that anchoring speeds up the process and makes injury less a possibility and more of a certainty. So the question becomes this: you are rebutting against a person who has offered to help avoid injury that could permanently cripple your playing? This whole thing is essentially saying that it's OK to add unnecessary tension and make injury more likely despite the alternative providing more stability, fluidity, and les likelihood of injury.
#33
Guys i please someone explain what is so wrong with anchoring and why would it injure you??? im new to anchoring but it kinda feels better when playing string skipping stuff. I can see alexi laiho anchors his hand a lot. Is it a real bad thing?
#34
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr



Uhhh...like who? Also doesn't that just prove the point?


Im not actually going to go back through the ****load of threads made, but a lot of people (I think) go "aw ****, Im doing it wrong, quick make a thread to try and justify my position!"
(this may or may not apply to OP)
#35
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

RCalisto, what do you mean by 'chordal picking'? I'm not too familiar with Di Meola from a technique point of view, I just like the music


arpeggiating chords, but letting them ring.
listen to orient blue. the studio version.

or just dl the tab from here lol
#36
Quote by WishfulShredder
Im not actually going to go back through the ****load of threads made, but a lot of people (I think) go "aw ****, Im doing it wrong, quick make a thread to try and justify my position!"
(this may or may not apply to OP)


Ahhh, bit of a misunderstanding, I thoguht you mean that people who anchor say it's bad to do so

Yes, generally it is the people who anchor who are so adamant that it's a good way of playing.

RCalisto: Ok, I see what you mean now and it's more than possible, just remove the anchor and practice it, I don't see why doing that is so much different from PG and SL's insane string skipping ideas.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
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Album.
Legion.
#37
Quote by blind.guardian
Guys i please someone explain what is so wrong with anchoring and why would it injure you??? im new to anchoring but it kinda feels better when playing string skipping stuff. I can see alexi laiho anchors his hand a lot. Is it a real bad thing?


Don't pay attention to this rebuttal. Anchoring does three things:
1. It gives your hand stability
2. It gives you unnecessary tension in your wrist
3. It gives you carpal tunnel syndrome much faster then if you play without tension.

Anchoring your fingers on the guitar is like using training wheels; it's great to start with, but as you go on, you'll find that it's inhibiting your ability to advance. Check out Freepower's stickies. Those explain it better then I can, but it all boils down to unnecessary tension. Those who switch from anchoring to free-handed picking find that they can get much more sustained speed, more accuracy, and can learn picking techniques more quickly as well as decreased tension and less risk of developing the dreaded CTS.
#38
I'd like to first make a few comments.

The players in supporing of anchoring often use Petrucci and Morse as examples of the level of picking skill that can be achieved by those that do anchor. The players in support of playing unanchored use Gilbert and Lane as examples.

With the greatest possible respect to Petrucci and Morse, I have never seen or heard them play a picking lick of comparable difficulty to those of Gilbert and Lane (neither of whom I see as "legato players" as the TS claimed). In my mind, it's somewhat similar to comparing Satriani's legato playing to Holdsworth's. Holdsworth is simply leagues ahead.

To further stress that, after their G3 tour together several years ago, Petrucci said that he was "in awe" of Paul Gilbert's picking, and that he found it very difficult to play some of Paul's lines.

I'd like to mention my technique. I used to anchor when I joined this forum. I was able to play very fast, clean picking lines, but that was due in no small part to the 5+ hrs I spent practicing every day. I defended my technique in the early anchoring threads, I used some of the excuses that I've read above (usually the pivot argument). The fact remained that while I was very fast and clean (and importantly, not very tense), my range of motion was hugely limited. I could comfortably blaze through a three note per string scalar lick, however tricky string skipping licks were beyond me.

I stopped anchoring a few years ago, and my picking technique is considerably better. I believe what might be most impressive is that I don't (actually, I can't) practice as much as I used to, yet I can play some very active string skipping licks completely cold. After a few minutes to get warmed up, I can play just about any picking line. I still lightly touch the strings below the one I'm playing with my palm, but that is purely to dampen the strings I'm not playing. I'm not as fast as I once was (I used to be comfortably picking 16ths at 240bpm, or 16nps, now that would be some 20bpm slower), but that's largely down to not practicing as much as I once did. Timing and control are much more precise, and I can play at my top speed regardless of how the picking line is structured).
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
#40
Well i think i suck at fast string skipping stuff and it seems easier when you anchor. It sucks its a bad thing to do then :/
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