#1
I have recently (about a week ago) started to rid myself of my anchoring habits. I can play just as well for about every technique except tremolo picking. I simply cannot keep a steady alternate picking motion. I've been trying to focus on sort of rotating my wrist, but somehow I always end up awkwardly moving my forearm back and forth and my pick strikes unevenly and my speed is much slower. When I'm focusing on my left hand, I sometimes hit my guitar with my pick because I sort feel lost, but this is again, only during fast passages or tremolo picking. Help?
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To Be Continued . . .
#2
when i trem pick i either palm mute or i pick with my arm in this weird position where i'm picking near the 20th fret and have my arm almost parallel to the strings which seems to help with keeping my arm stable
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#3
i lock the pinky side of my hand down on the bridge and just trem away .my arm is just like the above guyy pretty much parralel to the strings
#4
Question: If your body naturally finds one way easier and more comfortable, and it isn't causing you any problems, why strive to change things? Plenty of amazing guitarists 'anchor' (though the definition of 'anchoring' is debatable) and I have never really analysed my playing style apart from when someone I'm teaching/someone at a gig asks about something I do, though I am certain I have never consciously gone about trying to change my playing style to suit what a few people perceive as the 'correct' and only way to play.

Stop worrying about things like that, and just enjoy yourself; as long as your playing style isn't injuring you, or inhibiting your progress, there is no reason to change.
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#5
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Question: If your body naturally finds one way easier and more comfortable, and it isn't causing you any problems, why strive to change things? Plenty of amazing guitarists 'anchor' (though the definition of 'anchoring' is debatable) and I have never really analysed my playing style apart from when someone I'm teaching/someone at a gig asks about something I do, though I am certain I have never consciously gone about trying to change my playing style to suit what a few people perceive as the 'correct' and only way to play.

Stop worrying about things like that, and just enjoy yourself; as long as your playing style isn't injuring you, or inhibiting your progress, there is no reason to change.



Well, I'm just trying to make the most out of my playing. Also, I have heard plenty of 'horror stories' about carpal tunnel. :p
Musicians I Want To See Live

Metallica
Avenged Sevenfold
RHCP
Machine Head
Five Finger Death Punch
Joe Satriani/Chickenfoot
Slipknot


To Be Continued . . .
#6
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Question: If your body naturally finds one way easier and more comfortable, and it isn't causing you any problems, why strive to change things? Plenty of amazing guitarists 'anchor' (though the definition of 'anchoring' is debatable) and I have never really analysed my playing style apart from when someone I'm teaching/someone at a gig asks about something I do, though I am certain I have never consciously gone about trying to change my playing style to suit what a few people perceive as the 'correct' and only way to play.

Stop worrying about things like that, and just enjoy yourself; as long as your playing style isn't injuring you, or inhibiting your progress, there is no reason to change.


The thing about anchoring is that it does mess up your playing down the road. You are constantly putting tension on that anchor even if you don't feel it.

It's not really perceiving. It's not like everyone is telling you that you have to play without anchoring. If you want to anchor, go for it. People will tell you the major downfalls of it, and from what I've read up on it, the cons are definitely worse than the pro's of anchoring (or what people perceive as pros to anchoring).

Also, don't justify anchoring by saying "this guitarist" does it. It doesn't mean they're doing it right.
#7
get stronger, get an nsd powerball, a gripmaster, grow out your nails and do up strums as fast as you can with just your thumb, then do all down strokes with your finger...
...
and...

looks around...
...
don't tell anyone, because it is a secret!
... nope, can't...
pm me lol
#8
Quote by FallsDownStairs
The thing about anchoring is that it does mess up your playing down the road. You are constantly putting tension on that anchor even if you don't feel it.

It's not really perceiving. It's not like everyone is telling you that you have to play without anchoring. If you want to anchor, go for it. People will tell you the major downfalls of it, and from what I've read up on it, the cons are definitely worse than the pro's of anchoring (or what people perceive as pros to anchoring).

Also, don't justify anchoring by saying "this guitarist" does it. It doesn't mean they're doing it right.

My point there isn't a 'right' way. I've been playing for almost 14 years and never had a problem in any style I play; I'd say I'm a fairly accomplished musician given I haven't really found a song I wanted to play that I couldn't (Dream Theater is about as technical as I go in terms of learning other people's stuff, as I'm not keen on dropping my tuning loads or buying a 7-string just to play stuff by death metal bands who's vocalists I can't even stand hehe) but of course I don't want to come across as too sure of myself so after that brief ego handjob I'll stop with the rest haha.

In fact the main reason I stopped playing flamenco/spanish classical guitar was down to the 'rigidity' of instruction in technique and due to my thumb having a strange joint I was penalised in a couple of grade exams just because my thumb wasn't rotating how they wanted, and was instead bending at the middle joint (because my thumb physically wouldn't stay straight and instead rotate at the knuckle).


I guess all this depends on how you define anchoring though; perhaps my idea of anchoring is a bit different, but I certainly rest parts of my hand on the bridge/other strings when performing certain techniques/riffs (the resting fingers on high e thing comes from rest strokes in spanish/flamenco style I guess, but feels comfortable to me and I definitely don't suffer from excess tension)
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Aug 1, 2009,
#9
I dont know about you guys, but I cant anchor for the life of me. It just slows me down trem picking.
#10
Quote by DisarmGoliath
My point there isn't a 'right' way. I've been playing for almost 14 years and never had a problem in any style I play; I'd say I'm a fairly accomplished musician given I haven't really found a song I wanted to play that I couldn't (Dream Theater is about as technical as I go in terms of learning other people's stuff, as I'm not keen on dropping my tuning loads or buying a 7-string just to play stuff by death metal bands who's vocalists I can't even stand hehe) but of course I don't want to come across as too sure of myself so after that brief ego handjob I'll stop with the rest haha.

In fact the main reason I stopped playing flamenco/spanish classical guitar was down to the 'rigidity' of instruction in technique and due to my thumb having a strange joint I was penalised in a couple of grade exams just because my thumb wasn't rotating how they wanted, and was instead bending at the middle joint (because my thumb physically wouldn't stay straight and instead rotate at the knuckle).


I guess all this depends on how you define anchoring though; perhaps my idea of anchoring is a bit different, but I certainly rest parts of my hand on the bridge/other strings when performing certain techniques/riffs (the resting fingers on high e thing comes from rest strokes in spanish/flamenco style I guess, but feels comfortable to me and I definitely don't suffer from excess tension)



Anchoring is just that, an anchor. If you can't play at whatever speed or whatever you're playing without anchoring, then you're anchoring. If you can play it without having your finger in a fixed place, then it's not anchoring.

Your very last sentence, I'll clarify again. There is always tension in wherever you decide to put your anchor at. Even if you don't feel the tension.
#11
Quote by FallsDownStairs
Anchoring is just that, an anchor. If you can't play at whatever speed or whatever you're playing without anchoring, then you're anchoring. If you can play it without having your finger in a fixed place, then it's not anchoring.

Your very last sentence, I'll clarify again. There is always tension in wherever you decide to put your anchor at. Even if you don't feel the tension.

Hmm, well whatever I'm doing I've had no issues with it anyway and people have only complimented my playing so each to their own I also teach guitar, I left that part out to see exactly what you might claim.

I'd argue I have just as much tension as you do when you're playing with your hand 'floating' so to speak, albeit in different parts of the arm/wrist, as you still have to keep your arm in position and make sure the movement isn't too erratic. Having parts of my hand resting on the bridge etc. allows me to completely relax the important parts of my arm when I'm playing so I guess either I'm not anchoring by your definition, or it is a case of whatever feels best to the individual
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#12
hey man, I'm in the same boat is you.
I also recently got rid of my anchoring habits, but I almost NEED it for tremelo picking.
But then I figured, why not anchor for tremelo picking? it's just a single technique, doesn't come up often enough to worry about, and I doubt it will affect the rest of my guitaring in any way.
#13
After watching Billy Gibbons play last night and anchor the hell out of every note, I no longer care. I'm not a fan of ZZ Top, but he's a better guitarist than I can ever hope to be. Like someone said above me, if it's comfortable, do it.
#14
Quote by FallsDownStairs
Anchoring is just that, an anchor. If you can't play at whatever speed or whatever you're playing without anchoring, then you're anchoring. If you can play it without having your finger in a fixed place, then it's not anchoring.

Your very last sentence, I'll clarify again. There is always tension in wherever you decide to put your anchor at. Even if you don't feel the tension.


If it were electric guitar I'd completely agree with you but when it comes to flamenco I'd have to disagree. The so called anchoring is resting the thumb on the low e string and is a part of the technique, not so much of a choice. The difference with the eletric guitar anchoring most of you are familiar with is that every single flamenco guitarist does it, instead of half of them or even a few odd balls.

How this technique evolved this way into flamenco I don't know, I do know that a long time ago most flamenco guitarists were only proficient with their thumb since flamenco has roots in arabic music as well where they used a sort of pick from which the thumb techniques from flamenco evolved from.

Also the only proof I can give you that the thumb and arm are truly 'resting' is that using this technique I notice no difference whether I rest or lift my thumb.
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#15
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Hmm, well whatever I'm doing I've had no issues with it anyway and people have only complimented my playing so each to their own I also teach guitar, I left that part out to see exactly what you might claim.

I'd argue I have just as much tension as you do when you're playing with your hand 'floating' so to speak, albeit in different parts of the arm/wrist, as you still have to keep your arm in position and make sure the movement isn't too erratic. Having parts of my hand resting on the bridge etc. allows me to completely relax the important parts of my arm when I'm playing so I guess either I'm not anchoring by your definition, or it is a case of whatever feels best to the individual


Just because you teach guitar, doesn't put you in the right. You could argue that you have just as much tension as me, but you actually have more tension than I do by anchoring. You can argue it all you want, but it was already proven.

It doesn't matter if people complimented your playing, it's irrelevant to the topic and what we are discussing. People have complimented my playing and I don't anchor. So does that make me better than you? No.

Even if it is comfortable for the individual, that doesn't always matter. You would rather be comfortable, and have major health problems down the road, or would you rather become comfortable with your hand floating and not anchoring, and not have health problems?
#17
Quote by drawnacrol
This guy anchors for every technique and still plays insane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWxvJOfx3Nw

I've mixed opinions about it,I've stopped my anchoring habits except for whens beneficial for tighter playing


You can see the tension in his picking hand. Also, I'll say it again, don't justify anchoring by saying "-insert awesome guitarist here- does it, so it must be alright". It still doesn't justify doing it.
#18
All you who say anchoring is going to cause CTS......why do you think that? I have been anchoring certain techniques for over 10 years now and I don't have CTS or any pain what so ever.

So where is this proof that it will cause you pain down the road....and how far down the road do you mean..gotta be over 10 years cause i have no pain. We talking 50 years later you might get a little pain?

And by proof i don't mean some sticky on this forum...real medical proof from a doctor.
#19
Quote by srob7001
All you who say anchoring is going to cause CTS......why do you think that? I have been anchoring certain techniques for over 10 years now and I don't have CTS or any pain what so ever.

So where is this proof that it will cause you pain down the road....and how far down the road do you mean..gotta be over 10 years cause i have no pain. We talking 50 years later you might get a little pain?

And by proof i don't mean some sticky on this forum...real medical proof from a doctor.

And I have to agree with this, I've been playing just under 14 years and never had a problem either. I apologise for coming across as a bit self-righteous earlier with the whole teaching thing.

(To FallsDownStairs) However you cannot just say 'you have more tension than me' because different people relax muscles differently. You can have your hand in an 'awkward' (in your opinion) position and still have everything relaxed, so I really don't see how it could cause any problems in the long run.
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#20
i just think if you need to anchor then clearly your technique is limited because you need a crutch to actually play. learn to play without the crutch and you will play faster and with more control (because before you didnt actually have control).
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#21
Quote by lwayneio
i just think if you need to anchor then clearly your technique is limited because you need a crutch to actually play. learn to play without the crutch and you will play faster and with more control (because before you didnt actually have control).

It is not a crutch in the slightest; it's all about playing comfortably. For certain techniques, 'floating' my arm creates more tension, albeit in a different place, than the way I relax my muscles by resting in certain places. It has not caused me any injuries or hindered my progress in 14 years.

Also, don't you think that metal guitarists who constantly alternate pick fast rhythms while palm muting would be suffering from CTS if it was such a problem to rest parts of the hand on the guitar?
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#22
Quote by DisarmGoliath
It is not a crutch in the slightest; it's all about playing comfortably. For certain techniques, 'floating' my arm creates more tension, albeit in a different place, than the way I relax my muscles by resting in certain places. It has not caused me any injuries or hindered my progress in 14 years.

Also, don't you think that metal guitarists who constantly alternate pick fast rhythms while palm muting would be suffering from CTS if it was such a problem to rest parts of the hand on the guitar?


They're palm muting, which requires you to rest on the bridge to dampen the strings. So it's not anchoring, it's just a technique.

To the person who wanted some proof, here is what I have found.

http://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32334&start=0

^Taken from there is this:

2. Anchor the pinky against the pickguard.

Advantages: strings are relative to the anchor point, making them easier to find. The picking hand can be easily repositioned for variations in tone.

Disadvantages: uses more energy for cross-string picking (it's harder to keep the pinky positioned when you're rapidly rotating the joint between finger and palm). Can lead to awkward stretches while fingerpicking or hybrid picking. On acoustic guitars, any anchor point on the face of the guitar will slightly lower the volume and change the tone - the lighter the top, the more noticeable this will be (try it on a classical; you'll probably hear the difference). When fingerpicking, the angle required to maintain hand position will limit the available variations in strokes, making classical techniques like apoyando and/or tirando less pronounced.

This method is seen most often among fingerpickers in all styles except classical and jazz - classical because of the strong effect on top vibration, jazz because most jazzers get professional instruction. You'll see a few pros doing it, either fingerpicked or plectrum... and I've seen a few use it only for specific passages; they may be using it for a comfort level in a difficult part, or to increase their tonal range by deliberately dampening the top.

3. Float the picking hand

Advantages: total mobility; all tonal variations are available, including the choice to top-damp by using the pinky. Fast transition to any technique that requires a forward hand - artifical harmonics, tapping, etc. Leaves one more finger free for percussive techniques a la Kaki King. All rotations of finger attack on the strings are available, making all classical techniques possible. On acoustic instruments, the top is completely free to vibrate, adding to volume and tone.

Disadvantage: it's harder to learn.

Most pros float - you can simply do more, and do it more easily.


http://www.breskin.com/flip/ergonomx.htm

^Ways to avoid injuries in musicians.

Picking Hand: Don't touch the face of your guitar. Stick out your thumb as if you were hitchhiking. Now wave hello to your guitar. “Grate cheese.” (Try really grating some on a grater, or a carrot. Notice your wrist position. Pretend you have a cast on.) Move big from the elbow and shoulder. Relax, relax, relax.


Now then, After researching more heavily to attempt to prove someone wrong, I have come to this conclusion and will withdraw from this argument/debate from this point forward.

It is a personal preference, I never tried to argue that. I will say that if you have to anchor the pinky all the time, it is a bad thing. It will cause hand problems, that is inevitable. If you use it in certain aspects of your playing, but not that often (Maybe on some fast runs, whatever), then it becomes another technique. Though, you should be able to play those fast runs just as well without the anchor too.

-FDS
#23
Quote by DisarmGoliath
It is not a crutch in the slightest; it's all about playing comfortably. For certain techniques, 'floating' my arm creates more tension, albeit in a different place, than the way I relax my muscles by resting in certain places. It has not caused me any injuries or hindered my progress in 14 years.

Also, don't you think that metal guitarists who constantly alternate pick fast rhythms while palm muting would be suffering from CTS if it was such a problem to rest parts of the hand on the guitar?


It probably creates tension because you're probably not doing it right. Floating DOES NOT mean hovering your whole arm an inch above the guitar. You can rest your forearm on the guitar. I'm pretty sure everyone does. You can brush your hand against the strings. In fact, that's good muting technique. The point is, you never have any part of your hand FIXED to the guitar anywhere.
#24
Anchoring: Strap Length, Neck Strap Button Location (customization), Anchoring, and Yoga (or any other kind of stretching)

By: A 16 year guitarist who has and does practice(d) many many hours.

IMO, anchoring is fine but just listen closely to the tightness in your wrist. Stretch before and after sessions as always (more on stretches to use below). If the tightness becomes any pain, make an adjustment first in strap length, and or left strap button location.

STRAP LENGTH and ANCHORING

1. Adjust strap length. A very long strap with your right (picking) hand low helped me to get faster at picking rhythm with a slight anchor, which I was looking for. The tradeoff is that I'm now learning a new style of lead picking, which looks promising for acuracy but I suspect you lose a little on articulation of leads, ability to slide during a lead solo for example.

A shorter strap previously made lead more accurate for me, but decreased my top speed and accuracy playing rhythm (strumming). I also felt more pain from anchoring with a shorter strap.

THE NECK STRAP BUTTON and ANCHORING

2. The location of the neck strap button can change the balance of your guitar and free up muscles from your back to your fingertips -- if you put it in the optimal location for the center of gravity corresponding to your body size and arm length.

Many newer decent Korean and Japanese guitars are well made (in my case, a Les Paul copy), but modern standards call for a decrease in the weight of the body of the guitar.

In this case, the out-of-the-factory location of the neck strap button, which is copied directly from the location of a real Gibson's strap location, is not the correct location for maintaining a good center of gravity for a lighter body guitar.

In my case, I drilled a hole in the back of the base of the neck at the intersection with the body of the guitar and put my strap button here (slightly toward the bottom, not in the center of the neck so as to avoid the truss rod).

After some trial and error of different strap lengths, I now have a more balanced guitar, more muscles are freed up. I have less left shoulder pain, my right wrist hurts less (partly from lengthening the strap).

I can anchor with much less to no pain, depending on how well I stretch.

A quick word on yoga for improving a guitarist's skills.

The book "Light on Yoga", revised edition, by B.K.S. Iyengar. Yoga poses on pages 61 through 67. Ignore all the Hindi words describing old tradition etc.

Do these stretches with open palm and closed fist.

This is my first time on here. Anyone know how to actually open your own thread?

Peace.
Last edited by jdmguitar at Aug 3, 2009,