The aim, I think, is to move your fingers in a smooth rotational pattern, keep your hand/wrist as still as possible, and have as little recoil from the plucking the strings as possible. And planting your pinky finger on the pickguard helps to keep your hand steady so that it doesn't jerk away a bit whenever you pluck at a string, especially with the thumb on the bass strings. It doesn't inhibit your other fingers, and you're not using your wrist. Is there anything I'm missing or am I better off anchoring my pinky for fingerpicking? It's on an electric btw
That's what I thought too but I eventually got away from anchoring altogether and I think it's just as stable. I'd just stay away from anchoring so you don't develop it as a habit and it might slip into your playing when you're doing other techniques.
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You're still creating more tension, which is generally counter-productive. Also, if you're anchoring your pinky while fingerpicking, you can't use your pinky to pick. I'd advise against it.

Everything I've read suggests that anchoring is pretty much never beneficial (well, excepting palm muting, but that's a temporary anchor for musical effect, as opposed to a consist anchor for... some other reason. Generally increased stability.)
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Last edited by troubletcat at Aug 30, 2009,