This shit has been bothering me for almost a year.

Is it 'good' practice to always have your hand floating above the strings, even when fast picking? Or, is it completely fine to brace your hand with say, a couple of fingers, on the saddle, to allow yourself to play faster?
When I'm doing controlled picking, the ball of my hand is always near the bridge of the guitar. Having it completely floating seems like pointlessly difficult for control.
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Quote by Dio10101
I always have my hand on the saddle.

Me too, pretty much. I have it there so I can mute single notes and chords and whatnot.
When I play, I have my Forearm on the guitar, and My pinky side palm on the strings for muting and such. My Fingers are outspread when I need to downpick Quickly, but for sweeping and Alternate picking I have my fingers Pulled in loosely.

If your talking about Anchoring on the Pickguard, Don't. It may give you stability but limits your range of motion for your wrist, where your picking should come from. If you anchor, You lose Speed, and you gain Tension, Which results in Tendonitis.
Quote by Dio10101
I always have my hand on the saddle.


I can't imagine playing fast without my hand there.
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This is probably the best advice I've seen on this topic. I've noticed several people harshing on anchoring lately, saying it's dangerous/incorrect/etc.

Even if arguments against anchoring were perfectly valid, I can tell you that if I don't anchor while playing certain passages, it's far more dangerous/incorrect/etc to me personally.

Further, the next time someone throws a statistic at me (70% of anchored players saw improvement when they stopped), I'm going to scream Laiho style. By all means, experiment (that's one of the reasons to have a guitar anyway), but if it "works for you," do it.

Playing "free" might be the "proper" way to play. However, music has always been dynamic; musicians are not known for their propriety-- especially guitar players.

Not to get too off topic, but this reasoning follows to all "improper" playing, including using digital v. analog equipment, playing with one's thumb behind the neck or otherwise, using the wrist v. elbow. v. shoulder to pick...

Don't forget-- rock and roll was "improper" once.

Sorry for the rant. My point is that I agree.