#1
I got a Learn and Master Guitar book & DVD's from a friend and it says to anchor the right hand using the pinky and that is what I've been doing, however, I read in multiple places that you shouldn't anchor it with the pinky for reasons I don't really remember :x.

My questions are:

- Which way should I play it?

- Does it influence a lot in the end?

- What are the reasons for not anchoring the pinky?

Thanks in advance for the answers,
NandoAlves.
Last edited by NandoAlves at Dec 19, 2009,
#2
By left hand, I assume you're talking about the fretting hand since most people are right-handers?

By support, do you mean anchor the pinky to the fretboard?
#3
Quote by Timothongz
By left hand, I assume you're talking about the fretting hand since most people are right-handers?

By support, do you mean anchor the pinky to the fretboard?


That left hand is a mistake :x

Yes, I mean anchor the pinky on the fretboard.
#4
The book would probably be telling you to anchor your picking hand pinky on the pickguard or body of the guitar, because I've not seen anyone anchor their pinky on the fretboard.

If it really does... then don't do it, you're basically limiting your left hand movement and losing the usage of one finger. The thumb should give sufficient support for the fretting hand already.
#6
Quote by Timothongz
The book would probably be telling you to anchor your picking hand pinky on the pickguard or body of the guitar, because I've not seen anyone anchor their pinky on the fretboard.

If it really does... then don't do it, you're basically limiting your left hand movement and losing the usage of one finger. The thumb should give sufficient support for the fretting hand already.


Let me explain myself again, I am not English/american, which makes it a little hard to explain everything... :x

The book tells me to anchor the right hand's (picking hand) pinky on the body of the guitar, not the left hand on the fretboard.

The question I have is if I should do it or not? I heard it reduces speed and other things if you anchor the picking hand's pinky, is it true?
#7
Quote by NandoAlves
Let me explain myself again, I am not English/american, which makes it a little hard to explain everything... :x

The book tells me to anchor the right hand's (picking hand) pinky on the body of the guitar, not the left hand on the fretboard.

The question I have is if I should do it or not? I heard it reduces speed and other things if you anchor the picking hand's pinky, is it true?


I don't think it would reduce speed (quite a number of shredders anchor), but it would probably limit your picking hand's motion. Unless your hands are MASSIVE I don't see why anyone's fingers would have to be in contact with the body.
#8
Frankly it doesn't much matter IF you can do what you want to do anchored. Good players have done it both ways. However, I prefer not to anchor. The reason is that for techniques other than single note lead playing it doesn't work well. You can't anchor and chicken/hybrid pick. You can't anchor and strum rhythm well.

I don't think about it a lot, but basically my right hand had the bottom 3 fingers curled under. If I'm going to hybrid pick, I extend them. Otherwise it stays the same for everything.
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#9
Anchoring creates unnecessary tension that can create major problems down the road for you. Considering that you can achieve the same accuracy and speed and be much more comfortable playing by not anchoring, it seems rather silly to anchor.
#10
I wouldnt listen to the books and dvds. Instead watch videos of the best technicians and study them, search youtube for videos of live performances from people like shawn lane, john mclaughlin and paul gilbert they are all good examples of people with efficient and relaxed picking technique
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#11
Thanks for the great answers.

So bottom line is that I should not anchor the pinky, right? But here is the thing, I have anchored the pinky from the very start and now not anchoring is becoming a little hard to do properly (I have slower speed and keep hitting the wrong strings) so what am asking is some good songs, riffs, etc. to train the right hand back to the level of the left hand. Any suggestions?
#12
Quote by NandoAlves
Thanks for the great answers.

So bottom line is that I should not anchor the pinky, right? But here is the thing, I have anchored the pinky from the very start and now not anchoring is becoming a little hard to do properly (I have slower speed and keep hitting the wrong strings) so what am asking is some good songs, riffs, etc. to train the right hand back to the level of the left hand. Any suggestions?


Sure. the suggestion would be that since you are now playing a bit differently than before, you have to start practicing slowly again and build back your speed. your hand is now positioned differently so it wont magically be able to play at fast speeds without practicing the slow speeds first. so just turn the tempo down and gradually increase speed as your hand gets used to the new position.

(and yes, anchoring is wrong. what Even Bigger D is saying is not true. you shouldn't anchor just because other good guitarists are doing so).
#13
Quote by NandoAlves

So bottom line is that I should not anchor the pinky, right? But here is the thing, I have anchored the pinky from the very start and now not anchoring is becoming a little hard to do properly (I have slower speed and keep hitting the wrong strings) so what am asking is some good songs, riffs, etc. to train the right hand back to the level of the left hand. Any suggestions?


It took you some time to get used to anchoring, right? It's pretty much the same thing except the other way around. Bottom line, it takes a lot of practice. You'll get it.
#14
Perhaps the most ridiculously over-discussed topic ever. Here’s what it is for the purpose of this discussion.

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.

It keeps unwanted strings from ringing – you don’t need to keep your hand fixed in order to mute. Your hand needs to be free to move, and it can still touch/mute strings while being free of attachment to the body.

You can’t palm mute without anchoring – indeed, your hand will be fixed to the guitar while you palm mute. But what you are doing is creating an actual musical effect – there’s no need to keep your hand on the guitar before or afterwards!

It provides stability/I can play faster anchored – because it limits your picking motion. It’s like training wheels for a bike. It stops your hand moving too much when you have no control – but by adding friction. This, of course, makes it take more effort to pick. In extreme cases, this leads to injury (as it nearly did for me years ago when I played like this) as you then need to add more and more force to pick in the first place!

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! Petrucci visibly relaxes at the end of every fast run and Steve Morse actually has carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists - and has said that if he was learning guitar again he would not anchor. Ouch. Conversely, look how relaxed Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert are when performing similar runs.

Anchoring gives me a reference point so I know where the strings are – 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.

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.

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. I know the most vocal supporter of anchoring at the time has since changed and (at the risk of sounding like I’m gloating, which isn’t the case) issued an apology thread, stating that it greatly improved his playing very quickly after he figured out a new position for his right hand.


How to STOP anchoring -

Don't just lift your hand up an inch. That's simply bad posture and will damage your playing - people who complain of elbow or shoulder pains after unanchoring are generally doing something like this. All you need to do is lift your hand a millimeter or two, gently curl your fingers in, and you shold have left all contact with the guitar. That's the kind of position we're talking about.

Practice very slowly and make each pickstroke deliberate and relaxed.

You will miss strings, be unable to control the volume of your playing, etc, when you try this at first because you have just removed your crutches and are learning to walk for the first time - you need to learn to deal with the feel of the strings as they push back - until now, your hand has been locked to the guitar and you simply haven't noticed this.

Apart from that, all the general rules of practice apply.


Yeah it's long. Taken from the guide to all techniques sticky. All credit goes to freepower. All I did was copy and paste.
#15
Quote by i_killed_bill
Yeah it's long. Taken from the guide to all techniques sticky. All credit goes to freepower. All I did was copy and paste.

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#16
Thanks to all of you.

Justin, takes for showing me that.

I'm of to lose the anchoring habit!