#1
for playing any song. ie:...

I'm playing a riff I made on my Tele. However, my forearm is resting on the top of the Tele body, is this right? I imagine the "right way as having no part of your arm touch the guitar. Yes? No? (I also realize my palm on the pickguard, this is also bad, no?)

Any insight is appreciated.
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This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#2
You shouldnt worry about resting your arm on the top of the guitar, but just make sure you arent putting too much pressure with your hand on the bridge and avoid anchoring with the fingers on the bridge/strings/pickgaurd. But dont worry too much about it, just make sure theres no excessive tension and youll do fine.
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#3
I have a Jackson Kelly that I cannot stop playing. I basically just use the flat part of the guitar as an armrest when I am playing. And my wrist touches the body as well. But the general rule of thumb with almost all guitar techniques is this: if it is uncomfortable, painful, or prohibits you from playing at your best, try to change it up.
#4
What it comes down to is really comfort, and performance. If you can play fine with out hurting yourself you're doing it right.
#5
there's no ideal picking technique. Michael angelo Batio anchors, Paul Gilbert doesn't. Both are incredible pickers.
Only rule for picking technique is being comfortable.
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#6
I think that the suggestion to keep your arm off of the guitar is mostly intended for speed efficiency.

If you keep trying to play faster and faster, you'll get to the point where you'll easily notice the friction of your wrist on the guitar if you're anchoring. However, if your remove your wrist, you may have the tendency to play by moving the elbow. The downside to that technique is that it tires you out rather quickly, and keeps your entire arm tense when doing speed runs.

I find that the most comfortable method to acquire faster playing speed is to rest your wrist very lightly onto the bridge. How lightly is very lightly? Lightly enough so that you can easily control the VOLUME of your picking when playing relatively speedy material on the clean channel. As you play faster, and especially with distortion, make sure the motion is relaxed, as in you should be hitting each note lightly (as opposed to tensely/vigorously), yet doing so quickly (which may seem contradictory, but the speed must come with comfort).

If you're feeling tensed, look for another technique. If you feel like you just can't hit that speed yet, but feel comfortable, pull out the mighty metronome and work your way up.
#7
Ok, thanks guys. I kinda though there wasnt really a right way, but lately it seems like guitar=metal=shredding and I wasnt quite sure if the techniques that work for shredding were the "rules" for all guitar playing. (If that made sense)

You've made me a lot less self-...criticizing? because I always thought it was bad the way I did things before, but I guess its a "if it works, it works" kind of thing.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
2006 PRS CE-24
Mesa/Boogie Mark V
Voltage S212 w/ V30's
Strymon Timeline
CMATMods Signa Drive
TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
#8
The most ideal technique is definitely "economy picking". The most preferred and comfortable technique for most guitarists.
#9
Quote by Zach Eapen
The most ideal technique is definitely "economy picking". The most preferred and comfortable technique for most guitarists.


Debatable at best. Economy picking is the most physically efficient but it's not without drawbacks. Even those people who use a lot of economy picking such as the great Guthrie Govan and the also awesome Martin Goulding argue that while economy picking is good for flowing lines using arpeggios as well as scalar playing, it lacks the groove that alternate does and it's generally very hard to accent as easily or play as aggressively with economy picking. There is nothing wrong with economy picking, it has its place but if you only learn the one way of picking the great teachers I know of would say that you are limiting your tonal palette.

Learn both, get the best of both worlds, problem solved.


TS: Very few people suggest that you should completely float your arm off the guitar, I don't think I know of anyone who plays non-classical guitar who would suggest that you do so. It's fine to touch the guitar at any point with any part of your arm or hand as long as that contact isn't fixed and/or causing any extra tension or reducing the range of your movement.

If you want to talk about 'shred' technique as the template for all other playing I would suggest two things:

1 - The goal of good shred technique is to make every aspect of playing the guitar as physically effortless as possible, how can that be a bad thing for any other music?

2 - Technique is technique, at no point does any technique suggest a certain genre or style of playing, they're just tools to get sounds out of the instrument. Given this, why would you not aim for a school that chooses to make everything as easy as possible while maximising what you can physically do with the instrument.


Of course that being said there is also an awful lot to be said for the school of thought that states that you should develop your technique only as far as needed by the music you hear in your head. Given that... what do you need to be able to do to make the kinds of sounds you want to be able to make? After all, a tool that never gets used is no tool at all.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Aug 4, 2011,