#1
If your answer is just going to be "keep practicing", well I am, I've hit a few weeks of speed plateu at this, and this time I'm wondering if there was something wrong with my technique, i find it very different from downpicking single notes from which I can play a biiit faster

Here's my comfortable/normal hand position going up and down.

Since it's palm muted, the side of my hand is anchored, as well as ring and pinky. I find that not anchoring any single finger would use my palm as a pivot and that is a bit difficult?
Last edited by luxeion at Nov 26, 2011,
#2
Quote by luxeion
Since it's palm muted, the side of my hand is anchored, as well as ring and pinky. I find that not anchoring any single finger would use my palm as a pivot and that is a bit difficult?


I would suggest not anchoring your fingers at all, you're restricting the range of comfortable movement you have if you do.

That said, what are you actually trying to play? Could you provide a video, tab or something like that?
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I would suggest not anchoring your fingers at all, you're restricting the range of comfortable movement you have if you do.

That said, what are you actually trying to play? Could you provide a video, tab or something like that?



P.M...................................
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-4-4-4-------------------------------4-----------------------------|
|-2-2-2-4-4-5--5-2-2--4--4--5-----0---2-----------------------------|
|-------3-2-3--3-0-0--2--2--3---------------------------------------|

by anchor you mean i'll use the lower side of my hand as the pivot?. it's seeems harder
#4
Quote by luxeion
P.M...................................
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-4-4-4-------------------------------4-----------------------------|
|-2-2-2-4-4-5--5-2-2--4--4--5-----0---2-----------------------------|
|-------3-2-3--3-0-0--2--2--3---------------------------------------|

by anchor you mean i'll use the lower side of my hand as the pivot?. it's seeems harder


You shouldn't be "anchoring" at all; touching the guitar is fine and necessary for palm muting but no part of your hand should be consistently fixed to one point on the instrument.

I'm going to assume you're trying to play this at a higher speed (180bpm 8ths or faster) so of course it's going to be hard, no matter what people may say, downpicking at high speeds is a hard thing to do and you need very good economy of motion to do it.

I suspect that might be the problem here: you can do the single notes because you're making small enough movements but when you try and get extra strings your economy of motion isn't good enough. Work on that first.

If you think that's not the problem then we're going to need videos.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
You shouldn't be "anchoring" at all; touching the guitar is fine and necessary for palm muting but no part of your hand should be consistently fixed to one point on the instrument.

I'm going to assume you're trying to play this at a higher speed (180bpm 8ths or faster) so of course it's going to be hard, no matter what people may say, downpicking at high speeds is a hard thing to do and you need very good economy of motion to do it.

I suspect that might be the problem here: you can do the single notes because you're making small enough movements but when you try and get extra strings your economy of motion isn't good enough. Work on that first.

If you think that's not the problem then we're going to need videos.
i'll try practicing unanchored then. 200bpm actually. okay, i'll try to practice some more and i'll report back in days or weeks if there's no improvement..
#6
Quote by luxeion
i'll try practicing unanchored then. 200bpm actually. okay, i'll try to practice some more and i'll report back in days or weeks if there's no improvement..


Wait, one small thing: I noticed that in another thread and on your profile you say you're a beginner... how long have you actually been playing?
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#7
1) DO not anchor dudette! ( i know that cool guy with horrible technique keeps telling you to, but when youre a beginnger everyone is impressive, stick to your guns)

2) Be patient, you just opened a thread about it a week ago i think.. it is gonna take way longer than that to get good, do not take shortcuts (anchoring, just downpicking) i can guarantee it will hinder your progress in the long run.

3) Keep practicing CORRECTLY , the stickies actually have so pretty much all ground covered, read them
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 27, 2011,
#8
Quote by Slashiepie
1) DO not anchor dudette! ( i know that cool guy with horrible technique keeps telling you to, but when youre a beginnger everyone is impressive, stick to your guns)

2) Be patient, you just opened a thread about it a week ago i think.. it is gonna take way longer than that to get good, do not take shortcuts (anchoring, just downpicking) i can guarantee it will hinder your progress in the long run.

3) Keep practicing CORRECTLY , the stickies actually have so pretty much all ground covered, read them
yup that thread i opened mainly for single notes i wondered if it'd be different if it became dyads. question. just confirming.. so the pick is exactly parallel??? when downpicking???
#9
Quote by luxeion
yup that thread i opened mainly for single notes i wondered if it'd be different if it became dyads. question. just confirming.. so the pick is exactly parallel??? when downpicking???


You want it to be faster right ?

Do the following:

Try playing with the pick parallel to the string and then try playing it with the pick at an angle (experiment with the angle)

Which one does feels smoother/faster ?

P.S: Are you also tremolo picking with the pick angled parallel to the strings? Ö


You will come to the conclusion that you can play way faster by angling the pick.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 29, 2011,
#10
I try to angle the pick only as much as I need to; some people seem to angle it excessively which, to my ears, produces a horrible sound. To me it seems that a reliance on angling it too much is like a quick fix shortcut to cover up an inability to pick properly.

I understand that it's quite difficult to play fast with a parallel pick (though entirely possible) and no, you don't need it *completely* parallel, just be careful not to angle it too much or you'll only be able to pick fast with an extremely angled pick which doesn't give you much versatility with the tone of your picking. If you practice with it relatively flat, it's easy to play angled too if you desire that tone. It doesn't work the other way around.
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Last edited by llBlackenedll at Nov 29, 2011,
#11
Quote by llBlackenedll
I try to angle the pick only as much as I need to; some people seem to angle it excessively which, to my ears, produces a horrible sound. To me it seems that a reliance on angling it too much is like a quick fix shortcut to cover up an inability to pick properly.

I understand that it's quite difficult to play fast with a parallel pick (though entirely possible) and no, you don't need it *completely* parallel, just be careful not to angle it too much or you'll only be able to pick fast with an extremely angled pick which doesn't give you much versatility with the tone of your picking. If you practice with it relatively flat, it's easy to play angled too if you desire that tone. It doesn't work the other way around.


+1 (tone over speed)

hhh always my dilemma, if i only had a super sharp pointed pick that never wore out and at the same time didnt destroy the strings.. i would play parallel and barely touch the strings.. its the tone i love the most.

Btw some people get an incredible tone angling the pick the way Shawn did.. barely any scratch, oh well in the end almost everything about picking is preference.
Its curious how people like Paul Gilbert angle the pick at an extreme angle, but when i do it i dont like the tone, he however gets his pretty awesome and unique tone :P
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 29, 2011,
#12
Make sure when you practice you are minimizing all TENSION in your arms... if you practice with too much tension you will get nowhere fast...
#13
Quote by Slashiepie
+1 (tone over speed)

hhh always my dilemma, if i only had a super sharp pointed pick that never wore out and at the same time didnt destroy the strings.. i would play parallel and barely touch the strings.. its the tone i love the most.

Btw some people get an incredible tone angling the pick the way Shawn did.. barely any scratch, oh well in the end almost everything about picking is preference.
Its curious how people like Paul Gilbert angle the pick at an extreme angle, but when i do it i dont like the tone, he however gets his pretty awesome and unique tone :P


I think its partially because you don't hear it so much when you play back a recording, but when you're sat there playing it you can usually hear your guitar acoustically as well as amplified. The scratchy sound doesn't come through so much through the amp.

Also, poly gel (orange) dava jazz grip picks. That is all.
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#14
Quote by llBlackenedll
I try to angle the pick only as much as I need to; some people seem to angle it excessively which, to my ears, produces a horrible sound. To me it seems that a reliance on angling it too much is like a quick fix shortcut to cover up an inability to pick properly.

I understand that it's quite difficult to play fast with a parallel pick (though entirely possible) and no, you don't need it *completely* parallel, just be careful not to angle it too much or you'll only be able to pick fast with an extremely angled pick which doesn't give you much versatility with the tone of your picking. If you practice with it relatively flat, it's easy to play angled too if you desire that tone. It doesn't work the other way around.
thank youuuu.. lately ive been trying to make it completely parallel, cause i asked my clasmate n he says his is parallel .. hmmmm ill try to angle it a liiiiiiiiittle...??? and see if antyhing happens to speed
#15
Quote by luxeion
thank youuuu.. lately ive been trying to make it completely parallel, cause i asked my clasmate n he says his is parallel .. hmmmm ill try to angle it a liiiiiiiiittle...??? and see if antyhing happens to speed



hhh that classmate of yours...
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#16
i'm back to report. unanchoring(if my understandin was corect) and angling a little improved my speed (i almost cried for joy when i found out i improved a bit after my looong plateu) . Well I know alll of you are telling me not to anchor, talk with teacher yesterday and said it's wrong to move all hands.? N he said he's not anchoring n i said he was but actually I'm getting really confused what anchoring means realy really confused.. so it's ring/pinky finger on pickup/pikcup ring that dont move, only middle finger above, what's that called? ...can someone elaborate please.
#17
Glad to hear you are making progress
Elaborate a little on what your teacher said.. i dont understand clearly :P


This is what Freepower wrote on the Read me Beginners Sticky


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.


it goes on.. so go and read that sticky!!
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 3, 2011,
#18
Quote by Slashiepie
Glad to hear you are making progress
Elaborate a little on what your teacher said.. i dont understand clearly :P


This is what Freepower wrote on the Read me Beginners Sticky


it goes on.. so go and read that sticky!!
i read the sticky. so if i get this right, yngwie, mustaine, hetfield.. that's considered anchoring?
#19
Quote by luxeion
i read the sticky. so if i get this right, yngwie, mustaine, hetfield.. that's considered anchoring?


Petrucci and Yngwie and Batio and many great guitarists. They learned it like that and took their technique to an insane level after countless years of practice, does not mean you should do it, they are the exception not the rule and you would be making your progress slower and risking injuries.

( if you look at Yngwies Pinky though he does it in a really soft way)
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 3, 2011,
#20
Quote by Slashiepie
Petrucci and Yngwie and Batio and many great guitarists. They learned it like that and took their technique to an insane level after countless years of practice, does not mean you should do it, they are the exception not the rule and you would be making your progress slower and risking injuries.

( if you look at Yngwies Pinky though he does it in a really soft way)
..ok, thanks for your patience. Why are the most famous guitarists like that hetfield too i think? Can you give me a really famous respectable one w/ a floating hand? My brain is about to xplode .

.. anchoring = less movment/stable, less stress, huray
.. unanchoring = more freedom, less stress, huray

WAT??T____T

I know I'm getting a bit stubborn. Cuz at first I anchor, then I stopped cuz u ppl convinced me, yesterday my teacher said i do it wrong (his technique mirrors mustaine) and he correctin my hand, anchor two fingers n change pick grip (thumb near middle, now i can't alternate pik for now ) so im back to mirroring his and it still feels very alien, he says: "it's tiring to float, especially when you're standing" . he has a point right? it would be hard to run around unanchored? but then again i never stand ...so im confuused again, T_T... Don't you people get tired of having your arm unplanted to anything?


I dooooooooont understand anything anymooore.!!!!!!.. this day has been very unaccomplishing, with 2 sudden corrections im not able to play anything i cud normally play, but i guess that would be a matter of familiarity, but ehhh.


you people will just probably get annoyed n repeat what you said but, sorry, i just dont get it much
#21
Quote by luxeion
..ok, thanks for your patience. Why are the most famous guitarists like that hetfield too i think? Can you give me a really famous respectable one w/ a floating hand? My brain is about to xplode .

.. anchoring = less movment/stable, less stress, huray
.. unanchoring = more freedom, less stress, huray

WAT??T____T

I know I'm getting a bit stubborn. Cuz at first I anchor, then I stopped cuz u ppl convinced me, yesterday my teacher said i do it wrong (his technique mirrors mustaine) and he correctin my hand, anchor two fingers n change pick grip (thumb near middle, now i can't alternate pik for now ) so im back to mirroring his and it still feels very alien, he says: "it's tiring to float, especially when you're standing" . he has a point right? it would be hard to run around unanchored? but then again i never stand ...so im confuused again, T_T... Don't you people get tired of having your arm unplanted to anything?


If it's tiring to play unanchored, you're doing it wrong. Anchoring causes more stress than not anchoring, because it, in my experience, makes you tense up, and running out will be bloody difficult if you're holding your breath and tensing up during hard phrases. You'll be tired after too long, whereas if you're unanchored, you're generally more relaxed, and you have more control. I've just tried anchoring, and I've never felt more uncomfy playing guitar. Even stuff I find simple became stressful, for instance, the ascending runs in Speed Of Light by Stratovarius, usually second nature to me, but trying it anchored was more stressful by far. And, you should stand more often when playing, you won't ever play in a band unless you can play well standing, I think the only time I've ever seen a guitarist sit down was when the Poisonblack singer damaged his legs.

I'd like to meet your guitar teacher, because while I'm sure he's good, I would like to see how he sounds tackling more advanced techniques. Anchoring will get you through downpicking (it'll be harder than playing unanchored, mind you), but when it comes to sweep picking, and fast scale runs, I reckon you'll fall flat on your face. If you want to survive an hour or so long set, you need serious stamina if you're gonna be tense for most of it, I'm certain that's why John Petrucci has bloody enormous arms, he needs them for stamina <_< If you're relaxed, you can spend your energy on the performance, instead of standing in one spot.
#22
You don't want to actually lift your guitar off the fretboard when "floating" btw - that does get tiring. You just don't press into the guitar with your hand.

And pointing your little fingers out to anchor is ... Unless you hand does that naturally when totally relaxed (if you have big hands this happens - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71izserFcek&list=PL5D050A31DE446701&index=11&feature=plpp_video ) then it's a bad idea. Please note how relaxed Guthrie's pinky is, and how it isn't stuck to the guitar at all. It's free to move, it just happens to touch the guitar.

As for respectable unanchored guitar players...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCsLV5jdWzI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbPTeFta4lw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yfQN8-tVlQ
#23
Oh the missunderstanding is that floating means: a floating hand.
your forearm can and should rest on the guitar!

It is really hard to listen to us over your teacher, especially since you consider we are just some random dudes on the internet, but i bet my you my bawls we are trying to help you and trying to convince you to avoid the mistakes we have made or have seen others make.

It would be sad if a year from now when you have more experience you realize you were taught wrong and learned many bad habits that are a pain in the ass to unlearn.

If you can, really really!! swap that teacher.. im afraid of what he is gonna suggest next...
maybe he will tell you to "never play with a metronome" "play as fast as you can, because accuracy comes with time" "put your thumb over the neck" and "dont fret with the tip of your fingers"

Buckethead can also play insanely fast without anchoring.
Al Di Meola..
Steve Vai. (looks like hes anchoring but imo he is using his pinky to mute the higher strings, since hes pretty relaxed, but he is mfing Steve Vai, he can really do anything he wants)

btw- Metallica is an awesome band, but what FP posted and the ones i mentioned are a whole different league :P Shawn Lane was the most insanely skilled guitarist ive ever seen already at age 20...

You might be asking yourself what i asked myself a long time, why is palm muting then not considered anchoring? Because if you are doing it right the palms is just LIGHTLY resting against the strings and not used as a pivot or reference point, the moment you start pressing it against the guitar with strenght it becomes anchoring
Last edited by Slashiepie at Dec 5, 2011,
#24
Quote by Slashiepie
Steve Morse too.


I really don't think you mean that name at all do you? If you do I think you might need to reassess...

Also to correct some earlier misconceptions:

Yngwie doesn't anchor. He touches the guitar but that's not anchoring.

James Hetfield doesn't anchor at all, his picking technique is really really fucking good. It may not be on the level of the shredders we all think of but still: it's tight; relaxed as hell; he has tone coming out the ass; and tiny movements when he needs them. It's everything it needs to be to do what he does really well.

Mustaine does anchor but he said in an interview a while ago that he got a teacher after his arm injury and his teacher told him to stop so he's working on it. Or at least was, I haven't seen him play since about 2007...
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#26
Quote by Freepower
^ I was talking to Andy James and Martin Goulding recently about this, they've both stopped anchoring in the last few years.


I thought I spotted that in Andy's playing at Monkeyfest but I was never sure, glad to know I was right!
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#27
IMO you are in too much of a hurry to get great at it. Why dont you just try to enjoy the learning process and not worry so much on the quickness of progress...i mean that in a polite kind way of course. Its kind of like Weight Loss, unless you are getting drilled on the Biggest Loser, the safest and most effective way is slow and steady progress...some hurdles, and pauses are going to happen in that progress....

I've been playing for 20 years and honestly i didnt feel like i was really that great at it till around 17 years in lol. For the first few years i tried to focus on playing as fast as a could and as hard as i could and i'd record alot of those practice sessions...when i listen to them now, i really was horrid!

Like Tea, it takes time!
#28
Your technique looks fine! I'd say, make sure you're practising with a metronome and each time you reach the fastest you can play cleanly, make a note of what the bpm was on the metronome.

The next time you come back to it, start it at 50% of your previous top speed, and gradually do it faster and faster. You might find that you actually are playing it faster without realising it.
#29
Seems to me like your problem really is anchoring your ring finger and pinky on the body of the guitar, you're gonna twist your hand in all sorts of wierd way to palm mute and strum at the same time. You only find it more stable to anchor the fingers because you are used to playing that way... it's like using a clutch when you have healthy legs

In case you aren't already, rest your arm on the body. My guitar even has a slight curve or this

I'm not a teacher and it seems like yours has a different opinion but I realy can't understand the reason why he thinks having your hand like that is ok
#30
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I really don't think you mean that name at all do you? If you do I think you might need to reassess.....


edited
#31
personally, I want to go unanchored, not only because of what you guys said, but also my own experience, I like the freedom in movement. teacher myt get annoyd, . though I told him i'd try to give anchor a week trial .. i don't know, he's weird, he doesn't get tired or something playing fast, and he finds unanchored uncomfortable maybe its personal preference if you ppl think oppositeee? :| .

@ Walt - I wanted to start with the best technique possible for the long run, not trying to be impatient
@ Zaphod - thanks for correcting hahaha... .wasn't his fretting hand the one injured? (mustaine), and he does stil play their new album release last month
@ FP - thanks for the links, and the information, you're helpful
@ slashipie - thanks, i do rest my forearm haha, thank you for the names, gives me a little more sense of confidence in this :P
Last edited by luxeion at Dec 6, 2011,
#32
Quote by luxeion
personally, I want to go unanchored, not only because of what you guys said, but also my own experience, I like the freedom in movement. teacher myt get annoyd, . though I told him i'd try to give anchor a week trial .. i don't know, he's weird, he doesn't get tired or something playing fast, and he finds unanchored uncomfortable maybe its personal preference if you ppl think oppositeee? :| .

@ Walt - I wanted to start with the best technique possible for the long run, not trying to be impatient
@ Zaphod - thanks for correcting hahaha... .wasn't his fretting hand the one injured? (mustaine), and he does stil play their new album release last month
@ FP - thanks for the links, and the information, you're helpful
@ slashipie - thanks, i do rest my forearm haha, thank you for the names, gives me a little more sense of confidence in this :P


Well if your teacher gets annoyed and won't teach you because you won't use his exact technique when his technique is far from perfect, you're both better off, however, you're right to go unanchored, it is, by far, the best way. I imagine your teacher has been playing for many, many years, so anchoring has become comfortable for him, and, fair play to him if he's where he wants to be. The problem with anchoring, and all of these little 'cheats', as some might say, is that they only work to a certain extent. There'll be a point in about five years where you'll say; 'Bloody hell. I'd be twice the player I am now if I hadn't anchored.'
#33
Quote by luxeion
personally, I want to go unanchored, not only because of what you guys said, but also my own experience, I like the freedom in movement. teacher myt get annoyd, . though I told him i'd try to give anchor a week trial .. i don't know, he's weird, he doesn't get tired or something playing fast, and he finds unanchored uncomfortable maybe its personal preference if you ppl think oppositeee? :| .

@ Walt - I wanted to start with the best technique possible for the long run, not trying to be impatient
@ Zaphod - thanks for correcting hahaha... .wasn't his fretting hand the one injured? (mustaine), and he does stil play their new album release last month
@ FP - thanks for the links, and the information, you're helpful
@ slashipie - thanks, i do rest my forearm haha, thank you for the names, gives me a little more sense of confidence in this :P


That's good - I understand it must be quite confusing having 2 lots of people say completely different things, especially when one of them is right there next to you saying "do this" and you have to live with them complaining about your technique all the time. I've known a lot of guitar teachers with "bad" technique; they're not bad guitarists by any means. It's just that a lot of players, even well respected big name players, have flawed technique one way or another.

It's good that you already see that anchoring isn't as comfortable and restricts your freedom of movement. Many guitarists don't realise that until it's so ingrained in the way they play they just can't change. Personally I've never anchored my fingers below the strings - I remember being told to once by an amazingly good shredder (at least I think he was - this was about 8 years ago and I was gobsmacked when I heard/saw him play). He always told me to relax etc. etc. but I do recall him once telling me to anchor. I tried it, it felt wrong, I stopped.

With regards to resting your arm on the body - this is one thing I don't do. I don't consider it to be anchoring and I'm sure it's not detrimental to your technique at all, but I stopped resting my arm on the body a month or 2 ago and feel a lot better for it; string transitions are easier and I just feel more free. If I rest my arm on the body it often gets stuck in once place meaning I can't follow the strings with my forearm. A lot of players *only* move their wrists, even when transitioning between strings, but I have real RSI related issues (from typing - feels fine when I play guitar) in my right wrist and playing that way was becoming a problem.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Dec 6, 2011,
#34
^ honestly the trouble is that people interchangeably use "rest" "place" "hold" and "press" when they're all different things physically.

Your arm will almost definitely touch the guitar, and it may well rest against it - but you don't want it to push in. Using only your wrist to cross strings is only possible if you have massive hands (Paul Gilbert ) - anyone with normal human hands is strongly recommended to allow their arm to travel freely!
#35
Quote by luxeion
@ Zaphod - thanks for correcting hahaha... .wasn't his fretting hand the one injured? (mustaine), and he does stil play their new album release last month


Yes it was but it doesn't matter and I know he does still play, I just haven't seen him play so I don't know if his technique has actually changed much if at all.
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