#1
So I'm VERY new to guitar, but I'm enjoying it do far and think I'll stick with it. So I'll need to iron out all the bad habits (like nail-biting eventually). Anyway, i find that when I play, to keep my hand still, I usually have to rest my little finger just below the soundhole on the face of the guitar. Is this going to be detrimental in the long term? Should I rectify it? How could I go about trying to stop without making it sound worse?
#2
Unless you are muting any string by doing this (You don't get a clear sound out of your strings), I don't see much of a problem. But if you want to fix it, watch other guitarists play and try to imitate the position of their hands. Watching other guitar players kinda shaped me into the guitarist I am today.
#3
I've heard someone say onetime that your never suppose to do that. Like its a fatal flaw. I've always done it though its like an anchor to stabilize my right hand. And i think nearly everyone does it to some extent. Nowadays its 50 50 depending on how i need to play. So don't over think that one.
#4
Quote by mabbamam
And i think nearly everyone does it to some extent.

No, they don't. And it very much is worth thinking about, though perhaps not "over thinking".

It's a common habit that's very easy to turn into a bad habit. The reason just about everyone who knows what they're doing will tell you to avoid anchoring on your pinky is that as you try to learn things at the edge of your ability it's already a tendency to tense up your right hand. If you tense up your hand, you're much more likely to injure yourself and you're limiting your ability to improve because playing fast or complex things becomes physically stressful. Anchoring just makes it harder to avoid tensing up your hand. If you're anchoring in a fairly rigid position that's also limiting your range of movement.

It is possible to have a good technique that involves anchoring. Though I'm not much of a fan, Michael Angelo Batio has always anchored on the three spare fingers of his right hand, and he absolutely knows how to keep his hands in good condition. Personally I instead recommend resting the palm of your hand - gently - on the bridge or the lower strings while you play. As long as you don't start pressing it down it's much easier to keep a mobile and healthy, relaxed right hand technique like that and it lends itself to palm muting.

While my personal recommendation is to avoid pinky anchoring, if you're not willing to get out of the habit the most important thing is to watch your right hand tension. Keep your hand relaxed and you'll ultimately become a better guitarist and you're much less likely to injure yourself and prevent yourself playing guitar at all.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at May 29, 2015,
#5
As K33 said, it is not necessarily bad, but it is really easy to make a bad habit out of it, especially if you are new.

If you are still new to the guitar, i would advice you get rid of that right away. Doing this now is better than waiting a few years when it will be firmly ingrained in you.

I would suggest you take a look at this video by Daniel (more commonly known as Freepower here on UG), he has a good take on the whole thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT23yafjAN4
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#6
Okay...so very mixed responses. The thing is, when I don't anchor, I feel as though I have a lot less control...How do I stop doing it without losing control of my fingers?
#7
Quote by Serotonite
Okay...so very mixed responses. The thing is, when I don't anchor, I feel as though I have a lot less control...How do I stop doing it without losing control of my fingers?


You slow down until you are at a tempo where you can do it. If that means playing a note every 4 seconds, that is the way to do it. It is really better for you to fix it right now than waiting and maybe having to fix it later. It is the equivalent to driving a car without a seat-belt, maybe you won't be in an accident, but if you are you are probably glad you had the belt. Why take the risk when you can avoid it? Especially since you are new to the guitar.

Take this from someone who had to quit guitar for 5 months because of injuries caused by tension that stemmed from anchoring. It was a long time ago now, but it is not fun when/if you get to the point of maybe not being able to play again, especially if it is your profession like it was for me.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Last edited by Sickz at May 29, 2015,
#8
Right, so I've been trying to play really concentrating on hand shape. Is there a 'default' place for the little finger? Sometimes I have to curl it right up which restricts the ring finger and middle finger slightly, so can't do that. Sometimes it pointing away slightly at an angle from my other fingers, floating a couple of inches above the face, is this alright?
#9
Quote by Serotonite
Right, so I've been trying to play really concentrating on hand shape. Is there a 'default' place for the little finger? Sometimes I have to curl it right up which restricts the ring finger and middle finger slightly, so can't do that. Sometimes it pointing away slightly at an angle from my other fingers, floating a couple of inches above the face, is this alright?


As long as your fingers are not locked onto the guitar body and not in the way of each other, it should be fine. As mentioned in Daniels video i linked, the best hand position is the one where you relax your hand and then flip it over, if your fingers are curled up or sticking out here is less important, the most important factor is that your hand is as relaxed as possible.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#10
Quote by K33nbl4d3
No, they don't. .


Let me rephrase what i said and what i meant LOL I agree with this post. Anchoring is bad. You dont want to put weight on your pinky like that. To the extent that i feel is a natural "amount" is maybe resting you ring or pinky finger under the strings. Not adding weight. That is bad and dont get into a dependent habit like using it like a crutch. When im playing fast palm muting riffs, my pinky and or ring finger may rest gently under the strings just for extra fast parts, but they still move. As i play it will touch the body depending on what i do. Dont over think that. But dont anchor with weight or any tension. I say
Last edited by mabbamam at May 30, 2015,