#1
I don't know how is this technique exactly called. I want to effortlessly play stuff like intro to Simple Man, Paradise City, Don't cry etc. where arpeggios are played with a pick in a certain picking pattern and all notes should be let ring (no muting).

I want to be able to do it properly on both electric and acoustic guitar.

So basically there are three ways (for the right hand):

Floating hand
Right hand rests only with forearm/elbow on the guitar, it moves freely but there are some big muscles in forearm to control.


Hand resting on bridge
Limited movement but you don't need to worry about forearm muscles and their accuracy.


Pinky anchoring
There is a lot being said about anchoring and I'm generally against it, but I've seen many guys doing it this way.


Please help me, which way should I practice? I don't want to waste time on wrong technique like I've done in the past with some other techniques. I know there are some threads about right hand positioning but I haven't seen any about right hand positioning when playing arpeggios where notes should be let ring.
#2
Quote by vladj


Please help me, which way should I practice? I don't want to waste time on wrong technique like I've done in the past with some other techniques.



I know this is not the answer you want, but it depends on what is the most comfortable for you and what you feel limits you least of all the options.

Different players prefer different things. Carl Miner is a player who plays pretty much everything that is single note based with his pinky as an anchor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLIZ3liWPLs

Julian Lage, another splendid player plays pretty much everything without any kind of anchor. (His fingers touch the body at times, but as you can see he is not anchoring)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoLK4Gq3wMA

The questions you have to ask yourself are these:

Am i relaxed?
Are my movements restricted in any way by how i am resting my right hand/arm?
If i go slow enough (because you might not be used to it) can i play the things i want to with this technique?
Do i have to change my technique to play certain things?

If you don't feel tension, that is good. If you are able to make small motions, even if you have to do them slowly at first, that is good. If you are not restricted the technique and not required to change it to play certain things, that is good. Then you most likely have found a good way for you to play.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
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Quote by Chick Corea
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#3
Quote by Sickz


The questions you have to ask yourself are these:

Am i relaxed?
Are my movements restricted in any way by how i am resting my right hand/arm?
If i go slow enough (because you might not be used to it) can i play the things i want to with this technique?
Do i have to change my technique to play certain things?


Well I think I will go with floating hand for now. It feels most relaxing on acoustic; on electric it is the same as anchoring on the bridge regarding relaxation.
Floating hand doesn't restrict movements so that's a plus. Although that freedom of movement comes with a downside => reduced accuracy. It seems to me that I would need to practice more for the same results, regarding accuracy, or I just need to get used to it and later it will be as easy as practicing with anchoring?
Moreover, floating might be less limiting when incorporating with regular strumming.
And the sound is quite different: when floating, pick is closer to the neck as opposed to bridge anchoring where you pick closer to the bridge.

Oh so many things to consider
My default hand position on electric is hand resting on thicker strings that I don't play at that moment; because I play mainly solo licks. And I'm very content with that technique; it offers resting place, is very accurate, not limiting because my hand kind of surf on those thicker strings, and very important - it mutes unwanted strings.
With this let ring stuff I don't see such a logical technique, and that's why I analyze it so much

I wish there are more replies from experienced players, how did you find your technique?
@Sickz what is yours hand placement?
#4
As far as anchoring is concerned, remember that the issue is not the technique itself, but its usual consequences. I discourage pinky anchoring because you're more likely to tense up if you use it, but if you can consistently use it without creating tension you're golden regardless.

For this sort of stuff I'd say a floating hand is best, though a light anchor is unlikely to cause you any trouble; personally, though, I'd favour either hybrid or full fingerpicking of this stuff. Won't sound exactly the same, but once you get used to the technique I find the frequent contact with the strings really helps you get a feel for where your hand is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlOEw4uCzQ4
^If you watch this you can see that John Frusciante (playing fairly tricky arpeggios with strict alternate picking) first uses a light pinky anchor, then rests his wrist on the body. The more important thing than his position is that he keeps his wrist relaxed. Something else worth taking from this is that if you intend to be performing standing up your hand position will be very different; only very technical players can generally get away with wearing guitars as bibs without looking atrocious, and playing to what will probably be an unfamiliar audience for much of your life the last thing you want to do is look atrocious. Remember to practice standing as well as sitting.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Dec 27, 2015,
#5
Quote by vladj


I wish there are more replies from experienced players, how did you find your technique?
@Sickz what is yours hand placement?



My hand placement has changed over the years. I was a rock/metal player back when i started out in my early teens, and for that period of time i played with my hand resting on the bridge, fingers extended.

Since going away from those styles and becoming a jazz player, i have converted to floating (with my fingers tucked in, like a relaxed grip), and been playing that way for atleast 6-7 years now. For me it feels better, it frees my up my picking more, allows me to incorporate the rest of my fingers more easily.

I found it through education and trail and error. Some things i couldn't do smoothly with my previous hand placement, for example incorporate my fingers easily and relaxed (a must for jazz comping). I also felt like it trapped me into using less amounts of different articulations and tonal qualities when playing (for example playing closer to the bridge or closer to the neck alters the sound quite abit), because my hand was stuck at the bridge.

I see your point about the reduced accuracy, that comes with time. I had to slow down quite a bit when i switched over, and didn't reach my previous speed in quite a while. But the point was that i was getting the sounds i wanted and my technique was more relaxed and effortless. If you start playing through tunes, scales, arpeggios and chords slowly with the new technique, firstly at a rubato tempo and then when you are more comfortable with a metronome, you will start to get into it. I would argue that i feel more accurate and free now when i don't have a fixed point on my guitar, it allows for bigger jumps more easily.

There is definitively a ton of things to consider, but if it feels good and you are not restricted it is probably the right choice. As said, most ways work, it's about finding what is most natural and least restrictive for you.
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 Dec 27, 2015,
#6
Quote by K33nbl4d3
As far as anchoring is concerned, remember that the issue is not the technique itself, but its usual consequences. I discourage pinky anchoring because you're more likely to tense up if you use it, but if you can consistently use it without creating tension you're golden regardless.


Yeah. The important thing to remember is that it isn't necessarily bad to have your little fingers gently coming into contact with the body or pick guard so much as it is pushing your fingers down, thus creating tension, that is the issue.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
Oh god, an hour ago I thought I am going all in with floating.. we'll see. Thanks for replies.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
As far as anchoring is concerned, remember that the issue is not the technique itself, but its usual consequences. I discourage pinky anchoring because you're more likely to tense up if you use it, but if you can consistently use it without creating tension you're golden regardless.

For this sort of stuff I'd say a floating hand is best, though a light anchor is unlikely to cause you any trouble; personally, though, I'd favour either hybrid or full fingerpicking of this stuff. Won't sound exactly the same, but once you get used to the technique I find the frequent contact with the strings really helps you get a feel for where your hand is.

Something else worth taking from this is that if you intend to be performing standing up your hand position will be very different; only very technical players can generally get away with wearing guitars as bibs without looking atrocious

Yeah, back when I started playing guitar I anchored all my three idle fingers (!) and it felt relieving when I finally corrected that.

About fingerpicking: I don't like the idea of having long nails, and without them I'm lacking volume and attack, so I avoided that technique in past. I would like to know arpeggiating both with a pick and fingers but as separate techniques each with it's own purpouse, not as substitutes for one another... maybe some day

About standing up: this is a new variable which I didn't thought about yet.. I'll try at first without anchoring and see where it will take me.
Sorry, English is not my first language: 'wearing guitar as bibs' means having guitar high up near chest area when standing?

Quote by theogonia777
Yeah. The important thing to remember is that it isn't necessarily bad to have your little fingers gently coming into contact with the body or pick guard so much as it is pushing your fingers down, thus creating tension, that is the issue.

This may be the reason why I see that so much in other players, they have found their sweet spot.


Quote by Sickz
Since going away from those styles and becoming a jazz player, i have converted to floating (with my fingers tucked in, like a relaxed grip), and been playing that way for atleast 6-7 years now. For me it feels better, it frees my up my picking more, allows me to incorporate the rest of my fingers more easily.

I found it through education and trail and error. Some things i couldn't do smoothly with my previous hand placement,

But the point was that i was getting the sounds i wanted and my technique was more relaxed and effortless.
There is definitively a ton of things to consider, but if it feels good and you are not restricted it is probably the right choice. As said, most ways work, it's about finding what is most natural and least restrictive for you.

Hmm.. one more point for floating! And I totaly agree with the last two sentences.

I remember similar thing happened with my left hand thumb placement - I couldn't find 'my way'. Then I accidentaly stumbled upon this lesson:
http://www.jimbowley.com/2011/12/the-definitive-lesson-thumb-placement/
That man had it all elaborated and analyzed; after that, everything fitted nicely, and now I don't think about thumb placement anymore, it changes naturally to optimum position for given playing style.
I wish that some day the same thing happens with my right hand. If there is no wrong choice maybe the mix of all three positions where they interchange naturally according to the situation is the best option?
#8
Quote by vladj

I wish that some day the same thing happens with my right hand. If there is no wrong choice maybe the mix of all three positions where they interchange naturally according to the situation is the best option?


Absolutely. If they all feel good, that is one route to go. When i was in college for music some of the other guitarists i studied with changed their technique depending on what they were doing, while others (me included) found one way that seemed to translate well into everything we were doing. Same goes for everything in music, some people practice scales as 7 boxes, others prefer 3 note per string, others prefer the CAGED. Some do all ways, some stick to one or two that works for them.
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."
#9
Quote by vladj
About fingerpicking: I don't like the idea of having long nails, and without them I'm lacking volume and attack, so I avoided that technique in past. I would like to know arpeggiating both with a pick and fingers but as separate techniques each with it's own purpouse, not as substitutes for one another... maybe some day

Yup, I just figured I'd mention what I do in case it appealed to you; playing every note with a pick is probably the "right" way to do it, anyway.

Quote by vladj
About standing up: this is a new variable which I didn't thought about yet.. I'll try at first without anchoring and see where it will take me.

That's fair; in most cases it's just a case of getting used to a different angles, but there's a chance you might find one technique or another suits you better standing up.

Quote by vladj
Sorry, English is not my first language: 'wearing guitar as bibs' means having guitar high up near chest area when standing?

Yeah, I should have made that clearer. My general point is just that you'll almost certainly have your guitar low enough when standing for it to make a noticeable difference to how you play.

Quote by Sickz
Absolutely. If they all feel good, that is one route to go. When i was in college for music some of the other guitarists i studied with changed their technique depending on what they were doing, while others (me included) found one way that seemed to translate well into everything we were doing. Same goes for everything in music, some people practice scales as 7 boxes, others prefer 3 note per string, others prefer the CAGED. Some do all ways, some stick to one or two that works for them.

+1 to this. Being able to switch between techniques as the situation demands is not only acceptable, but potentially quite useful in its own right.
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