#1
So, I went through the technique sticky, but I'm still confused about things (not the poster's fault, he covered an incredibly wide array of techniques). I started with basics of the basics, right. And that would probably be how to even hold a pick. Asked around and went though 50 different youtube teachers, saw 25 different positions on holding a pick. :p Some of them say "hold it whatever you feel like holding it, whatever's the best for you". Nothing feels overly natural or unnatural to me, so how did you guys personally choose this? I started practicing with one of the randomly chosen holds that seemed natural, so I'll see how it goes.

Another problem I have is hand positioning. Most of those guys say to put your hand on the bridge. However, the guitar I borrowed has a very sensitive floyd bridge, and if I put my hand there I bend it and mess up with the tune.

One final question for now is, how do you decide when to alternate pick and when to do the uh, "directional picking", as in change the direction of downstrokes and upstrokes depending on the next string's position. I see people playing arpeggio-like stuff in both styles, and most of them say it's a simple preference. For now I started doing the directional picking thing, it feels very unnatural to play, but at the same time it seems very logical to me.

Thanks for reading
#2
I personally am not too picky about how to hold a pick, as long as you a) stay relaxed b) pick with the tip of the pick. I keep the pick between the tip of my index and the tip of my thumb, it's a relaxed and flexible grip. But it's really up to the individual.

If you have a floyd, keep your near it. Just try to train yourself to hover your picking hand near the "root" of the strings at the bridge. Do you know how to palm mute? I think that keeping your hand at the same spot you do when palm muting without touching the strings is a good start.

Alternate vs. directional picking is highly subjective. Some people swear that pure alt picking is the only way to go. Others swear that pure economy picking is the thing. I personally just do whatever feels most comfy.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
I do pick with the tip, but I'm not yet fully relaxed. :p No idea how to palm, I'm practicing for only two days now. :p I generally know how palm muting works but didn't yet try it as I wanna cover the basics of the basics first, but I think I know where do you mean I should keep my hand. Just tried it and I guess I could work with that, thanks for the tip.

The tune I started practicing with feels horribly odd to play with alternate picking, so I'll see if it will fit anywhere else as I learn to play new stuff with the pick. Economy picking, that's what I was talking about, thank you!
#4
If you're playing power chords or single note melodies keep your pinky planted near the high strings if you play the high strings just move your hand down and have the pinky rest on the body.
#5
Quote by !..!_Rock_!..!
If you're playing power chords or single note melodies keep your pinky planted near the high strings if you play the high strings just move your hand down and have the pinky rest on the body.


Why? It'd be a lot better if he didn't anchor his pinky. I'm not saying that it's a crime to anchor, but it's definitely better if he learnt not to do it from the get go.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#6
Probably best not to anchor. It's only a bad habit imo that you'll want to get rid of later on.
#7
If you can afford it get a guitar teacher. At least while your still a beginner as this is when you can get bad habits and get ahead of yourself.

🔝 I don't see it as a bad habit look at the amount of pros that use it. Just a different style.
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Last edited by Guitar137335 at Mar 3, 2016,
#8
Quote by Guitar137335
🔝 I don't see it as a bad habit look at the amount of pros that use it. Just a different style.


There are a lot of pros out there who have shit technique.

Anchoring is a bad habit, but it's not a deal breaker. It's not really a style, it's a byproduct of poor hand placement. If TS can, I recommend he'd learn not to do it.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#9
Quote by Kevätuhri
There are a lot of pros out there who have shit technique.

Anchoring is a bad habit, but it's not a deal breaker. It's not really a style, it's a byproduct of poor hand placement. If TS can, I recommend he'd learn not to do it.


Lots of the best players in the world anchor, that have spent hours and hours and hours perfecting their technique. They could easily stop anchoring if they wanted but don't.
🍗🎹🎶🎼🎧🎤🎮👾🎸🎨🎷⚽️🎱🏁🎺🎻🍮🍰🍪📱👻🐔🐣🐥🐤🐽🐷💀👽💩💸🚽👻
Last edited by Guitar137335 at Mar 3, 2016,
#10
Quote by Guitar137335
If you can afford it get a guitar teacher. At least while your still a beginner as this is when you can get bad habits and get ahead of yourself.


Not an option, I'm afraid, I recently got fired. :p Bills are priority number 1 right now.

Anchoring with the pinky, be it a good thing or a bad thing, feels horribly unnatural for me to play like that. But then again anything could feel unnatural with the pick right now, I'll just stay away from anchoring for now.

Nice, I'm learning all these English guitar phrases, thanks guys.
#11
Quote by Guitar137335
Lots of the best players in the world anchor, that have spent hours and hours and hours perfecting their technique.


I always find this type of answer a bit strange. Perhaps they spent thousands of hours adapting there playing for a bad technique? Perhaps they would be even better if they didn't anchor. Perhaps what you consider 'the best players in the world' aren't? Perhaps you haven't even heard the best players as they are a different genre to what you like? Are you mixing up best players with famous players as that may not be the same? Where are the stats to prove that 'lots of the best players' do this? What is 'lots' exactly?

Sorry to be annoying but I see this response a lot and I think the people typing it believe it ends the discussion. To end the discussion I would like to see solid evidence or a good justified reason why people should anchor.

Obviously I am in the non-anchor camp as I believe it causes less tension in the picking hand ,allows movement to be more free/quicker and allows you to change to a different technique (ie strumming chords) more quickly.
Last edited by SpiderM at Mar 3, 2016,
#12
Quote by Guitar137335
Lots of the best players in the world anchor, that have spent hours and hours and hours perfecting their technique. They could easily stop anchoring if they wanted but don't.


Lot's of the "best players" in the world can't tune their guitar and don't know that they have a pinky finger. And it's not easy to revert decades of bad habits, hence TS shouldn't start doing it.

Quote by SpiderM
To end the discussion I would like to see solid evidence or a good justified reason why people should anchor.

Obviously I am in the non-anchor camp as I believe it causes less tension in the picking hand ,allows movement to be more free/quicker and allows you to change to a different technique (ie strumming chords) more quickly.


I agree. The thing is that while anchoring is not the worst thing ever and you shouldn't lose your sleep over it, it doesn't really help you either. There are no clear benefits to anchoring, while there are clear benefits to not anchoring. Like the stuff that you mentioned, it's more relaxing, it doesn't hinder your wrist and picking, and it doesn't mess with other techniques you want to pull off. Whatever you can achieve with anchoring you can definitely achieve without it if you just put a little work into it.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#13
People use it in a lot of different genres the real technically guys like Joe Satriani, Buckethead and Bumblefoot use it. Then slow blues guitarist do like Eric Clapton and BB King. Lots of people consider them to be some of the best for different reasons.
Theirs no evidence to suggest non anchoring is better, only for what it feels like. So I say do what you want. Theirs lots of people doing both ways at a very high level.
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#14
I have only been playing a little while, but I have found that when I don't think about how I'm holding the pick or where my finger or palm is so much everything just seems to fall into a natural position and I just go with that. I don't think everybody in the world is going to be able to have their fingers and palms in the exact same location as so and so, that's probable were that individuals distinct sound comes from and that's kind of what I would prefer...my own kinda sound. Just throwing it out there.
Flying in a blue dream
#15
Quote by SanDune65
I have only been playing a little while, but I have found that when I don't think about how I'm holding the pick or where my finger or palm is so much everything just seems to fall into a natural position and I just go with that. I don't think everybody in the world is going to be able to have their fingers and palms in the exact same location as so and so, that's probable were that individuals distinct sound comes from and that's kind of what I would prefer...my own kinda sound. Just throwing it out there.


I guess I would praise this if I didn't start learning in a classical school, where people yelled at me if anything about my position was odd. :p Now I'm lost when I have to learn something on my own, hence my annoying questions here. Not that my fingerstyle playing is anything good though, old professor would probably be ashamed to see me playing now. XD

However, I think I'm adapting well to not anchoring and economy picking, even though I'm only practicing it on one figure. I really appreciate all the advice guys!

By the way, if anyone could suggest some simpler tunes to practice my picking on I'd be grateful. Don't know a lot of songs that aren't chords or don't require finger picking. This little clean figure from 0:46 to 0:56 is what I've been practicing on for the last 3 days:
https://youtu.be/NY-ofhy3lNs?t=46s
Last edited by MrNewGuy at Mar 4, 2016,
#16
I think the trick for me is to do what I feel comfortable with. I mean if my finger wants to anchor somewhere then that's what its going to do, I'm probably not even thinking about it. I don't put a tremendous amount pressure on myself and I practice rigorously on a daily basis. I don't think it would fair to myself if I thought I had to do everything prefect from the beginning. Actually working on scales has been my most productive resource for absolutely everything I need to work on. I have actually kind of got hooked on playing my own little riff with just scales. The clip from 0:46 - 0:56 sounds good, I would take something like that and just keep playing it until I could play it in my sleep and not move on until I could.
Flying in a blue dream
#18
Quote by Killing Hand
Also a few words on anchoring and why it's a good idea.


But Guthrie anchors with his forearm, which is a completely different thing from anchoring with your pinky. Anchoring with your pinky creates tension and limits what you can do with your picking hand. Anchoring with your forearm is all fine as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I should've been more clear, but I've been referring to pinky anchoring in this thread.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#19
Quote by Guitar137335
Lots of the best players in the world anchor, that have spent hours and hours and hours perfecting their technique. They could easily stop anchoring if they wanted but don't.


Pretty much.

I've tried both anchoring with my pinky, anchoring with multiple fingers, and having a free floating fist over many, many years and it doesn't make much of a difference in single line picking. I did notice anchoring might have helped a bit in long picked arpeggios, so I've stuck with that. But that could also be in my head. I'm pretty sure I could play most passages just as well with a free floating fist.

Any good player can effortlessly switch between all of them, so it's not like all of a sudden you'd be better if you went with the 'right' method.

It's not like the difference between digging a ditch with a shovel and with your bare hands.
#20
Try not to get mislead by what feel 'natural', There is nothing natural about playing guitar. I wrote a short article on this here: http://www.stuartbahn.com/nothing-natural-about-playing-guitar/

Try searching for Guthrie Govan's video on alternate picking. He's one of the best guitar players on the planet and a first class teaching. Just Google 'Guthrie Govan alternate picking'. It's about 20 ins long.
#21
So the last week I tried not anchoring. only took about 2 days for it to feel normal. Honestly I can't tell no difference in my playing.
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Last edited by Guitar137335 at Mar 11, 2016,
#22
Seems like the pinky thing has been discussed here since at least 2007. I have been watching some great players..."you can observe a lot by just watching". Anyway, I've seen some of them anchor now and then, the thing is I'm not a great player now and probably wont be then.
Flying in a blue dream