#1
I've nearly always planted my pinky finger on the body of my guitar when playing anything. I started doing it to help keep me from strumming at my elbow, and its a bad habit that has persisted for some time. Recently I'm trying to improve my sweep picking speed and clarity because to be frank, I suck at it bad and have done well to avoid it while playing. It kind of limits me from learning some really killer songs and making great riffs in my opinion. I've never really been great with creating arpeggios, and never bothered to learn because I wasn't what I would call proficient at the technique. I would really like to learn how to create them, and understand them better and I feel that being able to play them fluidly would be a step at wanting to understand.

So, as a general question, should I work more on strumming without planting my finger, or stick with it if it is comfortable? I know that everyone plays differently, and will hold picks differently, strum differently, and even hold the guitar differently. I'm just looking for your personal opinion on if you prefer to keep your hand free or planted as I do.
#2
So as a general rule, planting your pinky on the body like you're doing is called anchoring, and it's becoming generally more and more agreed that it's a bad habit... but for my money that comes with some caveats:

1 - You already have a good amount of technique built up, so it's going to be much easier to make smaller adjustments and fix what you already do than it is to learn how to play without the anchor.
2 - Really, anchoring isn't inherently bad, the problem is that in a lot of cases it can lead to restricted motion in your picking hand, and excess tension in your hand/arm/shoulder.  If you keep your whole body relaxed while you're doing it and it's not causing your range of motion to be overly restricted, then I wouldn't worry about fixing it.

Personally, I don't anchor, but then I learned how to play without an anchor from the very beginning.  Realistically, whether you anchor or not, on its own, isn't going to make much difference.  It's the sort of thing that will get you from being in the top 1% of players in the world to the top 0.1% of players in the world if you work on it on its own, so I wouldn't worry about it unless it's causing you problems right now.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#3
Thanks for the reply. Sorry for using the wrong term, I'm a lone hobby player and most of the folks I know who play don't sit around and talk technique.

Maybe the restriction in motion is part of my struggle. I'm going to fiddle around with out anchoring for a while and see if I can even out on the climb and decent of the sweep and go from there.