is this a bad habit?

i just got out of the habit of laying my hand on the bridge and playing..and i switched to doing this

ive tried to play without it on the pickgaurd and i cant really move my wrist that much
well its hard to do it

do i have to go through all the trouble of switching AGAIN?
I kind of lay the heel of my hand on the bridge as well, as opposed to letting it float above the strings, but to answer your question, yeah, it is a bad habit, if your goal is speed. It's important to not let your fingers on your right hand to curl up, and if you watch some videos on youtube of the more famous shredders, you will notice that they extend their pinky, ring, and middle fingers so they don't curl.

Honestly, my right hand isn't stationary when I'm playing, it's pretty much all over the place. But yeah, don't anchor your hand, but do extend your fingers, but not to the point that you can feel them stretching, just let em hang.
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Last edited by lespaulrocks39 at Jan 5, 2007,
Most people are against it, but it all comes down to comfort. It hinders your playing, but I have seen great guitarists who anchor.
one of the best guitarists John Petrucci does it, i dunno if it hinders his playing, to the point where he could be alot better but you get the point
The key is to play without the less possible tension. Try to play unanchored for a while to see if you make progress faster, if not, stick to unanchored, however you can use both way's advantages if you practice enough. Check out the videos of Kristofer Dahl, when he's not shredding he play anchored, otherwise he unanchored.
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Pinky bracing is ok, as it gives you reference as to where each string is. Most people grow out of it once they have mastered where each note and string is, and their style gets more complex.
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Bracing your pinky on the pickguard is called anchoring, as is resting your hand on the bridge. There are three main problems with anchoring...

1. It's a crutch. Players anchor because they have trouble finding the strings when picking, so they anchor to increase accuracy.
2. It hinders speed. Yes, with practice you can get faster while anchoring, but in the same way, you can become more accurate while not anchoring, solving problem number one as well as this one. The latter choice is preferable, because of Problem #3.
3. It increases tension in your wrist. Tension is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very bad for guitar players, and can lead to some health issues, such as carpal tunnel.

Try your best to break the habit. It'll take a while to get used to, but it's worth it.
John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Alexi Laiho, Michael Angelo Batio - all of them anchor their hand/fingers in one way or another, and it doesn't seem to make them suck. There's plenty of great guitarists who don't anchor as well - Paul Gilbert, Troy Stetina, Joe Satriani, Rusty Cooley - but my point is, you can do whatever feels better and more comfortable to you and achieve great results.

A lot of people say anchoring hinders speed and increases tension, but I find that is not true; of course, if you do anchor your hand in such a way that your hand is always tensed up and are sort of pushing it into your guitar, now that may be a problem.

Just try to find a position that feels natural and comfortable to you, and keep your hand relaxed - it doesn't matter if you're touching any parts of the guitar or not.

(this all said, I only anchor my pinkyzzz when I sweep - not because it's "better" but just because it's more convenient to me)
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