Poll: Is anchoring your pinky good or bad??
Poll Options
View poll results: Is anchoring your pinky good or bad??
It's a good thing to do.
4 3%
It's just a matter of preference.
97 63%
It's a bad thing to do.
53 34%
Voters: 154.
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#1
I'm anchoring my pinky on my guitar when I play... is it a good thing, a bad thing or it's just a matter of comfort??? if it's good/bad, why??

Please explain the pro's/con's and vote the poll!


I'm currently anchoring my pinky but I guess I could still be able to control myself and loose that habit... but I don't know if it's a good or bad habit so I wanna know before stopping/keeping it


---EDIT---
I'm gonna vote for "It's just a matter of preference" so I don't have to click VIEW POLL RESULTS every time I want to check it... and anyways I heard many differents stories from people so I guess it's just a matter of preference??? I don't really know... help me out!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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Last edited by hurlyz at Feb 8, 2007,
#2
No poll...

While it is possible to play very well whilst anchoring it WILL limit your potential.

It's your call.
#3
Quote by Nick_
No poll...

While it is possible to play very well whilst anchoring it WILL limit your potential.

It's your call.
The poll is there.. o_O

And you're saying it WILL limit my potential.. that may be true but atm I'm feeling more comfortable with it anchored... it's just natural for me... do you think I may be able to get the same potential as I would get withou being achored?? or definitely not?? anyways, vote the poll please.. it's there now!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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#4
No, it will limit it. That said, it is a possible to acheive a very high profiency anchoring. It's just that you can do better without; and if you get that good while anchoring it will be that much harder to relearn.

vot'd, I didn't see it.
#5
El Cumanés voted for "It's just a matter of preference." but he didn't leave any explanation... tsk tsk tsk!!

Please leave comments/explanations of your votes!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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#7
Quote by Nick_
No, it will limit it. That said, it is a possible to acheive a very high profiency anchoring. It's just that you can do better without; and if you get that good while anchoring it will be that much harder to relearn.

vot'd, I didn't see it.


That's a very biased opinion. It's just a different way to tackle a solution. When you say potential you mean potential speed and if you mean overall potentional then I could argue that playing with a pick limits your potential too. So does using anything less than a 36 fret neck.
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#8
Dr. Faustus and jackson001 please say why you think it's a bad thing to anchor... don't just vote the poll PLEASE!!!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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#9
I noticed that when I quit anchoring my pinky I as much more proficient at navigating around the strings, plus you can go seamlessly form playing chords/rythm to playing a melody; thats because with anchoring, you first have to anchor your pinky after playing the chords which takes up precious time.
#10
It seems this is entirely upon preference. Having searched through forums and archives most people state that anchoring the pinky will give the feeling of better control, and others will say with anchoring you will lose speed and create tension in the hand.

Here's a snippet from one of the lessons here :

3. Check Your Picking Hand
Anchoring your hand, forearm, pinky or any part of your body to the guitar creates more friction and more tension in your muscles. Fact. The decision as to whether they create enough tension to be a problem is yours. If it is then it would involve learning a new way of picking all over again -- this is worth it as I'm sure you'd rather play guitar than not even be able to grip things (happens in extreme cases).


---
But as for me, I don't anchor my pinky when I play, but only when I need to palm mute.
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#11
Quote by Generalpwnt
That's a very biased opinion. It's just a different way to tackle a solution. When you say potential you mean potential speed and if you mean overall potentional then I could argue that playing with a pick limits your potential too. So does using anything less than a 36 fret neck.


Sorry, I'll clarify. Your potential picking dexterity is what I am referring to.

Also anchoring anchors your hand to one position, which is not a good thing.
#12
Personally, for me it's a bad thing because it builds up tension in my picking hand and I develop cramp very quickly. On top of that, I actually pick slower when anchoring than when not anchoring. So I chose "It's a bad thing" based on my experience, but I have heard arguments to the contrary of my decision.
#13
Why anchor ? I have not seen any good reason to. The whole comfort thing, is that why people do it? Cause in reality most things you do for the first time are uncomfortable.

Take a golf swing, the more efficient ways of swinging a club are very uncomfortable at first. But your body gets used to it and it becomes natural feeling. Does it take longer? yes. Does it take a lot longer? NO.

This is the last thing i'm gonna say. I played anchoring my pinkie for a long time. And i changed to unanchored before i even new what anchoring was. I could tell i wasn't getting good hand movement and it really didn't feel comfortable at all, but i thought it gave me more control. So i experimented without resting my pinkie. That was even more uncomfortable, but i knew that it would be until i got used to it. A few days later i wasn't even thinking about it and realized my pinkie didn't want to rest on the pick guard anymore(my pinkie made the decision on its own). And now i don't think i could anchor even if i tried.
epic7734
#14
Quote by epic7734
Why anchor ? I have not seen any good reason to. The whole comfort thing, is that why people do it? Cause in reality most things you do for the first time are uncomfortable.



anchoring your pinky finger is a way to get a constant reference point, not comfortability. i do it ocassionally usually only when i got to strum power chords or open chords in the middle few strings.

PS. i voted matter of prefrence, because i have seen lessons tell you to this, while others will say its a bad habit. and i personally do it occationally so sometimes i prefer to, sometimes i dont.
Last edited by Findinghomer at Feb 9, 2007,
#15
For out and out shredding unanchored is generally better, for everyday playing and rhythm stuff anchoring doesn't pose any problems....believe it or not, not everybody is obsessed with shredding.
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#16
It's not really a bad thing.. but if you start to fingerpick, it will be EXTREMELY hard to stop anchoring off of your pinky and use it for fingerpicking.
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#17
I anchor my pinky finger, and I have always done that. I think I should have done it the other way, but it was easier for me to play with it anchored. I don't even notice that i anchor now.

To answer your question, you'd probably be better not anchoring you pinky, but it wont hurt you that much if you do.

Look at Joe Satriani, he anchors his pinky finger..
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#18
Well, I just realized that anchoring my pinky helped me on some parts (sweep picking, palm muting, smooth solos, picking melody, etc.) and slowed me down on some other parts (very fast picking, chords, finger picking) so I guess I'll just "partial anchor"... loll (that is anchoring but not all the time)

or I may even stop anchoring.. as I've got 0 comments saying "ITS GOOD" so why should I keep it?

anyways... I'll think about it!

Thanks for your comments guys!

---EDIT---
I have to agree that it's probably only a matter of preference... some guitars gurus play anchored and some others play unanchored... and they're still good!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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#19
I don't consider it preference if you really want to be an amazing picker. It most
likely will slow your progress down at some point.

Put it this way: You CAN learn to pick just as accurately without anchoring for stability
as you can with it. When you learn it, your hand is much freer to pick as opposed to
having to be stuck on the guitar. So would you rather be able to pick with a freer
hand, or one that has to stick to the guitar for reference and stability? It's up to
you. If you think it's just preference and you'd rather be comfortable with your
hand on the guitar, that's up to you too. If you think because <guitar god> does
it (or you think they do), then it's ok for you too, that's up to you. With enough
time you can overcome most handicaps, and I believe this is a handicap. Would you
rather spend the time overcoming a handicap or playing music?

I'd also say, unless you've learned to play unanchored, and can only play anchored,
you're in no position to know if its preference or not. Because you HAVE to play
anchored. You have no choice. You never learned to control the pick without
relying on a crutch. I used to anchor. Then I learned not to. It makes a BIG
difference.
#20
Quote by edg
I'd also say, unless you've learned to play unanchored, and can only play anchored,
you're in no position to know if its preference or not. Because you HAVE to play
anchored. You have no choice. You never learned to control the pick without
relying on a crutch. I used to anchor. Then I learned not to. It makes a BIG
difference.
Well I tried playing some songs unanchored today and I felt a bit "lost in air" but I didn't have any problems playing really... just a bit confused as for "reference" but I can overpass that for sure... and whenever I tremolo pick (even befor I registered on UG), I unanchor subconsciously loll... so I guess that's a sign telling me than unanchored is faster than anchored... I'll try getting rid of that bad habit!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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#21
Quote by 198x
3. Check Your Picking Hand
Anchoring your hand, forearm, pinky or any part of your body to the guitar creates more friction and more tension in your muscles. Fact. The decision as to whether they create enough tension to be a problem is yours. If it is then it would involve learning a new way of picking all over again -- this is worth it as I'm sure you'd rather play guitar than not even be able to grip things (happens in extreme cases).


---
But as for me, I don't anchor my pinky when I play, but only when I need to palm mute.



that quote, and the part about palm muting are absolutely right. It's freaking scientifically proven. What more do you want?

plus try it yourself, after a while, you'll all realize how much less strain is put on your arms, and the centers of your hands
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#22
Its a matter of preference. I myself anchor and find nothing wrong with it. Its how Ive learned how to play, and its way more comfortable to me. And if not anchoring is more comfortable, then all the power to you.
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#23
I anchor my pinky when i play solos, its more like "stablized"... I play much smoother and glide on sweep picking easily. On fast tremelo picks, and MOP, I go no anchor. I say it doesnt really matter, just put your mind into it. I dont care about what that muscle shit says, just grow muscle. Its more comfortable, and i like it cuz i sound better. But for fast picking, just take it off. Dont worry man, I anchor alot too..
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#24
Quote by hurlyz
Well I tried playing some songs unanchored today and I felt a bit "lost in air" but I didn't have any problems playing really... just a bit confused as for "reference" but I can overpass that for sure... and whenever I tremolo pick (even befor I registered on UG), I unanchor subconsciously loll... so I guess that's a sign telling me than unanchored is faster than anchored... I'll try getting rid of that bad habit!


You WILL feel a bit "lost in the air". That's normal. It may take quite a while
to get over it.

Basically what you're learning to do is move the pick from string to string without
the aid of keeping your hand on the guitar. What you'll find is that this trains
your arm and elbow control of the pick. That is something that people who anchor
don't generally develop. When you get it down, you've find moving from string
to string and things like sweeping across all string gets MUCH easier and freer.
#26
Not really understanding what it means to anchor your pinky.
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Last edited by Defaulted at Feb 11, 2007,
#28
I anchor my pinky sometimes. It seemed easier when I was a beginner. My style has changed over time, and there was a while when I felt like I couldn't do what I wanted to with my pinky fixed to the body of the guitar, so I forced myself to break the habit. Nowadays, I have a tendency to anchor when I fingerpick, and let my hand float freely when I use a pick.

I believe that almost every guitar player has at least a couple of habits that other players might call "bad", but that doesn't necessarily mean that you're a bad player. Django Reinhart only used two fingers, and he's considered one of the best. If you're having a hard time playing the way you want, you may need to change your skill set, but don't get caught up in right and wrong. Bad habits can lead you to new techniques as long as they don't hold you back from expressing yourself through the instrument.
#29
For the love of god, it is a BAD idea to anchor your pinky.
Good players do not anchor anything because picking in different areas of the guitar produces a different sound. Picking around the neck is warmer and more of a rounder tone. Picking by the bridge will give a tinnier, harder sound.
If you anchor, you will have difficulty with this. It will limit you. And when it comes to technique, NEVER let yourself be limited, ever.
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#30
Quote by Wasted Resource

Django Reinhart only used two fingers, and he's considered one of the best.


invalid argument

he only ****ing had two fingers, he would have used more had he had more fingers,
#31
Quote by beadhangingOne
invalid argument

he only ****ing had two fingers, he would have used more had he had more fingers,


Cool player, yea, but he would be better with 4 fingers.
Also, he made do with what he had, we have 4, there is no reason for us to learn bad technique. We're talking about playing correctly, and playing correctly won't involve anchoring.
Quote by Hovertruck
You guys are forgetting the most important part of sounding like Alexi.
Yao Yao
#32
For the love of god, it is a BAD idea to anchor your pinky.
Good players do not anchor anything because picking in different areas of the guitar produces a different sound. Picking around the neck is warmer and more of a rounder tone. Picking by the bridge will give a tinnier, harder sound.
If you anchor, you will have difficulty with this. It will limit you. And when it comes to technique, NEVER let yourself be limited, ever.


I tend to anchor, but it's never restricted my mobility or stopped me picking different parts of the string. Granted it'll slow you down in terms of flat out shredding, but if you aren't bothered about those kind of extreme speeds, and a lot of people aren't, then it's not an issue.
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#33
Quote by AngilasGuy
Cool player, yea, but he would be better with 4 fingers.
Also, he made do with what he had, we have 4, there is no reason for us to learn bad technique. We're talking about playing correctly, and playing correctly won't involve anchoring.


I feel sorry for you because you believe that there is only one "correct" way to play the guitar. It seems your teacher has taught you very poorly, and you will likely be limited by your own lack of imagination throughout your entire life in everything you do.

Hopefully others may succeed where you have failed.

Play to express not to impress, and you will find the techniques will follow.
#34
There isn't ONE correct way to play guitar. But some ways ARE much better than
others. Especially if your goal is to make your own playing as limitless and boundless
as you can.

If I become aware of a bad habit, I do what I can to fix it. Period. There was a time
when I didn't bother and I made MUCH slower progress.

I used to anchor too. Probably for around 20 years. I would have agreed that it
was likely "just preference". But, after taking the time to work at not anchoring,
I am now totally convinced it will hold your playing back. So, it's preference in the
sense it's all preference for how far you want to develop your skills.

You can overcome a lot of bad habits (or missing fingers). But, do you want to spend
a lot of time fighting them and likely never really winning, or working a little extra to
fix them and then see your progress fly?
#35
I do both anchor and no anchor depending on the riff. Fast picking I don't anchor my pinky, I extend my middle finger and use it to keep a fixed distance from the strings. I just let it glide on the pick guard. But for other licks I anchor it on the pick guard and against the e string. Go to youtube.com and do a search for Zakk Wyldes sold my soul. There's a clip of him playing it sitting down and you can see him using both ways too.
#36
I'm interested in seeing why "R~H~C~P" thinks anchoring is a good thing to do...

From personal experience, I don't think it messes you up too much, so I wouldn't call it a bad habit; at the same time, it's not a good one. I anchor my pinky occasionally, without even realizing it. It doesn't seem to be a real problem, as I have no trouble playing without anchoring it, so my vote goes to "preference".
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#37
Quote by Wasted Resource
I feel sorry for you because you believe that there is only one "correct" way to play the guitar. It seems your teacher has taught you very poorly, and you will likely be limited by your own lack of imagination throughout your entire life in everything you do.

Hopefully others may succeed where you have failed.

Play to express not to impress, and you will find the techniques will follow.


I'm a classical guitarist. There IS a right way to play, and a wrong way.
Classical guitar, if you've never really studied it, will completely **** you over and piss you off if you don't do things right. I'm not saying it's all about technique, I'm saying if you have good technique, then you can express yourself much easier because YOU ARE NOT RESTRICTED BY YOUR OWN FAULTS. If you are technically profficient, you are without bounds, without limits, you can do anything you want. There is more than one way to do something right, but theres way more ways to do things wrong, anchoring may seem like nothing, but it will hold you back, it will. I've studied many schools of thought with guitar technique, and trust me, it matters. My teacher has played with our local symphonies, released CDs around here, teaches music theory at the university, and is just a great guy, he knows what he is talking about.
I have not failed, kid.

What people say by 'just prefrence' is really just if you 'prefer' to hold yourself back or not.

EDIT: And finger picking with an anchor, bad idea, ask ANY respectable teacher of that style.
Quote by Hovertruck
You guys are forgetting the most important part of sounding like Alexi.
Yao Yao
Last edited by AngilasGuy at Feb 13, 2007,
#38
As usual this debate drivels on forever -- just do a search for "anchoring".

I will leave you with some quotes from someone who is BOTH a world class guitarist
and teacher (he studied under Al Dimeola). Always consider the source when taking
advice...


>Among those things you must do is to keep your hand free to
>move without any anchoring. You need to MUTE with your wrist
>area when playing overdriven guitar..or when using the mutola
>technique ,,,,but that is not anchoring for stability.
>
> The stability comes from your entirer forearm control...which
>is demanding and which most players bypass by using the pinkie
>or the fingers on the pickguard,,,,,,,,I understand why....I
>did it too as a beginner but I realised after a month of it
>what the ramifications woiuld be and I stopped doing that.
>
>To give you an idea...I have started to develop my fingerstyle
> classical tremolo but this time with a pick only......so I
>have to pick 3notes on the high E string and one on the low E,
>low A, low D, G...B.......just like flamenco and classical.
>Now thay sort of thing cant be done with immobilizing methods
>.....you have to be free.
>
>You can play lots of great music with a partially
>immobilised hand and be very happy. But since I have
>boundless right hand technique ..my duty is to show others how
>to have it as well.... not limiting ways...why?....because I
>dont know how far anyione wants to go 5 years from
>now.....they may want to play jazz or be able to play at
>Yngwie's level....and they mustt be free to do so if they
>chose to and not have to start all over again.
>
>

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>When I started I did rest my pinky.
>
>I soon realized that it was going to limit me and I stopped that
>bad habit.
>
>You can do anything with enough work and that is what you see
>when you see MARTIN TAYLOR OR PETRUCCI at work,,,, but they
>had to practice much more and much longer to make that work
>for them....do you want to have to work so much more or spend
>the time playing music instead???
>
>These players play inspite that handicap.
>
>MARTIN TAYLOR AND GEORGE BENSON are two players who have
>stated in print that they would not rest the pinky and hold
>the pick Benson style if they couid star over. They wouild be
>playng even more complex than now.
>
>The absolute grand masters like JOHN MC LAUGHLIN AL DI MEOLA,
>SHAWN LANE,JIMMY BRUNO etc..dont rest anything for a
>reason..total freedom.and they play acoustic as well.You cant
>play acoustic with right hand crutches and play at the world
>class level.
>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>Your right arm should float. No right hand anchoring.
>
>Anchoring is tension inducing and good enough for you to play
>backing basic simple lead guitar for SHANIA TWAIN or THE
>PUSYICAT DOLLS or AVRIL LAVIGNE in the studio or on the road.
>Most rock bands with 2,5 years off career life also have very
>simple physical demands before they fade away due to a variety
>of factors having nothing to do with how fast and furious they
>play or dont play.
>
>That type of playing is quite tolerant of all sorts of poor
>habits and bad technique overall because the music is not very
>fast and the dynamics are moderate.
>
>Now if you want to play styles that are physically demanding
>like bluegrass, some rock, jazz, classical , you will be left
>in the dust or get injured, or plateau forever (unless you
>retrain yourself) if you use the form and technique of those
>players whose style is not very demanding.
>
>
>
>Therefore I prepare all my students to be absolute virtuosos
>in case they care to become one in the future or even right
>right now.If they stay with slow and simple music they will
>still be able to play much better and more musically (due to
>not having to fight with bad form and tension) than their
>counterparts with bad habits.
>
>
>
>Now off course, most of you are not my students and I could
>just say go ahead do whatever "feels good" in the beginning
>but
> what "feells good "to the inexperienced player will prove
>to be a nightmare riddled with physical pain and injury when
>you face demanding music.
#39
Its absolutly bad! I play from afew years, and I just started to take private lessons in order to get some understanding of theory and better technique.Ive always been playing anchoring my pinky;
well, the very first thing my teacher told me is I had to get use not to do it cause your right hand should always be free to move.
Change this abit while you can do it easily because its being really a pain in the ass for me...
Don't worry, be happy.
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