#1
ive been playing for 2 or so years now, but i have recently noticed i anchor my pinky and ring finger on my middle pick-up when i play solos and single notes etc..

i watched some videos of my fav players and i noticed that they let their picking hand float above the strings and dont anchor at all..

i just want to know if this is a problem, and if i need to fix it.

thanks
MD5K
IBANEZ
#3
You should try and avoid anchoring if possible because it could limit your playing later on
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#4
where do i put it then?? it feels unco floating above the strings?? do i rest it on the strings?? wouldnt that palm mute the stings?
MD5K
IBANEZ
#5
Just try and find a way of playing that is comfortable for you, but wont limit your playing
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#6
so it could limit my playing? do you know in what way??

i just want to know if i need to fix it, or if i can work around it..
MD5K
IBANEZ
#7
Just get a general idea from people who are known to have good technique like gilbert or something and modify it till you like it. It will feel weird when you first change but it will become natural soon enough.
#8
yeah i watched gilbert and he seems to have his hand curled up but he seems to rest on the strings.. but then i watched matt heafy and herman li and they have their hands outstreched.. so do i have to fix it??

and my hand has to just float above the stings.?
MD5K
IBANEZ
#9
Hi!

Yes, anchoring your hand/fingers on the guitar is a bad habit, created by a reaction of tension in your hand, fingers, arm, and shoulder. You see, you are too tense when you play and practice (as most people are) and your hand and fingers want to react by "resting" on some part of the guitar to compensate for the extra tension. It is a limiting habit, that inhibits movement, especially to the higher strings - you will also find it harder playing acoustic guitar with this bad habit, since the strings are further apart. Now it is true that some great guitarists do anchor their hands/fingers, but it is done very lightly, and the ones who do, have large hands anyway. This does not mean it is an excuse to do that though, since it is still limiting.

Yngwie Malmsteen, for example, is obviously an awesome guitarist, but his playing on an acoustic guitar compared to greats like John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola (who don't anchor), is not up the same standard. Yngwie also only does it lightly, and he has very large hands.

You have been playing 2 years, so it is up to you to decide to change it or not. If you want my advice I'd recommend you do. It will seem weird and you will find it harder to play faster at first, but after a while (with good practice), it will become natural. In fact, when I started playing guitar, I used to anchor my pinky on the body of the guitar for at least a few months, but after learning from a great teacher, Jamie Andreas, I quickly decided to change that habit, and not anchor. Check out www.guitarprinciples.com - it's the best guitar instruction I have ever found (owned by Jamie Andreas)

Go to this website and scroll about half way down the page, to the reply of Ney Mello in a question titled "Help!" and read that: http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Ney_files/Ney.htm

Read this also: http://www.guitarprinciples.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=2&topic_id=35299&mesg_id=35432&page=

Also if you are really interested in getting better then I'd recommend you study and use the guitarprinciples website diligently, and get the book "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar"

Hope this helps,
Dom
Last edited by Dom Buick at Sep 17, 2007,
#10
thanks dom, it seems like good advice. i think i will change the way i pick, because it seems that it is a bad habit, so i guess i should change it.

do you know what to practice to relearn picking or just practice everything normally, except practice picking properly?..
MD5K
IBANEZ
#11
Yeah, and speaking of changing bad habits, Paul Gilbert tilted his pick in the opposite direction to how he does now when he started out, but he later changed it after using that limiting approach for 8 WHOLE YEARS!! Now, that's pretty inspiring :P

Dom
#12
Oh, that's simple, just practice what you want to play! Keep your picking hand floating (you can rest it to mute, and palm mute and rake, of course), and then just practice everything that you want to learn, but it might take a bit of getting used to at first. Just keep at it

Good luck
#13
yeah i have a warm up thingo that i do so should i start by practicing that first and then practice stuff im learning etc??..

it will sound **** and feel really weird at first wont it??

thats whats gonna put me off changing it.. if i sound bad i feel bad and wont worry about changing it.. so ive just go to keep at it hey...
MD5K
IBANEZ
#14
Well, I don't exactly do a warm up, but I do "Foundation exercises" for 30 mins a day from that guitar principles book I told you about, which is basically the foundation of all guitar technique.


It will feel weird in terms of; you feel a bit like a beginner again (in pick hand) and playing the guitar feels a bit unfamiliar and strange with your pick hand, because your muscles will have to relearn the basic movements with the new technique, but it will be worth it in the long run. It won't sound bad when you practice if you don't make mistakes, which means you need to practice as slow as you need to in order to play perfectly, with no mistakes, perfect form, and good tone.

Once you can do it perfectly like that (same with any other technique you're working on), being able to play it as many times as you want and without extra tension, then you can slowly work it up with a metronome. That's how all great shred guitarists practice anyway. I could tell you quite a few quotes and lists of awesome guitarists who basically say the same thing. Michael Romeo, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde, have all said about that.

Practicing isn't supposed to sound like Music anyway, at least until you have practiced a song for a while, and are starting to put it together nicely and up to speed. I'm about to spend 2 years working on technique and songs for 10 hours a day - just practicing, and for most of the time it won't even sound like Music, until I start to put phrases together, and work them up to the right speed and rhythm, which isn't the funnest thing in the world, but when I can play Malmsteen things easily in a year or two, then it will be worth it.


I think it's awesome you're considering technique like this, since most guitarists don't even think about these things (they're not gonna get good), but you are obviously a serious guitarist and I can tell you are gonna go far

Keep at it
Last edited by Dom Buick at Sep 17, 2007,
#15
well thank you.. lol i hope to one day be a good guitarist and if this is what i takes to do it, then im going to do it.. but yeah guitar is basically my life and if i didnt play it, or couldnt play it, i would be lost..

what i dont understand though is where to actually place my hand on the guitar.. because now i think back, i think i put my hand in the anchoring position when i first got my new ibanez because i was scared of scratching it..lol.. i have been trying to find a new place to put my hand, but havnt had any luck because i dont know where to put it..

also i was watching my g3 dvd and i saw joe satriani seems to rest his pinky finger on the guitar, as does john petrucci, and also vai was doing it too.. is this anchoring or is this just their way of holding the guitar??
MD5K
IBANEZ
#16
eh, sorry man, didn't know you replied again. but, yeah they all do anchor sometimes (especially John Petrucci), not all the time though, all 3 of them do it really lightly too, and they all have huge hands, especially Vai. You might question if it really does matter to anchor or not since such awesome and great guitarists as them do sometimes (and lightly), but it is true that it WILL limit you somewhat (especially if you anchor strongly). Yes, they are not limited in their chosen styles, and that's fine since that is what they want to play, and they can easily play what they want in their "styles" without any problems, but if they started to play other styles and play on acoustic guitar they may have probs.

I'd still recommend not to anchor. Paul Gilbert is a classic example of someone who doesn't anchor, so was Shawn Lane, Buckethead (don't think he does, at least), Al Di Meola, and Ney Mello.

You don't have to put your hand anywhere. Keep it floating, hovering over the strings. The top part of your forearm is supported by wherever it is placed on the top part of the guitar, but keep your hand floating, with only the pick making contact. Use the side of your palm to palm mute or rake, etc.

idk if you will read this now since it's been a while since you last posted, but I hope you do. If you wanna speak some more, feel free to add me on MSN at: dominickbuick@hotmail.com
#17
Quote by TORSION
so it could limit my playing? do you know in what way??


The most significant thing i have learned about anchoring has to do with learning arm control. Anchoring in my opinion makes learning arm control take longer. Once you have learned great arm control then you can do what you please.

edg the member, has made a lot of great post on this subject, and he does a great job of explaining his thoughts on it. So i would recommend looking him up and reading some of his post.
epic7734
#18
hey, just wondering is it bad to keep your picking hand closed while playing? thats most comfortable for me, but my guitar teacher tells me to keep it open and to anchor my other fingers so I can always know where I'm picking... I told him I disagreed, but I'm not sure I hear different advice from everyone. Also he told me to straight up alternate pick instead of economy picking... which i found much easier. Is he right? or is it just a matter of personal preference?
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#19
Quote by Bushinarin
hey, just wondering is it bad to keep your picking hand closed while playing? thats most comfortable for me, but my guitar teacher tells me to keep it open and to anchor my other fingers so I can always know where I'm picking... I told him I disagreed, but I'm not sure I hear different advice from everyone. Also he told me to straight up alternate pick instead of economy picking... which i found much easier. Is he right? or is it just a matter of personal preference?


Picking hand Question:
When your hand is as relax as it can be is it open or in a loose fist. Your answer will be one of the 2.

The anchoring Question:
You can find the right strings to pick just as well unanchored. Read what i said about arm control a post or 2 up.

Alt. picking vs. eco picking:
Alt. picking is more of a core technique. Meaning you can always use it. I find it is what you should learn first and just do it without thinking.

Eco picking to me is great for something you have thought out a head of time. Say you have created a section of music, you now think about the best way to play it. You know a certain part needs to be played the most efficient way possible, so you use the eco style to execute this section.
epic7734
#20
I do that too sometimes
I've been thinking in chopping off all of the fingers in my picking hand except for my thumb and index finger LOL
I'm trying to stop because it slows me down