ive heard that anchoring your pick hand will slow the speed of your picking but i dont really know what anchoring is.

so like, what is anchoring?
For an example, watch a video of The Strokes song "Vision of Division" at some festival, idr exactly what one tho. Just search for it. During the opening riff, they should show a close-up of the guitar player's hand. While he is picking, his pinkie stays on the underside of the pickup ring, and only his wrist does the movement really. It slows down my picking, but probably has advantages of some sort.
When you rest the fingers you're not using to hold the pick (pinky, ring finger, middle finger, or any combo of them) on the body of the guitar, where the pick guard is usually located.

Honestly, I've tried not anchoring, and I'm MUCH faster and more accurate when anchoring. There are tons of guitarists that do it (even Batio, and we all know how "slow" he is lol) so I really don't think it's a problem.
Plenty of good guitar players (includng me) anchor. While I would recommend not anchoring to a beginning guitarist, if you find that it works, I see no reason to change. However, some people report hitting a wall beyond which they can not speed-up their playing. If you find this to be the case, you may want to consider forcing yourself to avoid anchoring.

But, as I said, I anchor.

Edit: Upon further examination, I just palm mute a lot. Don't anchor.

Seriously though, if you're fine anchoring then feel free to do so. Just remember the wall.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Apr 8, 2008,
Anchoring is really just leaving some part of your hand, wrist or forearm stationary on the guitar. I don't normally anchor when I play except for my fastest runs - on those I anchor my pinky to the body of the guitar as it helps my accuracy and speed. Just watch out for anchoring your wrist and hand, as this can lead to carpal tunnel because of the amount of stress placed on the area.
Just make sure if you have a part of your hand resting on the guitar that you aren't pushing down or applying pressure.
12 fret fury
Anchoring to small extents is fine, and some times you need to like with your forearm when your playing live. Beware though too much of it can do more bad than good and might result in injury or hold your progress back.
I don't anchor for one and sole reason. Dynamics. It's rock baby! Many times you want to whack that single note by racking all the strings except those one or two that you will actually play.
I guess if you're into alternate picking foremost, then probably for faster stuff anchoring is the most reasonable way to go because the anchor counter balances the constant ups and downs of the hand. For economy picking, which I follow, either way is quite the same except of the advantage in dynamics with not anchoring.
If your hand/fingers are merely brushing against/touching the guitar to an extent, you are fine. That is not really anchoring. The negative effects of 'anchoring' come into play when you actually start pressing against the guitar and causing unnecessary tension.

Really, there shouldn't be an "anchoring" debate. Because everyone agrees that you should play with a relaxed hand. So don't ask yourself "am I anchoring?" but merely ask yourself if your hand is as relaxed as can be. If so, then you're at the best you can be.
^true. It's just that it's very easy to create unnecessary tension by anchoring, which is why it's generally inadvisable. I used to anchor, and I'm working on breaking the habit because it was really impairing me. Once I break the habit I'll experiment with picking-hand technique a bit more, but I doubt I'll actually anchor ever again if I can avoid it. Too much tension, and it was really screwing up my muscles all the way up to my shoulder.
You're right. I've tried just having my fingers slightly holding onto the high strings while tremolo picking at the bass strings, and at first it seemed like all was dandy. But after just exerting a SLIGHT bit of tension to lift my fingers off the strings, I was playing so much more relaxed just because I can't seem to have my fingers hanging onto the strings without restricting my range of picking motion and making it much harder to pick tension-free.

All I was saying is that the actual problem is 'playing tension-free' rather than 'anchor or not anchor' because there sure as hell are people out there who anchor and play more relaxed than some people who don't anchor. But anchoring definitely factors into causing extra tension, at least it always does in my case.