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#1
Im finding it really difficult to pick from my wrist if I "float" my hand, it keeps coming from my forearm instead. Whereas if I anchor, everything comes from my wrist and I can move alot faster (which isn't fast anyway since I havent started serious practice til now)

Is this normal for someone trying to break the habit?
If so, how did you overcome it?

Thankyou for your replies

- Corko93
#2
If you're having that difficult of a time unanchoring your hand, I suggest you just don't bother; just make sure the rest of your hand is totally relaxed ala Yngwie Malmsteen.
Last edited by banjo1735 at Jun 22, 2008,
#3
would it really make much of a difference if i unanchor though?

I anchor by lightly resting the side of my hand on the bridge and using my forearm to keep the same angle to all the strings, so its like a rested float.
#4
as long as your hand is completely relaxed, you play from the wrist, and you can play from very soft to very loud, your picking technique's fine,
you're not gonna get faster unanchored, and you're definitely not gonna get more precise..

i use both floating and anchored picking, but i've found anchored playing sounds a lot more fluent, stick to it
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#5
Quote by Corko93
would it really make much of a difference if i unanchor though?


A lot of people would say that being unanchored is the way to go. We have this conversation every 6 months in advanced techniques. unanchoring always wins. I forget how, so if I were you I wouldn't question it.

as for stopping the picking motion from your elbow, its just practice. when people swap from unanchored to anchored different problems occur for different people. I lost a great deal of accuracy.

Just practice keeping your whole arm relaxed and moving your wrist. do really simple picking patterns and practice not movin your arm, keeping it relaxed.

sounds strange but concentrate on keeping it relaxed
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#6
I wouldn't really call that anchoring. If your hand is COMPLETELY floating, how would you mute the strings when you can't use your extra fingers? I think what you're doing is fine.
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#7
thanks for the replies!
I think I'm just gonig to stick to what im doing right now seeing as that is what feels most comfortable for me.

Thankyou everyone.
#8
Classical guitarists are fast as hell and most of the famous ones have their pinky resting on the soundboard all the time - granted, they use fingerstyle and not picking, but point being - you can be fast either way :]
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#9
Quote by rusty-knives
Classical guitarists are fast as hell and most of the famous ones have their pinky resting on the soundboard all the time - granted, they use fingerstyle and not picking, but point being - you can be fast either way :]


I can't think of a single classical guitarist who anchors at all, any good classical teacher would probably shoot a student for anchoring...if you can find an example I'd be grateful and stand corrected but until then...

...you fail.
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#10
Quote by Funkicker
as long as your hand is completely relaxed, you play from the wrist, and you can play from very soft to very loud, your picking technique's fine,
you're not gonna get faster unanchored, and you're definitely not gonna get more precise..

i use both floating and anchored picking, but i've found anchored playing sounds a lot more fluent, stick to it


Don't encourage anchoring as if it's more beneficial than floating. It is whatever it most comfortable to the player. Floating tends to be favored and more related to faster playing, but you can find plenty who do anchor. Whatever works for the person at hand.
#11
Hey Petrucci anchors and he is way fast and dead on accurate.So really I would say use what u naturally favor.I used to anchor my pinky on the strings but now I just rest my hand on the bridge to mute the strings and since I have done this my technique has doubled
#12
Quote by Metal Society
Hey Petrucci anchors and he is way fast and dead on accurate.So really I would say use what u naturally favor.I used to anchor my pinky on the strings but now I just rest my hand on the bridge to mute the strings and since I have done this my technique has doubled


Terrible reasoning. Petrucci's technique is not the best in the world by a long shot, the best picking technique (in my opinion) is Paul Gilbert and the late, great Shawn Lane; Trooch has tension all over the place and picks almost exclusively from the arm at high speed, all of which is undesirable if you want really good technique.

Just because another person achieves results with something doesn't mean it'll work for you or anyone else. Look at the analogy of painting: if Picasso had used his feet to paint would you recommend that to someone?
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#13
^ also, imagine how good petrucci would be if he had a better technique. his technique isn't awful by any means but if he had started with an incredibly good technique he would almost assuredly be FAR better than he is now.

to the TS: suck it up and deal with the difficulty, when i stopped anchoring it drove me pretty nuts since i had been doing it for about 10 years. now though i wouldn't take it back if i had to. my playing is a lot cleaner and accurate now. you just have to start over like you would be if you had just started playing guitar for the first time. you'll be quicker to adapt to playing unanchored than when you first picked up the guitar but expect it to be a bit frustrating and expect to feel like a n00b for a while.
Last edited by z4twenny at Jun 23, 2008,
#14
Can I please make it clear that resting your the palm of your hand on the bridge/strings is NOT anchoring. Anchoring is keeping one or more of your fingers (usually just the pinky) planted against the body of the guitar. I also agree with Zaphod that Gilbert and Lane have the best picking technique. Completely floating is NOT a good idea, because this way you will not be able to mute any of the strings.

Remember, these are all my opinions, and I don't want to be flamed because of them.
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Last edited by Iron_Dude at Jun 23, 2008,
#15
Paul Gilbert, personally, has the best picking technique. Knowing who truly has the best, however, is undeterminable.
#16
It doesn't matter. Petrucci is an amazing guitarist, and I don't realy aim to better him.
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#17
Quote by turtlewax
It doesn't matter. Petrucci is an amazing guitarist, and I don't realy aim to better him.


AS far as I'm concerned Trooch's skill lies in his note choice and practice regime, not his technique itself, his technique is poor but his music is great.
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#18
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
AS far as I'm concerned Trooch's skill lies in his note choice and practice regime, not his technique itself, his technique is poor but his music is great.

I agree. He's a great musician, but has fairly weak technique. I mean really, just watch him pick fast. His hand looks increadably awkward and full of tension. Gilbert has a much more relaxed wrist and is virtually tensionless.
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#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Terrible reasoning. Petrucci's technique is not the best in the world by a long shot, the best picking technique (in my opinion) is Paul Gilbert and the late, great Shawn Lane; Trooch has tension all over the place and picks almost exclusively from the arm at high speed, all of which is undesirable if you want really good technique.

Just because another person achieves results with something doesn't mean it'll work for you or anyone else. Look at the analogy of painting: if Picasso had used his feet to paint would you recommend that to someone?


The funny thing is that Gilbert sounds sloppier than Petrucci to me, simply because of his pick attack. Then again, I'm a big fan of pretty clean, almost percussive, picking.

Yeah, that's all on page 3 of The Book of Technique, which was handwritten by John Guitar, the inventor of the instrument, how to pick on a guitar.

I think it's funny that everyone wants to argue about what is or isn't good technique, like it's set in stone that certain things are simply correct.

Let's examine the definition of technique, a procedure or method of accomplishing a task. Read that again, A procedure or method of accomplishing a task. Nowhere did is say that it is THE way to do something.

There's only one thing everyone has in common, and that's that they are different from everyone else. The same thing applies to technique, everyone has their own way of getting something done, what looks strange or awkward to one person makes perfect sense to another, even simple body mechanics can vary wildly between two people.

That's why it's important to figure out what is comfortable for you, a general rule of body mechanics is that if it is comfortable its probably not causing pain. The problem most people have is they receive false signals of comfortable, it's a result of intense focus on playing that leads a person to block out many types of sensory information, including pain or discomfort.

What's important in technique isn't what is "right" or "wrong," what is important is that you have a means of reaching a goal, without damaging yourself along the way. Seriously, if one technique was truly better than the other, nobody would ever play the other way.

Part of the problem is everyone has a different definition of "anchored," for some just resting a finger is anchoring, for others as long as you aren't putting your fingers through the pickguard you're not anchoring.

Seriously, you could find a virtuoso that plays totally floating all the time, and you could find another that anchors constantly, at the end of the day, they are both virtuosos, masters of the instrument. Who gives a flying F*CK if one of them has a pinky on the guitar?!

Seriously, stop these threads, we need to make a sticky that says, "play whatever is comfortable, and don't make anther anchoring thread." Because, if it's truly comfortable to you it's never going to hold you back.

So, TS, you gotta ask yourself, what is REALLY comfortable for you?
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#20
Quote by Corko93
Im finding it really difficult to pick from my wrist if I "float" my hand, it keeps coming from my forearm instead. Whereas if I anchor, everything comes from my wrist and I can move alot faster (which isn't fast anyway since I havent started serious practice til now)

Is this normal for someone trying to break the habit?
If so, how did you overcome it?

Thankyou for your replies

- Corko93


describe how you anchor.

are you truly anchoring (fixing your wrist or fingers to the guitar to the point where it limits your movements), or are you just touching the guitar with an open / relaxed hand?



^ this guy has incredible technique.




^ So does this guy

Quote by AngusX
T

Seriously, you could find a virtuoso that plays totally floating all the time, and you could find another that anchors constantly, at the end of the day, they are both virtuosos, masters of the instrument. Who gives a flying F*CK if one of them has a pinky on the guitar?!


^ exactly


There certainly are bad techniques. Anchoring, as in FIXING your hand to the guitar where it limits movement and causes tension is generally a noob issue... .not an advanced technique issue. Its most prevalent in self taught guitarists that didnt have someone to guide them in that crucial beginning phase. Or they had a teacher but decided to ignore the advice (which is actually quite common). I've had students that I've literally told hundreds of times, and they still come back every week anchoring and/or holding the pick with 3 fingers.

Playing with the hand opened and relaxed where your fingers touch the guitar is not anchoring and is an incredibly common posture for guitarists to use. its not wrong, and it's not bad technique.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 24, 2008,
#21
My issue with Petrucci's technique isn't the anchoring; I couldn't care less about that compared to the huge amount of obvious tension in his arm when he picks fast and the fact that he picks from his arm when he's going fast. The really stupid thing is that he didn't used to do it; if you watch some older videos (back when he used Ibanez guitars oddly enough) he's not picking from the arm as much and he looks much more relaxed...

No matter where you stand on the anchoring debate (if there is one) you have to admit that playing with tension is bad; if you're tense you can injure yourself just playing 3-chord-punk, let alone anything remotely technical.
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#22
Quote by AngusX

Because, if it's truly comfortable to you it's never going to hold you back.


I'd say that's pretty much untrue as a general statement. You can be very
comfortable in your picking style and have no idea to what extent it may have
problems holding you back. Most people don't have anything else to compare it
to. OTOH, something that seems very awkward at first, can become very
comfortable with practice. I have personal witness to both of those.

Yeah, it doesn't really matter what you see a virtuoso guitarist doing. For most
people it's pretty useless basing a decision on because you're looking at an
"end product". You don't know what got them there.

At the end of the day, if you can develop the skill of not *having* to use the guitar
as a picking reference point, that can only help your overall picking skill.
#23
Quote by edg
I'd say that's pretty much untrue as a general statement. You can be very
comfortable in your picking style and have no idea to what extent it may have
problems holding you back. Most people don't have anything else to compare it
to. OTOH, something that seems very awkward at first, can become very
comfortable with practice. I have personal witness to both of those.

Yeah, it doesn't really matter what you see a virtuoso guitarist doing. For most
people it's pretty useless basing a decision on because you're looking at an
"end product". You don't know what got them there.

At the end of the day, if you can develop the skill of not *having* to use the guitar
as a picking reference point, that can only help your overall picking skill.


You're right, that didn't come out with the meaning I intended it to have. What I meant to say was that if a person plays from a position that is comfortable from the beginning (i.e. not he learned comfort) and that doesn't restrict your playing (i.e. it's comfortable in all positions), I could consider it a good position. In other words, if it's naturally comfortable, and doesn't impede your playing, by all means, why change it?

Of course, I don't think many people get into that type of position naturally, and that's why we get these debates about anchoring or not, people are looking to change what they have because it is impeding their playing, or it's not comfortable to them to use.

You're right about the virtuosos, too; but my point wasn't to make it seem like if a virtuoso does it you should, I was trying to make the point that you can go as far as you like with whatever you're doing, some ways are just much harder than others.

After re-reading my post, I don't think I wrote it very well, so I apologize for my own stupidity there, I hope some of it made sense to you guys.
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#24
Yeah it makes sense.

There's not a single "correct" way or "wrong" way. I'd put it that picking without
having to use the guitar as a reference point is a skill you can learn. How valuable
you think that skill is worth, is how much time you'll put into working on it. It's not
something you necessarily have to do to improve your picking. Personally, I think
it helps quite a bit.
#25
I've had students that I've literally told hundreds of times, and they still come back every week anchoring and/or holding the pick with 3 fingers


What is it with this whole argument? Many great guitarist do these things. You will notice that Dave Mustaine of Megadeth has a very heavy anchor going on. Also, James Hetfield of Metallica holds his pick with 3 fingers. Tell me, have these two being held back?
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#26
Quote by turtlewax
What is it with this whole argument? Many great guitarist do these things. You will notice that Dave Mustaine of Megadeth has a very heavy anchor going on. Also, James Hetfield of Metallica holds his pick with 3 fingers. Tell me, have these two being held back?


1 - Mustaine himself admits that his technique is poor; he has a teacher who told him not to and he's working on that but he slips back into old habits because they're so ingrained in his playing. Also he's hardly the greatest example of a clean, consistent lead player is he

2 - Hetfield is a strict rhythm player; I have no doubt that if he had wanted to play lead in a tapping, sweeping kind of way he'd probably change his grip but he doesn't so it doesn't matter.
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#27
Quote by turtlewax
What is it with this whole argument? Many great guitarist do these things. You will notice that Dave Mustaine of Megadeth has a very heavy anchor going on. Also, James Hetfield of Metallica holds his pick with 3 fingers. Tell me, have these two being held back?

I don't think either of those are good examples, they aren't exactly the type of player most budding shredders strive to be like. I can't imagine holding a pick with 3 fingers and trying to play anything fast.
#28
Quote by GerGuam
I don't think either of those are good examples, they aren't exactly the type of player most budding shredders strive to be like. I can't imagine holding a pick with 3 fingers and trying to play anything fast.


I play a lot of really fast rhythm stuff with three fingers on the pick, mainly because i fI don't theres a fairly good chance of the pick flying out of my hand, I see what you mean for lead playing though, that would be really awkward.
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#29
Actually, Michael Angelo Batio anchors like a bitch. Picks from his fingers as well. Worst of all, he wears leather pants.
#30
Quote by banjo1735
Actually, Michael Angelo Batio anchors like a bitch. Picks from his fingers as well. Worst of all, he wears leather pants.


He's also left-handed, all this means nothing; this sort of thing can only be decided on a person-by-person basis.
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#31
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
He's also left-handed, all this means nothing; this sort of thing can only be decided on a person-by-person basis.


I thought he was ambidextrous.

And Dave Mustaine said in an interview that he found out he could play much faster and cleaner when he stopped putting his picking hand fingers on a guitar. That's food for thought.
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#32
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
He's also left-handed, all this means nothing; this sort of thing can only be decided on a person-by-person basis.

All that can be decided on a person-by-person basis is that anchoring and picking from their fingers won't mess them up, that their wrists and arms can handle the tension created by their technique. There is no question as to whether anchoring is good or bad compared to a floating technique - there is less tension on the latter.

Indeed, it is doubtful that anchoring alone would cause problems for someone, such as with Yngwie Malmsteen's case. But there's only one way to gauge if a technique is suitable for an individual, and that is to see if it injures them or not, a risk that I don't recommend many take. Why not just use the better technique?
#33
Quote by banjo1735
There is no question as to whether anchoring is good or bad compared to a floating technique - there is less tension on the latter.


Only that's not necessarily true; MAB is the heaviest anchoring player I've ever seen but his hand is completely relaxed and his mobility sure hasn't been impaired however someone like Petrucci who doesn't anchor all that much has his technique full of tension. There is no absolute rule, you just have to try something for a little while and see if there's any tension, if there is then stop and try something else.
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#34
I thought he was ambidextrous.


He was lefty learnt righty and then learny lefty.

And Dave Mustaine said in an interview that he found out he could play much faster and cleaner when he stopped putting his picking hand fingers on a guitar. That's food for thought.


As is the poll that found that around 80% of UGers noticed improvement in their playing after stopping anchoring.

Quote by banjo1735
Actually, Michael Angelo Batio anchors like a bitch. Picks from his fingers as well. Worst of all, he wears leather pants.


He don't pick from his fingers, he picks from the wrist in an odd way that i was fond of for a while.
#35
Mustaine himself admits that his technique is poor; he has a teacher who told him not to and he's working on that but he slips back into old habits because they're so ingrained in his playing. Also he's hardly the greatest example of a clean, consistent lead player is he


Well he's not a virtuoso, but I think we can all see he is still a great guitarist. Could you please give me some examples of his "inconsistency"
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#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
describe how you anchor.

are you truly anchoring (fixing your wrist or fingers to the guitar to the point where it limits your movements), or are you just touching the guitar with an open / relaxed hand?


like this
I have the side of my hand lightly resting behind the tun-o-matic bridge


This is the part of my hand im resting and where its being rested


This is what It would look like from the front while playing
#37
Quote by turtlewax
Well he's not a virtuoso, but I think we can all see he is still a great guitarist. Could you please give me some examples of his "inconsistency"


Have you seen him play "Holy Wars...the Punishment Due" live? I have
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#38
Can some of you guys put great guitarrist that play unanchored please?
#39
Have you seen him play "Holy Wars...the Punishment Due" live? I have


You tubing now...

He plays it pretty well here http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=omQl2UT-OFY&feature=related
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This is a good example of an anchoring player as well
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#40
Can some of you guys put great guitarrist that play unanchored please?


Dave Murray of Iron Maiden
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