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#1
My max speed is 40bpm 16th notes. I'm going to start on 1/4 notes instead.

Now, I know people say, "Don't anchor, whatever you do!"

Ok, I understand that. The bad thing is, is that my arm floats now. I get horrible acuraccy with that. Why? Because, my arm starts to get tired and I can't keep it in one spot. This makes it difficult to keep my pick at one depth.

So, I float my arm and when my arm gets tired, I miss strings and dig in...randomly.

Heres my question: What is anchoring? What is classified as anchoring? Can I touch the guitar at all without anchoring? I've tried resting my arm on the bridge but, it gets caught in the saddles on my floyd. Right before the saddle for the 6th string...It's kind of hard to explain that part. Just ask if you need pics.
#2
Anchoring is putting part of your hand on the guitar to relieve tension and get more accuracy. Putting your palm on the bridge or like 3 fingers on the guitar body is bad, although there are plenty of guitarists that say, use their pinky only.
#3
anchoring is when you brace your hand with your ring/pinky fingers against the body of the guitar. Some guitarists swear it's hindering, others don't.

It's preference. I can pick exceptionally fast while anchored - I find it's helpful NOT to anchor when i'm trem picking strings laterally - or skipping.
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And have you figured out yet -


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Quote by Hydra150
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#4
anchoring is basically when you plant any part of your hand/forearm on the guitar to hold your hand in place for picking. you can rest your arm on the upper part of the body (everybody does) basically if you have to plant your fingers or the side of your hand firmly against the body to create stability to play then you're anchoring. i say keep playing like you're playing. start playing slower and get used to playing unanchored. all these "problems" you describe. EVERYONE has them when they first start trying to play properly. i noticed you didn't mention how long you've been playing.

Quote by HighPotency
Anchoring is putting part of your hand on the guitar to relieve tension and get more accuracy. Putting your palm on the bridge or like 3 fingers on the guitar body is bad, although there are plenty of guitarists that say, use their pinky only.

this is wrong. anchoring creates tension unnecessarily. playing properly creates an absolute minimal amount of tension and resistance. don't listen to the guy suggesting playing anchored, just don't do it. i started getting carpal tunnel because i did that, i had to stop playing anchored after like 10 years or so of playing and start all over.
Last edited by z4twenny at Oct 6, 2008,
#6
Ok, so if I keep playing this way I'll get used to it. Cool!

I have a palm muting problem but, I think I'll check out the palm muting lesson on this site first.

Quote by beetroot10
whats so bad about anchoring?

Read Z4twenny's post above yours. You'll see...
Last edited by The.new.guy at Oct 6, 2008,
#7
Quote by beetroot10
whats so bad about anchoring?

it creates tension which can lead to carpal tunnel, aggravate arthritis and i believe it can also lead to tendonitis. you can adapt to playing without it alot quicker than you can with it. you'll get better quicker without it and "plateau" alot higher. i can't think of a reason to promote it having done both.

TS: keep at it but play SLOWLY your picking hand has to get used to pushing through the strings, most beginner type problems come with not being able to handle the resistance from the strings. if you have to do it one down stroke at a time, then thats how you should do it.
#8
What if i rest my palm on the bridge lightly while playing, this seems to take away 90% of the tension i create by holding my hand off the guitar?
#10
Quote by The.new.guy
Ok, I understand that. The bad thing is, is that my arm floats now. I get horrible acuraccy with that. Why? Because, my arm starts to get tired and I can't keep it in one spot. This makes it difficult to keep my pick at one depth.

So, I float my arm and when my arm gets tired, I miss strings and dig in...randomly.


Sounds to me like you've made a very large change to your posture and are suffering. The move from anchoring -> non anchoring should be very small - your arm should be no more than a few millimeters from your previous position (providing your previous posture made any sense at all ). Finally, this spastic lack of control is your spastic lack of control.

You have never learned to control your arm because you have been anchoring. You have been using training wheels and now you're falling over.
#12
I have some questions-
1. Am I allowed to have my arm rest on the guitar?
2. Is it anchoring when I use the fleshy skin underneath my thumb to mute the strings? I'm not pressing down very hard.
#13
sure you can have your arm rest on the guitar. REST being the operative word. if its pressed firmly up against the body of the guitar i'd begin to wonder if thats anchoring. your arm need to be able to move as needed. if you HAVE to have your arm pressed against the body i would probably call it anchoring. especially if once you moved it an inch off the body you stopped being able to play well.

i don't think i would call using the skin underneath your thumb to mute the strings anchoring.

basically to find out if you're anchoring the best thing you can do is "not play that way" and if you can still play accurately and equally as good as you could before, then its generally safe to say its not anchoring. im wondering how you're holding your pick though if you're using part of your thumb to mute.

a good example using myself is pressing my fingers against the body. sometimes i do, sometimes i don't. it's a hard habit to break after you do it for about 15,000 hours. i try not to but sometimes my hand falls back in the old position. the way i know im not anchoring is that my fingers aren't planted firmly on the guitar. if i remove my fingers from the body i can still play equally as well. hell sometimes my middle,ring and pinky are sticking out with the slight natural curve of a human hand. in the end you need to be able to sense if and where tension is coming from in your hand and reduce/minimize it.
Last edited by z4twenny at Oct 7, 2008,
#15
I'd also like to point out that not anchoring doesn't mean you can't touch the guitar at all. anchoring is when your hand is fixed to one spot on the guitar for stability, which creates tension. To me it seems fine to let your fingers touch the guitar as long as they're not pressed up against it, just let em do whatever they want, relaxed as much as possible while still not fixed in place.

it seems to me that trying to keep from touching the guitar at all will just create even more tension.
#16
Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'd also like to point out that not anchoring doesn't mean you can't touch the guitar at all. anchoring is when your hand is fixed to one spot on the guitar for stability, which creates tension. To me it seems fine to let your fingers touch the guitar as long as they're not pressed up against it, just let em do whatever they want, relaxed as much as possible while still not fixed in place.

it seems to me that trying to keep from touching the guitar at all will just create even more tension.


+100

this is dead on. its ok to touch your guitar. just notice when your hand is tense and where it is tense. find out WHY it is tense and fix it.
#17
Quote by z4twenny
sure you can have your arm rest on the guitar. REST being the operative word. if its pressed firmly up against the body of the guitar i'd begin to wonder if thats anchoring. your arm need to be able to move as needed. if you HAVE to have your arm pressed against the body i would probably call it anchoring. especially if once you moved it an inch off the body you stopped being able to play well.

i don't think i would call using the skin underneath your thumb to mute the strings anchoring.

basically to find out if you're anchoring the best thing you can do is "not play that way" and if you can still play accurately and equally as good as you could before, then its generally safe to say its not anchoring. im wondering how you're holding your pick though if you're using part of your thumb to mute.

a good example using myself is pressing my fingers against the body. sometimes i do, sometimes i don't. it's a hard habit to break after you do it for about 15,000 hours. i try not to but sometimes my hand falls back in the old position. the way i know im not anchoring is that my fingers aren't planted firmly on the guitar. if i remove my fingers from the body i can still play equally as well. hell sometimes my middle,ring and pinky are sticking out with the slight natural curve of a human hand. in the end you need to be able to sense if and where tension is coming from in your hand and reduce/minimize it.


dude your preaching to the guy and talkin crap at the same time...in our FIRST technique lesson at the guitar institute (which is alternate picking) and our tutor said it doesnt matter if you choose to anchor or not, or where you choose to pick from, as long as you have good posture, and most importantly search for tension in ur body and work on relaxing it then it will be fine

most players pick from the wrist
petrucci
gilbert
vai
etc etc

some players choose to pick from the arm

rusty cooley
zakk wylde (nowadays)

some gys even pick with a circular motion from the thumb and forefinger

malmsteen

they are all proficient players....

petrucci anchors his little finger, most players rest their palm on the bridge (how else are you going to mute lower strings materfully?)

seriously man, do WHATEVER comes naturally, just make sure your relaxed about it

an for the record, i anchor my little finger
#18
Anchoring = friction = tension.

Physics. Not music, physics.

Read the sticky. Then come back here, if you will, and give me any reasons for anchoring that I have not already destroyed in the sticky. Thank you.
#19
so one guy says it made him ill? an that makes it law?

i ate a curry once that gave me the shits....you gona stop eating curry?

like i say look at petrucci...hes doin fine

look at martin taylors unorthodox technique...an NOONE can play like him...

infact martin has told me TO anchor...but i guess thats y im at GIT right?

try picking semi quavers at 220 bpm.... tensing up...dam right you are....now do its at 60...easy huh?

guitar players get bogged down in this facade that if they cant do something theyre doing it wrong

speed is a byproduct of accuracy...notice how pettruci, gambale, malmsteen, gilbert, garsed, lane, jarzombek, baxter, goulding infact every guitarist you know an love says that.... thats why theyre somewhere and your still on ultimate guitar flameing some player who was getting there but now feels as tho he has to start all over again because the forum people say so....

you find me one big name who will say DONT ANCHOR IT WILL RUIN YOUR CAREER.... then YOU comeback

@ the new guy

play however is comfortable for you man, just be aware that any form of tension is a bad idea, you should be relaxed, anchoring is your arms way of pivoting, to accent you lower the anchor bringing your pick in more etc its your hands way of feeling where you are without needing to look...an un anchored hand could be anywhere...infact not even ready to hit the strings

just keep the tempo low

soone told van halen he held a pick the "wrong way" or that albert king strung his guitar wrong or jeff healy held it wrong or infact these nuances bought out unique characteristics in their playing
#20
so one guy says it made him ill? an that makes it law?

i ate a curry once that gave me the shits....you gona stop eating curry?


You didn't read the sticky, did you?

like i say look at petrucci...hes doin fine


Really? Have you listened to his "super speed picking"? It's mush. He tenses up like hell and presses down really hard on the guitar when playing more than about 12nps.

infact martin has told me TO anchor...but i guess thats y im at GIT right?


It certainly isn't your command of the english language. I guess that's y I teach guitar.

speed is a byproduct of accuracy...notice how pettruci, gambale, malmsteen, gilbert, garsed, lane, jarzombek, baxter, goulding infact every guitarist you know an love says that.... thats why theyre somewhere and your still on ultimate guitar flameing some player who was getting there but now feels as tho he has to start all over again because the forum people say so....


He asked. Secondly, I'm on ultimate guitar because I don't say "Speed is a byproduct of accuracy"? And I'm flaming some player who was getting there? I'm just telling it how it is. Who have I been flaming?


you find me one big name who will say DONT ANCHOR IT WILL RUIN YOUR CAREER.... then YOU comeback


Well, Steve Morse. George Benson. Howard Roberts. Dave Mustaine. Is that one big name or is it four?

Now, you find me a reason for anchoring that does not boil down to it being "more comfortable". Because it's only comfortable because you've practiced that way - nothing about guitar is comfortable for a true beginner.

play however is comfortable for you man, just be aware that any form of tension is a bad idea, you should be relaxed, anchoring is your arms way of pivoting, to accent you lower the anchor bringing your pick in more etc its your hands way of feeling where you are without needing to look...an un anchored hand could be anywhere...infact not even ready to hit the strings


Rebuffed in the sticky I told you to read. It's actually the first link in my sig, if you're lazy.

Rebuffed, by the way, with reason and logic. Not an emotional outburst.

Regarding tension, in what way can anchoring possibly reduce tension? I'm intrigued as to your reasoning.

Finally, for a very loose arm that is very loosely anchored to the guitar, the change from anchored to unanchored is minimal - all that changes is that you loose the friction you had. Removing tension is always a top priority which is why... *drumroll*... I would advocate not anchoring.

Threadstarter! Welcome to the exciting world of making decisions about playing guitar! Evaluate the reasons for each persons point of view. Think for yourself about it, examine the evidence closely, and decide.

Speaking of which, more than 70% of UGers surveyed noticed an improvement in their playing when they stopped anchoring.


EDIT: Two things I've noticed - first of all, we've both had Martin Goulding as a teacher. Congrats, the guys a killer teacher and player.

Secondly, you think that GIT and the GI london are the same thing. I suppose that's y you're not in GIT.
#21
^ (to jackblsdaniels) dude i don't know why you're getting so ticked off. i'm giving the guy pretty decent advice and you're just being pissy. btw, i'm not the only person who has gotten (or luckily for me curbed) carpal tunnel as a result of playing with too much tension. do a search on google and i bet you find plenty of listings. to reiterate my main point, if you're playing with no tension then its not anchoring.

subsequently if you THINK you aren't playing with tension, then you remove your finger or whatever from the body of the guitar and that screws up your playing i'd reconsider how you're doing it. btw, you're obviously still young. i didn't start developing CTS till about 3 years ago when i was 25. i had to relearn how to play guitar which i had been doing for about 10 or 11 years at the time, not an easy task but i'm glad i did it. i'm ALOT better now than i was then.

your guitar teacher at GIT is just that, a guitar teacher. if he was a chiropractor and/or specialized in bone/muscles as a dr. he'd probably have a different statement, especially if he had studied how the hand works especially when playing guitar. lastly, he probably can prop a finger against the body of the guitar and get no tension, he can probably also play without that finger on the body of the guitar and it won't affect how he plays.
#22
Damn. After reading all this, I kinda want Freepower to give me lessons - he could probably really help with my chops - especially for soloing... Seems like a really knowledgable dude - you should heed his advice.

Learning from others' experience is a valuable asset.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
Quote by Hydra150
There's a dick on Earth, too
It's you
#23
^ pls pls pls pls pls for the love of god, listen to FreePower. theres a reason he's a mod, he knows what he's talking about
#24
Quote by strat0blaster
Damn. After reading all this, I kinda want Freepower to give me lessons - he could probably really help with my chops - especially for soloing... Seems like a really knowledgable dude - you should heed his advice.

Learning from others' experience is a valuable asset.

Dude, I've wanted lessons from Freepower for a VERY long time. Too bad I don't live where he does. I would be willing to travel 100 mi./week just for lessons with that guy!
#28
Quote by Freepower
Everything he just said

x∞

What he just said is full of godly insight. It is so crazy that I actually had to find the infinity sign just to emphasize it.

Freepower HAS to be the admin of the AT forum.

Please add your rational response about anchoring to the sticky.

And to that dude: Paul Gilbert NEVER anchors. Ever. I know that for a fact.
Last edited by SilverDark at Oct 7, 2008,
#30
I just noticed that I rest my picking hand just above the strings on the guitar when I'm not strumming chords.
Am I anchoring?
#31
Quote by tona_107
I just noticed that I rest my picking hand just above the strings on the guitar when I'm not strumming chords.
Am I anchoring?

Keyword. Are you pressing hard on the strings? Then no.
#32
Quote by SilverDark
Keyword. Are you pressing hard on the strings? Then no.

I meant like... Not floating above, as in like the part of your guitar just above where the strings are. So I rest my hand on the guitar, like north of the strings whenever I pick.
#34
Do you mean like... On the body of the guitar towards your head? If you don't play, then your resting. If you're doing it while a chord is ringing, I don't see any incentive to do that... If you can show a diagram I think it would be more helpful.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
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#35
Quote by Freepower
^ if your hand is stuck in that position - anchoring. Anchored to a point - anchored. Not stuck to a point - unanchored. Read the sticky.

Ah, it's weird because I never even noticed that I did it?

Quote by SilverDark
Do you mean like... On the body of the guitar towards your head? If you don't play, then your resting. If you're doing it while a chord is ringing, I don't see any incentive to do that... If you can show a diagram I think it would be more helpful.

Yeah, I meant like, k, if you go from the bottom of your guitar to the top, you have the bottom, then you have your pickup selector, tone volume knobs etc, then you have the strings/bridge, then you have where I rest my hand, then you have the top of the guitar
And by "I do it when I don't strum, I meant, I don't do it when I strum chords, but I do it when I pick individual notes.


This sucks I never noticed that I did it. And then I tried to play with my hand floating above the strings and it sucked.
I'm pissed that I have to re learn this cause it's not something I even noticed, my hand just happens to sit there when I'm picking.
I can do scales fine without resting my hand and sweep pick fine, but I can't like arpeggiate chords at all if you know what I mean.
#37
Quote by Freepower
^ yeah, anchoring can severely limit your range of motion, depending on how hard you press and where.

Is it bad even though I find I can pick pretty quickly and accurately even with anchoring?
#38
Yes. If you want to re-learn guitar w/o anchoring, practice whatever you do while not anchoring.

And play slowly.

If you play slowly, you can notice and catch yourself anchoring, and the more you catch yourself, the more you tell your brain to not do it, and the more you do that, the more it goes away.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#39
Quote by z4twenny
+100

this is dead on. its ok to touch your guitar. just notice when your hand is tense and where it is tense. find out WHY it is tense and fix it.


yay! I feel special!

With myself I'm not really sure if I'm anchoring or not. It seems to me that when I'm playing anywhere from normal speed to fairly fast I'm not anchoring, my fingers may be touching but they're loose and move with my hand: not fixed. But then when I play at high speeds I can't help myself from anchoring, my pinky pushes up against the bottom of the pick-up. It's not a really bad anchor, but it's there and I can't get rid of it!

oh well, more practice for me I guess.
#40
I noticed myself anchoring when finger picking, I anchored my pinky to the body of the guitar. Now I noticed this a long time ago before I started getting into theory and the do's and don't do's of guitar. I wondered from watching vids of myself playing "why do I need to have my finger there?", decided to do something to stop it and am very happy I did. True it set my progress back slightly but in the long run I would rather take one back step followed by 2 steps forward to improve my technique. Finger picking now feels more comfortable with a floating hand than it did while anchored, I can say from experience that there is a great deal of tension created by anchoring and i'm super glad to be rid of it.

I was lucky when it came to using a pick because I remembered this lesson from fingerpicking and started out not anchoring. It does seem to me that the people who suggest anchoring are the ones who can't be annoyed to change their own technique for the better, these people should not be teaching others to play. Learn from people who are willing to assess their own technique, those are true musicians and teachers (because they learn as well as teach)
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