Bridge Or Bridge Extension For Picking Hand Support

An improvement to the picking hand support has been made.

Ultimate Guitar


The correct way to pick is by no support of the picking hand. This, if mastered, provides for the fastest picking ability. However, to achieve a high level, high accuracy picking without hitting a wrong string is rather difficult, yet, on occasion, a must. This is why a lot of guitar players use their tiny finger to support their picking hand to the guitar body of, usually, an electric guitar or at the hum bucker. With acoustic guitars, this support may reduce tonal quality, although so extremely insignificant, there is no need to even talk of this. Other players support their picking hand on the bridge. The two techniques limit the speed and movement of the picking hand gaining accuracy. The bridge supporting hand limits the range of picking in the direction of the neck thus bringing higher pitch tones when hit near the bridge but providing for a higher mechanical stability of the strings near the bridge thus an easier fast picking or tremolo picking. A proposal for a "support device" is made here. (Not to be mistaken with a hokey players' supporter.)


A metallic, plastic, strong rubber, wooden or made out of any appropriate material bridge extension or a new bridge alike structure can be positioned over the strings at any picking place along the guitar body. The tremolo bar can also be used, better, with some kind of supporting piece to avoid the possibility to be accidentally pressed.


The new bridge or bridge extension would have a shape similar to the character of the Greek alphabet pi with the posts resting on the guitar body and the bar going over the strings. This can be secured with a double sided sticky tape or removable or silicon glue or can be permanently screwed to the guitar body. There may be an insignificant reduction in sound quality, most likely, not detectable at all. A better way may ne to bolt a plate onto the guitar bridge and position the plate in the direction of the strings towards the neck. The length depends on where the player want to hit the strings. Without any special cutouts, though, this may prevent the player to be able to hit the strings near the bridge. The existing tremolo bar can also be used in, for example, this way. Position the bar over the strings at a desired angle between the strings and the bar. Use some kinda piece, best out of strong rubber, to support the bar in such a way as not to be able to be pressed down and, thus, to release the strings (as tremolo bars normally do). One may wish to disable this movement at the tremolo bar mechanism as well. One can either use the tremolo bar as a supporter just as is but must be careful not to press.


An improvement to the picking hand support has been made. By Steven Stanley Bayes

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Steven Bayes
    The old Rickenbacker base guitars which Chris Squire of Yes uses as well as the Rickenbacker Chris Squire series have an old stile pick up with metalic brackets going all over the strings. These give an idea of what this post proposes. A support alike can be made configurable, so the player positions and moves the support wherever the player wants.
    Steven Bayes
    In case the manufacturers are reluctant to provide at least an optional over string support, I have another idea : to put a ( metallic ) cover over the lower bridge where the right hand can slide on. IMPORTANT : this cover must be longer on the upper side as opposed to the lower because the picking hand goes much higher than the upper thick 6th E string in order to engage this string. This may come as an optional device along with a standard, non extended to upper cover for those who prefer this. Remember one thing : in case any of you is to pursue a technique with a picking hand support anywhere on the guitar, including the fingers on hum buckers, this person must know : all of these are incorrect. I usually tend to slightly touch the bridge or the strings, rather than to lean on. On occasion, I lean the right hand on the strings and use the string tension to fuel the right hand vibrations. Also incorrect but may work ! Not on the upper strings, though.