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Anchor picking hand or don't?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by loopfinding, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    I do a mixture depending what I'm playing. Zero issues.
     
  2. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Meister

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    No, no, a thousand times no. It's not easy (for everyone) but you need to find your balance, and you'll have no problem. Anchoring ties up fingers, greatly reduces freedom of movement, forces you into odd strokes on some strings etc.- there's really no upside.
     
  3. wbmeyerson

    wbmeyerson TDPRI Member

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    Wes Montgomery anchored his pinky...
     
  4. timbgtr

    timbgtr TDPRI Member

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    Vote against anchoring here. I took the vibrato bar off of my Strat because I found subconsciously myself anchoring my pinky around it, which I then had to untangle when I wanted to put my right hand in a different position. The mechanism is still free to move, sort of. If I want a smidgen of vibrato, I can push down on the bridge, getting an effect similar to when Pete Townshend would push on the neck of his SG Special.
     
  5. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Classical, which is finger picking, you do not anchor because that damps the sound board. You can mute with the side of the palm.
    Bracing with the pinky is for banjo; it mutes the head.
    Bracing with the pinky puts the hand at the wrong angle for finger picking, the fingers want to be at 90 degrees to the strings. I myself don't quite manage that but if you hold the neck upwards it comes close.
    Picking, the forearm is usually held against the lower bout.
    But for jazz strumming, la pompe, and any good rhythm playing, the whole arm is used from the shoulder entirely free of the guitar.
    As a general rule then, don't brace the hand on the guitar.

    There again, what is taught to the student is a starting point. How their technique finally develops is another matter
    Start with good practise to develop a good practice.
    A poor technique can contribute to injury such as carpal tunnel and tendinitis.
     
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  6. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Montgomery plucked with his thumb. All his fingers rested loosely on the guitar body below the pickguard but do not seem to be anchored there.
    Joe Pass finger picked almost classical style but with the fingers curled rather than arched.
    Albert Lee is an odd one. I've met him a couple of times and once had my nose practically under his hand to see what he was doing. Pick held between index and thumb but finger picks with the other three including the pinky hidden under his palm.

    We all develop our own techniques. My own is weird. I drop picks now so I went back to finger picking but I use all fingers including pinky and often strike downwards as well as pluck upwards. If I do use a pick, some songs need it, I have to hold it between thumb index and middle. If I attempt to fingerpick at the same time, my hand opens and the pick disappears into some other dimension, usually the dog, I cannot leave picks out or he eats them.
     
  7. enorbet2

    enorbet2 TDPRI Member

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    Depends on the guitar, or more specifically on the bridge. On a whammy guitar I float and only sometimes anchor pinky. My main guitar is a stopped tailpiece/bridge and muting id majorly important to me on it so I anchor my palm on that bridge.
     
  8. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    Funny thing is - I never even paid attn to myself until I saw this post. So... I had to do an analysis. It seems that when I finger pick acoustic guitars, I rest my fingers as you say. But when I'm playing my Tele or Strat, I don't. So... I guess I'm all messed up! LOL!!! :)
     
  9. oregomike

    oregomike Tele-Meister

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    Was going to answer, but you nailed it.
     
  10. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Meister

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    Wes Montgomery had about the weirdest right hand technique imaginable- he did amazing things with it, but it's probably not a great example to follow. And since he neither fingerpicked nor flatpicked, outside of what most people are trying to do. Wouldn't try to imitate Django either, since he didn't have any fingers.
     
  11. Tom Grattan

    Tom Grattan TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Wes also used his thumb for most of his playing and didn't mute. That's why he used his pinky. As far as technique goes I'll stay with the old adage "less is more"
     
  12. JTStivers

    JTStivers TDPRI Member

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    I anchor. Freakin' banjo habit. Wish I didn't.
     
  13. Tuneup

    Tuneup Tele-Holic

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    I guess I don't have a "technique", I do whatever works or feels right to me, but then I haven't had many lessons.

    I do know that of the few replies I read I do the opposite, if I use my pinky it's during flat picking, never use it when finger picking, you're robbing yourself of a finger!!!
    I use palm or forearm when finger picking.
     
  14. Tele Plucker

    Tele Plucker Tele-Meister

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    I either rest the edge of my palm on the bridge or I don’t.

    I think I’ve tried the pinky/ring finger resting but never found it worked for me.
     
  15. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    actually a lot of the Wes stuff translates well to EJ/shred style where you only sweep down. the way he did descents is sometimes ass backwards for most of us as far as economy of motion, but the ascent lines are all solid moves. I think the way he organized his phrasing around the limitation is a big part of his sound (rather than how some people just focus on the thumb).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    If I'm playing lead lines I am mostly doing a gentle palm mute on the bass strings, which is kind of an anchor. I do a lot of hybrid picked stuff, which doesn't really let you anchor a pinkie, and these days I have fun by picking up around the neck pickup or way down by the saddles for fun effects. So, I don't think I do much of any pinkie anchoring at all.
     
  17. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    jm with bridge cover, i lock onto the bridge pup palming down on cover

    telecasters, i lock onto the bridge covers

    strat i find myself dragging my nails on the pickguard

    have a jag that i find myself with no where to put my hand (stop bar) blacktop, so i just strum along with that one.

    have one tele i love to play in short bursts because i don't know where to put my hand - bridge humbucker, wonderful guitar just strange ergonomics to me, wish i had been blessed with someone to teach me how to play correctly - oh well, such is life.
     
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  18. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I anchor with my pinky to the extent that it's developed a knot at the first knuckle. How meta is this pic?

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. kristen

    kristen TDPRI Member

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    I sometimes anchor with my pinky.
    This is the only way to do it.
    If you try another way, you are wrong.

    K
     
  20. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    As long as you know where your fingers are to the strings I don't think it matters how you do it.
     
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