View Full Version : right hand pinky
09-06-2009, 12:48 PM
Through the years I've developed a habit of planting the pinky of my picking hand on the pickguard. (I think it's an old Scrugg's banjo picking habit...)
It's not working great for me, but my picking accuracy goes (and stays) way downhill when I work to keep my hand in a comfortable working zone above the strings as if I was strumming...
I see most players/instructors "floating" their right hand when picking blues--
Question: Is this planted-pinky habit an obstacle to gaining higher levels of speed and facility on the fretboard?
Thanks for Your Ideas~
Style: Blues wanna-be
09-06-2009, 03:36 PM
Good question. Depending on what I'm playing (I guess technically how I'm playing), I also do this. For me, I believe it is a habit formed from picking on the acoustic. On electric, I know I do it sometimes, but I don't pay attention to it or notice much when it's happening. Guess I'll look for that now.
09-06-2009, 08:48 PM
Depends on what you are playing. There are times where you want to anchor your hand, so your pinky is generally how you do that.
09-07-2009, 05:23 PM
I used to pick without an "anchor finger" on the pick guard. It worked ok on electric but it really limited my acoustic playing. On both acoustic and electric guitar there's a drastic difference in the sound you get from picking over the neck pickup/soundhole and by the bridge, and having your pinkie on the pick guard gives you the ability to utilize just that. Think of all the cool sounds guys like Michael Landau and Scott Henderson get from picking all the way back by the bridge, and how Hendrix and Stevie would get great fat tones from picking over their neck pickups....
I forced myself to start using the right hand pinkie, and it's really freed up my playing. I can still use all the other techniques like resting my hand on the bridge. But I have the choice now!
If you wanna see someone who in my opinion has the ideal right hand technique, check out Tommy Emmanuel. He uses the right hand pinkie but is still able to play beautiful fast runs. Check out this video for a perfect example of flawless right hand technique....
Hope this helps!
09-07-2009, 07:38 PM
Thanks for that reminder Anders!
Tommy has always been a favorite of mine. Is truly a treat to the ears. Here's another link with one of my favorites...
09-09-2009, 11:51 PM
Thank you for your kind and helpful responses! I'm encouraged, and with that I'll work less to fuss about my pinky's natural inclination and focus more on the other digits and what feeling I can bring to the music.
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