Anchoring fingers ....?

Registered User
Joined: 11/29/20
Posts: 1

I started like 3-4 months ago and It really didn't take me long to get obsessed with playing the instrument! However, I am facing an issue at the moment and that is anchoring my pinky on the body of the guitar ( Slightly behind the soundhole ). Apperarelantly anchoring your pinky while picking is not a good habit because it will cause some awkward positioning and you will not be able to f.ex alternate pick fast. The thing I did was that I put the palm of my hand on the bridge and the pins themselves ( Works quite fine for me and feels natural too). The thing is teachers on guitar tricks think that putting your palm on the bridge is limiting and gives a certain sound and everybody else says something else on youtube. Since I am planning for killing shredding and crazy picking for myself in the future I really don't know what to do. I need help and I don't want to develop bad habits too. Should I go with something that feels natural for me or should I change it?

# 1
Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466

Hi Kiarash,

There's not going to be only a single solution here that will solve all problems. The best way is going to be learning various picking strokes / hand positions. Much like a drummer learns combinations of stick control with fingers, wrist, arm for different applications.

Michaelangelo Batio is an extremely fast metal picker and he plants his picking hand pinky and ring finger on the body of the guitar. He swears by it (or at least he did in his old videos). The drawback for him (which he may not admit to) is that he's using almost entirely bicep and shoulder which, at a slower tempo, isn't efficient at all. And also hard to control! At slower and normal speeds the picking stroke needs to switch over to wrist and forearm twist.

The other problem is that when he is playing so fast with his bicep and shoulder, he's actually not picking accurately -- he's missing a ton of notes, but it's so fast it all becomes a blur. It goes in and out of sync. He might go up a scale and pick C D E E F G G A B etc, hitting some notes more than once because the right hand is hard to control when picking like that.

Then there are players like Paul Gilbert who are entirely wrist and forearm but can also pick quite fast and with total control and staying in sync. (There's always going to be some complimentary finger-flexing as well).

I would just watch videos of your favorite extreme speed players and try to figure out what is working for them (which muscles are they using? Bicep, shoulder, wrist, fingers, some combination), and then what will work for you. It's going to be different for everyone.

AND it's going to be different for different situations / tempos. See them all as useful tools and be able to grab the one you need. Hope that helps.


Carl King[br]GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

# 2

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