What are things you did to achieve economy of motion?

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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prman
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-=MelodicDreamer=- wrote:
prman wrote:
The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Petrucci rests his pinky. I guerentee you his playing ability isn't to restricted by it.
You`re right. His playing is restricted by his creativeness.
ernzzz
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prman wrote:You`re right. His playing is restricted by his creativeness.
low hit :oops: :lol:
The Wolf
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prman wrote:
The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
are you against resting your hand on or aound the bridge? When I try playing free like that I can't pull off alternate picking at all, just sweeps. I really only brought up anchoring because I know some well known fast pickers do it, personally my pickups are in the wrong place for it.
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miker
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Steve_Himself wrote:I use a trem setter because it helps keep the guitar in tune, helps when it comes time to tune it (no floating bridge) It keeps it from going out of tune when you rest your wrist on the tail piece.
Anyone that I've seen shred (Dimebag, Vai, Gilbert, Malmsteen...) they got their hand resting on the guitar when they are playing a difficult passage -- for economy of motion. Mostly, the fleshy part of the palm resting lightly on the bridge.

You cannot pick fast with your hand hovering over the guitar -- the only contact being your pick on the string. You're not gonna play fast... I don't care how many years you practice.

If you have an anchor point... it's not like you are applying a great deal of force to "anchor" your hand on the guitar. Light touch... gives you a pivot point and a reference point relative to string position so you can string skip with ease.

Those of you that try to shred without your palm, wrist, or finger contacting the top of the guitar... phffft. good luck with that. yah. pretty much.

You don't keep your wrist on the guitar bridge all the time... only for fast, difficult passages, sweep picking (palm slides across the bridge -- it's a light touch... you're not pressing down on the top of the guitar with all your might). There are a lot of times yo play where your hand is not resting on the guitar -- rhythms and melodic runs that are not really technically challenging to play (i.e., fast licks).

Someone said Paul Gilbert does not do this... if you can't see him resting his wrist on the guitar bridge... you're freaking blind... and it's a waste of time trying to tell you anything different. You just go back to your years and years of practicing, hoping in vain you will play as fast as Paul one day.

Paul Gilbert live solo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC60XNiS-MQ

Everytime this topic comes up... the majority of posts really just make me laugh.
endor
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-=MelodicDreamer=- wrote:
prman wrote:
The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Petrucci rests his pinky. I guerentee you his playing ability isn't to restricted by it.

well said, and petrucci is a guitar god. I fond anchoring your hand is almost essential for a good alternate picking technique. I Have to anchor my hand, and i see nothing wrong with it, and it sure as hell doesn't limit my playing.


Alex,
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guyver_dio
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I don't know if my technique is retarded or not but when I alternate on slow passages I use my pinky as an anchor but when I start to build speed, it's still fixed on the guitar but it starts gliding up and down the pick guard to the motion of my hand. I don't know if this is technically right but when I totally free my hand from the guitar my control is almost non-existant. I feel comfortable having the leftover fingers resting on the guitar because it feels like I have some sort of reference on where my pick is positioned, how high or low it's positioned and also I've got total control of my attack strength.

For the people that do rest their fingers on the guitar while picking, do you keep the pinky fixed in the one position no matter of speed or do you do what I do and start using a gliding motion when reaching a certain speed? My way seems to work for me but I've always wondered if anyone else does this. When watching petrucci I see that his fingers seem to glide but the pinky never moves. I think I've just sort of mutated my own technique from his.
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miker
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guyver_dio wrote:...when I totally free my hand from the guitar my control is almost non-existant.
Ummm... Bingo?!
seljer
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miker wrote:
Steve_Himself wrote:I use a trem setter because it helps keep the guitar in tune, helps when it comes time to tune it (no floating bridge) It keeps it from going out of tune when you rest your wrist on the tail piece.
Anyone that I've seen shred (Dimebag, Vai, Gilbert, Malmsteen...) they got their hand resting on the guitar when they are playing a difficult passage -- for economy of motion. Mostly, the fleshy part of the palm resting lightly on the bridge.

You cannot pick fast with your hand hovering over the guitar -- the only contact being your pick on the string. You're not gonna play fast... I don't care how many years you practice.

If you have an anchor point... it's not like you are applying a great deal of force to "anchor" your hand on the guitar. Light touch... gives you a pivot point and a reference point relative to string position so you can string skip with ease.

Those of you that try to shred without your palm, wrist, or finger contacting the top of the guitar... phffft. good luck with that. yah. pretty much.

You don't keep your wrist on the guitar bridge all the time... only for fast, difficult passages, sweep picking (palm slides across the bridge -- it's a light touch... you're not pressing down on the top of the guitar with all your might). There are a lot of times yo play where your hand is not resting on the guitar -- rhythms and melodic runs that are not really technically challenging to play (i.e., fast licks).

Someone said Paul Gilbert does not do this... if you can't see him resting his wrist on the guitar bridge... you're freaking blind... and it's a waste of time trying to tell you anything different. You just go back to your years and years of practicing, hoping in vain you will play as fast as Paul one day.

Paul Gilbert live solo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC60XNiS-MQ

Everytime this topic comes up... the majority of posts really just make me laugh.
Theres a difference between anchoring your hand into the guitar and just slighty brushing your hand against the strings or bridge so you know where they are or palm muting for purposely changing the tone.

paul gilbert doesn't anchor, he palm mutes for a lot of his music but as far as I can see, his hand is really not touching the guitar
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... rt&pl=true
rusty cooleys hand is off the guitar too and his playing is just insane
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... ey&pl=true

by anchoring I mean stuff like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVwMvq1ho54 (not so fast)
I mean thats just ugly


As for Petrucci, maybe its just me, but to what I've seen of him it seems that whenever he does fast alternate picking his entire arm tenses up a lot.
Its not that its impossible to play fast with such technique, but people have studied the ergonomics of picking and have come to the conclusion that anchoring your pinky/ring finger on the pickgaurd (and to a lesser degree the palm on the bridge, though personally I don't find this one as cricticalsince I dont think I ever did it, but wrist pressure => carpal tunnel syndrome eventually) = bad compared to not doing it.
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miker
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I'm not gonna argue semantics... I say to-may-to, you say to-mah-to...

Rusty Cooley and Paul Gilbert both rest their wrist on the bridge... while they pick their wrist does brush the bridge cuz it's a light touch. They both anchor -- that's what most guitar players I know call it.

That last video... Alexi Laiho... he's really got his hand planted, but his arm looks pretty relaxed.

If you got suck technique you can hurt yourself. Tensing up when your playing, whether it be your fret hand, your pick hand fingers, or anchor point... it is prolly just gonna do damage to your tendons in the long run.

An anchor with good technique... looks pretty much like what I see Paul Gilbert and Rusty Cooley doing in those videos.

Everybody's different... and has different aptitudes. So, many different guitar players doing the same thing are gonna look a little different. I'm not gonna get into palm muting 'cuz that would just confuse this simple issue even more.

If your pick hand doesn't rest on, brush on, anchor on... some top part of the guitar... and only your pick makes contact with the string (your arm, wrist, palm, fingers don't touch the guitar at all). Hell will freeze before you ever play fast. period.

Sorry if I think this is getting kinda silly. I'm not gonna waste any more time arguing moot points. Play how you like... just be careful and don't hurt yourself. Even with anchoring in a proper manner... it's gonna take time and practice to get fast.

This is a great forum... truly global. However, being a global forum with a single language I guess we can expect to have these types of discussions on the proper way to call something.

To me, the name is not so important (I don't wanna get into a big long thing about what you call something)... as long as the concept is understood that's the main thing.

So, we can agree to disagree on what we see, or what we call what we see... a rose by any other name. pretty much.
seljer
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Yeah, I think we each just have our own interpretation of the term.


I'd only call it anchoring when you've actually got a part of your hand firmly placed on the guitar and you're using it as a pivot point of sorts.

I'd say it mainly refers to the pinky/ring finger on the pickguard thing. It works fine for slow speeds but to get faster you have to tense up. That Laiho video wasn't that fast so yep, go find some Francesco Fareri videos, that guys arm is as tense as hell when he's playing fast (which seems to be all the time), a very 'brute force' approach to playing.
I used to slightly do it but after stopping, I realised how much extra effort went into keeping those 2 fingers like that, and the tenseness for it spreads to the rest of the hand as well, slowing you down.
I guess it does apply to placing your wrist on the bridge too but only if you're actually pivoting from that point. Like mentioned, earlier it limits your options of movement, you're limited to a side-to-side wrist motion and you've got the rest of the arm that could be making the job much easier so you don't tense up.

Looking at some videos of Vai, Gilbert, Lane etc... They all pick somewhere between the neck and middle pickups, the outer edge of their palm just touching the top part of the saddles of the low string, enough to mute the unwanted strings, the wrist isn't touching anything. the picking motion is coming out of them, its not coming off any specific part of the guitar

If you got suck technique you can hurt yourself. Tensing up when your playing, whether it be your fret hand, your pick hand fingers, or anchor point... it is prolly just gonna do damage to your tendons in the long run.

Sorry if I think this is getting kinda silly. I'm not gonna waste any more time arguing moot points. Play how you like... just be careful and don't hurt yourself. Even with anchoring in a proper manner... it's gonna take time and practice to get fast.
yep, that we agree on :)
tense = repetive strain injury = bad, and you can play very fast without being tense at all
if you're not aiming for ubershred alternate picking speed then you don't even worry about it this sort of stuff , but spend some time to dissect and analyze your technique if that is what you're aiming for
and all those famous guitarists still needed years of practice to become what they are
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miker
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I guess whatever you call it... we seem to agree mostly.
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Ricardo
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You cannot pick fast with your hand hovering over the guitar -- the only contact being your pick on the string. You're not gonna play fast... I don't care how many years you practice.
for the record, in general it is not done, but this is not really true. More so for acoustic guitars, there are many players that pick with the wrist out, not touching strings, and can go really fast. The thing is they play "rest strokes" with the pick, meaning, the pick rests on the adjacent string and that is how you feel "grounded" to the guitar. I can't do this technique, but the guys I have seen play like this are pretty darn fast. Some Django type gypsy jazz guys use this technique. Here is one guy, the guy in the middle, wrist always out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plWQZyEeQiE
And here the same guys, a long clip, but some closer shots of the guy's technique. Notice his friends keep the wrist on the bridge. Not one right way to do it IMO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnxOIF4iJR4

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miker
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Dude's got his fingers on the guitar top... just like this guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OH6Kzl78mY&NR

Wrist out... fingers brushing the guitar top.

The only one I have seen pick fast with only the pick touching the string is Eddie Van Halen... he does this "hummingbird" pick technique when he picks one string very fast -- wrist way out. He does it playing "Eruption" and "Spanish Fly" (especially the intro to "Spanish Fly"). Very fast alternating picking on one string -- tremolo. It's kind of a trick... some people can do it... some people can't (I'm among those this doesn't work for). You know right away if you try it, whether you are able to do this or not. I've seen some people just take to it instantly... others, like myself... just aren't wired that way.

You can see a very clear example here (beginning at 2:40):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shrGEg50cCE

So... yeah... there's always the ODD exception. I wasn't even thinking about this because it is more of a trick than technique -- IMHO. I've only seen it used on one string... really fast alternating pick on one string (aka tremolo picking -- like mandolin players do). Just one of the reasons EVH is a badass. Eddie doesn't use this technique for fast difficult runs (he rests his wrist on bridge for those) just when droning on one string.

So there may be some exceptions... but those acoustic playing guys are not.

Now fingerstyle acoustic guitar players who play really fast... Paco De Lucia comes to mind... while the hand does not touch the guitar, the thumb rests on a bass string while the index and middle fingers alternate pick runs on the higher strings. So, yah... he's anchored too.
Last edited by miker on Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
j3
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miker wrote:Dude's got his fingers on the guitar top... just like this guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OH6Kzl78mY&NR

Wrist out... fingers brushing the guitar top.

The only one I have seen pick fast with only the pick touching the string is Eddie Van Halen... he does this "hummingbird" pick technique for when he pick one string very fast. Very fast alternating picking on one string -- tremolo.

So there may be some exceptions... but those acousting playing guys are not.
To me, anchoring or not anchoring has to do with the posture of your hand when playing on different strings. if your position when playing on the high E string has a significantly different angle of attack then when playing on the lower strings, or if your hand is stretched as a result of trying to maintain contact of your fingers with another part of the guitar, then you are anchoring. I don't feel that muting necessarily falls in the same category. IMO Paul Gilbert does not anchor, he plays from the wrist with some action also coming from the forearm as well.
Vernon Reid does not anchor when playing fast, in fact, his pick is very near the top frets of the guitar with even his palm away from the strings. Say what you want about his style, synchronization or grittiness, he picks very many notes per second and gets a sound that you cannot get with anchored playing. Jazz guitar players routinely play without touching the top of the guitar with anything but their forearm, this has partly to do with the size of the guitar and the fact that the strings are significantly farther from most points where a solidbody player might anchor.
Anyway, learning to control your pick technique with as little anchoring as possible will actually improve your 'anchored' playing immensely. I completely advocate playing with as little anchoring as possible, using the larger group of muscles is nearly always better from an ergonomic standpoint. Anyway, one should spend a significant amount of time learning all of the picking styles which are very eloquently described in the Tuck Andress thesis sited earlier.
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miker
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I don't see anyone pick fast with their hand away from the guitar as seen in the US festival clip I mentioned previously of EVH. Looking at clips of Paul Gilbert soloing, I don't know how anyone can say he doesn't rest any part of his hand on the guitar.

So... see what you like.

Think I'm done here. yah. pretty much.
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