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  #1  
Old 10-17-2020, 05:37 PM
fingerstile fingerstile is offline
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Default Flat pickers- Do you anchor?

When I flatpick (generally fiddle tunes) my pinky and my ring fingers stay in contact with the soundboard, sometimes firmly posted but mostly brushing.

I notice that teachers tend to say that the ďcorrectĒ technique is to keep the pick hand fingers free of the top with the middle, ring, and pinky fingers loosely curled into the palm.

Interestingly, with the exception of David Grier, I canít think of another bluegrass shredder who follows this advice. Almost everyone else posts up or brushes.

So what gives? And what do you do?
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:41 PM
warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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Yes. Yes I do.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:43 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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No, I don't.

Further I'd suggest that there is no right or wrong way, apart from which is best for you.

Many flatpick with the hand clenched - a la Molly Tuttle, others, like me just let the three fingers simply flail about doing little but acting as a counterweight.

I know from marks on my pick-guards that my fingernails often touch the top, but I don't "anchor" but if that helps you, then do it.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:01 PM
Taylor Ham Taylor Ham is offline
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Depends on tempo and playing position for me. I mostly practice sitting. When switching to playing standing the position is a bit different, so I need the reference of 'anchoring' more.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:03 PM
Wild Bill Jones Wild Bill Jones is offline
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I do when chording playing arpeggios
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:06 PM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I don't know
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:45 PM
PapaC PapaC is offline
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Had a guitar teacher tell me many years ago that yes, you can do it any way youíre comfortable with, but you can pick faster if you donít anchor, and keep your fingers curled.

So thatís pretty much how I did it (not that I am, or ever was fast lol).

When I strum Though, my fingers fly out a lot, and I just go with it.

Bottom line is whatever youíre comfortable with will work.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:46 PM
bfm612 bfm612 is online now
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I'm pretty slow, but I do tend to anchor my ring finger and pinky on the soundboard like you and that's what I've found most comfortable. Once in a while, I'll try floating, but it's not consistently better for me, but I do keep trying that style because I've always heard the same advice.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:48 PM
mtdmind mtdmind is offline
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I try not to because I can accidentally dampen a melody note.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:58 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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I anchor if Iím doing a lot of string skipping because it gives me a reference. But Iíve noticed it does get in the way if Iím trying to play fast passages. Iíd imagine that resting a finger or two on the sound board must dampen the vibration and affecting tone. Thereís that too.
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:49 PM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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Yes, I do anchor. I anchor my palm, opposite my thumb on the bridge pins. Gives me a reference point.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:55 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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I anchor most of the time but not always.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:15 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is online now
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Both. If I am playing instrumental/ or active flat picking with runs, etc., I don't anchor. If I am singing and/ or just playing alternate bass chords, I'm anchoring, especially if it is a slow tempo.

Last edited by loco gringo; 10-18-2020 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:53 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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No, I don't. I find that on guitar and mandolin, anchoring any part of the picking hand slows me down and cuts down volume.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:24 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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I pulled down a guitar and watched my hand to answer your question. I play with a flat pick 99% of the time.

When cross-picking arpeggios, I think I used to anchor with the pinky on my picking hand and for all I know in the heat of battle it might happen, though I'm too busy playing to notice. What I observed when I looked today is that the little-finger side of my palm is "anchored" lightly on the bass strings and I reduce or increase that pressure as I play as well, but the other right hand fingers are slightly curved and kept out of the way.

When I play "lead" and am mostly picking single strings, the pinky does touch the pickguard area and stays in contact with it much of the time. However it doesn't stay put in one place. If I was to super glue my pinky to the pickguard (just a thought experiment, but ouch!) I think I would find my "lead" playing feeling constrained. Again, my palm is often sitting on lower strings that I'm not picking when playing singe note "lead."
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