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  #1  
Old 01-18-2021, 11:06 AM
Sponserv Sponserv is offline
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Default Finger anchoring

I have just noticed that anchoring my pinky finger on the top of the guitar helps me a great deal when picking individual notes or strings.

I can't believe it has taken me so long to realize this. Probably because I have been more of s strummer for a long time. But I am amazed how much of a difference it makes.

Do most of you folks anchor your pinky on the top?
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:13 AM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is online now
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Originally Posted by Sponserv View Post
Do most of you folks anchor your pinky on the top?
Or on the strings themselves. Same thing for thumb.
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:10 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Do most of you folks anchor your pinky on the top?
No I float my hand. It's much more versatile for me. YMMV
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:00 PM
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This question is one of personal preference and there is no right nor wrong answer. If countless past experiences hold, then exactly 49% of the people will say you must anchor your pinky, 49% of the people will say must never anchor your pinky and 2% will ask for pizza.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:23 PM
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i do not anchor pinky as it impedes my ring finger movements.
I do anchor thumb to strings when playing fast i-m lines.

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Old 01-19-2021, 07:24 AM
timschalom timschalom is offline
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I started playing guitar with not anchoring my pinky. It worked great for me.

After one year I started using "True Fire". There was a masterclass of Tommy Emmanual teaching Fingerstyle and "independent" thumb. He tells you to use the pinky for anchoring.

Since then I'm inbetween. I feel more moverability in my fingers when I'm not anchoring. Now I tried getting used to anchoring, but it doesn't help me with anyhing. I'm as precise as already was before.
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:45 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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I anchor my pinky because I’ve always anchored my pinky. Only time I was ever criticized for it was by a guy who said it inhibits top movement. This from a guy who had a pick guard on his guitar the size of a Vegas casino sign and thick enough to stop most small arms rounds.
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:59 AM
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Hi all

I taught fingerstyle for 40 years (for $) and more people do touch their pinky down than who float, and many who float have had some classical teaching influence.

I did not try to alter what students were doing unless it was obviously impeding their ability to play easily/fluently. In 40 years, I think I asked 2 (at most 3) students to change what they were doing.

One of those was leaning on the finger (putting pressure to the point they bent the tip of the pinky) on it, and another was floating and bouncing around. They could not seem to hold still unless they touched the pinky down.

Most of them NEVER actually 'planted' or 'anchored' their pinky. In most cases, it was movable…

I agree with whoever said 'there is no right answer' and I'd alter it to read 'there is no best answer for everybody'.





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Old 01-19-2021, 09:02 AM
Fatfinger McGee Fatfinger McGee is offline
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This is kind of like a 'what kind of oil' thread on car/motorcycle forums. It's down to your preference and style. I started out anchoring, but switched because there's less tension in my right hand (and my play feels more comfortable and fluid) if I float the pinkie.

Here's Molly Tuttle, not anchoring.

Here's Jorma Kaukonen anchoring.

The common theme is, they both practice and play lot more than us.



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Old 01-19-2021, 08:29 PM
_Tachyon_ _Tachyon_ is offline
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I used to do that, but gradually I found myself floating in order to be more versatile. Now I never anchor.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:52 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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My pinky finger is often touching the top of the guitar, more as a place holder than anything else. I wouldn't describe what I do as anchoring. My pinky finger moves around on an off the top as needed so that I have access to all the strings I need.

I find when I touch the guitar top on and off with my pinky finger that it helps me know exactly where all the strings are beneath my fingers. I figured this out when I was 16 years old, just starting to play.

I have noticed that a lot of self taught players -- Erik Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel, etc -- tend to do this, myself included. I know modern fingerstyle teachers discourage this practice. I have experimented to see if I can play accurately with my pinky finger tucked in, and I find that I can. But it feels uncomfortable mentally, as if I'm on the edge of a cliff. I suppose I could make myself do it so that I could get used to this approach over time, but the truth is, I can find no reason to change what I have been doing for almost 57 years.

This is a good example of how I play:



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Old 01-20-2021, 09:08 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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I keep it free, originally thinking that I'd need my pinky to play with. Ha! But I learned more over time and now realize that was a fallacy that somehow led to the right behavior for me in spite of it. Now, I do not wear out finish from an anchored pinky, the top vibrations are unhindered, and I am a little freer (I think). I have learned to keep my hand very stable, as stable as it would be if I had anchored after all, yet can get in a strum perfectly easily.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:21 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sponserv View Post
I have just noticed that anchoring my pinky finger on the top of the guitar helps me a great deal when picking individual notes or strings.

I can't believe it has taken me so long to realize this. Probably because I have been more of s strummer for a long time. But I am amazed how much of a difference it makes.

Do most of you folks anchor your pinky on the top?
I've never anchored, but some of my students do.

I don't stop them from doing it until the point at which they tell me they have pain in their forearm. It's easy to see that they're pressing hard, so I tell them to raise anchor, and then the pain goes away.

It's very often a habit born of hero worship (ie doing it like your guitar heroes did it) or it's just a security blanket because you don't want to "miss notes".

People have been hitting all the right notes without it, forever, so if it starts to hurt, stop doing it. If not, anchor on.

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Old 01-21-2021, 07:51 AM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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For better than 40 years of teaching finger-style to hundreds of students I have ALWAYS encouraged keeping the tip of the pinkie anchored with hand cupped above the strings, wrist slightly bent up, for one simple reason: it minimizes extraneous hand movement, something that impedes accuracy, speed and developing dynamics. Later on, some students naturally go to removing the pinkie and that's just fine, assuming they still have minimal hand movement and are consistently accurate. The tough part for most people is counterintuitive: forcing yourself to relax! Being conscious of keeping a light touch helps that somewhat.

As above.....there is no absolute right or wrong way regarding anchoring. But in my experience, doing it helps students become good finger style players MUCH faster than allowing the hand to float. And then there's the subject of devoting fingers to specific strings, but that's a whole 'nuther thing!

Gene
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:35 AM
Purfle Haze Purfle Haze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatfinger McGee View Post
Here's Molly Tuttle, not anchoring.


I love that Molly clip, but she does anchor her wrist to the bridge during the lead parts, as she says.

Quote:
The common theme is, they both practice and play lot more than us.
In my case, you have nailed it, FF!
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