Resting fingers of the right hand on the pickguard

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Michael_V, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    I have always done it, and it has always bothered me, but I have never been able to break it. It feels like a crutch, and it seems like it should make my picking less fluid that it could be (though I do pretty well). Anyone else do this? Is it really "wrong" or am I making too much out of it?
     
  2. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Making too much out of it.

    I do it too.
     
  3. mleggett

    mleggett Member

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    If it's comfortable and your phrasing is good, then don't worry. I used to rest the palm of my hand on the bridge, but the phrasing was mechanical so I changed. Here's a pal of mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpMJC3TNcoE he rests his finger but it doesn't seem to impair his playing. Ideally I think a free floating hand is best, but George Benson, among others, would disagree. The crux is the phrasing, as long as that's ok, as long as your pinkie isn't impeding your hand motion, then don't worry.
     
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    It's not wrong and it's totally fine if you can good about your performance. I changed when I went to Berklee. I always put my pinky on pickguard.

    Tomo
     
  5. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I always did it when I started out. Had a classical teacher as a teen who also played electric who broke me of it, because it would impair my accuracy. I'd still drop my fingers down when I did complex flatpicked arpeggios, and felt a bit guilty.

    Then one day I noticed Steve Morse plays that way.

    So much for impaired accuracy.

    I do it both ways now (and other ways too) depending on what I'm playing.
     
  6. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    It's OK as long as you stay relaxed. The only issue I have with it, is that on some guitars you can hear my pinky tapping and/or static on the pickguard.
     
  7. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    Unless I'm hybrid picking I usually put my ring finger on the pickguard. I think I started this because it's what Alex Lifeson did. (I was a huge Rush fan as a youngster. Better to copy his picking style than his fashion style and wear a kimono and have permed, long hair.) Works for me.
    PJ
     
  8. Swain

    Swain Member

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    I think letting it be mobile, and alllowing it to lightly touch while still moving around is ideal.

    I used to hear that it kept the Soundboard from vibrating some. However, after watching most of the players' whose stlyes I really enjoyed, I realized that most (if not all) also had this mobile support.

    I think it improves accuracy, and the Damping can be used as a tool to modify tone a slight bit. Especially on Banjo, but also on guitar, etc.
    I also think it allows me to play much longer without my hand getting fatigued.
     
  9. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I rest my fingers (for single note lines) but when I teach I teach them to float, if that tells you anything.


    I have an old Kay archtop that I just refretted and I've been playing it nonstop the last two months. The last couple times I sat in on somebody else's guitar I played like sh!t, and then I realized why; I took the pickguard off the Kay because it looks hideous, and my buddy's L-5 has the pickguard right up to the strings, just about even. So I got use to having a big gap between where I rest my fingers and the strings. Time to get a new pickguard!

    Generally on solidbody (and acoustic flattop) guitars the distance between the strings and the body is much less than with archtops, about the same as an archtop with a pickguard. Closest thing I can think of to what you're talking about would be a thumb rest on a Fender bass.
     
  10. Guido Sarducci

    Guido Sarducci Member

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    I think its alot about not only the fingers but what type of picking motion do you want to use. If I ancor one or more fingers in one place I naturaly feel like oscillating the wrist ( knock on a door ). Michael Angelo... does that great but I could never work up much speed with that type of wrist motion. I like wrist rotation the most - turn a key. That works great fast dragging a finger but at slow speeds the finger bounces on the guitar and I dont like that at all. So you can use index and thumb at slower speeds like Yngwie but I dont like that either. So I really think this video is the best way to pick guitar - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khs0Wl7Hvas&list=FL_UeGdWkrIerRDxO6oPkwdg&index=3&feature=plpp_video

    Fingers off, palm light on the strings, only rotate the wrist at all speeds.
     
  11. nofearfactor

    nofearfactor Member

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    This.

    I do it. I also had a classical teacher when I was 11 try to break me of it. When I was 16 and by then playing electric in bands I was right back to resting my hand on the bridge and have been doing it ever since. The only time it has been a problem was once I had a recording producer while a band I was in was in a studio recording had me come and sit in the booth with him and do some tracking while he helped me try to keep my hand up and off the bridge. I made pass after pass while he helped me keep my hand raised up. I thought my hand was going to fall off. Apparently when I was out in the recording room recording tracks I was making some kind of weird noise in the headphones that he didnt like. And thats what it was. Playing live, rehearsing, etc you wouldnt notice it, but for some reason in the headphones he could hear me doing something weird just by my hand resting on the bridge
     
  12. Samsun19

    Samsun19 Member

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    Interesting question......

    For most flat picking styles rock, blues, jazz, etc, I believe having a right hand finger supporting your hand is actually correct. If you're hybird picking, flat pick and fingers, then no.

    But, one exception would be gypsy jazz (Django).... For that style played on mac/selmer guitars, they don't use a right hand finger down on the top or pick guard.... They want a heavy pick attack, for a punchy percussive tone, and the weight of the right hand/arm helps in getting that sound. That is one aspect of gypsy jazz player that requires a lot of practice.
     
  13. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the link, but already have the material and pretty set on making my own. Actually started a thread about it;

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1030908

    Right hand technique is a funny thing and can take a long time to figure out. I'm actually considering re-working mine.
     
  14. champion ruby

    champion ruby Member

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    I switched from free floating to resting the pinky 2 years ago, I think ideally you should be capable of both ways. As Ihallam said you have to stay relaxed. It's only recently that I have come to be very relaxed with resting the pinky.
     
  15. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    My Tele has a divot in the wood where my pinky rests next to the bridge! My pinky's not there when my strumming needs to be loose.
     

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