There’s been a little discussion recently about right han technique as far as planting a finger, your palm, or having your right hand completely floating. This video is not only just a lot of fun to watch, it’s interesting to see two of the greats (related none the less) use opposite techniques and both be incredible. I don’t think Phil’s hand comes off the bridge once, and Tommy’s hand never touches even when he’s playing a lead part. Almost an exaggerated curve to his wrist.
Scott am I missing something ? Video?
Ha yeah that’s my bad. Here it is…
That’s really interesting!
Some similarities though… They both plant when picking out lead lines. Tommy is free on rhythm. Phil still drags/plant on rhythm. Phil does some nice hybrid picking. Phil’s is much closer/tighter movement. Notice that Phil’s pick grip moves from using his index to using his middle finger as he speeds up at the end (I have been known to do that, glad to know I am not alone). I’m not going anywhere with this… just rambling about what I see.
Yeah you’re right Tommy does plant his pinky on the lead lines I missed that the first time.
Its definetly interesting to see how people are different. when i am flatpicking, especially when im playing fast, i feel like i have zero control if i dont rest my palm. however, i have seen pickers much better than me (@BanjoBen) Anchor their pinky and other pickers (Jake Workman) who are completely free floating. on the other hand, when ever i play rhythm, my hand is totally free even when playing rhythm licks.
I can see elements of both these players when I play, I flatter myself of course, I am not as talented as either of them.
I have to keep my arm, wrist and hand loose when playing rhythm. Though I do often anchor my palm to the bridge on lead and lightly plant, but I really notice how much my arm will want to lock up at the elbow if I do this too hard - adding tension and losing the whole grove to the song.
I think I’m trying to get my hand to float more freely and only clamping down on long or difficult parts of the melody - where I know I won’t need or want to transition between open rhythm playing and melody. I am constantly trying to be able to seamlessly transition between chord changes and playing the melody. I still can’t do it easily and I know that I need to keep working on it.
In the past I focused on melody and managed to be able to play tabbed melodies accurately at pretty high tempos but I knew that I didn’t know or understand the song as whole thing. I neglected to work on my chords changes, and making my rhythm as interesting as my lead playing - I’m trying to get a more balanced approach is probably all I mean…
I shall keep trying to slowly improve.
Edit! I actually Anchor my hand when i play rhythm licks.
Well made me do a lot of analysis that I doubt I will spend anytime changing. I can bang out tunes that will do. I plant all the time it seems either on the scratchboard or by hooking around high E string when on the low strings then lifting when I use it (maybe odd but its what I guess I have been doing for a lifetime).
Did notice that Tommy is certainly banging out the rhythm with his left leg and both are not particularly focused on maintaining neck position which I guess makes for a more relaxed playing. Still neck Perfect for tutorials and videos but maybe not so important when playing.
But guess it is what comes down to making us better players for ourselves. In the race to perfection there is no finishing line.
Thought they were playing a bit slow really
Think for myself will tweak but not make any wholesale changes many a golfer has done that looking for the perfect swing and ending or shortening their careers.
Whoops better say happy picking or I read like the Grinch LOl
I always rest my hand when I’m flatt picking so I’m glad to see that some pros do it to! I’ve been thinking about trying to switch to free floating or anchoring my pinky for fear that I’ll hinder myself in the long run if I don’t, but after seeing this I think I’ll just keep picking the way that feels natural.
I think one thing I took from it was encouragement in the fact that there really is no “right” way to do this stuff. As a new player that can be frustrating, but the more you play it can become freeing. There maybe more efficient or economical ways of playing certain things, but I’ve made the mistake over times of taking those ideas and thinking of them as scripture and anything else is wrong. I’m learning to just play how I play and when I learn about something new or another way of doing it I’ll try it out and then do what’s most comfortable.
I usually plant on guitar for the exact same reason I plant on banjo and fingerstyle guitar: I just can’t get any decent volume out of a lead line while floating without doing it through force. If I float, the movement creating the volume comes more from my arm rather than wrist and finger. When I lightly anchor, my hand can relax more and I can use my thumb to generate some of the movement, leading to more articulate melody lines, especially when staying on one string. It’s actually an idea somewhat similar to what table tennis players do; they stabilize a finger on the back of the paddle to more accurately gauge their angle and rotation.
Anyway, I’d recommend experimenting with anchoring and floating to see what allows your hand more looseness.
Ya Man! Me Too