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5 String "anchor" technique - Anyone else using?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BHaev, Jan 24, 2018.


  1. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    I developed a technique in my right hand on a 5 string bass that I call the "anchor" technique, because it anchors your right hand in place. It's kinda clever, in my opinion, as to how it handles muting of strings and has been how I play for years. I'm curious what others think of it, if others are using it, or if it's just plain silly? I made a video to explain it, which is located here:



    I included some on the bass GoPro footage in the video to get a good close up of my right hand.
     
  2. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Hmm, unique for sure.
    I've only used my thumb to anchor on a 5 string.
    Seems like a lot of shifting to me but if it works for
    you that's good.
     
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Tennessee
    That is more different than I was expecting. I don't know about naming it "the anchor technique" since there are are already "movable anchor" and "fixed anchor" techniques. Looks like it works for you and maybe it can help others as well.
     
  4. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    I didn't realize the naming already in use for the Movable and Fixed Anchor - thank you for pointing that out. I'll have to look into those.
     
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    You seem to have just added using the ring finger in floating technique, so if it works for you go for it.

    Point of interest, keep that wrist/forearm line a straight as you can.

    You seem to be "cranking" your wrist over the body, and the ring finger seems to add an 'arc' to the motion that has the hand retain the "crank"...where as if you just floated the whole motion (for you take out the ring finger use) the elbow can be freer from the body and allow the wrist/forearm line to be be straighter.
    Straighter forearm/wrist line is a better position for the health of the hand, it is a stronger position (as in less likely to get damaged or cause damage) to any soft tissue using the Carpel Tunnel.

    If i works for you then use it, but monitor it and make sure you are not doing any damage relating to using it....as i see it you have just added an extra element to already proven technique.
     
    Grumry likes this.
  6. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    Good tips, FergieFulton. I have been using this technique about 16 years or so and never recall an issue with my right hand stressing. My left hand is what usually gives me grief at times if I over play.
     
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota

    Go for it, if it works for you and based on good ergonomics then it is a winner.
     
  8. basst scho

    basst scho

    May 30, 2017
    Bavaria
    i do the same thing, but with the pinky
    started to do this cause i´m somehow unable to do the "floating thumb" thing
    works quite well for me
     
    Grumry likes this.
  9. noagreement

    noagreement

    Oct 12, 2006
    Yo Philly!
    That is some serious "yoga" for your right hand!! I tend to use my ring finger as a third picker on occasion, but might try your technique since it isn't doing much most of the time.
     
  10. Interesting! Never seen this before. I've always used the floating-thumb-anchor-whatever-you-call-it-technique on 4 and 5 strings. Basically what you are doing, but without anchoring or wrapping the ring finger around a string. I think I use my ring and pinky fingers to mute strings by just resting them on the string(s).

    I often move my plucking fingers up and down (forward and back?) on the strings from the bridge up to the neck for tonal/articulation variation. Wrapping the ring finger like you do seems like it would affect that freedom of mobility I use. Glad you found something that works for you!
     
  11. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    I usually play with a pick because I'm a big dumb monkey. But, this looks interesting. I'm still trying to implement the floating thumb if/when I pluck.
     
  12. basst scho

    basst scho

    May 30, 2017
    Bavaria
    you play guitar also, am i right?

    bass is basically my first real attempt to learn an instrument, and pick-playing feels so alien to me.
    if i would practice with it more, i think i could get it sometime. but getting better with fingerstyle has priority.

    with fingers it felt kinda natural from the beginning (still not good enough, but thats from being to lazy/easily distracted to practice)
     
    Grumry likes this.
  13. It doesnt work for me.
    Having the ring finger fixed restrics the movement of my index and middle fingers.
    I need it free.
     
  14. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    Awesome - great idea as it keeps the ring finger free to still contribute to finger picking.
     
  15. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    I regularly move up and down on the strings from the bridge to the neck for tonal variation too - my need-to-come-up-with-a-different-name anchor technique doesn't restrict this movement at all. I only "anchor" my ring finger on the B string, not the location on the B string. Just slide it up and down.
     
    SLO Surfer likes this.
  16. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Tennessee
    "Ring-finger anchor technique"?
     
  17. basst scho

    basst scho

    May 30, 2017
    Bavaria
    i could also use the ringfinger, as i dont use it to pluck, but with the pinky it worked better for me
     
  18. BHaev

    BHaev

    Aug 1, 2017
    Just as a follow up to this thread - I had a great idea for a name for this technique - it's now called the "B Hold" anchor technique. Behold!
     
  19. Its interesting. It’s definitely different to me. If it works for you and doesn’t no cause any pain why not?

    I don’t anchor my ring finger like that but I never really considered it because i do use the 3 finger technique here and there as I find it makes some fast rhythms easier for me to play. I’m not as good at it as guys like Billy Sheehan are but i do it from time to time. I also like to keep my right wrist as straight as possible, I feel I have more hand strength the straighter my wrist is. Hard to explain but What I do technique wise is use both hands for muting and more of my thumb to mute multiple strings. So if I’m playing the A string for example the tip of my thumb is on the low E and I lay my thumb down on the low B. The d and g strings are muted by my fretting hand. When I go up to the D string I mute the B, E, and A strings by laying my thumb down across them and mute the g string with my fretting hand. So the tip of my thumb is always on the string next string from the one I’m playing I think It’s called the floating thumb technique. But I’m not absolutely sure. I tend to do what’s comfortable for me despite what is considered right or wrong. And I’m not very hip on technique terms. For example, I was playing double stops on bass for at least a decade before i learned what the term “double stop” meant.
     
    BHaev likes this.
  20. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I believe that technique is similar to what Scott Devine of scottsbasslessons.com demonstrates as his right-hand technique of choice. So you are definitely in good company. You can go to his website and look through the free videos and you should be able to find that video.

    My muting method “floats” between the floating thumb technique and the movable anchor technique, as demonstrated by Adam Nitti in one of his oh-so-very-awesome videos. That works for me.

    About that bent vs straight right-hand wrist....I don’t know your age, and it’s not pertinent, it’s just that as I got older (I’m 59, about to be 60 in a month), my wrist began to cramp more quickly. I looked this up a few years ago and everything pointed to keeping my elbow out and my wrist held as straight as possible. Now, I can play 5-hour nights or a 2.5 hour show without cramping or pain (other than tender fingertips from playing s little too hard, a bad habit I’ve just not been able to break yet).

    So I believe that while we may not experience difficulties from a bent right-hand wrist, the long-term effects may eventually take their toll.

    Great post and video, BTW!
     
    BHaev likes this.

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