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Does it really matter if i used a fixed or moveable anchor?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cire113, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    Im working on my right hand technique.. and i cant seem to get used to a moveable anchor... i just always mess up the coordination..

    IS there really any difference between a fixed and moveable anchor?

    any tips?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    it helps. won't say it's the be-all and end-all, but it helps keep your hand more consistent if you play faster stuff. i do both as i need them. sometimes i get lazy and anchor if it's an easy part, and on harder stuff i float.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Like this :

  4. kingbee


    Apr 18, 2006
    Keep at it. The big advantages to having a floating thumb are...

    1. You can move your hand up and down the length of the strings to get different tones -- fatter at the neck, snappier at the bridge.
    2. You can keep a consistent plucking motion with your fingers as you cross strings. In other words, you won't be stretching so much to hit the G.
    3. You can play new basses with different pickup configurations without having to be stuck with one position or tone.

    There's nothing wrong with a fixed anchor, but it does limit your possibilities.
  5. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    The problem with relying on the anchor is that your energy is being spent on trying to keep your thumb anchored. Floating is really the way to go, so don't give up.

    Like KingBee states above it has its advantages. Something you should consider is that during some parts the anchor works. But in a flash you should be able to use your thumb or move where you are plucking the string.

    When moving up to the D string you can use the A string as an anchor/reference. When moving to the G you can use the D. So you still have the anchor you are just moving it.

    The anchor is fine and important to your technique. You just need to be able to move it to other spots other then one spot. Not sure if that is the issue but sounds like your stuck in one position.

    Best of luck!!
  6. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    I float more than I anchor. I've never been a able to use a completely fixed anchor. I've seen bassists play on the G string with their thumb anchored on the pickup above the E string and play really well but I've never been able to do it well and I don't like the angle of my wrist when I try to. So, when I anchor I tend to be anchored a string or two above the one that I'm playing. Floating was a bit more difficult at first but a like it a lot more now. However, if I'm just digging into one or two strings for a long period of time such as going from root to 5th then I anchor. I float for things that are a bit more intricate.
  7. I always admire classical guitar players and drool over their right hand technique. They float AND anchor, depending of the job "at hand".
  8. Chris K

    Chris K

    May 3, 2009
    Gorinchem,The Netherlands
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    Many times I have been tempted to believe that in some cases, anchoring would give me more control., but I always kept floating. Finally, it didn't really matter anymore, when I discovered the real secret of a fast plucking hand: relax, folks.
  9. I'm a fixed anchor player.

    A recent discussion on muting had me really pay attention to my technique and discovered I have a hybrid style. Though my thumb is firmly attached to the pickup...I'm actually floating my ring finger. I'm just not sure if it evolved this way from using it to mute, or using it as a positional guide.

    It doesn't seem to cause any issues...so I don't think I'll ever pay attention again. :D
  10. Daveomd


    Feb 28, 2010
    Sort of topic, but talking about whether it's better to use certain techniques over others, I recently got my passion for playing bass back after a couple of years of disinterest. I've been playing for 30 some odd years and I suppose I needed some distance from the whole music thing, but something I have been doing for the past few years is karate and jiu jitsu and I find myself constantly comparing music to martial arts. One of the biggest similarities is deciding which techniqe to use or not to use in an intuitive improvisational situation. Obviously, if you pick the wrong one in music you won't get hurt (unless it sounds REALLY bad), but I guess my point is that it has to become second nature without much, if any, thought. There has to be a strong basic technique but sometimes you just have to trust yourself and do it. And like someone else said, being relaxed is totally the key to being able to pull it off at any time, whatever it is. Anyway, just do what you do and make it work for YOU. That's what makes it YOUR art.
  11. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    I developped a floating anchor when I bought a 5 strings 8 years ago. It is easier to move and to have a consistant plucking and hand position.

    Also it helps a lot to mute all the strings you don't use.

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