View Full Version : Please help a new player

Feb-12-2004, 9:13am
Is there a common consensus on whether or not to brace the strumming/picking hand/arm. I find that my hand naturally wants to rests on the bridge. Recent attempted tremolo progress has me wondering if I should force myself into the habit of maintaining a floating arm at all times. When I try this I loose accuracy, but I assume I can regain this with practice. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help.

Tim Saxton
Feb-12-2004, 9:19am
Here is a link to a study of nearly all the prominent professional players right hands.


Tim Saxton

Right Hand Study (http://www.co-mando.com/techniques/righthand.php)

John Zimm
Feb-12-2004, 9:23am

I have recently begun to train myself not to rest my hand on the instrument when I play. It really makes a difference in what kind of sound I produce. It is very awkward right now, but what is helping me are these crosspicking exercises at http://www.co-mando.com/techniques/johnmoore.php. It may take some time to get comfortable with this, but if you are a beginning player it is easier to learn the right way than to unlearn an old habit. Best of luck to you.


John Flynn
Feb-12-2004, 9:29am

Thanks, great link!

I notice that only three of the 17 players rest the wrist on the strings behind the bridge and none rest on the bridge, per the original question. That is a key, I think. Resting on the bridge will likey have the effect of diminishing tone and perhaps even partially muting the playable area of the strings. IMHO, if you are going to rest, rest lightly and know that the bridge itself is probably the worst choice of places to rest.

Feb-12-2004, 9:39am
Consider, too, that if your hand is planted in one position, you are missing some dynamic possibilities on your mandolin, in terms of striking your pick closer too or further away from the bridge.

Most players, myself included, find a sweet spot, and pick there most regularly. However, you may at times want to produce a more twangy sound by picking closer to the bridge (perhaps on a tune like Bluegrass Stomp). Conversely, you may want to get a more airy tone by picking farther away from the bridge than usual. I'd say its good to have your picking hand comfortable with being mobile in case you want to exploit these techniques.