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Thread: pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wrong?

  1. #1

    Default pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wrong?

    I discovered some strange technique problems after getting my new electric.

    Without realizing it I had switched to a pinky plant.

    And I never realized I wasn't pinky planting on acoustic until I went back to try to get rid of it and it wasn't there.

    Instead, on the acoustic I am resting the side of the hand (the part under the pinky, on the strings above the tailpiece, but only for fast single-note passages. I didn't realize I was doing this until I really examined why I didn't need to do a pinky plant on the acoustic.

    Somehow, for fast single note passages, I am using fingers and not wrist, and have grown to needing the wrist anchored, either by the strings above the tailpiece, or (on the electric) by a pinky plant. The electric bridge shape and position doesn't allow for a wrist rest.

    I don't know if any of this is good, but for sure I am not liking the pinky plant, the pinky slides around and I have to move it back, which means missed notes, it actually feels like a crutch, and one that doesn't entirely work. But anchoring the wrist a bit on the string above the tailpiece on an acoustic feels good, maybe it shouldn't, I don't know.

    The thing is, I can play a lot faster and more controlled when anchored.

    So what do I do?

    One possibility is to put a bridge cover on the electric, given the right size and shape I am reasonably certain it will work ok. I ordered one I think I can make fit just in case.

    But should I try to wean myself altogether from the anchors? I have been trying to play without them all week and I lose a lot of control and speed.

    The thing is I like delicate playing, I have no need to get power for what I do, I just want speed and control (think classical music very lightly played, I am a pickup guy, no need for raw power at all). I think this is why I gravitated to the anchored playing, I just don't if I should stick with it or not.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wron

    Everyone hinges at some fulcrum, whether the side of the mandolin or the bridge area. I would argue that the goal is to have a choice of techniques, depending on the kind of stroke needed. Iím not clear why you canít rest/reference the bridge or area behind it, but your extra fingers, not just the pinky, can serve as a flexible fulcrum. Resting on the bridge is of course useful for tone, muting and such. But especially on electric you should explore picking in various locations such as on the fingerboard, which requires a different fulcrum; in my case that is a couple of fingers holding the side of the neck. Sometimes I am picking with angled pick for dark tone, and if near the bridge my hand is almost floating, but still those outside fingers are referencing the pickguard. Sometimes I am picking light and fast with flat pick, and I am hinging on a combination of wrist at the mando edge, the bridge, and the extra fingers.

    I am pretty much always at least referencing (not planting) my loosely curled pinky and other fingers. In my case, the acoustic mando is a flat layout and I use the same flexible technique. The fingernails of pinky and others are the main contact, and they slide easily on pickguard.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wron

    Thanks for that, I think I'll continue to develop both picking types for now, weaning myself off the pinky plant seems to be making me a better player, but that doesn't mean I can't still use it from time to time as needed.

    I can't reference the bridge on the electric only, it is too low and too far back from the picking area to work, which is why the pinky plant snuck in.

    The bridge cover arrives tomorrow, so I'll give that a try. It's for an electric bass, so I will have to grind it down to the shape I want, but it is close enough it may be useful.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wron

    Is this a 4 string electric? If so a different technique isn't surprising, it's more of an electric guitar action. There have been many arguments guitar teachers who say planting slow syou down vs "look at Allan holdsworth, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, they all have at least a pinky down" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdioarsMsE

    I think the distinction is whether you're rolling the forearm or breaking at the wrist joint when you're picking, and you can anchor fingers or heel of picking hand or anchor on the armrest like you're doing.

    And the p/u cover: if it's for a Rickenbacker, that could lead to heel of hand anchoring, which many/most dobro players do
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  5. #5

    Default Re: pinky plant on electric, wrist rest on acoustic, is this wron

    Yes, 4-string electric, with a strat/tele-style bridge. And yes, heel of hand anchoring sounds like what I am doing, it works really well for me for light fast playing. Here is the bridge cover attached (made for a four string electric bass). It is held on only by blue tac putty, which is working well, and I can reposition or remove it easily.

    Somebody pls tell me now if the putty will ruin my finish. :-)

    That cover plate makes it feel right, no more pinky plant. Lifting my hand slightly, moves the anchor point back to the forearm and I can do rhythm strumming all day like that.

    This continues to be in keeping with my theory that the instrument should work for you, and not the other way around.

    I have an octave e-mando arriving next week (Eastwood airline mandola, to be restrung as an 18" scale 4-string OM, already have 15 lb strings ready for it). I am going to order another bridge cover for it now.
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    Last edited by kurth83; Jun-02-2019 at 9:47pm.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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