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  • getting your pinky to move independently

    What do you guys do to get your pinky to work more independently? I feel like
    I lose a lot of speed when my pinky curls up when I'm not using it.
    FS/FT:
    Tech 21 Ripper Bass Fuzz - $90
    M-Audio Axiom 49 Midi Controller - $160


    Good deals with: Agreed, fuzzball, brandnewzo, leer43, stratedge09, tattoedsailor, Crxsh, chrisjnyc, tb_308, MadMax808, OnWingsOfLead, justdrum, orangekick

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  • #2
    i had a guitar teacher that had me do an exercise where i'd play 1 4 2 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4, then go up a fret and repeat. 1234 being the different fingers. other than that, i just use it

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    • #3
      I guess I really mean getting your pinky and ring finger to work independently from eachother.
      FS/FT:
      Tech 21 Ripper Bass Fuzz - $90
      M-Audio Axiom 49 Midi Controller - $160


      Good deals with: Agreed, fuzzball, brandnewzo, leer43, stratedge09, tattoedsailor, Crxsh, chrisjnyc, tb_308, MadMax808, OnWingsOfLead, justdrum, orangekick

      last.fm

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      • #4
        I guess I really mean getting your pinky and ring finger to work independently from eachother.

        I think they share a joint, which means that total independence is extremely difficult.
        Don't let GAS consume you.

        Good transactions: freaksho, TheAmazingBlob

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        • #5
          I am left handed but play right handed. My right pinky moves easily on it own but my left one doesn't move without it ring finger partner which kinda makes me wish I would have started out playing left-handed as I wouldn't have to deal with the curled up pinky that way. Oh well now everytime my 4 yr old son picks up his lil guitar or my mandolin he picks it up left-handed.
          even when I put it in his lap right handed he changes it so i am just going with it .but I need to chamge the strings over

          actually does anyone have any advice on what I should do about this. Am I right to just let him play it how he wants to???
          Life is best with a guitar in my hands.

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          • #6
            I don't want to dog you for letting him play lefty, especially with your experience. My opinion is that you should teach him righty so that he can play standard instruments more easily, and so people can teach him easier. No flames here, just an opinion okay.

            On the other hand, you can get great deals on lefty instruments!

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            • #7
              I guess I really mean getting your pinky and ring finger to work independently from eachother.


              Try this exercise:

              Plant your index, middle, and ring fingers on frets 1, 2 and 3 of the G string. with a metronome play the following sequence of notes in time:

              Beat 1: Pinky on A string, 4th fret
              Beat 2: Pinky on B string, 4th fret
              REPEAT for beat 3 and 4
              Beat 1: Pinky on E string, 4th fret
              Beat 2: Pinky on e string, 4th fret


              When you can do that comfortably, try this

              Plant index and middle, and fret them on 1 and 2 of the G string

              Alternate ring and pinky (plucking both simultaneously) with this sequences of notes:

              Beat 1: Pinky on A string, 4th fret, ring on B string, 3rd fret
              Beat 3: Pinky on B string 4th fret, ring on A string 3rd Fret
              REPEAT
              Beat 1: Pinky on E string, 4th fret, ring on e string 3rd fret
              Beat 3: Pinky on e string, 4th fret, ring on E string 3rd fret

              I'm pretty sure I found that exercise a long time ago in the book "pumping nylon" by Scott Tennant, but I can't remember. It's definitely not something I came up with myself.

              It's deceptively difficult to do (the second part at least), but it's great for working on that part of finger independence. You can simplify the second part, of course, by using strings that are closer together on the fretboard, and slowly working outward.

              Hope this is helpful.
              Jonah Buchanan

              "All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy"

              Daryl Perry Concert - 2005
              Fender Strat Deluxe

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              • #8
                i had a guitar teacher that had me do an exercise where i'd play 1 4 2 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4, then go up a fret and repeat. 1234 being the different fingers. other than that, i just use it



                My pinky wants to stick straight up when not fretting. This problem has gotten better with awareness and daily training.

                pawsable
                Member of Yammie Lammie Brigade

                Life isn't about waiting
                for the storm to pass.
                It's about learning to
                dance in the rain.
                (unknown)


                Man does not cease to play because he grows old...
                Man grows old because he ceases to play (unknown)

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                • #9
                  This looks to be a good exercise for training the fingers. Thank you for sharing.


                  My pleasure!
                  Jonah Buchanan

                  "All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy"

                  Daryl Perry Concert - 2005
                  Fender Strat Deluxe

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                  • #10
                    That is a fairly common problem. I know from personal experience it can be frustrating. With practice you'll see improvement. The quickest route is to cut off other fingers and pinky will then move independently, but man is it painful! and not recommended.
                    Foul language is the sign of a weak mind trying to express itself forcibly. * Thankfully, my computer program masks all the foul language and changes it to @&%)7#

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                    • #11
                      That is a fairly common problem. I know from personal experience it can be frustrating. With practice you'll see improvement. The quickest route is to cut off other fingers and pinky will then move independently, but man is it painful! and not recommended.


                      Wouldn't that render my other fingers useless?
                      FS/FT:
                      Tech 21 Ripper Bass Fuzz - $90
                      M-Audio Axiom 49 Midi Controller - $160


                      Good deals with: Agreed, fuzzball, brandnewzo, leer43, stratedge09, tattoedsailor, Crxsh, chrisjnyc, tb_308, MadMax808, OnWingsOfLead, justdrum, orangekick

                      last.fm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I also have some problems with my pinky. It is significantly shorter than the rest of my fingers (about an inch and an 1/8th or 1/4th shorter than my ring finger) and it has a case of trigger finger (it moves very jerkily). Its really hard for me to play any chords above the 9th-12th fret on any neck, as well as any notes with my pinky above the 9th-12th fret on the E, A or D strings.

                        It has certainly gotten better the more I've played with it. I can bend with it accurately and without help, play legato and standard picking licks. It is frustrating for other stuff where it just won't reach, or just doesn't seem to be able to hit notes hard enough or accurately enough, you can still find ways around it.

                        Yours is probably more simply due to a lack of training with it, so stick with the stuff said above. If you find yourself just simply physically unable, though, just work with your head to do other things with your fretting hand, with barring or crossing Nothing is insurmountable with guitar!
                        Originally Posted by revontulet


                        "If you play our kind of music, you deserve a slap if your mids are anything above 0" - on being asked why the lack of mids.

                        "The more notes a solo has, the better it is"



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                        • #13
                          Wouldn't that render my other fingers useless?


                          Yes, but as I said, your pinky would move independently....very independently!
                          Foul language is the sign of a weak mind trying to express itself forcibly. * Thankfully, my computer program masks all the foul language and changes it to @&%)7#

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                          • #14
                            I also have some problems with my pinky. It is significantly shorter than the rest of my fingers (about an inch and an 1/8th or 1/4th shorter than my ring finger) and it has a case of trigger finger (it moves very jerkily).


                            I also have "short pinky syndrome" - pretty much the same as yours. In my case, when I started learning, I wasn't aware that my pinky was "too short" and simply assumed that this was something everybody grappled with, so I used drills (like the ones mentioned earlier in the thread) to build up independence and strength.

                            Persisting with these yielded real results - so much so, in fact, that now I often play licks with the 1 2 4 fingers where a lot of players would use 1 2 3.

                            I also used gentle stretching exercises (note, *gentle*, you can do real damage if you're not careful) to improve the reach between strings. I can now stretch my pinky a whole tone (2 frets) away from the 3rd finger even in low positions, which is invaluable for heavy riffing.

                            So in summary - persevere, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
                            Unofficial member of a cheap Chinese clone of teh boosted midz club
                            Ironic user of a BOSS Digital Metallizer since 1988







                            Originally Posted by iamthearm


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                            • #15
                              I played classical piano for years before i picked up the guitar so luckily i didn't have this problem. Some of the students i have right now have this same problem and i have them do numerous scales. This helps with technique and theory. If they are really in ineed of a pinky workout, i will have them do trills with the pinky and the ring finger. Maybe get one of those finger excersising things.
                              http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gripmaster-Exercise-Tool?sku=429070
                              It is a strength issue.

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