Originally Posted by heyitsamike
Hey guys, havent posted here in a LONG time. And i just watned to ask a question. When i play my pink pops out straight and its kinda hard to get it to bend in line with the rest of my fingers. its an annoying habit that ive over looked. but now that im getting to become a much better player (actually playing a few gigs now) i can tell its holding me back. so any idea how to over come this habit
Plucking or fretting hand? If we're talking about the fretting hand the solution is to use it. If the music you play on a regular basis does not require the pinky you'll need to work on stuff that does. For the sake of an exercise try playing a song you already know only using the ring and pinky fingers, you'll have to shift a lot if there is any significant movement in the tune but that's something worth working on as well. The fingers of the fretting hand when not fretting a note should always be floating just above their area of responsibility so that as little movement as possible is needed when it's time for them to go to work. The whole technique is about muscle memory and efficiency, not strength. When executed correctly very little strength/effort is needed.
Here is a strictly technique exercise I learned from Anthony Wellington to work on your fretting hand. Zoning one finger per fret in a comfortable location on the neck i.e. 1st finger on the 5th fret, play the following finger patterns on all four/five/six/whatever strings as even 8th notes. So for the first pattern (1index,2middle,3ring,4pinky) you would start on the A of the E string and play 1:A 2:Bb 3:B 4:C and then move up to the 5th fret D of the A string and repeat. Complete the pattern all the way to the highest string and then continue back to the lowest string. Here's the whole sequence.
The goal should be to have the facility to run down this list without stopping. My thoughts on technique exercises are that they are used most effectively as a way to eliminate the physical challenges of playing music on an instrument, never as an end to themselves. Once you can do it start working on actual music instead and just come back to it once in a while if needed.