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Pinky control?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by phii, Jan 30, 2013.


  1. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    On my left hand, I use my index finger for muting strings and as the fulcrum of the three other fingers. So my index always stick straight on the fretboard, and that makes my pinky also stick on the fretboard as well. (my middle and ring still curves without any influence from the index)

    Lately, I start to notice noises when my pinky strikes a fret, especially when i hammer-on. My pinky is so straight that when it strikes a fret, it accidentally strike the fret under it (usually frets on G string). I tried weakening the strike, that noise became harmonic! This is somewhat uncontrollable when I play fast. :bassist:

    So, how can I fix this? Do I have to curve my pinky, or weaken the strike more? :help:
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    You could use the pinky to fret instead of just living it there.
     
  3. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Ah, you don't get what I mean. I actually fret with my pinky ~alot~, and the ring finger is the one I leave deserted. Everytime I play fast lines, or hammer-on with the pinky, it incidentally hits the fret under it (i.e pinky hit 5th fret on D string, 5th fret on G string also rings).

    That's the problem :(
     
  4. geddeeee

    geddeeee

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Try using your plucking hand to mute that string....
     
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  6. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Thanks, but no thanks. I can certainly control the pinky in slow lines. But when it comes to speedy things, there won't be any free plucking finger to mute the string :p
     
  7. Liv3rman

    Liv3rman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Sounds to me like your hammer on technique is all wrong. I take it you are hammering on with the pad of the pinky flat, as opposed to straight down with the tip? You will get a much brighter note from hammering straight down. And no G string ringing.
     
  8. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    But kinda harder to control I guess?

    I mean, I tried to do that once before. But the pinky just wont curve ; ;
     
  9. DeliriumTremens

    DeliriumTremens

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    practice keeping the finger arched over the strings instead of leaving it parallel to them
     
  10. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    This is better technique. Sometimes our personal technique is better. In this case, traditional form should correct your issue.
     
  11. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    Huddinge, Sweden
    - Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
    - Then don't do that.
     
  12. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    But I have to get my index parallel to the fretboard, so it may block unused strings!

    If my fingers are all arched, it would be noisy!

    The point is, if your index is paralleled, the pinky must do the same. It's the nerve, I guess...
     
  13. Liv3rman

    Liv3rman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    You shouldn't have any fingers parallel ideally. Easier said than done I know. But keep working at it.
     
  14. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    London-NewYork-Paris-Munich-Braintree
    Disclosures:
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Try this simple exercise, the clip has a brief explanation on fretting, then explains the exercise. It will address many fretting issues from "flying fingers" to co-ordination...part 2 explains a bit more about the exercise and why i developed it. If this raises any question i will be happy to help/answer if i can.

     
  15. phii

    phii

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    thanks fergie! the video is very helpful :)
     
  16. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    London-NewYork-Paris-Munich-Braintree
    Disclosures:
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    The 5 common problems are
    1/Keeping the fingers in place using the correct amount of pressure, some players when they try it find that their fingers seem to be stuck to the fretboard. All this shows is far to much pressure is being use in the while hand, you are in effect still pushing down as you are trying to lift it of, so you learn to relax the whole hand, and then the finger can be lifted off.
    2/Another finger moves instead of the one i want to move, again its a pressure use, but also because all fingers are alway down the brain has not yet learned to seperate what one you actually want to lift. As with point 1. if you look ant the finger you want to move, relax the hand, the brain will work out which one you actually want to move.
    3/ Another finger lifts off when i move a finger next to or near it, all this is is the shared tendon and muscle groups of certain fingers. Because the group are tight, one finger will pull another with it. Slow practice as you develop the correct pressure and dexterity will see this lessen and leassen till it is gone.
    4/ My plucking hand does not alway follow what i want to do, it follows whatever fingers i move rather than the notes i want to play. Again it is just you brain sorting out as in what is doing what, we need both hands to work as one, the exercise is as much for the plucking hand to learn to play what you think..not what you fingers you move. That is why i only pluck with one finger in the video, so it can be seen what string i am plucking rather than where the fretting hand is moving to.
    5/ My hand gets tired and sore, well stop for a few minutes, give them a stretch, shake them out, and rest them. 20 mins max. a session is more than enough to develop them safe and sure. Playing them longer does not mean it happens any faster or any better....one or two asprins cures a headache, taking the whole bottle will not cure it quicker, just create a new problem.

    Once you have the freedom and dexterity in place you can gently increase the dexterity and stretching by moving it one fret at a time down the neck. Be carefull and only move from one fret to the next after spending time developing on that fret. Do not be fooled into jumping two or three frets, the exercise does not show immediate results because it needs the body to come to terms with it first.
    That video was shot over two years ago when i was on the G7, i am working on F7 as we speak, so only two frets difference in all that time, i had worked on G7 for over a year before that video, but that was because of my circumstances.

    A video that was shot only a month or so back, shows the sort of improvments i have gotton back in that time. In the original i was still having problems with my hands, but in this one even though i am only about 15% of where i was before the accident, i am getting fluidity, motion and dexterity back... but slow and easy will see how much i get eventually get back.
    The exercise i now only do about 10 minutes in any day.
    If i only have time to do one thing, it is stretches and that excercise only.
    For me i targets what i want and expect from my playing, better than any pracice session. As a rule i practice for no longer than 20 minutes, rest for ten minutes then practice for 20. if i have another rest i rest for 15 minutes then play for 20 minutes.
    After this if i practice more it is for 20 minutes, rest for twenty minutes.
    In my rest time i stretch, read ideas, write out what i am working on or want to work on, have some food and water etc..i do not do nothing, i just rest my hand from the phyisical use on the bass.

    I hope this helps a little more and here is a link to that recent video.
    http://youtu.be/CgHo1ToBZRo
     

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