Dealing With Double-Jointed Fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Hypnotaize, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    New here. Hi. I don't think I've posted before.

    Anyways, I'm double-jointed in my fingers. Namely, my left index, pinky, and ring finger, as well as my right pinky, but that's not bothering me.

    My teacher has recently introduced me to the concept of power chords. Yes, I am that much of a newb. He wants me to get used to the shape (I have rather small hands) and also get used to playing two strings (same fret) with one finger. In my electric guitar studies, I have also found this to be a problem when I attempt barre chords.

    My left ring finger, which I am using for these chords, has a tendency to lock up when I do this. Not only does this make things difficult to play, it can also be painful. Does anyone have any tips on helping this?
  2. WashburnAB95


    Nov 18, 2013
    I am double jointed as well... yea there i a lot of special challenges we face. In the begining my fingers used to some crazy crazy things.

    You need to concentrate on always keeping your fingers slightly bent. If you straighten them you are way to prone to hyperextending them.

    I HATE bar chords. I see begniners able to get better tones than I do. So what I do is I get very creative with my chord voicing so that I don't have to bar. It gives me a very intersting and unique voice on guitar. I turned my limitation into an asset. If I must bar I have learned if I wrap my fretting hand index fingers past the and around the low E I can generate a better tone more consently. Books will show the tip of your indext finger fretting the low E. When I Barr the low e is around the first joint of the finger.
  3. I too have small hands, not double jointed however, and had all kinds of problems on rhythm guitar with barre chords.

    Just something we have to work through. If your teacher is taking you down a certain road, go along with him/her, there must be trust between teacher and student.

    To make what you talked about you only need to barre the bottom two strings - getting the root on the 3rd string and the 5th on the 4th string. See if your teacher will let you slide a little and fret this the same way you do your scales. We with little hands do need some "schooch" every once in awhile.

    Good luck.
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'm also double-jointed, but this has mainly been an issue on saxophone, not bass. Though the left pinky does like to act up.

    One common pattern I could observe was that playing with less pressure and more care as to the individual movements of the finger in question helped a lot. Like, really looking at what you're doing and doing it with more 'intention' (hard to describe right now).

    On bass, one big step I would recommend is definitely a good setup (especially with respect to string height so you don't have to apply so much pressure in your left hand), and for many other reasons as well, lighter string gauges. It will definitely force you to play with less tension and force in both hands which I found very helpful in dealing with the double-joint issues in my left hand.
  5. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    Thanks all.

    Malcolm - Small hands have become a huge problem for me, but not so much in bass as learning rhythm guitar. Stubby fingers and small hands make guitar hard.

    Nash, I'll check that out. I have lessons Wednesdays, so I'll check out the strings the shop has. I went today to get some new picks, but my teacher was busy with another student and I was in a hurry.
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