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help my pinky please!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fleafan, Oct 15, 2000.

  1. how could i get my pinky to stay close to the fret board instead of hiding back and then jumping forward when needed? (i need more speed and its slowing me down)
  2. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    practice chromatic exercises up and down the neck slowly and try to keep your pinky close to the fret board. You'll have to keep your hand in a claw like position,with your thumb gripping behind the neck (of course) but between your middle and ring finger. It hurts at first but pays in the long run.
  3. Hey!!Fleafan,I don't want to sound like a broken record, but have you checked out Glen Letsch's excersise in BP's Tony Kanal issue? It has helped me alot to develop the relationship between my pinky and the rest of the fingers.It's a challenging workout when it comes to control and independence,but the whole program takes about 5 minutes.Try it, I think you'll like it.

    "Boards don't fight back"
    Bruce Lee
  4. Keeping your fretting hand RELAXED while playing may also help ease this problem. If your finger is doing something you're not telling it to, then your hand is too tense.
  5. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Fleafan: What I am about to suggest works for me. I'm not
    even remotely suggesting it will or will not work for everyone.

    The strength in your pinky comes from your thumb. Technically, your arm is a lever, the thumb is the fulcrum and the fingertip is the load.

    Try this and you'll see what I'm saying.

    Fret a note with your thumb positioned directly under the fret and in the center of the neck. Notice how much hand strength you need to fret the note. Now move the thumb up towards the headstock until it's an inch or two away from the fret. Now fret the same note and notice that instead of squeezing the string down to the fret, you can just stiffen your finger and thumband fret the note by lifting your elbow. Now you just need to hold the pinky ridgid and let you arm do the work. Remember that the thumb is the strongest finger.

    Look at it like the way a beer opener works. It's the same principle.

    Hope this helps. Fact is I just hope someone understands what I'm saying.:) :)

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Check out the "FLUENCY" thread; there's an exercise lifted from a recent BASS PLAYER mag that may prove to be helpful.
    Remember, you want "economy of motion"; use your OTHER HAND to hold your fingers(pinky)close to the neck until they cooperate. :D
  7. Good topic!

    I was classically trained and initially never used my 3rd finger to fret notes unless I got well up the neck. Proper hand position was something that was focused on. Once I moved to playing electric more than upright, I gradually got used to using my 3rd finger more. Now I rarely play my upright (although I should more often) and my electric style has taken over. Lately I have noticed that I'm getting lazy or something and my pinky sometimes gets tucked away when not in use, and that bothers me. It is an unconscious thing. But if I notice that I'm doing it, I remember to relax my hand and keep a proper hand position.

    I think it has something to do with the fact that last year I had a serious injury to my left hand and could not play at all for over three months (I put my hand through a window and a shard of glass through my hand. Don't do that). I think that when I got back to practicing again I let some bad habits creep in without my noticing it. Now, I think it's just a matter of being conscious of proper technique when I'm playing.

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