Is 4 finger playing BAD?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ThePaste, Jan 4, 2001.

  1. I read somewhere that playing with 4 fingers can mess up your phalanges (at least I think that's what they are called). The little ligaments you can see through the top of your hand.

    Anyway, I read that since the middle and ring fingers are connected somehow, using them with the 4 finger technique can be detrimental to your hand.

    Is this true? I forget where I read it, so please don't ask me where I got this from.
  2. Jebis

    Jebis Guest

    Nov 28, 2000
    Long Beach, CA
    I remember reading something on this board that had something to do with that. In fact, I think the ring and pinky share the same tendon, rather than the middle and the ring.
  3. i don't know if they share the same tendon but they are connected somehow. i don't know if this is harmful.
  4. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    I've been playing with 3 fingers (ring, middle, index, any order) forever and I've never had any problems, but that's 3, not 4.
  5. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Well i'm not a doctor...only a doctor could tell.I've been playing w/ 4 fingers for half a year now,havent had any problems but that is a very short period of time...Anyway,I did a little thinking...if that is true,then why don't we have any problems with the pinky in the LEFT hand?just my 0.02 euros :p
  6. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    You didn't specify which hand you were asking about, but that doesn't really matter. I use all 4 fingers on both hands as well as the thumb on the right all the time. Been doing it for 20+ years, never had the first bit of trouble. Sp, no, if you use them correctly, you won't harm yourself - emphasis on CORRECTLY. I'd suggest a good teacher (emphasis on GOOD :D) to help you get where you want to go. Failing that, read through some of the technique threads on thumb position, etcetera, for some good tips, or ask myself or one of the other guys around here that have some experience (JT, Jim Fuqua, JimK, ChrisA, just to name a few).
  7. Playing with four fingers is a good thing.

    Yes the ring and little fingers use the same tendon. However, this can be changed when you use your little finger with fingering (whether it is bass or piano). This allows more dexterity throughout your entire hand and can lead to faster and more efficient playing (God, I sound like a grade B advertisement :))

    I know this because I've played cello for a considerably long time. When I play bass, I do use my fourth finger on occasion because 1) I get a slightly longer range and 2) it's out habit from cello playing. Although I'm not a fast player (on either instrument), I find myself more in control with my playing.

    Just my take on it.

    Derek Power

    P.S. I also write left-handed, so that might be a reason for dexterity on the fretboard/better innotation on the cello.