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Little finger

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by king_hansen, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. king_hansen


    Oct 7, 2004
    Hi, I am brand new to bass guitar, I started playing last week after I had a lesson at my college. The problem is that I have this condition that affects some of my joints in my body, including my ingers. The main way that it affects them is by making them bend back at the end as if there was no bone, but thats not the problem. The problem is that my little finger does not move down onto the neck of the guitar smoothly, it 'clicks' and therefore slams down instead of gradually moving down like the rest of my fingers, also it does not point straight, and usualy occupies the same position ont he guitar as the finger next to it (I hope this makes sense).

    Anyway, is this going to be a permanent problem, or will my fingers eventually adjust, or is it possible to play without the little finger? Any advice greatly appreciated.

  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Well, my little fingers (hereafter referred to as pinkies) are also crooked. They curve right at the last joint and go sideways inward.

    I can press my pointer finger against a wall and the very first section will bend and go parallel to the wall.

    I have no problem playing with all four fingers.

    Don't worry, it just takes practice.
  3. Have you considered playing drums? :rolleyes:

    Actually, I think if you just relax, practice alot and learn not to apply too much pressure, you'll soon adapt just fine.

    I think that we ALL probably used way too much pressure when we were first learning.
  4. king_hansen


    Oct 7, 2004
    Thanks guys :hyper:

    But also, does it matter if my little finger 'flicks' down on the neck of the guitar? It sort of slams down in a fast motion rather than moving down gently at my control? Can that be sorted out with practice?
  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    First off, welcome to the world of bass players and talkbass. It's great to have you here.

    I am not a physician and cannot tell if there is a physiological problem that would make it impossible for this problem to correct. You might want to find out from a doctor. In the mean time I would continue to work on the little finger. I would make the action as low as possible on the bass, put on low tension strings such as the Thomastik Infeld Jazz Rounds and work on uisng as little motion as possible (on all fingers) when lifting off the fretboard. Just lift the finger off enough to allow the note to ring and then use as little pressure to the string to make the note ring clearly.

    I am a big proponent of using all the fingers but if there is a physiological problem that will not allow you to use the little finger than I believe you can adapt. Here is a bit of a bio about the great Django Reinhardt -it might give you some inspiration. (if you have never heard his recordings, you owe it to yourself)