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My "hiding" pinky

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ninthwondernj, Apr 13, 2005.


  1. Ive noticed that when I play, I only fret with my Index, middle and ring fingers and my pinky(no matter how had i try)automatically goes down. Is this a good way to keep playing or should I change up and try to get my pinky more involved before its to late to change?
     
  2. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    Well, i look at it this way, 4 musicians are better than 3. Try and do some stretches on the fret board with it. It will begin to build up strength
     
  3. its not that its not strong....but i have a hard time keepin it up with the other fingers when im not using it.......does that make sense?
     
  4. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    curling up your pinky finger will not be a problem as long as you can un-curl when needed. I didn't notice that I did it until I saw pictures of myself playing.

    You do need to use your pinky to fret notes, otherwise you are limiting yourself.

    To build strength and speed in my pink I just play the first four frets on every string (4 or 5 for me) up and down, then move up a position. I go until I am starting on the 12th fret. Then repeat as needed.

    I hope that made sense. ;)
     
  5. Do you mean that you play the first 4 frets on each string with JUST your pinky? or all fingers INCLUDING the pinky?
     
  6. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i had this problem too. then i started to use my pinky instead of my ring finger. now i have full range with both.

    though, when i play guitar, the pinky hides.
     
  7. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I thought this thread was about something else... :eyebrow:
     
  8. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Mine automatically "hides" when I don't need it, i.e. when playing simple, "lazy" pentatonic riffs. I try to use it as often as I can, though, I've been told the way I use my fretting hand sometimes looks as if I started out on the violin. :p
     
  9. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
  10. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    all fingers including the pinky.
     
  11. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    I wrote this bass line for one of my band's songs, I play everything without shifting my fretting hand, but after the first two bars (when the key changes to G minor), my pinky hides.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    As said to me some others in the thread I linked here, I think it has something to do with the position of your left hand. Your fingers should be parallel with the frets, and the palm of your hand shoulnd't be supporting the weight of the neck. Check the link I posted for more detailed info. I had the same problem. But once I started paying attention to that, the problem dissapeard. It might sound hard in the beginning. Take it slow, and play some easy tunes while keeping an eye on your left hand.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. MY PINKY GETS USED FOR EVERYTHING FROM POWER CHORDS ON GUITAR TO BIG STRETCHES ON BASS. IF I LOST MY RING FINGER I DONT THINK I'D MISS IT. IF A LOST MY PINKY I WOULDNT BE ABLE TO PLAY MUCH ATALL.

    MAYBE I WILL GET SOME PINKY ARMOUR TO MAKE SURE IT STAYS ATTATCHED.:D
     
  14. Perfect-Tommy

    Perfect-Tommy

    Mar 28, 2004
    Ohio
    Some reason, I doubt the functionality of your left pinky... seeing that it can't operate your caps lock and all....

    :D
     
  15. Deadworks

    Deadworks

    Dec 13, 2004
    St.Louis, MO
    Something that helped me break the habit years ago on guitar was practicing scales. Scales were simple patterns I knew that I could repeat endlessly without thought of what I was playing, but how I was playing it. That let me concentrate on keeping my pinky in a more correct position and built up the independence and strength in the finger.
     
  16. I used to have the same problem, I tried to consciously use the pinky whenever I could. I think the technique that really made it that much more confortable was slapping...
    I use the pinky to fret the note I'm going to pop... I think this is easier to strengthen your pinky cause if you want to, you can just "lock" your finger s in a specific position, and use your pinky that way... with time though, you'll see that your pinky will become autonomous... It may even become more confortable to use than the ringfinger for some things.
     
  17. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    *LMAO* nice...
     
  18. mattwells

    mattwells

    Mar 19, 2003
    GA
    Ultimately, using your pinky is a good thing. A "hiding" pinky just limits. Mine used to hide when I was doing huge stretches across strings (from the low B to the G on a 6 string), I just concentrated on making it not hide.

    On the other hand, I do not use my ring finger all that much. It comes from playing upright. I use a similar fingering to the upright on the low frets (my hand spans 3 frets usually even though I am physically capable of spreading 5 frets) and then one fret per finger higher on the neck (somewhere around the 7th fret I change over).

    Is it necessary to have your pinky? Probably not
    Will it help you in the end? Most definitely.
     
  19. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Repeat as needed: Yeah, like twenty times a day for a couple months - seriously. It'll be worth it.
    I'd miss it BAD, but I do use my pinky more than the ring.

    One thing I'm constantly needing both for is "root, octave, then quickly back down to the fifth", or some other arpeggio-like variation of that - pinky for the octave, ring for the fifth. I probably over-use this, but I accent with that kind of thing all the time.

    Joe
     
  20. Intrepid

    Intrepid

    Oct 15, 2001
    Well I played cello before bass and that absolutely required 4 fingers. Anyways, try playing a nice basic blues bass line. It's kind of hard with just 3 fingers. I actually broke my index finger once a couple days before a gig and was still able to go on. Maybe if I was unable to use my pinky finger, and had only two fingers, I'd have to cancel the show. That's my thoughts.