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MY pinky!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by charic, May 2, 2006.


  1. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    Im having trouble including my little finger in my riffs. I can move it independtly (more than any body ive ever met lol) but it either seems:
    ->uncomfortable
    or
    ->just unneccesarry

    Is there a HUGE disadvantage to not using your little finger? And is there anything (other than loads of practice that i do anyway) that will speed up the dexterity of my pinky?
     
  2. try to use all fingers. 1 finger per fret. finger independance is the key. if you want to build strength on your pinky, play 8th's, scales, slap, etc... the pinky is actually one of my strongest fingers now. it used to be real weak.
     
  3. ukbassboy

    ukbassboy

    Mar 19, 2006
    UK
    Thats interesting, cos I have the exact opposite problem... I use my pinky far too much. I have done a lot of dexterity exercises to improve my 'one finger per fret' technique but still find it far easier to use my pinky even for two fret stretches.
    Think this is discussed in depth in the 'Left hand piling up' sticky at the top of the page but would suggest that it is only a HUGE disadvantage for you if you are having problems finding your way around the board. I found it was hampering me so I spent 15mins a practice improving my left technique and it greatly improved my playing. I still WANT to use my pinky all the time but the use of my next (ring?) finger is getting better:meh:
     
  4. Here is an easy exercise that I use to build finger strength and independence

    1 = Pointer
    2 = Middle
    3 = Ring
    4 = Pinky

    Using 1 finger per fret, Pick any fret on the fretboard and play up and down the strings using the combinations below. Go Slow to get a clean sound, using your fingertips. Do each combination going up and down the strings (E,A,D,G G,D,A,E) 10x a day. Stop If you feel any pain, Rest shake out your hand and continue.

    1,2,3,4
    1,2
    1,3
    1,4
    2,3
    2,4
    3,4

    4,3,2,1
    2,1
    3,1
    4,1
    3,2
    4,2
    4,3
     
  5. It's essential when you want to play more advanced stuff. If its uncomfortable then its probably just not strong enough yet, or you might be using funny technique. Do some slow practice with it. I'd recommend just doing scale and arpeggios. (how you play a scale low on the neck without pinky I don't know, but its a bad idea) :)
     
  6. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    funnily enough i can play scales fairly fast on the low frets without using my pinky easy, just move my hand quick. Your right i probably am using an odd technique as im not taking lessons as i really dont have time (university student and part time worker). I have been told by multiple people i have made great progress :cool: but it mite also be odd due to the fact that i am a keyboard player gives my hands a different dexterity in different directions. Your thoughts?
     
  7. I played piano for many years before bass, and definately found it easier than most seem to at first, but later I found I had many problems with my technique, even though it was getting the job done so far. When you want to play more advanced or speedy stuff, you'll need all the fingers you can get, and be using them well.

    Good fingering with minimum movement = smooth tight bass lines :)
     
  8. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    The problem might be the placement of your thumb on the back of the fretboard. If your thumb is hooked around the neck, it can impair your fingers a bit. If your thumb is on the middle of the back of the fretboard, your fingers will have easy access to the frets. I used to have a problem where my pinky would shoot out all the time... it was solved by thumb placement.
     
  9. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    I think you may have just nailed the problem!! Thumb placement, i may have to experiment wiv that :cool:
     
  10. bassist15

    bassist15

    Mar 6, 2006
    Indiana
    I had pinky troubles to when i started playing a year ago. I had broken/gotten it yanked outta place a few months before i started to play bass and I really had to work to strengthen it. I still have a little pain in it now and then . you can tel that my pinky never formed back right, it curves out from the rest of my hand , but it kinda gives me extra reach. So jstu keep practicing at it. I use my pinky all the time in my grooves that i make up. Its essential
     
  11. i find it easier to play mainly with my index and little finger, i always get blisters on them, once i found out how much reach i have when using my little finger, my playing realy improved.
     
  12. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    A while back, I posted up a pic of my "evil pinky" and another TBer guided me to the truth. After that, I started visiting the technique forum more often. =)
     
  13. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    Well i tried adjusting my thumb placement. IT WORKS i can use my pinky fine. One problem, my entire hand becomes tired much quicker... over corrected?
    :confused:
     
  14. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Nah, your hands just have to get used to the new position. You'll probably want to find another bass player to check out your hand position and make sure your technique is correct before you learn any more bad techniques though.
     
  15. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    Fair point, will do when i get free time :D In the mean time ill do my best to make my alternative techniques sound good lol
     

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