One finger per fret - manditory? (Handicap of pinky finger prevents pinky usage)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Murdock_, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Murdock_

    Murdock_ Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Is it possible to work around the one finger per fret system? It is impossible for me to use the pink on my left hand properly because the tendon above the knuckle is detached, and as a result my finger goes crocked when I bend it, curling inward towars my palm. It can't reach the fret right of my ring finger, and it curls over my ring finger when I'm fretting with the ring finger. I'm hoping I can play around this and not have to look into getting surgery to correct the problem...:atoz:
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Nothing's mandatory, unless your band leader is also your bass teacher. :eek: That seems like an unlikely scenario. ;)
  3. easyvision

    easyvision Guest

    Jul 9, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    You absolutely can. To be honest I don't fully understand what happens when you try to use your pinky but any problem can be overcome. Just try things out and find a way to play that fits your hand.

    It may be worth noting that a lot of the players that people here regard as legendary monster players don't strictly keep to one finger per fret;)
  4. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Adhering to 1 finger per fret is stupid anyway. Go with what ya got and be careful, because it's actually the 3rd finger that has the biggest hand-health liabilities.
  5. T-Bird

    T-Bird Guest


    Of course You can fret any way you want.

    I'm self taught and unless playing scales, I usually don't use my pinky that much. Been that way for about 20 years ;).

    If You want some further assurance, there was a young TB member with no hands, haven't seen him in a while, hope he's all right, he played with his toes. For more famous player with less fingers to use than most of us, google the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

    Nothing's mandatory, they're more like guidelines ;).

  6. Otso


    Mar 6, 2006
    The most important thing with lefthand technique, is that your hand is relaxed, and none of your joints (the wrist most importantly) isn't in any awkard angle.
  7. mothmonsterman

    mothmonsterman Guest

    Feb 8, 2006
    The on finger per fret is a suggestion IMO it allows you to play the most notes in a given position.

    I myself have a hard time with it due to my pinky being rather stubby and short.

    The important thing is to play how it feels natual
  8. Ramstien

    Ramstien Guest

    Aug 19, 2007
    Try using your ring and pinky finger together.
  9. Arpeggiator

    Arpeggiator Guest

    Jun 14, 2008
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    many players dont use there pinky, i do as a matter of preferance but its entirly possible not to use it. as already mentioned the ring finger is the one to watch out for.
  10. Murdock_

    Murdock_ Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    The tendon that is supposed to be above your knuckle(extensor tendon I think it's called) is not attached to my pinky finger, it is beside the knuckle. This tendon is what keep your fingers strait and basically regulated movment of that joint. With my tendon being dislocated, my pinky finger can't stretch outwards, it wlil always curl inwards when I bend my pinky towards my hand. BTW thanks for the reassurance everyone.
  11. Do what works. One finger per fret is a system that people use to teach/play bass that works well for most people, but it's not gospel. I've seen guys use double bass fingerings and even one finger per neck. Do what works and don't hurt yourself.
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Pfft. The guitar player from Black Sabbath has 3 fingers!

    Nothing is mandatory.
    Don't let anything stop ya from grooving!
  13. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Just do your best to adapt and don't let it get you down. Best o' luck..:bassist:
  14. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
  15. One name- Django. Okay, he played guitar, but I think it proves you can overcome that.
  16. well, while i have all working 4 fingers, and i actually use all 4 because its easier for me, (i play guitar and bass, and in my guitar class if we dont adhere to the one finger per fret, we get messed up later). But, if it makes you feel any better, one of the kids has only 4 fingers (no pinky) and play better than me!

    Just do whats natural, and by all means, for that is no pinky. You will probably come encounter with songs that would make it a lot easier to play if you have a pinky, but its just a step to overcome. You will get past it! Don't worry about it!

  17. iplaybassguitar

    iplaybassguitar Guest

    Jun 22, 2006
    Rochester NY
    the drummer for def leopard only has one arm. does that answer your question?
  18. iplaybassguitar

    iplaybassguitar Guest

    Jun 22, 2006
    Rochester NY
    +1 on django as well
  19. elBandito

    elBandito Guest

    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
  20. Nothing is mandatory. I have a weak pinky as well, from it being injured so much, so I never use it. IIRC Leland Sklar only uses 2 fingers to fret, and he is an incredibly renowned session bassist.