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pinky problem?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by soundoholic, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. I was just watching my left hand right now and I noticed that I might have a technique issue with my left hand pinky. The joint closest to my nail is bent but the next one closer to my hand is not. It is nearly locked. Is this bad? It looks like the other three fingers are curved and look natural all except the pinky. Now that I am paying attention to the pinky, it feels like when I press down that I don't get enough support from the finger so my joint locks straigt just so I have enough strength to push down the frets.

    I've been playing for 6 years and am an immediate/advanced player. I have never noticed until I have been working on tapping excersizes lately and have been paying attention to technique. please somebody give me some advice. I'll be back in about 3 hours if anybody wonders where I've run off to. Thanks.
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    hm, for me it's kinda hard to visualize what you're describing, as i can't even DO that to my pinky. what i do know, however, is that some people (like gary willis) warn about keeping your pinky straight while playing. as you will already know it is considered good technique to play with your fingertips, using only very little pressure to fret the notes. as i understand it, you're already doing this (your "top" joint is bent), so there shouldn't be any problem. if you feel comfortable using this approach (ie NO pain, enough speed & accuracy), you may leave it as it is.

    but keep this in mind:

    often our body will let us subconciously develop "non-standard" ways of doing things when hitting certain limits. so the "strange" behaviour of you pinky maybe just a symptom of something else.

    also, these links about left-hand-technique may be useful to you:

  3. I see this problem in with many of my students and, more often than not, it's a finger-strength problem. Out of curiosity, where is your thumb when you fret? I've seen many players, especially on 6-string basses apply counter pressure with their thumb, close to the high side of the neck (ie. under the 1st and 2nd string) even when they're playing the 3rd 4th 5th & 6th string. Rule of thumb (pardon the pun) is your thumb should be in the general area underneath the string you are fretting, otherwise, you are bound to have fretting problems. If you're thumb remains relatively stationary, other than sliding up and down the neck, that may be your problem.
  4. Thanks guys. I think it is a finger strength issue. I found out I had better "pinky" technique on one my modulus 5 which has a light string gauge than my warwick standard 5 which has a medium gauge. I am really trying right now to take my playing "to the next level" so technique is on my mind. I'm probably going to slow things down and build up.

    Thanks for all of your help. I'm sure I'll be back in this neck of the woods sometime soon.
  5. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    You were right to notice that this is a problem. It can lead to pain and muscle problems later. Not sure how to fix it but listen to XavierG, and look around the net for some more advice. It'll be easier to get that resolved now than later!

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