Pinky problems

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    So is it unusual for me to try to use all of my fingers on my fretting hand? I find that my pinky finger does not respond as fast as the other fingers, I thought it would be a good idea to use all of my fingers to fret vs sliding up to compensate, but it has been one of the most aggravating part of my speed drills because it really seems to just get in the way. I guess I am curious if others have this problem and is this just something one can get past, or just forget about it and slide/stretch my ring finger up to that position :meh:
  2. some14existance

    some14existance Guest

    Jan 15, 2003
    Saint John, NB, CA
    Your pinky can be one've the most useful tools you have... and it sounds like you just need to strengthen it.

    Try doing this:


    (and so on, marking your fingers as 1-2-3-4 to match the frets. Index is 1, pinky is 4.)

    Or, get your hands on the A-shaped gripper-things (go to local sports store). They'll help you improve your grip/strengthen your fingers.
  3. Practise it up, my pinky was pretty useless for a while (still is a bit lacking) but just get it used to doing stuff, like most muscle systems. Chromatic runs like some14existence mentioned are real good. Simple scale work is good to, using your pinky on the 2nd, 5th and 8ve; check general instruction if you aren't sure.

    Those little sqeeze balls are cool too. You can actually pick up these little sqeeze things that you can do each finger independently. I haven't the faintest where you would find them, I was mucking around with them when I did work experience at a physiotherapist. They're cool, and come in different strengths too.

    Josh D
  4. TuneUp

    TuneUp Guest

    Feb 17, 2003
    Spain, Málaga
    There are some very good warming up exercises I’ve read in many articles. (Like the one who said Some14existance). If you practice this for 15 minutes per day you will see how you fingers goes much better in some weeks!!

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

    1 2 3 4 are the fingers, and you have to begin in the first fret in the E string, and then go down thru every string until the G string and up again, then the same beginning at the second fret… so until the last fret, and then back again fret to fret till the first. Then the sane with the second movement 2 1 3 4…..

    D--------------1-2-3-4------1-2-3-4 -----------------2-3- …..
    A--------1-2-3-4-------------------1-2-3-4 -----2-3-4-5- .....
    E-1-2-3-4 ---------------------------------2-3-4-5---------.....

    You have to begin slow and when you feel comfortable increase the tempo. A good begin tempo could be 8th at 60 bpm.

    If you want to stretch more your finger you can do the same exercise jumping a fret between two finger positions.

    With the 1234 exercise:

    D-----------------1-3-4-5---------1-3-4-5 --------------------2-4-5-6----
    A---------1-3-4-5------------------------1-3-4-5 -----2-4-5-6------------
    E-1-3-4-5 ---------------------------------------2-4-5-6-------------------

    D-----------------1-2-4-5---------1-2-4-5 --------------------2-3-5-6---
    A---------1-2-4-5------------------------1-2-4-5 -----2-3-5-6-----------
    E-1-2-4-5 ---------------------------------------2-3-5-6-------------------

    D-----------------1-3-4-5---------1-3-4-5 --------------------2-4-5-6---
    A---------1-3-4-5------------------------1-3-4-5 -----2-4-5-6-----------
    E-1-3-4-5 ---------------------------------------2-4-5-6-------------------


    You can create more exercises with this if you do the same exercises combining different strings

    G----------------------------------------------------------4-1------------------------- ……….
    D--------------------------------------------------------3------2---------------------- ..........
    A-1--------------2--------------3------------4------2-----------3---------2-3------ ...........
    E----2-3-4 --1----3-4---1-2----4-1-2-3------1----------------4----1-------4--- ............

    Paco G
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Practice on the bass, you don't need any gripmaster or tennisball devices, they can be counter-productive or even harmful.

    As Gary Willis states in his instructional video, you have all the strength you need for playing bass since you were 3 years old. You need to build up dexterity and maybe stamina, but not strength.
  6. moley

    moley Guest

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    JMX nailed it there. You don't need strength to hold down the strings. You can hold down the strings with your pinky, right? You might not be able to do it fast, but you can do it, right?

    So it's really not strength, it's control, and dexterity.