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Short pinky compared to other fingers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ozblod, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. ozblod


    Apr 1, 2013
    I've been reading these forums for a while now, but this is my first post here on TB, so, hi everybody!

    I am a beginner bassist but I think I'm learning the basics kind of quickly because I knew a little about theory and played drums for 5 years.

    What I'd like to ask you, though, are my fingers unfit for playing electric bass? I have like stubby fingers but this isn't the part that really bothers me. It's that I have very short pinky compared to other fingers and it gives me hard time above certain frets, when trying to reach minor 3rd or playing anything on E and A strings, especially E, of course.. Anyone has the same problem or have something to say about? Because so far I really enjoying playing bass. I am worried about how much this will hold me back because eventually I want to be able to play all kinds of stuff, technically difficult ones,too.

    Some pictures of it attached, it is even looking worse on higher frets. Looking forward to hear from you.

    Attached Files:

  2. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    No , short pinkies are normal , nice "spider" in pic 2 btw.

    Alternatively you could finger the root with pinky and min 3 with your first finger on the next string.
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I also have short fingers and I can't reach anything past the 12th fret on the E with my pinky unless I angle my arm weirdly... From the looks of it I'd say your fingers are even longer and thinner than mine so yeah... (edit: actually a lot longer... My pinky is barely as long as the fingerboard is wide at the fifth fret!)

    Anyway, I think this is not a problem at all. Practice and muscle memory can alleviate the problems of not having spider fingers! Try alternate fingerings for example, and you don't need to strictly play one finger per fret. If you are comfortable with shifting positions, try using the ring finger instead of the pinky etc.
  4. Django only had 2 usable fingers on his fretting hand yet made incredible music and is a legend. Your fingers are pretty much normal, mine are about the same although I'm not a legend....yet.
  5. ozblod


    Apr 1, 2013
    thanks for the replies, I'm a little relieved I must say. But again, aside from having short fingers, the shortness of my pinky compared to others is causing me some troubles. It's good for playing octaves, though :D
  6. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    As said my pinky is way shorter than yours and I use it more often than the ring finger because I use the Simandl fingering among other stuff (exactly because of the small hands with stubby fingers problem).

    Maybe try the spider exercise with string skips, like playing 5th fret on the G with your ring finger followed by the 6th fret on the E with your pinky. You won't believe the troubles this brought me lol, but tough exercise is good exercise imo...
  7. GrayHatBass


    Jan 22, 2013

    Hello, I too have a little pinky.

    I rely on my wrist in order to reach the fret I desire. Also, like the last poster said, exercises are always the key to get your fingers stronger (spider exercises help a lot).
  8. ozblod


    Apr 1, 2013
    playing 5th fret on the G with your ring finger followed by the 6th fret on the E with your pinky?? that seems very difficult to even reach. can u explain the spider thing? btw, I'm doing the regular spider exercise, because it is on D and G strings, it is not a huge problem.
  9. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Small hands and short pinkies here too. It is what it is, carry on.

    Playing a 5 string makes it easier for me at times as I am able to play things that would normally be played in the 1st position on a 4 string in the 5th position on a 5 string where the frets are closer together. It's personal preference though. It’s not like I can’t play a 4.
  10. bassRunner


    Aug 10, 2012
    Urbana, IL
    Here's the spider exercise other's have referred to

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