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Old 06-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
SimonSWE
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Pinky problems

Hi! I'm 18 years old and I have been playing guitar for about 6 years but I've only taken it seriously for about 2.5 years. I started out by watching tutorials on youtube and stuff like that so I never had a guitar teacher showing me the ''right'' way of doing things.

Anyway, when I first started playing, I used to use my index finger and my pinky to do power chords but then my friends told me not to use my pinky, so I stopped, for a long time.

Anyway, I've become more and more aware of how I play and I noticed that the way I played was horrible, I never used my pinky.

Now I've started to use my pinky but the ''problem'' is that I have kinda big hands, so when I do a power chord with my indexfinger and my pinky my hand feels kinda mushed togheter.

I can play a regular minor scale up and down using my pinky but I can't do it fast and it feels much better doing it without my pinky.


This has made playing guitar very boring because the only thing I can think about is my pinky and the fact that I can't use it like my guitar idols.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
vayne92
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Welllll....

Better start using your pinky then i guess. Force yourself to do it for a long long time and eventually it will feel more an more natural.

Not sure how else to respond really because you aren't really asking anything particular?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
SimonSWE
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I've been trying to use it more and more but I still find myself going back to 3 fingers. It is alot better than what it used to be, a year ago I couldn't even press down a string. I still feel so weak in my pinky, it feels like it is ''looser'' than the other fingers, I hope you understand what I mean.

Is this normal? Will I, if I practice everyday, someday be able to use my pinky as good as I use the rest of my fingers?
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
Fuchan
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Dude, **** your pinky. If it feels right, do it. If not, don't do it. Don't get too caught up in 'proper' technique. Just play and have fun. Too many people get caught up in the 'right way' to do things. Play how it feels natural to you. Some of the all time greats have 'bad' technique.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
vIsIbleNoIsE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchan
Dude, **** your pinky. If it feels right, do it. If not, don't do it. Don't get too caught up in 'proper' technique. Just play and have fun. Too many people get caught up in the 'right way' to do things. Play how it feels natural to you. Some of the all time greats have 'bad' technique.


this is the wrong attitude. there is no "natural" in playing guitar, there is only what we're used to.

SimonSWE, i recommend continuing your attempts at using your pinky, but also throw in some boring strength building exercises, because it's just something you have to physically work at. do you ever play guitar in front of the tv? practice doing trills with your pinky. start slow to make sure you're sounding the notes properly, then speed up.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vIsIbleNoIsE
this is the wrong attitude. there is no "natural" in playing guitar, there is only what we're used to.


Absolutely right.

Everyone's pinky is weak compared to the others. With work it will become much better than before, though not as strong as the others. If you avoid using their pinky because it feels weak then it will stay weak.

You are of course free to decide if you want to train it up or not but personally I think it's a no-brainer. Do a bit of work and gain a finger!
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
leyshadow
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Practice building calluses on the pinky and sliding ALOT with it, I like to play the bottom of the pentatonic where you have to stretch the pinky and use it, example: play the 9 on high e with pinky, also the 5 on high e. Then Play the 9 on b string, then 5, and loop it to strengthen pinky.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:16 AM   #8
Shadowofravenwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonSWE
Hi! I'm 18 years old and I have been playing guitar for about 6 years but I've only taken it seriously for about 2.5 years. I started out by watching tutorials on youtube and stuff like that so I never had a guitar teacher showing me the ''right'' way of doing things.

Anyway, when I first started playing, I used to use my index finger and my pinky to do power chords but then my friends told me not to use my pinky, so I stopped, for a long time.

Anyway, I've become more and more aware of how I play and I noticed that the way I played was horrible, I never used my pinky.

Now I've started to use my pinky but the ''problem'' is that I have kinda big hands, so when I do a power chord with my indexfinger and my pinky my hand feels kinda mushed togheter.

I can play a regular minor scale up and down using my pinky but I can't do it fast and it feels much better doing it without my pinky.


This has made playing guitar very boring because the only thing I can think about is my pinky and the fact that I can't use it like my guitar idols.


I drive my guitar teacher nuts, because I naturally use my pinky he has to rethink how he does things. Which is a good thing. I use my pinky for power chords. What's the problem with that? I'd ask your friend why. People often repeat things they have been taught without questioning why.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
Shadowofravenwo
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Originally Posted by SimonSWE

Is this normal? Will I, if I practice everyday, someday be able to use my pinky as good as I use the rest of my fingers?


Why wouldn't it? When I was starting out as a back catcher, they had me learn how to catch with both hands. I sucked at first. I then got better, and realized why being able to catch with both hands is awesome when a pitch goes wild. I don't know if I would have done it at a high level or beyond my teens mind you.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
SimonSWE
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Ok, I've played a lot more guitar these past days and focused only on getting my pinky better.

Haha it works! A few weeks ago I couldn't even play a minor scale fast while sitting down using my pinky, now I can run through one while standing and playing.

The way I play, or my technique has always been very bad, I used to anchor all the time and spread all my fingers out way to much on my picking hand but I trained away that too. I now hold the pick with my index and thumb and then place another guitar pick that I hold in the palm of my hand with the rest of my fingers, that way my hand is always ''floating'' above the guitar and it feels way better.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:01 AM   #11
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There's nothing wrong with not using your pinky, so long as you don't need to. If you can play something no problem without using it, then I don't see why you shouldn't. I'll tell you what, eventually there will be a day when you can't play something without your pinky, and you'll have to use it. And then your pinky will get big and strong. But I wouldn't say you should use your pinky needlessly just to level it up or whatever.

There's loads of stuff that I never used my pinky to play on a standard length guitar. But recently I'm playing on a 27" scale and I realize-- woah, I totally can't make this reach with my ring finger like on a normal guitar. So I started using my pinky. It was weird for approximately 10 seconds, and then I totally forgot about it.

Honestly, this shouldn't be an issue that you need to focus on. As you play guitar more and get more used to it, you'll be able to use whatever fingers for whatever you want. You should know that not all the best players use the same techniques for playing. Also I know at least one person who plays power chords with his pinky and I wouldn't say it has affected his development as a player in the slightest.
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