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Old 05-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
sw4l
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The pinky and the ringfinger

I don't have problems using my pinky but my ringer finger when I'm doing a 134 pull off is awkward and there independent but there not very efficient just the ring and pink. Any advise on building speed with these two fingers? Right now I just do odd chromatic and stretching exercises to build strength and its made my the side of my wrist sore is that a bad thing? Any pointers from more experiences guitarist and their wisdom
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Practice alternating between them. The pinkie and ring fingers share a tendon, meaning that they are much harder to alternate and much weaker in isolation than your index and middle fingers. Practice alternating them and you'll get stronger.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Try some finger independence exercises. There are some good ones in the book Pumping Nylon. It's written for classical guitarists but the independence exercises can also be played on electric guitar and are really effective.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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There are three possible situations here

1) You have a technique issue

2) You are pushing yourself

3) Both

My guess is option 3.

1) The technique issue could be anything really. It could be a posture issue, or maybe wrist placement. I can't really tell without a video of you playing. You could 1) shoot a video of you doing these exercises and some people here might be able to spot the flaws, or (though less effective) 2) compare your technique to online video's (youtube and whatnot) and try to see the flaws for yourself.

2) You are probably pushing yourself big time. You're not the only one, in fact it's very common among unexperienced players. However, it's still something to be worried about. I'll try to explain the lack of flexibility, strenght and speed briefly.

Finger flexibility and strenght. Things to keep in mind when practicing:
-Both will not come overnight. Compare it to lifting weights. You won't be able to lift a great amount of weights right off the bat without proper practice. That being said...
-Know your physical limits. Pushing yourself past these will lead to bad technique and injuries, (possibly to a point where you will never be able to play again). For example, your sore wrist.

Speed. It won't come overnight. The best piece of advice I can give you regarding this: Do not aim for speed. Instead, aim for:

-Fluidity
-Cleanness (is that even a word)
-Timing

Develop those and speed won't be an issue at all.

Some practice tips in general:

1) Always warm up. I like to stretch my arms and shoulders first (I recommend looking for some stretch exercises for guitar players on the web). As for warm up exercises, anything you can find on the web will do. Just be careful with doing big stretches before being fully warmed up.

2) Avoid tension. Tension leads to inconsistent playing, sloppyness, bad technique, pain and injuries. AVOID TENSION AT ALL TIMES. RELAXATION IS KEY.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
sw4l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Last Words
There are three possible situations here

1) You have a technique issue

2) You are pushing yourself

3) Both

My guess is option 3.

1) The technique issue could be anything really. It could be a posture issue, or maybe wrist placement. I can't really tell without a video of you playing. You could 1) shoot a video of you doing these exercises and some people here might be able to spot the flaws, or (though less effective) 2) compare your technique to online video's (youtube and whatnot) and try to see the flaws for yourself.

2) You are probably pushing yourself big time. You're not the only one, in fact it's very common among unexperienced players. However, it's still something to be worried about. I'll try to explain the lack of flexibility, strenght and speed briefly.

Finger flexibility and strenght. Things to keep in mind when practicing:
-Both will not come overnight. Compare it to lifting weights. You won't be able to lift a great amount of weights right off the bat without proper practice. That being said...
-Know your physical limits. Pushing yourself past these will lead to bad technique and injuries, (possibly to a point where you will never be able to play again). For example, your sore wrist.

Speed. It won't come overnight. The best piece of advice I can give you regarding this: Do not aim for speed. Instead, aim for:

-Fluidity
-Cleanness (is that even a word)
-Timing

Develop those and speed won't be an issue at all.

Some practice tips in general:

1) Always warm up. I like to stretch my arms and shoulders first (I recommend looking for some stretch exercises for guitar players on the web). As for warm up exercises, anything you can find on the web will do. Just be careful with doing big stretches before being fully warmed up.

2) Avoid tension. Tension leads to inconsistent playing, sloppyness, bad technique, pain and injuries. AVOID TENSION AT ALL TIMES. RELAXATION IS KEY.


ok i will record myself doing the exercise tonight, i have my girlfriend and my lil man so i cant just practice when i want i have to wait till they go to sleep. I have been playing for 11 months it will be a year in mid july early august not sure which one. im COMPLETELY self taught, so i accept the possibility that my technique is probably not perfect. I just recently realized about tension and not pressing the frets hard like i was but i have hopefully remedied that solution i think it is pushing myself too hard. i played football in highschool and i took up Jiujitsu and Muay Tai since i been in college so i have a habit of pushing myself but its because i wanna achieve as much as possible.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:15 AM   #6
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this is basically what i do with my pinky and ring finger trying to make them faster. i did a SLOOOOPY faster version at the end to give you guys a laugh. I know. i suck.

Last edited by sw4l : 05-24-2013 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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A lot of people, myself included, have trouble with finger independence with these two fingers. It's almost as if one muscle is pulling both tendons... Which is possible, I suppose, due to minor anatomical differences.
If I hold my ring finger rigid, my pinkie will not bend at all.
It took me forever to get to be able to play an open G chord with the pinkie on the high E...

Now, many years down the pike, I can play single note lines and just about any chord shape, but it's been slow going and I have to have the ring finger bent to do anything.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
sw4l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer
A lot of people, myself included, have trouble with finger independence with these two fingers. It's almost as if one muscle is pulling both tendons... Which is possible, I suppose, due to minor anatomical differences.
If I hold my ring finger rigid, my pinkie will not bend at all.
It took me forever to get to be able to play an open G chord with the pinkie on the high E...

Now, many years down the pike, I can play single note lines and just about any chord shape, but it's been slow going and I have to have the ring finger bent to do anything.


my main issue isnt independence its using my ring finger and pinky in series with each other. with any of my other fingers my pinky is fine but when i add my ring finger its like my pinky doesn't wanna move certain ways. In normal playing position it usually doesn't bother me or get in the way but except a 134 pull off and hammer on. If i can get it to move in ways it doesn't now it will give me more options in my playing in the future.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer
A lot of people, myself included, have trouble with finger independence with these two fingers. It's almost as if one muscle is pulling both tendons... Which is possible, I suppose, due to minor anatomical differences.
If I hold my ring finger rigid, my pinkie will not bend at all.
It took me forever to get to be able to play an open G chord with the pinkie on the high E...

Now, many years down the pike, I can play single note lines and just about any chord shape, but it's been slow going and I have to have the ring finger bent to do anything.


Actually the pinky and ring finger do share a tendon, it's one of the reasons that those kinds of fingerings usually take the most work.


TS: Don't worry about it too much and just keep working on it. You know what you're trying to do in terms of technique so just keep working on it. I'd take a look at your picking hand though; you're not muting effectively and there's definitely way too much tension in your hand when you're picking faster.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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Put your hand out flat. Don't hold it at an angle when you are using your pinky. Also for ring finger independence keep you pinky bent and cocked back when you are using your ring finger. Then do what I said before when Using the pinky and it will work a lot better.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
sw4l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Actually the pinky and ring finger do share a tendon, it's one of the reasons that those kinds of fingerings usually take the most work.


TS: Don't worry about it too much and just keep working on it. You know what you're trying to do in terms of technique so just keep working on it. I'd take a look at your picking hand though; you're not muting effectively and there's definitely way too much tension in your hand when you're picking faster.


Okay I will look at my picking hand closer also I have been working on my muting. So I guess it's back to the metronome for my picking hand.

My hand is at a angle because its an exersise but I can see it becoming a bad habit.

Thanks guys

Last edited by sw4l : 05-24-2013 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sw4l
My hand is at a angle because its an exersise but I can see it becoming a bad habit.


No excuse, you should practice the way you intend to play.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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Practically every guitarist has trouble between those two fingers. It just takes practice developing strength and independence with them.

After reading this thread, I realized that I still have some problems with my pinky. I've been playing for 5 years and use all four of my fingers in playing, but I realized mt pinky is still a bit weak than I'd like. I guess I'll have to some exercises to build the strength a bit.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:47 AM   #14
sw4l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
No excuse, you should practice the way you intend to play.


Good point. When I do my pinky exersises I can only keep my hand is position when my other 2 fingers(either not both) are on a string. Is that bad technique wise? I'm self taught but I do need a teacher so they can be Like hey ignoramus thts bad and correct it lol. But the advise you give has helped me so far. I like brutally honest opinions.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aerosmithfan95
After reading this thread, I realized that I still have some problems with my pinky. I've been playing for 5 years and use all four of my fingers in playing, but I realized mt pinky is still a bit weak than I'd like. I guess I'll have to some exercises to build the strength a bit.
Don't know if you've thought about it but the pinky has a much smaller contact area than the other fingers.

So you need to be very accurate when using it, and it takes forever to build up callouses, at least relative to the other fingers.

I don't have a solution, I'm just trying to do something out of character, empathize....
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #16
harmony_melody_
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Originally Posted by sw4l
I don't have problems using my pinky but my ringer finger when I'm doing a 134 pull off is awkward and there independent but there not very efficient just the ring and pink. Any advise on building speed with these two fingers? Right now I just do odd chromatic and stretching exercises to build strength and its made my the side of my wrist sore is that a bad thing? Any pointers from more experiences guitarist and their wisdom


It's no surprise, between the ring finger and pinky there's almost no natural independence.

Practice VERY, VERY SLOW trills with ring and pinky only, with a metronome, using hammer-ons and pull-offs only, chromatically, up and down the neck.

Don't use the right hand at all, not even to attack the first note. Use an hammer-on 'from nowhere'.

Do that exercise for NO MORE than a few minutes a day, and focus on how the fingers attack the strings: sharply but effortlessly. It's normal to feel some effort at the start of this regime, but after a few days you should feel no effort at all.

You must go as slow as you can, firstly because it's a difficult exercise and you don't want to tear a nail or something, and secondly because you are training for independence, NOT speed.

In a couple weeks your ring finger and pinky will kill. For life

Last edited by harmony_melody_ : 05-26-2013 at 04:28 PM.
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