#1
I couldn't decide whether to put this in the electric guitar, bass guitar, or classical/acoustic guitar forum, but decided on this one because it's the most neutral. Hopefully you guys can answer my more acoustic- and bass-related questions as well as my general guitar questions.

So, one day I was playing Zebra by the John Butler Trio (props if you know them). Here's the tab for the main riff, for reference:
e-------------------------------------------------------
B-------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------
D-9--9--9-7-9-------------------------------------------
A---------------7-9-7-9---5--5--7-5-7---5-7-7b8r7-5-----
E---------------------------------------------------7-5-

John Butler plays this song on an acoustic guitar with a slide on his pinky. I came across a problem bending and applying pressure upon the strings with my ring finger while my pinky is confined to be straight because of the slide. What I'm trying to say is I can't bend one finger without bending another.

I'm good at the one-finger-per-fret thing and I'm pretty good at chromatic scales, I feel like my ring and pinky fingers are pretty strong, but my fingers are too dependent upon each other.

Here's the section where I start rattling off questions. I hope you can answer them all:

Do any of you face the same problem?
I realize some people's fingers are independent of each other and some people's aren't but is this problem possible to overcome?
I've been working strenghtening my ring and pinky fingers even further in hopes that they may be come independent of each other, such as these ones below:
e---------------------1-2-------------------------------
B-----------------1-2-----3-4---------------------------
G-------------1-2-------------3-4-----------------------
D---------1-2---------------------3-4-------------------
A-----1-2-----------------------------3-4------etc.-----
E-1-2-------------------------------------3-4-----------
^This is played with your ring and pinky fingers^
e-------------------------------1-3-4-------------------
B-------------------------1-3-4-------------------------
G-------------------1-3-4-------------------------------
D-------------1-3-4-------------------------------------
A-------1-3-4-------------------------------------------
E-1-3-4-------------------------------------------------
^This is played with your index, ring and pinky fingers^

These have helped my finger strength, but not my finger autonomy.
Does anyone know how to/what drills to do in order to be able to use your fingers independently of each other?
#2
As Guthrie Govan explained it, your pinky and ring finger share a tendon which is why they are so much harder to operate independently from one another compare to your other fingers. Not to say that's an excuse for having a weak pinky, just an explanation as to why it's such a pain to get into shape.

As for excercises, John Petrucci's video "Rock Discipline" has a bunch of good drills. So is Govan's book "Creative Guitar."

EDIT: Here's Rock Discipline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrAaMLpP20k

The specific excercise I'm referring to is right after all the arm stretching, example 1 I think. The key to getting the best results is making sure whichever fingers aren't switching position keep fretting the notes they're on.
Last edited by T!AN at Jan 7, 2009,
#3
Quote by T!AN
As Guthrie Govan explained it, your pinky and ring finger share a tendon which is why they are so much harder to operate independently from one another compare to your other fingers. Not to say that's an excuse for having a weak pinky, just an explanation as to why it's such a pain to get into shape.

As for excercises, John Petrucci's video "Rock Discipline" has a bunch of good drills. So is Govan's book "Creative Guitar."

EDIT: Here's Rock Discipline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrAaMLpP20k

The specific excercise I'm referring to is right after all the arm stretching, example 1 I think. The key to getting the best results is making sure whichever fingers aren't switching position keep fretting the notes they're on.

Thanks a lot. John Petrucci is the **** and those exercises sound really helpful.