#1
anyone got any tips or exercises or anything that can help me keep my fingers really close to the fretboard? i mean my fingers arent exactly a mile away but when i speed up or use certain finger patterns (typically 1,3,4) they do tend to get higher and higher and eventually the 2nd and 3rd like to take it in turns to be a good inch away any help appreciated thanks
My Beginner setup:
Ibanez rg321mh
Roland Micro cube
#3
I wouldn't worry about it too much mate, as yuo get faster they will stay closer. Lets say for arguments sake you do 16th note finger exercies at 116bpm. At 108bpm, your fingers are probably closer to the fretborad. Now say two months ago you could ony do these exercises at 108bpms, well I bet at that speed they were proably lifting off as well. So basically I guess what I am syaing is that the more comfortable you become at playing at a certain speed, the closer they will stay to the fretboard.
#4
which fingers move away? the ones your not using at the moment? If so thats normal, your just moving the fingers out of the way so they dont interfere.
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#5
Quote by lwayneio
anyone got any tips or exercises or anything that can help me keep my fingers really close to the fretboard? i mean my fingers arent exactly a mile away but when i speed up or use certain finger patterns (typically 1,3,4) they do tend to get higher and higher and eventually the 2nd and 3rd like to take it in turns to be a good inch away any help appreciated thanks


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#6
Quote by HendrixClaptonP
I wouldn't worry about it too much mate, as yuo get faster they will stay closer. Lets say for arguments sake you do 16th note finger exercies at 116bpm. At 108bpm, your fingers are probably closer to the fretborad. Now say two months ago you could ony do these exercises at 108bpms, well I bet at that speed they were proably lifting off as well. So basically I guess what I am syaing is that the more comfortable you become at playing at a certain speed, the closer they will stay to the fretboard.

Turn that thought around and you'd be right on track. If you get them to stay closer, you get faster. It's simple, there's less space to travel, so there's less time involved. To hope, as you said, to get faster to get them closer is like saying that if you eat enough you'll burn more calories through chewing and then loose weight... it makes no sense.

To TS, just do the 1234 exercise at such a low speed that you have utter and complete control of what your fingers do. Just concentrate on moving them as little as you can. If you get comfortable, take the speed up a bit, and repeat. If at any time you feel that you're not in control, go back to a slower speed. Your problems have to with muscle memory, meaning that when you're playing fast you have very little control of your fingers. 'Reprogramming' old habits (read: muscle memory) usually takes about a week or three of controlled practise... Good luck!

#7
Quote by Y00p
Turn that thought around and you'd be right on track. If you get them to stay closer, you get faster. It's simple, there's less space to travel, so there's less time involved. To hope, as you said, to get faster to get them closer is like saying that if you eat enough you'll burn more calories through chewing and then loose weight... it makes no sense.

To TS, just do the 1234 exercise at such a low speed that you have utter and complete control of what your fingers do. Just concentrate on moving them as little as you can. If you get comfortable, take the speed up a bit, and repeat. If at any time you feel that you're not in control, go back to a slower speed. Your problems have to with muscle memory, meaning that when you're playing fast you have very little control of your fingers. 'Reprogramming' old habits (read: muscle memory) usually takes about a week or three of controlled practise... Good luck!



yeah you are right, not sure what I was thinking there, maybe I wasnlt and that was the problem lol.
#8
its mainly my 2nd and 3rd finger that like to hover quite far out when using the pinky so if playing 1,4 my 2nd and 3rd will be miles away and if im playing with 1,2,4 my 3rd will be away and 1,3,4 my 2nd will be in orbit.
My Beginner setup:
Ibanez rg321mh
Roland Micro cube
#9
Quote by lwayneio
its mainly my 2nd and 3rd finger that like to hover quite far out when using the pinky so if playing 1,4 my 2nd and 3rd will be miles away and if im playing with 1,2,4 my 3rd will be away and 1,3,4 my 2nd will be in orbit.

This happens. Like I said earlier, it mainly has to do with muscle memory. You have never concentrated on minimal movement in your fingers, as it were, so they are basically 'programmed' to move all over the place. Now you've recognized the problem, it's time to assess it and try to 'cure' it, as it were.

I'll explain more in depth what I meant earlier:
e|--------------------1234-5432---------------------------------etc.
B|----------------1234---------5432-----------------------------etc.
G|------------1234-----------------5432-------------------------etc.
D|--------1234-------------------------5432-----------------3456etc.
A|----1234---------------------------------5432---------3456----etc.
E|1234-----------------------------------------5432-3456--------etc.

This is what I meant with the '1234-exercise'. You just repeat the pattern while going up chromatically, so one fret. Do this up the neck as far as you please, I usually go to the 16th fret doing this, and go down chromatically to the first fret. Rinse and repeat.
Now, if you do this for at least 30 minutes a day, at such a slow speed that you can completely control how far your fingers move on and off the fretboard, and you this for about three weeks, every day (!), you'll train (program) your fingers to not move all around.
Doing this, you should try and keep the overall shredding to a minimum, as hard as it sounds. By this I mean, don't try to play any really fast songs (the songs you were playing when you noticed your fingers going AWOL).

This requires great discipline, and it will get boring after a while, so just try and maybe watch some tv and do the exercises with your guitar unplugged. Just make sure you're in control of what you're doing. It should clear it right up and increase your overall speed dramatically.

On a side note, this applies to basically anyone who wants to get faster at anything; if you can do it perfectly really slow, in time you'll be able to do it faster and faster. Perfect practise makes perfect.

I hope it helps! And I'm sorry for the long text.

#10
cheers buddy il give this a go, i wasnt noticing it on any shred songs lol. I havent been playing long enough to shred yet just noticed it in general and saw it as inefficient, also do other peoples 2nd finger angle toward the 3rd and 4th fingers? cos playing these excersises I notice that my 2nd finger doesnt lay flat like the other fingers it angles towards the body of the guitar. my hands are very small so i think it might be the only way to stretch hmmm
My Beginner setup:
Ibanez rg321mh
Roland Micro cube
#11
Yea, thats common when you start to play fast.

It's been said, practice slowly, but instead of 1234 you could also use major scale runs (for instance) as they cover 134 as well as 124. Start out very very slowly indeed and keep doing that.

Also, if you're going to practice slow scales like that it's much more fun if you make a backing track with insane chords within that scale instead of using your dry metronome. Just a thought
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#12
Hey I have this problem as well. I saw this question on the forum a long time ago but thought it wasn't important, but my fingers are so far away from the fretboard that they are really limiting my speed. I will do these exercises now and hope they will help, thanks a lot!
#13
I also have this problem but only for my little finger, I just keep practicing ho's and po's with my little finger
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#14
Quote by Bendybaws
I also have this problem but only for my little finger, I just keep practicing ho's and po's with my little finger


Perhaps you'd be better off doing regular exercises for your pinky, hammerons are good for increasing fingerstrength but stuff like this? Scales
Phrases Label
The Bohemes
---
The White Strat w/Dimebucker
Tokai Explorer Korina
Ibanez RG570 Purple Neon
Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Ebony
Fender Telecaster Apple Red
Dano '59 Burgundy
Ibanez Artcore AM-73
#15
Quote by bornfidelity
Yea, thats common when you start to play fast.

It's been said, practice slowly, but instead of 1234 you could also use major scale runs (for instance) as they cover 134 as well as 124. Start out very very slowly indeed and keep doing that.

Also, if you're going to practice slow scales like that it's much more fun if you make a backing track with insane chords within that scale instead of using your dry metronome. Just a thought

Of course, you can do anything you want to liven it up a bit. The main point should just always be complete and utter control of your finger movements. Thanks for the addition!

Also, I forgot to mention that you can change it up to 124 or 134 as well. However, instead of doing the major scale, I always do them in the same way (Chromatically), so I get more action across all of the fretboard. Both have their pro's and cons, I guess.

#16
Hello guys! Thank you for talking about this issue. It has been one of my major problems for over a year now and I am surprised by what I found here. This was very helpful and alot of credit to you guys for this thread.
#17
Keeping fingers close to the fretboard is important,but it's not enough to become the Shred king. You must work to be able to put any run you ant together with any technique you want,so that you have less boundaries for self-expression.
#18
Fingerboard proximity is one of the things that is a hallmark of Ribert Fripp's guitar craft method, and it's all about practice time.
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