Ok so.... Im 17 years old, my name is Tyler gabb, and i love to play resonant 12 string pieces. recently Ive been trying to use my pinky to the best of my ability and its just not working. i mean i never thought i would actually have to use it, but with the more and more complicated pieces i want to play, ultimate control over my pinky seems of the up most importance. for the past 2 years of my playing ive played with my index middle and ring finger, and hardly used my pinky at all. i have an example of a piece that i am trying to play. the main purpose of this piece is to ring the notes together, creating that familiar hair raising spiritual satisfying sound.


Can you see where you have to use your pinky? it frustrates me because when i try to play those sections my pinky barley touches the string parallel to it and ruins the song by making that unsatisfying *clank* that ruins my state of mind . ive been practicing this piece for about 3 hours now and my fingers are beat and tired. ive realized the only thing left to do is to activate the awesome powers of my pinky... so...

On with the question... does anyone have any suggestions that would help me to strengthen the motor skills of my pinky so that i can play pieces of this difficulty with ease?
Last edited by Tygabb at Jan 24, 2009,
Finger exercises.

Bottom E

Using all four fingers just go, 1, 2,3,4. Do it up and down all the strings all the way up and down the fret board.
Quote by Sanitarium91
First off... are you talking about finger picking or your fingering? :S

Like silversoulcage says...use a metronome as well so you can increase your speed while using all 4 fingers. you can then change the patterns i.e bottom e string --1-3-2-4-- up and down the fretboard.
Quote by Tygabb
Fingering, i use a pick

well for this piece I think it would be easier to fingerpick, if you can't you should practice this aswell. For the fingering you need to practice practice practice.
Well i have always had the problem of not having the most godly fingernails so i sometimes use a pick to make it louder.

You can then play the pattern back up but i don't have time to type out those tabs.

Use all 4 fingers strictly in these positions:

5th frets = pointy finger (next to your thumb lol)
6th frets = middle finger
7th frets = ring finger
8th frets = pinky finger

If you're feeling really badass you can even alternate pick each string

It's a nice spider pattern that should soon increase your pinky effectiveness. I once had the same problem, i neglected my pinky for years and then found i needed it. Just keep practising dude!
Tyler - first all of, excellent name! That is what my youngest son is called.

Anyway, the pinky. Well, practicing any lick that uses your pinky will help, but here's what I've found about incorporating new techniques into my playing. You learn the lick that uses the technique, and get it down to the point where you are playing it pretty well. Then you improvise, but sadly that technique is still not getting used. It takes something more for it to actually become part of your arsenal.

So try this. Pick any key that you know how to play in. Improvise in it for 10 minutes, but you are only allowed to use your index finger and pinky. This can result in some interesting licks you wouldn't normally come up with, because the restriction forces you to get really inventive. And you are learning to apply the new technique (or finger in your case) to your playing, rather than just learning one lick that uses it. You'll be surprised at the amount of improvement you see even after 3 or 4 days.
My magical 6 patterns of finger strenght and independence.

G|-5h6p5h6-|xinf.  |  G|-6h7p6h7-|xinf. 
   1 2 1 2         |     2 3 2 3
G|-5h7p5h7-|xinf.  |  G|-6h8p6h8-|xinf.
   1 3 1 3         |     2 4 2 4  
G|-5h8p5h8-|xinf. [B] |  G|-7h8p7h8-|xinf.[/B]
   1 4 1 4         |     [B]3 4 3 4 [/B]

The last one is the hardest and is to strengthen ur pinky.

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