#1
I rarely use my pinky for much else than chords and boogie blues riffs (the A5->A5+7? thing). Until recently, this didn't bother me, as I generally play bluesy things, quite slow, and I never really feel the need to use that fourth finger. However, upon watching some live Slash videos, a player that I love, but don't see as a technical genius, I noticed he uses all his fingers in a spidery kinda way, and decided that I wanted to be better at doing that.

So I started trying some major scales using the pinky for every three note per string bit, playing with a metronome.

Apart from that, what else can I do to get my pinky up to par with the rest of the fingers? (Which, to be fair, aren't too fast :P)


Also - I have some trouble playing repeating bend licks like the one in Stairway to Heaven. I would love to throw them into my improvisation, because they really add effect to solos, but they always either go out of time, or just **** up halfway. How can I improve?
#2
well... its gonna sound kind of recursive but using your pinky is the only way.

try going by the "official" fingering for guitar and use one finger per fret (in each position of course) -- pointer = first fret, middle = 2nd, ring = 2rd, pinky = 4th.

whenever a song calls for that fret to be pressed, bended, hammered on, whatever, use the correct finger. Slides can sometimes indicate a position shift, so they can be an exception...

it will be uncomfortable at first, but if you want to get better, you have to just DO it. over and over again. Consistently. eventually it will become second nature.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#3
ya just use it...one thing i like for strengthening my pinky is playing two chromatic notes and then moving to the next higher string with a major 3rd interval.

So like if you start on F (6th string first fret). You go F, F#, then up a major third to the 5th string to Bb, then B, up a maj3rd and so on. Come back down too and move the whole thing up a halfstep each time you change directions (ascending vs descending). There are plenty of other good exercises but I find that one helpful for pinky strength if you alternate your ring and pinky fingers for every note.
Standard Fender Telecaster
Fender Blues Jr
Ibz10
#5
A good excercise that I find useful to strengthen my pinky is:
start on the 1st String, 12 fret with your pointer finger. Then Place your pinky on the 13th fret and pull off. Do the same for the 14th, 15th (and 16th when your pinky is strong enough) then back down again. I prefer to do it legato so I can focus just on my pinky but if you want to increase you picking hand aswell, feel free to use it as well. Start out slow and gradually build-up, making sure you practice with a metranome. You can always change it up as well playing it on lower frets so you have to stretch you pinky more or play it in different scale figures so it doesnt get too boring.
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