To exercise these two fingers, I just plant my first two fingers on any two frets and then force my ring and pinky to 'walk' down the rest of the strings. The problem is, that when I try to move my ring finger only it causes my pinky to fully extend. So I can reach the new fret with the ring finger but curling my pinky to reach the next fret becomes tedious and sometimes painful. Is there any other sort of exercises I can do to strengthen them? (either using the guitar or not would be helpful)

A diagram if I did not explain myself properly.

-------------4--- (hold down with pinky then move ring finger to the next string)
1--2----------- (holding down constantly)
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I would try out some trills with my pinky finger and ring finger. Or just modify the spider exercises to a two finger pattern.
try warming up on bass
and learning rasgueados to work on your extensors
that should teach your pinky to stay in line haha
I got my pinky working by practicing this lick primarily:

------------15------------15  REPEAT.

Use your pinky on frets 15, and your index on fret 12.
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These worked great for me. repeat each patern about 4 time then move on to the next one. Once you get the motions down you can link them up into on long type of run.

All the notes on the high E are H,P,P then pick the B string note.
Last edited by srob7001 at Jul 31, 2009,
Thanks for the exercises but it's not really hitting the notes with my pinky that is the problem it is mostly when I change chords that my pinky fully extends, so then using it to make a new chord becomes hard.

Ex: E chord using fingers 1,2,3 (my pinky curls), then changing to a C chord (using the same fingers) when moving finger 3 (my ring finger), my pinky fully extends. Then moving to a G chord using fingers 124, fingers 1 and 2 move quite easily to where they are supposed to be, but simply curling my pinky to reach the g-note on the 1st string becomes painful, my pinky almost sometimes 'snaps back' (lack of a better phrase) to reach the G note on the 1st string.

If you don't understand what I mean by 'snaps back', this is what I mean: fully extend your pinky then try to curl it while keeping it fully extended (this is what I muscles in my finger do even if I don't want them to), with enough effort, your curling effort will overcome with effort made to keep the finger straight. So yes it does eventually curl,but it causes pain in the joints really.
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here i got 1

b| 15p12----12-17p12-17p12-17p12----12-15p12----14|

just a stereotypical thrash lick, good starting excercise.

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Last edited by BrokenBricks at Aug 2, 2009,
Theres no point in doing an exercise if you're not going to use it in your music. Just practise trilling between your pinky and middle finger, or just start using your pinky in everyday playing.
I tried this once a 9-12-15 stretch with pinky, middle, and index. It ****ing killed my hand. Don't do it, you're not shawn lane.
Just start using them more, it's not rocket science
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I was checking to see if it was a common thing amongst beginners, as everyone I ask does not know why my finger does that.
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Try this:

(1) Put your hand flat on a table with palm facing down.
(2) Spread out your fingers
(3) Lift your ring finger and keep it extended straight outward
(4) Hold your ring finger up for as long as you can without curling it or allowing it to touch the table

If you can hold for at least 1 minute, then you have decent strength in your ring finger. It's my observation that the ring finger needs to be strengthened in order to improve the performance of your pinky.

If you can do the above, then follow the first four steps and add the following:

(5) While keeping your index finger lifted and straight, lift your pinky and keep it extended straight outwards as well
(6) Curl your pinky WITHOUT allowing it to touch the table, while keeping your ring finger lifted and extended as straight as you can

The last two steps will probably be much harder, but this will help you to isolate the problem and develope strength faster.

Hope this helps. Let me know how it works for you.