My pinky is really weak(smallest finger), are there any exercises or tips that would help me with playing the more difficult pieces accurately without much hassle from my pinky?
If you want to improve pinky strength and coordination, use it. Use it as often as you can. Eventually it will get stronger and it'll be just as useful as the rest of your fingers. Specifically, you can try using it for trills to exercise it. The pinky works the same as the rest of your fingers, you have to use it to build muscle memory.
I always try to play with my pinky also especially in the lower registers, even though my friends try to stretch everything. So try and use 1-2-4 rather than 1-2-3 where you can AND LISTEN TO JOHN PETRUCCI =]
try learning snow (hey oh) by the chilli peppers. that has a lot of work for the pinky. do that for a while, take it nice and slow and ur pinky will be kicking ass in no time.
Add an exercise like this to your warm-up:

After that go up one fret on each one so it goes: 2-3-5 (frets)

Play more things with your pinkie instead of your ring finger and also I use this in my warm up and I think it helped me with my pinkie usage:


Move up until your pinkie is on the nineth fret.

I hope this makes sense..
You could try doing hammer-on pull-off exercizes with your pinky and third finger, keep your third finger on the 3rd fret and hammer on & pull off your finger on the 4th fret. Try it on the 1st string first, then after a while move onto the other strings
Legato exercises are very good for pinky strength.
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There is no easy way to condition your pinky, it's going to take a lot of practice. The more you use it, the easier it will be to pick up songs that require it.
To start, trill exercises to a fixed tempo for one minute straight using your pinky. 1-4, 2-4, and 3-4. If your not ready for one minute do 30 or 15 seconds straight or whatever. This sucks... but a little bit every day will begin to pay off very quickly, just don't over-do it. <- (That's mainly for strength)

Then for indepence and coordination... any exercise or song that is difficult on your pinky is a good one for you to work at..... That's how you improve it by challenging it, pretty much common sense.
Quote by Quiche&Oobleck

And Paul Gilbert. They both have ridiculous pinkies.

Try doing a little trill exercise I made a couple years ago. Trill between the 7th and 9th fret of the high e string using only your ring finger and your pinky. Do it for as long as you can. Try to get to a minute. Your pinky will be more than capable of keeping up with the rest of your fingers in no time.
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Just use it as much as possible. I find chromatic scales help out really well, and if you incorporate hammer-ons/pull-offs it'll be even better.
Just do a lot of hammer-ons/pull-offs with your pinky
And do finger workout exercise's focusing on your pinky
You could go 1-4-2 on every string
Then try 1-3-5 etc
Quote by Quiche&Oobleck
And they do say that using your pinky gives you 30% more shred potential. Food for thought.

I'm not concerned about shredding, it's not the way I really wanna play. I'm just concerned with my ability to form chords and hammers/ pull offs with my pinky.

Thanks for all the replies, by the way. Already starting to see some results
Use it more, but don't neglect the other fingers! I myself focused too much on getting my pinky strength & accuracy up, and my 3rd finger still suffers for it :S
The trick is to not think of your pinky as an "extra" or "spare" finger to use in only the most demanding situations. Glad to hear your pinky is improving!
Last edited by Quiche&Oobleck at Aug 31, 2010,
yeah i think everyone here has covered it all haha.
one day a while ago i realized i NEVER used my pinky, so i just used it instead of my ring finger for everything, and now my ring finger is useless =[

i used my pinky soooo much and i was so focused on that, that i am now suffering what TS is suffering, but with my ring finger instead haha
its useless!
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You have to use it more. Legato exercises will really help. Basic stuff like Alternating Trills with the Pinky are pretty beneficial.
Quote by Housequake
You could try doing hammer-on pull-off exercizes with your pinky and third finger, keep your third finger on the 3rd fret and hammer on & pull off your finger on the 4th fret. Try it on the 1st string first, then after a while move onto the other strings

I found this to be particularly helpful.

Mostly though, you simply have to work on using it.

I would suggest practicing finger exercises on an acoustic rather than an electric.
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what's the point in being "philiosophical"?

Interesting question...
I find that hammer on/ pull off on first to fourth fret help for strength.
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try Hammer ons and pull offs dude
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Honestly I got a LOT of my pinky strength from playing a lot of guitar hero
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