#1
When I'm playing, my fretting hand's pinky is raised most of the time. I've seen videos on finger independence, and how to train your pinky to lower. I've done a bunch of these exercises and nothing seems to help.

Even as I type right now my pinky is raised.
But my question is, does it really matter all that much?

I don't think that its making my playing all that worse. I mean like, my pinky is raised when I type, but sure as hell its not making it any worse, I can type at 120wpm...

Or is it one of those skills that just comes to you after lots of practice, and you can't really just force your pinky down.

thanks.
#2
I have the same problem and I don't think its ever effected my playing in anyway.
#3
taming the pinky to stay down is not easy...that being said it is worth taking the time/effort to nail down...it will add co-ordination to the entire left hand
#4
That's because he's conspiring with Brain to try to take over the world.

Anyway...

How much effort have you put in to trying to get it to stop? It'll take more than a couple of weeks to tame that pinky. I think it's generally considered "not desirable" rather than outright "bad" as a lot of players have flying pinkies. However, if you do tame it, it can be very beneficial as:
1. It's easier to get your pinky into a ready position for the next note you want to fret (effectively making you faster)
2. Raising your pinky adds/is a sign of unnecessary tension in your picking hand, thus fatiguing you quicker and generally slowing you down somewhat
3. It's a pretty good sign of how much control you've got over your fingers.

I'd say it's definitely something worth focusing on, but bear in mind it will take a long time before it's completely tamed. But I think generally, most people have a flying pinky at least SOME of the time. Well not necessarily "flying" but at least slightly more raised than I'd like/a bit twitchy on trills.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Jan 12, 2012,
#5
I,ve had the same problem, my pinky was flying to high of the fretboard, and the only way to correct that (in my case) was to play so sloooow, and watch your fingers, lifting them as low as you can, making smaller movements. After a couple of weeks my pinky wasn't flying high off and I improved my speed.
#6
But my question is, does it really matter all that much?


It's a minor bad habit - the more fast stuff you want to do with your little finger, the worse it is. The higher the level you want to reach, the bigger a deal it is.
#7
Alright thanks guys
Should I start working on my pink now, or later? If I choose to do it later do you think it would be come something i cant reverse?
#9
I do care but the reason why I want to work on it later is because currently im working on improvising. O:
#11
Work on it now.

If your goal is virtuoso speed, you will regret it later. Its much harder to untrain a bad habit than it is to train one that doesnt exist.
#12
^
I see what you mean but is it really a bad habit? I thought it was more of an unlearned skill, lets say you don't train finger strength after a few years of guitar, it won't be harder to make your fingers stronger (at least I don't think so).
#13
I say figure out how to use it there are alot of riff that the pinky makes ten times easier like the one to snow hey oh or crazy train, in fact there are some riffs that are nearly impossible to play without a pinky trust me the pinky is key learn how to use it as soon as possible
#14
^i can play snow, but its just that when im not using my pinky, it will fly up
#15
We lose very in speed if it is raised ? (not totally)
Me too it is raised but I really find it difficult to correct that ...
It's very important ?
I play piano and I let him raised to have the key that I want more quickly ...
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#16
Maybe a metronome on slow speed and scales that involve the pinky could help.
#17
Here are some exercises for you to practice your pinky: http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/guitar-technique/guitar-finger-exercises/


And here is the best way to train it and any technique for that matter. Read chapters 1 and 2:

http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/the-guitar-blueprint-to-success/
#18
But ... this problem is apparently common to all beginners.

Is the problem disappears with time (with more dexterity, agility, etc. ..)?
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#19
Quote by Ryan Tunis
Work on it now.

If your goal is virtuoso speed, you will regret it later. Its much harder to untrain a bad habit than it is to train one that doesnt exist.


+1

The more time you spend rooting a bad habit, the harder it will be to quit doing it, and it tends to grow exponentially..

And read Blackened´s post thoroughly FFS..
I see no reason why you woudlnt want to not fix it immediately
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#20
I agree that it is probably best to start working on it now. Even though you are working on improvising right now, you can still work on taming your pinky.

Just practice slowly and focus on what your fingers are doing. Make sure they are under control and are not just flying off the fret board. I had this same problem with my pinky and it was a pain to fix but it is fixable.
#21
But how do you know when it should be curled up and when it should not be?
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#22
Quote by Syndromed
But how do you know when it should be curled up and when it should not be?


You should aim for it to never be curled up, having your pinky curled has the same effect as having it fly backwards - you should aim for it to be relaxed and always ready to fret. That's not saying that you'll be unable to play if you don't, and it's not necessarily going to go that way all the time, but that's what you should aim for.

If you work on fixing this, which you should, there will probably be a point where you think you've nailed it. However, as is often the case with these minor adjustments, old habits die hard and it will occasionally creep back into your playing. I'm not saying you should watch your pinky all the time when you're playing guitar, but it's worth checking every so often that these minor adjustments you've made to improve your technique (such as fretting lightly, making small picking movements, not raising your pinky, only having 1 finger down on a string at a time etc) haven't regressed and gone back to old habits. By every so often, I mean when you're doing your normal practice routine, such as at the beginning when you're warming up, or when learning something new.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Jan 17, 2012,
#23
Okay.

So I can not see it as a major bad habit but as something I correct long-term paying attention and trying to be as relaxed as possible.

So it's not really something handicapping?
I'll try to pay attention when I play without really concentrating all my efforts to try to have a finger near the frets.

I invite you to look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PIiuQp_Fgc
This is a video of Andy James and his little finger looks pretty "raised" is not it?
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#24
I actually studied with Andy, he actually makes a point of trying to use his pinky as little as possible. I don't know if he's the best example for pinky technique.

I invite you to consider - how can you effectively use a finger if it flies away from the fretboard?

Anyway, it's one of those things that you'll never get perfect - the third and fourth finger share a tendon so they'll always react more to each other that other fingers. The question is, where is the point that it's good enough, and how much effort does it take to improve?

Honestly, with just a bit of attention at each practice session, it'll be pretty damn good and you won't have to worry about it again unless you want to play at warp speed.
#25
I see !

But ... I have maybe a problem with the english word "raised".

The pinky can be raised but near to the fretboard so ... it's good.
The pinky can be raised but away to the fretboard so ... it's wrong.

...?

Yeah I'll give a little bit of attention at each practise session and I think ... this bad habit will become a good habit.

A last thing ... just look at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TmIRWKgyRI&feature=g-vrec&context=G2a69e00RVAAAAAAAABg
give an attention of his pinky ... it is curled up no ???
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
Last edited by Syndromed at Jan 18, 2012,