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Old 12-05-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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I can't keep my fingers on the fretboard.

When playing a song on my guitar the fingers that aren't being used just kinda curl up... I feel so stupid when playing because of that. Especially my pinky! When using my ring finger and index the middle finger just kind of sticks up in the air whilst my pinky curls up.
How can I keep my fingers on the fretboard and stop looking like an idiot.
I'm sorry if it's not very clear but I can't think of any other explanation...
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
Shallow and pedantic.
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Behind a desk.
Firstly, you need to relax, that's what's causing your fingers to curl involuntarily.

Secondly, you need to slow down, you can't control what you're doing at all if you're playing too quickly; playing too quickly causes you to rely on muscle memory rather than actually controlling what you're doing.

Thirdly, in order to keep your fingers close to the fretboard, not on it, you need to remember one simple thing: the opposite of fretting isn't lifting your fingers, it's just not fretting. What I mean by that is: when you're done using a finger to fret a note, don't lift it from the fretboard just relax the muscles you're using to fret with. It'll take a long time and a lot of hard slow practice to get this working in any practical way but the more you work on it the more it will filter through in to your actual playing.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NY
Almost everyone i know or have seen that starts playing guitar has this problem.

Under my own observations I've come to the conclusion that it is because they learned and play mostly 2 finger power chords (index, ring on 5th) Not that this is bad or anything, but it's Almost all they play.

Try this, Start using your pinky to play the octave when playing power chords. This will help with using the pinky more.

After that, try some E shaped Barre chords. It's basically a three finger power chord, with the middle finger fretting the Third of the octave pinky and the Index barring the Low E, B and high E same fret.

You just have to use those fingers more to gain more control over them. Doing both things i suggested will help subliminally, you do not have to concentrate on using them this way, but rather better/more control will come naturally just by using these two skills.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:12 PM   #4
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I've been playing for around 2-3 years, 'self-taught' and I just never realised the importance of pinky strength (which I reallly regret now...)
Thank you very much for your help.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
v It's Back! :D
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