#1
Hey guys, ive been practicing guitar quite a bit and I have a few questions that are giving me some negative thoughts about one day being a decent guitar player, I dont have expectations to be the best I just want to beable to play some of my favorite songs, so first of all I have a crooked pinky, I was born with it and then when I was younger I broke it as it got caught in my bike chain and it works normal, most of the time, sometimes it gets stiff and locks up but I can deal with it but it has a curve of about 1cm and when I try to play my pinky wants to lay flat like my pinky wants to slide in towards my ring and my knuckel wants to lay flat on the frets, is this someting I can correct with strengthening exercises? Or am I doomed to just be a beginner guitarist, and second, my fingers on my left hand dont stretch very far, I cannot stretch my index and ring more than a fret, is this something that will come with time or what should I do? My fingers dont want to stretch out like they should. Any advice for a beginner. I have the ambition to play, I saved up and bought my first guitar which was a Ibanez pf and my fingers are starting to callus but I still have doubts on what I can do
#2
How long have you actually been playing for?
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#3
You'll be okay. Your other fingers work fine right? Seems like your pinky just lacks a bit more than everyone else. Playing guitar might be somewhat therapeutic for it really. I'd say you should try to use your pinky where you can if possible at all.
That being said there's plenty of guitarists who manage without their pinky (even though i don't recommend it).



Andy James doesn't use his pinky very much at all here and he's one of the most technically proficient guitarists alive. He isn't the best example because he is definitely beyond capable of using his pinky, but he's just so good i had to link him.

I'll link someone with the most awful technique in the universe that does alright too:



I have no idea how this girl manages to play anything. It's painful to even look at her left hand when she plays. I don't know if she's neglected her pinky for so damn long or if it has damage, but you're more than capable of being significantly better than that.

At the end of the day it's fortunate that it's just your pinky with damage. Perhaps you can overcome it. The biggest struggle i see you having is playing some of the more intricate and advanced chords. Be thankful it's not your index finger :p

EDIT: I decided these links are pretty awful, but you get what I'm trying to say hopefully
Last edited by vayne92 at May 5, 2014,
#4
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
Hey guys, ive been practicing guitar quite a bit and I have a few questions that are giving me some negative thoughts about one day being a decent guitar player, I dont have expectations to be the best I just want to beable to play some of my favorite songs, so first of all I have a crooked pinky, I was born with it and then when I was younger I broke it as it got caught in my bike chain and it works normal, most of the time, sometimes it gets stiff and locks up but I can deal with it but it has a curve of about 1cm and when I try to play my pinky wants to lay flat like my pinky wants to slide in towards my ring and my knuckel wants to lay flat on the frets, is this someting I can correct with strengthening exercises? Or am I doomed to just be a beginner guitarist, and second, my fingers on my left hand dont stretch very far, I cannot stretch my index and ring more than a fret, is this something that will come with time or what should I do? My fingers dont want to stretch out like they should. Any advice for a beginner. I have the ambition to play, I saved up and bought my first guitar which was a Ibanez pf and my fingers are starting to callus but I still have doubts on what I can do


You need to get it out of your head that you are limited due to your injury. You don't actually have to play with you're pinky - you can adapt your playing and voice chords differently, assuming your pinky is actually unusable : see Django Reindhart, one of the greatest guitarists in history, who lost the use of his pinky in a fire. It certainly didn't hold him back...
#5
What about the stretch in your fingers? Like beingable to move your fingers farther apart
Last edited by BrandonKashubaa at May 5, 2014,
#6
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
What about the stretch in your fingers? Like beingable to move your fingers farther apart


if your other 3 fingers function normally then not being able to stretch far sounds just like an issue all beginners experience. You wont be able to improve this suddenly, it comes with time, as does everything with guitar.
#7
I just wanted to chime in that Django Reinhardt managed with just his index and middle finger.
#8
So all beginners expierience not being able to stretch fingers out? Any advice on how to excercise this?
#9
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
So all beginners expierience not being able to stretch fingers out? Any advice on how to excercise this?


Yes. If you have completely normal fingers like most people in the world then this is not something to be concerned about. This will improve over time, it's not something you can fix overnight.
#10
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
So all beginners expierience not being able to stretch fingers out? Any advice on how to excercise this?

Yes!We don't just have guitar fingers,We have to create guitar fingers by practising.Everybody experiences pain and frustration when trying to learn to hold the strings down.I would'nt have thought your pinky will hold you back too much,You develope your own way to play.Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones and the determination not to just give up.
Last edited by EyeballPaul at May 5, 2014,
#11
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
So all beginners expierience not being able to stretch fingers out? Any advice on how to excercise this?


I dunno about all, but certainly in my case, yeah. I suspect most suffer from it, yeah.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Like for example I saw a youtube video on putting pinky on 9th fret on e string, ring on b, 8 fret, middle on g, 7 fret and pointer on 6 fret d string. And you practice sliding each finger up a fret one by one for example youd slide your pointer up one fret annd leave all the rest on the other frets so my pointer would be on 5th fret and all others tge samme and keep moving up one by one until all of your fingers moive up a fret and repeat. I can get my fingers on all the frets without muting and I can moove my pointer up a fret but when it comes to moving my middle finger to the 6th fret on the g string my ring finger wont stay on the 8th fret, I just cannot manage. Is this correctable
#14
^ I suspect it's normal, but which part of the vid do you mean (the time, I mean)?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by triface
I just wanted to chime in that Django Reinhardt managed with just his index and middle finger.


GAHH beat me to it!

I was gonna mention him and say you can't let a preconceived idea persuade you to not do something you love. You can learn to play, even it means without using your pinky.
#18
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
At 6:45 is when it starts


Yeah that would be pretty difficult at the start. it should get easier.

I'm no doctor, though, so bear that in mind- I don't know for sure if your problem might make it even harder or not. But yeah, any beginner even with "perfect" fingers will struggle with stuff like that and it'll seem impossible.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Quote by steven seagull
How long have you actually been playing for?

You still havent provided this crucial piece of information
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#21
Quote by BrandonKashubaa
^^ about a monthh and a half



Then you really have nothing to worry about, you've barely started playing.

You've simply discovered that learning the guitar takes a lot of work and practice, it's not something you can simply "do"...sadly sheer force of will isn't enough to enable you to accomplish things.

The more you practice and play and the more comfortable you get with the guitar then more mobile and flexible your fingers will become. However I'd suggest that the particular video you've posted is probably a bit beyond your capabilities right now so it's probably best not to worry about it. I wouldn't really worry about "dexterity exercises" or anything like that at all this early on, just trying to play a chord or two is going to be more than enough of a workout for you at this stage.

You'll be learning the guitar for the rest of your life, just take a second to think about what that means. There's no "guitar test" to cram for, it's not like learning to drive - things will take time and you'll never actually stop learning.

At the moment you've still got training wheels on and it is going to baby steps for a few months, you just need to accept that and be patient. I can tell you right now how the guitar feels to you, it feels awkward and clumsy, like a big stupid piece of wood that doesn't belong. The strings are like razors and your fingers take ages to do anything ask them to.

And that's perfectly normal, playing the guitar IS un-natural, you just need to take the time to get used to it - don't try to rush things, just get comfortable with a few chordy songs and maybe some simple riffs. It's going to be 6 months or so before holding the guitar starts to feel natural, like it belongs, and from that point onwards things tend to get a bit easier.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#22
yeah if you've been playing for 6 weeks don't worry about it.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
Thanks guys and honestly my fingers stopped hurting after a week! And alright that gets me excited, ive been learning g c d and e sofar and im terrible with transitions, I have to look at tge strings to just play the chord, but I have them down and memorized, I can play them 90% of the time with no buzz and i work at a physical therapy place and they have tons of machines to strengthen hands soo well see what happens im practicing 1-3 hours per day