#1
Ok so I've noticed my ring finger and pinky have really bad independence.

As in if i bend my pinky down and touch my palm its physically impossible to keep my ring finger straight up.

Also if i do a chord like say:

3
1
4
2
x
x

I cant get my ring finger on the high E because of where my pinky is, i can feel it pulling my ring finger back.

I've been doing a sort of exercise i made up where for instance i do this:

4
x
x
x
7
x

My pinky is on the 7th fret A string and it always stays there and i use my other 3 finger to go 4 5 6 on the high E in a hammer on kind of way and it burns my side of my hand by my pinky pretty bad and i can feel the tendon almost snapping in a way.

That feels like it sort of helps, doing patterns like 1 3 4 does absolutely nothing and never has.

So does anyone have any exercises they have done that significantly has helped this, because i know people who have near perfect independence in those fingers naturally but for me it makes things 10x as hard because they wont stop pulling towards each other.
Last edited by jonny0101 at Jan 24, 2015,
#2
Quote by jonny0101
Ok so I've noticed my ring finger and pinky have really bad independence.

As in if i bend my pinky down and touch my palm its physically impossible to keep my ring finger straight up.

That's actually 100% normal. It's all got to do with flexor and extensor muscles in your arm and the tendons that control the fingers, since the muscles that control your fingers are actually way up in your forearm, in the bundle of muscles nearer your elbow. The only one of your five digits in your hand that has a muscle in your hand is your thumb.

Anyway, this is very normal, really the key is to try and make sure that the muscles in control of your fingers (the ones in your forearm) are as relaxed as possible all the time. It's a little odd to describe but generally the reason you have trouble controlling your fingers exactly how you want is that you have pairs of muscles fighting against each other, this is essentially what guitarists mean when we're talking about excess tension.

Quote by jonny0101
Also if i do a chord like say:

3
1
4
2
x
x

I cant get my ring finger on the high E because of where my pinky is, i can feel it pulling my ring finger back.

Yep, that's basically exactly what I mean, you're trying to use the flexor muscles for your pinky and ring fingers in complex ways and you're fighting against your extensor muscles for the same fingers (I'm 99% sure your pinky and ring finger share an extensor muscle, but I'm not a biologist).

Sadly I think it's going to be a case of being aware of the problem and listening to the signals coming from your body to correct it really. It's like if you had to describe to someone else how to move their arm... I'm sure someone could do it but for most people it's such a natural and unconscious thing that the description is almost impossible.

Quote by jonny0101
I've been doing a sort of exercise i made up where for instance i do this:

4
x
x
x
7
x

My pinky is on the 7th fret A string and it always stays there and i use my other 3 finger to go 4 5 6 on the high E in a hammer on kind of way and it burns my side of my hand by my pinky pretty bad and i can feel the tendon almost snapping in a way.

To be honest, that exercise is hard for me as well and I like to think I have decent finger independence. The chord you put above doesn't pose a challenge for me but keeping the pinky finger down enough to sound a note in this exercise takes concentration and builds tension for me. I wouldn't worry about being able to do that 100% fluently for a while.

Quote by jonny0101
That feels like it sort of helps, doing patterns like 1 3 4 does absolutely nothing and never has.

So does anyone have any exercises they have done that significantly has helped this, because i know people who have near perfect independence in those fingers naturally but for me it makes things 10x as hard because they wont stop pulling towards each other.

Well really the key is making sure that you do exercises the right way. Making sure you're actually using your finger control muscles to do the movement, eliminating excess tension as much as possible, keeping movement to a minimum. It's hard, not going to lie, it takes a lot of work to be good at this sort of thing, but it's worth the work.

Just as a quick example though, do this:

Extend all your fingers on one hand and place them on your table/chair/knee/whatever with your palm off the surface. Wrap your pinky under your palm, preferably so that part of it is stuck against the surface and you can't move it. At this point you should have three fingertips on the surface and your pinky wrapped under, possibly touching your palm. Now try and move your ring finger. You shouldn't be able to do it because the muscle that controls the ring/pinky finger pair is busy doing other work. I mean it, it should be literally physically impossible.

Everyone has that. It's one of the things we, as guitarists, try to overcome about human biology in order to really play well.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jan 24, 2015,
#3
My pinky is dead lol.other 3 fingers work but pinky don't work and its sideways when i do my finger excerise lol