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#1
Ive been playing for alittle over a year now, and I have such big hands and long fingers that I have never ever had trouble using just index and ring fingers for pretty much everything, from scales to riffs to chords to solos. So should I try to work on getting good with pinky? Will it be better for me in the long run?
#3
If you don't mind never being able to play well, then no, the pinky isn't necessary.
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#6
dude you need to be able to use all four fretting fingers well. if u got big thumbs dude u could even use thoughs. jimi hendrix was a frwak and his hands were huge, he used all five of his fingers an his fretting hand and he could do things that no one else could do because his hands were so big
#8
you well get a metronome first and just play the cromatic scale up an down the fret board until ur fingers bleed and ever couple of day increase the beats per minute on ur metronome. if u can get up to 120 beats per minute using 16th notes thats about shredding speed. but u gotta practice alot for that.
#9
It's almost like saying "Is it really necessary to use your penis during sex?"

I think if you also start using your pinky then it would also make your playing a little better. You can do alot of things with your pinky. I know this one kid who only uses three fingers and he looks like a dumbass when he plays solos becuase instead of using his pinky to reach a higher fret he slides around and since he's fat then that adds on how stupid he really looks because he also has fat fingers.

Learn how to use your pinky
#10
well, I tried practising some scales and riffs using my pinky almost exclusively, and OUCH! I feel the burn! No pain no gain I guess :p
#11
You cant play 4-finger chords(G with an added melody, 320033) or barre chords in any index+3finger chord position. seriously though once you begin to use all 4 fingers you're unlocking so much of the fretboard's potential.
#13
Quote by CowboyUp
well, I tried practising some scales and riffs using my pinky almost exclusively, and OUCH! I feel the burn! No pain no gain I guess :p



dude dont only use ue pinky thats stupid use all four fingers going up and down the scales
#14
Learning to use my pinky through running scales really helped my playing a lot because some peices you really need to use it for the reach. For example, Police - Every breath you take

E----------------------------------
B----------------------------------
G-----------6---------------6------
D-------9-----9---9-----9-----9---9
A-----7---7-----7-----7---7-----7--
E---5---------------5--------------

Some guitarists however like to minimize the use of their pinky though. Billy Corgan for example. He plays this by sliding his index finger, whereas Iha uses all his fingers.

|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|------------------------------|
|---------------------6h7---|
|---------5h7-----5h7-----|
|-0-0-4h5-----0-0---------|
#15
If you wish to solo decently, then yes the pinky is a good tool. Here is an excerpt from This Godless Endeavor during the hardcore sweep picking part.


   |--3--|  |--3-|   |--3--|  |--3-|   |--3--|  |--3-|   |--3--|  |--3-|   
   S  S  S  S  S S   S  S  S  S  S S   S  S  S  S  S S   S  S  S  S  S S   
e |--11p-8----------8h-12p-8----------8h-14p-8----------8h-12p-8----------8h-|
B |--------10----10----------10----10----------10----10----------10----10----|
G |-----------10----------------10----------------10----------------10-------|
D |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|

As you can see, there is an 8h14p8 in there. That would be almost impossible to do with your pinky. There are a million other example like this, but that is what came to mind. I would say, yes! Learn to use that pinky man!
- FJ

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#16
Pinky IS essential, if you make a concious choice to not use your pinky, you're an idiot, I'm sorry.

It's like intentionally cutting off your right leg, you're intentionally putting a major handicap on your playing.
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#17
It will definitely help you to be able to use all 4 fingers proficiently. Some songs are just designed in the way for you to play with the pinkie. Even some relatively simple songs, such as "She Says" by Howie Day, can become very hard if you cannot play with the pinkie.
#18
Meh, the pinky is overrated in my opinion. Yes it can increase soloing speed and capabilities, and its pretty much essential for a lot of chord playing, but I didn't use it for a long time. Even now, its sort of a secondary tool in that I don't use it too much while soloing as I ususally find I dont really need to.

Not that you shouldn't learn to use it, you definitely should, I just odn't think it's as important as everyone is making out.
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#21
Quote by Silent_Scream1
It's almost like saying "Is it really necessary to use your penis during sex?"

I think if you also start using your pinky then it would also make your playing a little better. You can do alot of things with your pinky. I know this one kid who only uses three fingers and he looks like a dumbass when he plays solos becuase instead of using his pinky to reach a higher fret he slides around and since he's fat then that adds on how stupid he really looks because he also has fat fingers.

Learn how to use your pinky


Damn, then I'm doubly doomed....wrong anatomy for the first comparison, little girly hands and pinkies that barely reach the top of the knuckle of my ring finger. I wish I had this guy's problem of fingers too long and hands too big....

For a long time I used those short pinkies as an excuse as to why I gave up on playing back in the 70's. One day my best friend (a guy who's an awesome guitarist) told me that excuse wasn't flying with him because plenty of folks play slide with the slide on their pinkie. Basically he told me "Get a clue Bonnie" and I knew exactly what he meant.

SOOOOO, lack of male anatomy and small hands with short pinkies, I'm relearning to play. I use the pinkie when I can but sometimes it just won't reach. Doesn't make me an idiot though. If there isn't a physical reason not to use that pinkie, don't know why you'd want not to.
#22
Quote by fridge_raider
Meh, the pinky is overrated in my opinion. Yes it can increase soloing speed and capabilities, and its pretty much essential for a lot of chord playing, but I didn't use it for a long time. Even now, its sort of a secondary tool in that I don't use it too much while soloing as I ususally find I dont really need to.

Not that you shouldn't learn to use it, you definitely should, I just odn't think it's as important as everyone is making out.


yeah, im with him. i've been playing for a while and am just starting to practice with my pinky because i've gotten into shred. it depends on what you are playing really.
#23
Try playing "Call Me the Breeze" without using your pinky.
"There's Jimmy Page, one of the biggest thieves of American black music to ever walk the Earth."
#24
The pinky is the weakest finger and it's a natural tendency as a beginner to
avoid using it. But, it CAN work just as well as all the other fingers with some
training. If you don't use it, you are cutting off a huge portion of stuff you'll
NEVER be able to play. Watch any decent guitarist and see if they don't use it.
The ONLY reason not to use it is if you don't have one.
#25
Quote by CowboyUp
well, I tried practising some scales and riffs using my pinky almost exclusively, and OUCH! I feel the burn! No pain no gain I guess :p

Pain is bad. Discomfort, well, that is okay. Don't stress your pinky out. If you haven't used your pinky much, slowly ease it into the game instead of just using it rapidly all of a sudden.


-DS
#26
Quote by outlawgal
Damn, then I'm doubly doomed....wrong anatomy for the first comparison, little girly hands and pinkies that barely reach the top of the knuckle of my ring finger. I wish I had this guy's problem of fingers too long and hands too big....

For a long time I used those short pinkies as an excuse as to why I gave up on playing back in the 70's. One day my best friend (a guy who's an awesome guitarist) told me that excuse wasn't flying with him because plenty of folks play slide with the slide on their pinkie. Basically he told me "Get a clue Bonnie" and I knew exactly what he meant.

SOOOOO, lack of male anatomy and small hands with short pinkies, I'm relearning to play. I use the pinkie when I can but sometimes it just won't reach. Doesn't make me an idiot though. If there isn't a physical reason not to use that pinkie, don't know why you'd want not to.


Back two weeks later with a progress report...I'm still having problems with the short pinky deal but I have been able to use it some. However, with small hands and pinkies that only reach to the knuckle of my ring finger, some chords seem to be permanently out of my grasp--anything which requires a span of 4 frets where the pinky is stretched to the 4th fret of the grouping just isn't happening. On a brighter note, I have been able to use it a little--enough that it has it's own pinky callouses building up.
At some point am going to have to go to slide if I want to get any use of my pinky I guess...
#27
Quote by CowboyUp
Ive been playing for alittle over a year now, and I have such big hands and long fingers that I have never ever had trouble using just index and ring fingers for pretty much everything, from scales to riffs to chords to solos. So should I try to work on getting good with pinky? Will it be better for me in the long run?

think about it: If you use your ring finger for playing notes where the pinky would be, if you used your pinky it would be like you had a sixth finger.
Dickless.
#29
Quote by fridge_raider
Meh, the pinky is overrated in my opinion. Yes it can increase soloing speed and capabilities, and its pretty much essential for a lot of chord playing, but I didn't use it for a long time. Even now, its sort of a secondary tool in that I don't use it too much while soloing as I ususally find I dont really need to.

Not that you shouldn't learn to use it, you definitely should, I just odn't think it's as important as everyone is making out.


You must be playing terribly unchallenging stuff then.

I use my pinky in almost everything I play - and as such, it's gotten as strong as to bend 2 steps up and vibrato with it.

Sure is handy.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#31
Of course you need to use your pinky. You can't even form a power chord properly without it

F Pentatonic scales in the lowest become much easier with the pinky.

no matter how good your ring finger is you will always be a better player with the pinky as well. Its like a drag racer saying what the point of using the extra 50bhp in my engine when i can use the 300 i got well.
#32
Quote by OneLastShot
Of course you need to use your pinky. You can't even form a power chord properly without it

F Pentatonic scales in the lowest become much easier with the pinky.

no matter how good your ring finger is you will always be a better player with the pinky as well. Its like a drag racer saying what the point of using the extra 50bhp in my engine when i can use the 300 i got well.


That's untrue.

Anyway - you have 4 fingers and a thumb on your fretting hand - Use them all.
#33
How can you not play with your pinky? You'll never make a decent guitarist without it (unless you're some sort of weird three-fingered guitar god). Keep practicing with it, it'll be worth it.
#34
Try playing some prog metal or something else which requires big stretches. You'll see pretty quick that your pinky is essential.
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#35
Quote by outlawgal
Back two weeks later with a progress report...I'm still having problems with the short pinky deal but I have been able to use it some. However, with small hands and pinkies that only reach to the knuckle of my ring finger, some chords seem to be permanently out of my grasp--anything which requires a span of 4 frets where the pinky is stretched to the 4th fret of the grouping just isn't happening. On a brighter note, I have been able to use it a little--enough that it has it's own pinky callouses building up.
At some point am going to have to go to slide if I want to get any use of my pinky I guess...

Try playing a fender mustang. The necks are a little slimer and easier to get around on than most guitars. Go to a store and try them out.
And you should use your pinky. I use mine and I have had a woodworking accident with mine (chopped some off).
You can do it with practice. Don't give up!
DJ
#36
Try playing all of your powerchords with your index and pinky for a while. It really helped me.
#37
Pinky is essential, particularly with barre chords.

What I did to build up strength is play powerchord songs, but only use two strings, no octave. And use your index and pinky, practice sliding powerchords like that, and holding it steady.

Worked very well for me.
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#38
How do you mean? Do you mean like in chords or super speed solos?

I think you have to use your pinky I mean, how the fuck can you play an F chord without your pinky?
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#39
Quote by NineInchNails_0
I think you have to use your pinky I mean, how the fuck can you play an F chord without your pinky?


e|-----
B|--1--
G|--2--
D|--3--
A|-----
E|-----

-SD
#40
Quote by Desk Jocky
Try playing a fender mustang. The necks are a little slimer and easier to get around on than most guitars. Go to a store and try them out.
And you should use your pinky. I use mine and I have had a woodworking accident with mine (chopped some off).
You can do it with practice. Don't give up!
DJ


I tried a Mustang--I really didn't like it that much but it could have been that particular one. I can't afford another guitar anyway and by and large I like my Washburn. I've been using my pinkie as much as I can but there are just some cases where thus far it ain't reachin'. In fact, I think I actually hurt my hand yesterday trying to stretch my pinkie to reach something it didn't want to go to...

Me give up? Nah, can't do it...too many musician friends who'd never let me hear the end of it.
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