#1
Hey folks,

Just wanted some opinions really....

Every so often i find a guitarist that I idolise enough to imitate in style (My name should be a clue to what sorta styles)....and recently ive been listening to so much Iron Maiden, ive been sorta training myself to sound like Dave Murrey.

This training includes putting away the Ibanez and grabbing my strat....practicing fast legato runs with the bridge pick up....that sorta thing. Which to be honest is nothing i cant handle....BUT...

Now this is something ive noticed a number of guitarists do....but ive often seen him bending strings (very accurately) with his pinky finger on live videos.

I can see the advantages to this.....being able to pull off a fast run, ending on a note played by the pinky...and finish it off with a dramatic bend (a brilliant trade mark of Maiden).

But ive also noticed that lots of other professional guitarists seem to not bother training their pinky to be so strong....and instead perform all bends with the 2nd and 3rd fingers. So im not sure if i should be focusing on building pinky strength or on other things.


I just want a few opinions.....what are your views on this.
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#3
do it, if you don't notice alot of others doing it, then you have something they don't right. personally i do use it for bending, but not a whole lot and i should probably use it more to make it stronger.
#4
It's good to train all of your fingers to bend accurately and well enough to pull off bends in the event that something happens like you described (legato run + bending on pinky note). Just bend random notes with the pinky and get used to it, then practice runs where if you end on a note that is being played on the third finger, go ahead and bend it with your pinky.
#5
As Shred Durst once said, "you am got 'em, so use 'em."

I practice every technique I can with every finger I can. It might not be a big part of one person's style, but it's useful to have in your sack of techniques, so that you can easily throw it in your own riff without being restrained by lack of training.

Go further in that. I'm sure doing trills with your pinky would help too. When my index was damaged, I had to work with the other three fingers. I did trills with middle to ring, ring to pinky, and middle to pinky. Really helped with overall finger strength.
#6
i use my pinky to bend, and i curl my thumb over the top of the fretboard where it stays, some say its bad form but i can do everything that other people can so its not about "form"
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#7
Quote by blaze2thekings
i use my pinky to bend, and i curl my thumb over the top of the fretboard where it stays, some say its bad form but i can do everything that other people can so its not about "form"


Yeah this is the dilema im facing....

granted my bends sound a lot less powerful with my pinky at the moment, and my pinky vibrato sucks....but the bends are still pretty accurate...

Its just the whole issue with the thumb hooking over the top edge of the fretboard....at the moment i need to do this to gain leverage, but im hoping practice will solve that.

And holy crap....i just read that David Gilmour often performs overbends up to 2 and a half tones with his pinky....with .11 strings....

....now thats a benchmark i would like to reach....
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#8
when i try to do full bends with my pinky i'll put my ring finger on top of my pinky halfway through to help finish
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#9
If this means anything, I play bass. And I probly use my pinky second to my index. And I do all my slides and bends with my pinky.

Im pretty sure im gonna break it one day.
#10
I can only use my pinky for hammer/pull. For bending I always need to have my ring finger as support.
I've seen some guitarist plays really fast only with other 3 fingers so I guess it's all about technique and habit.
#11
i started to think that should i use pinky for bending about 2 day's ago. Now i've decided that it's important, because guitarists should use all the fingers they have.
#12
Maybe I'm missing something, but bends with my pinky are the easiest bends for me to do because I'm bending the string with my index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers.

I find bends with the index finger to be the hardest to perform...

Is there some reason why at the end of this legato run you can't use your other fingers for support? I havent watched too much video of David Gilmour, but I'm willing to be that when he's bending those 2 1/2 steps with his pinky finger he's using his other fingers for support.
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#13
Quote by blaze2thekings
i use my pinky to bend, and i curl my thumb over the top of the fretboard where it stays, some say its bad form but i can do everything that other people can so its not about "form"


It's called making "a clamp" and is widely used by blues guitarists from back in the day. It's not your typical shred/perfect position, but if you ask me it's the only way to make a killer bend.
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#14
Quote by FourSticks17
I havent watched too much video of David Gilmour, but I'm willing to be that when he's bending those 2 1/2 steps with his pinky finger he's using his other fingers for support.


+1

Never use only one finger to bend, unless it's am index finger bend. Seems stupid to leave you fingers dangling around when they could be used to help.
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#15
I'm sure you could train your pinky to bend more efficiently, but as 5kuzgib said, you should do reinforced bending; I always play with my pinky, it just seems to be a good skill to hone in on.
#16
Quote by FourSticks17
Maybe I'm missing something, but bends with my pinky are the easiest bends for me to do because I'm bending the string with my index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers.


lol......okay.....to everyone that had decided to run with this ball.

I ALWAYS use the other fingers to support my bends.....and as i already said, my bends are still quick and accurate with the pinky but just lack power and virtuosity.

There is a lot more to bending that simply...well....bending. Vibrato for example.

The stronger your fingers are, ultimately the more control you have over your sound. Im just contemplating building my pinky up some more....thats all lol
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#17
i say do it, take a nice bluesy solo with lots of quater, half and full tone bends and then try and do all of the quater tones with ur pinky, then move up to the half tones and finally full tones when you have got it perfected that way u train ur pinky gradually, then u can do for the gilmour-esque two-tone bends with ur pinky
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#18
Quote by Gilmour_Wylde

The stronger your fingers are, ultimately the more control you have over your sound. Im just contemplating building my pinky up some more....thats all lol


Then what was the point of this thread at all...? I thought you were asking for opinions on the importance of building up pinky strength...

And sorry for running with that ball, but you had posted that your pinky bends are, "a lot less powerful" so that led me to believe that you aren't supporting your pinky. To be honest, I still can't understand why your pinky bends would be less powerful. If anything, they should be the most powerful (although vibrato, etc. are another story).

Anyway, if you're still asking about the importance of building up pinky strength, then I'll say that there are more important things that you can be working on.

I apologize if I'm being too blunt, but that's just my two cents.
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#19
Quote by FourSticks17
Then what was the point of this thread at all...? I thought you were asking for opinions on the importance of building up pinky strength...

And sorry for running with that ball, but you had posted that your pinky bends are, "a lot less powerful" so that led me to believe that you aren't supporting your pinky. To be honest, I still can't understand why your pinky bends would be less powerful. If anything, they should be the most powerful (although vibrato, etc. are another story).

Anyway, if you're still asking about the importance of building up pinky strength, then I'll say that there are more important things that you can be working on.

I apologize if I'm being too blunt, but that's just my two cents.


I wasnt really asking about the importance of doing it.....thats sorta.....obvious.....

Ive been playing guitar for a long time. I appreciate the input man, but i just wanted to get a few opinions, and how a few other people feel about it.
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#20
I only bend with my pinky when it's necessary. Like, I wouldn't go out of my way just to bend with my pinky. If the note I'm ending on happens to be with my pinky and it just so happens that I need to bend it up, I'll use it. Then again, I play .9's so it isn't very hard at all.
#21
I cant see any possible situation where u would need to bend a string with your pinky. Either way, use the other 3 fingers to support the pinky.
#22
The more things you CAN do the more things you'll be able to play.

I agree with FourSticks. The pinky can actually be the STRONGEST finger to
bend with because it has the support of all the other fingers available. It's only
because it's not used and/or actively avoided that it's perceived as weak. But,
that's really your choice.