#1
Ok so, I've been playing for a little over 4 years now and I'm at a level that I'm pretty happy with but I don't use my pinky at all on my fretting hand. I use pointer, middle, and ring finger only.

Is it unusual to only use 3 fingers? I feel like it holds certain techniques like sweep picking back for me, but at the same time I'm super comfortable playing with just 3 fingers.
Any suggestions on techniques or exercises to get me to start using my pinky would be much appreciated, or if you don't think it's a problem that's cool too.
Quote by AluminumOxide
Cobain killed himself before he learned to play guitar.

Gibson SG Special
Schecter C1-Plus
#2
I would say it holds your reach back, making it hard to do dynamic runs on a single string. Other than that, it's effectiveness can be somewhat compensated for by an effective three finger technique (and perhaps good picking hand tapping skills).

The biggest issue when using your pinky is removing its dependence on your ring finger. It tends to raise higher than your ring finger creating the need to move it faster towards the fretboard in order to keep in time. This is no good when you're working your fingers to their speed limit.

An exercise I use to create finger independence is to do a standard chromatic run (1-2-3-4 on each string, etc.) and alternate between removing the ring finger and middle finger (so it would be 1st string: 1-2-4, 2nd string: 1-3-4, etc.). Play with a metronome to increase the effectiveness of the exercise. Concentrate on keeping your pinky on the same horizontal plane as the rest of your fingers - don't let it raise higher.
Schecter C-1 Classic (Antique Amber)
Ibanez JEM 7VWH
Crate Palamino Class A tube combo
Digitech RP80 Multieffects pedal
Ibanez TS9 DX Tube Screamer
Last edited by Bazilisck311 at Jun 17, 2008,
#3
never stopped Clapton, but it cant hurt to give your pinky a workout like the poster above has mentioned.
Gear:
PRS Tremonti SE with PRS USA Tremonti pickups
2001 Ibanez RG470
Peavey Bandit 112
Fender Superchamp XD
USA Jackson SL1
#4
no it's not unusual but it helps to be able to use it. if you look closely at some videos jimmy page didn't use it that much, neither did hendrix, but that's just cuz of his enormous hands and narrow strat neck i suppose.
Traynor YCV50 Blue
epi les paul w/ SD Alnico II pros
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EH Deluxe Memory Boy
Moen Jimi Vibe
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz
Zvex Vexter Fuzz Factory
VHT 2x12 w/ V30's
#5
Awesome, thanks for the replies, especially Bazilisck

I'll try that exercise out, I'm sure it'll take a while to get past the awkwardness but it can't hurt I guess.
Plus at least I use one more finger than Django, there's some hope for improvement >.>
Quote by AluminumOxide
Cobain killed himself before he learned to play guitar.

Gibson SG Special
Schecter C1-Plus
#6
Quote by Rufiothebandito
Awesome, thanks for the replies, especially Bazilisck

I'll try that exercise out, I'm sure it'll take a while to get past the awkwardness but it can't hurt I guess.
Plus at least I use one more finger than Django, there's some hope for improvement >.>


NP bud

Schecter C-1 Classic (Antique Amber)
Ibanez JEM 7VWH
Crate Palamino Class A tube combo
Digitech RP80 Multieffects pedal
Ibanez TS9 DX Tube Screamer