#1
Trying to remove tension from it. What to do with it, rather than have it wave around? Rest it on adjacent strings?

EXAMPLE

12--15--12-----12--15--12
------------15----------------15 


(Played with 1st and 3rd fingers)
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#2
Dont play that with your first and third, play the 12 with your 1st finger and the 15 with your pinky. also the best thing to do if nto using your pinky is to keep it steady and hovering as close to the string as possible.
Quote by boreamor
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#3
Quote by charlie__flynn
Dont play that with your first and third, play the 12 with your 1st finger and the 15 with your pinky. also the best thing to do if nto using your pinky is to keep it steady and hovering as close to the string as possible.

Please take this man's advice.
#4
Give each finger a fret. For example, in chromatics, play fret 1 with your first finger, 2nd fret with your second finger etc. and apply that to any licks you play.

So in your example, 12th fret, first finger; 15th fret, 14th finger; 14th fret would be 3rd finger.
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#5
Ok, I'll give position playing a go for it.
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#6
Quote by charlie__flynn
Dont play that with your first and third, play the 12 with your 1st finger and the 15 with your pinky. also the best thing to do if nto using your pinky is to keep it steady and hovering as close to the string as possible.

+1 TS playing it the way your saying isnt the best way its because your pinky is weak. Work on your pinky.
#7
you are going to get a way better tone using your ring finger rather than using your pinky.
#8
Quote by J.A.M
Trying to remove tension from it. What to do with it, rather than have it wave around? Rest it on adjacent strings?

EXAMPLE

12--15--12-----12--15--12
------------15----------------15


(Played with 1st and 3rd fingers)

I checked, don't think anyone mentioned about note D on the B string. Are you playing that with your ring? (finger not ass). Cuz otherwise your pinky will be working double time to fret note G.

Second question. Out of interest, how are you picking this lick?

Also just a little tip. When you lift off the B string, you may get unwanted noise. To remedy this, very subtley touch the underside of the B string with your pointer throughout the duration of the lick.

Move the lick around too, like start it on the B string instead (pointer muting business will still apply here), then move back up to the E. This will be good string skipping practice - cuz your last note (lick is on the B string at this point) will be on the G string, the you have to skip up to the E string.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 23, 2008,
#9
Quote by tgrillo
you are going to get a way better tone using your ring finger rather than using your pinky.

Only if you have a weak pinky. If your pinky is strong enough to get the tone you want then you have an advantage. Your ****ing yourself in the long run by playing with the ring that way in my opinion. To each his own though.
#10
Quote by charlie__flynn
Dont play that with your first and third, play the 12 with your 1st finger and the 15 with your pinky. also the best thing to do if nto using your pinky is to keep it steady and hovering as close to the string as possible.


I think that once you get to the 12th fret or so it's up to the player.
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#11
^ indeed, specially if you have a bend to nail on those 15s, I'd ring finger them.

Jam, it's just really really really hard. The 1 3 arrangement makes your pinky tense because 3 and 4 share a tendon and it tends to curl up seriously - and just not relax. The trick is strong, independant fingers. There's a lesson vid on finger independance on my profile, and if you develop the strength and put in the practice you'll be able to keep the pinky at least useable in fast runs.

This is one of the trickiest problems in guitar playing.
#12
For me, personally, I use strict 1 finger per fret across the entire fretboard (unless of course there's some kind of stretch involved). This is not for everyone, and some people's fingers are too big for this. It works well for me because I never have to worry about what fingering to use, and don't have to change it depending on how far up the neck I am.

I also taught myself to bend almost equally well with 2, 3, and 4. 4 took a whole year of working on it before it was as good as 3. And when I had it nailed...freedom! I don't have to adjust the fingering of a phrase around the fact that there is a bend in it. But like the fingering in general, this is not for everybody, and in most cases I'd recommend what FP said above. (Though the ability to palm innocent bystanders heads between my index finger and pinky sure is cool!) <- slight exaggeration.
#13
I use strict 1 finger per fret too and love it, i'm not quite as far on with the pinky bending and vibrato is a bit weak but I would recommend trying it out. It works great for 3nps runs (most of the stuff I play is 3nps either x xx or xx x, if you catch my drift), so x xx would use 1st 3rd and 4th fingers and xx x would use 1st 2nd and 4th fingers.
#14
Quote by se012101
For me, personally, I use strict 1 finger per fret across the entire fretboard (unless of course there's some kind of stretch involved). This is not for everyone, and some people's fingers are too big for this.


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I never got that either.
#15
Thanks for all the advice guys. I do have big hands, so my fingers are slightly cramped up at the top end.

I'm playing this lick (now) with the 1st, 3rd and 4th fingers, going 1413, with a pick on the 1st note and the last, my ring finger/muting skills aren't quite good enough to nail it with just the one pick.

Another lick(keeping pentatonic for now, 3 nps is a whole other ball game) that is worse on my pinky is;


D--12-14-12
A----------14

My pinky becomes almost useless here.
I know I have to relax it, but where should it be in relation to my other fingers? I can't rest it on the D string...
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#16
The best and only way to get comfortable using your pinky is to use it as much as possible. Use it in any situation where OFPF is applicable, and during any stretch, and do it as much as possible. A good one to get started with is the first fast lick from the Cowboys from Hell solo (where he plays 11-12-15 on every string). It's also a great picking and legato exercise in general.
#17
sorry I didn't read properly, missed that it was only pentatonic, my previous post is redundant aw well.

As for where to put the pinky when playing with 1 2 and 3 fingers, I do tend to leave it up in the air slightly, It doesn't really matter where it is as long as it is comfortable and doesn't impede your other fingers (and of course that you can use it immediately when needed). One thing to be said though is try not to let it get caught up behind the neck when not using it, I notice that some people do that.
#18
I never use my little finger for playing lead, i know i should do, but it has never hindered me in anything. I just don't see the point in strengthening it when I have no need for it.
#19
A good one to get started with is the first fast lick from the Cowboys from Hell solo (where he plays 11-12-15 on every string). It's also a great picking and legato exercise in general.

I just ran through that, I'm pretty decent with hammer-ons. It's mostly when I'm pulling off my pinky spazzes out.
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#20
Quote by Nathan Sturgess
I never use my little finger for playing lead, i know i should do, but it has never hindered me in anything. I just don't see the point in strengthening it when I have no need for it.


In lead playing, so basically everything you NEED your pinky on you don't use it.

Like someone else said, at the 12th fret it's up to you. Hell, if you're using your pinky that high it might actually be WORSE because you're cramping up when you don't need to.
#21
J.AM = It's mostly when I'm pulling off my pinky spazzes out.

There's loads of exercises to get your pinky down to business as you're probably well aware. I'll tab two out for you.

Everyone is different, but they really worked for me.

Again, try these on all strings, especially the low ones where your thumb is behind the neck. Repeat the licks over and over. All hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Lick 1

-3-5-6-5-3


Lick 2 (kinda neo-classical). I found this to be a really good one.

-6-3-5-6-5-3


It's all based in G minor. So if you know the notes, you can take this pattern all the way to the top. Like this...
-6-3-5-6-5-3-8-5-6-8-6-5
and so on.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 27, 2008,
#22
Quote by Nathan Sturgess
I never use my little finger for playing lead, i know i should do, but it has never hindered me in anything. I just don't see the point in strengthening it when I have no need for it.


But your pinky is essential for a vast quantity of licks. Anything stretchy, a lot of useful fingerings for scales and arpeggios...

A lot of chords...



If you have no need for it then you aren't using your imagination very much when you play. No offense.
#23
Maybe he has shawn lane fingers and he can do 3 nps dimished licks with his first 3 fingers
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#24
No offense taken, I don't find it is essential, fair enough for chords and arpeggios yes but apart from that then no. I do have a very stretchy hand though.
#25
^ Ok, maybe it feels like it is not essential right now. But what about to the level of guitarist you want to be in say 3 years? Seriously, dude, please trust me on this one. Learn to use your pinky.
#26
If that was for me, I've been playing for 7 years and am constantly advancing. When I say I'm stretchy, I can go from 1-5 on a Strat with my first and third fingers.
#27
Quote by Nathan Sturgess
If that was for me, I've been playing for 7 years and am constantly advancing. When I say I'm stretchy, I can go from 1-5 on a Strat with my first and third fingers.

Jeez, I can just manage 1-6 my pointer and pinky lol!

16cm from bottom of palm to tip of 2nd finger. Lol, that's about the size of.....oh, never mind.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 5, 2008,
#28
Lmao. I'm not that big either, just 6ft1 but seriously my hands look like spades on the end of my arms.
#29
^ Hey Dude, yeah it was for you. If you read it as snotty or condenscending or anything, then I apologize. I definately didn't mean it that way. I still say learning to use your pinky more would be a great investment for opening up even more possibilities in your playing, though I must say that's a hell of a reach you've got there.
#30
No mate, don't worry, I may have replied as though I found it snotty, but I can be quite blunt and quick on the defence sometimes. I am willing to take advice though and anybody that isn't, isn't really a very good player. I am sure my little finger will come to some use someday, I am not going to voluntarily have it removed or anything like that.
#32
okay, I've been reading this thread and are you guys saying that besides major stretches you dont really need your pinky past the 12th fret? or am i missing something.

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#34
Quote by Chewbacca
Jeez, I can just manage 1-6 my pointer and pinky lol!

16cm from bottom of palm to tip of 2nd finger. Lol, that's about the size of.....oh, never mind.


^That was from memory. 17.5cm, yay!

Quote by Freepower
damn straight. I just tried the stretch you mentioned, I can get 1-6 with fingers 1 and 3. (and still use that pesky 4th finger ) /end just showing off.

Bastard.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 5, 2008,
#35
A fraction under 8 inches (about 20 cm) for me from wrist to tip of middle finger. Unfortunately, I have big palms and average fingers, so I can still only reach from 1-6.

The good news for all you guys who are around 18,19, maybe 20, is that your hands often keep growing for a year or two after you've reached your final height. So you might have a bit of hand growth yet to come.
#36
^ and you can always improve flexibility, hand strength and posture.

I remember one guitarist I read about having tiny hands and he could reach chords I couldn't. Actually, Shawn Lane's another example of this.
#37
Sorry for hijacking but my pinky sometimes feels like it pops when i use it, but I have my thump a little over the fretboard. Should I have my thumb a bit over the fret board, or just on the back of the guitar neck?
#38
The classical style (thumb behind the neck) is general considered the best, mostly because it doesn't limit your reach the way the broom handle technique does. That said there a lot of great players that play with there thumb a bit over the fretboard (for example, George Lynch seems to do this a lot). A lot of players switch back and forth, since the broom handle method makes bends and vibrato a bit easier. Personally, I think its better to just get good at bends and vibrato in the classical position, as having to switch back and forth can limit you too.