#1
Ever since I started playing (about three or four years ago) I haven't been comfortable using my pinky for my left hand. Especially when I'm playing pentatonic scales, I always seem to be replacing the notes you play with the pinky with my ring finger. If I continue being crappy with my pinky will this issue affect my playing ability?
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#2
It would most likly hinder you in some way, cause lets face it you one finger less control of i would advice doing some chromatic runs 1-2-3-4 on each string to a metronome and also doing it diagonally
#3
i dont kno how you are playing but if you are laying is and bending the joint backwards (the joint closest to your nail) try bridging your pinky instead, so you have more support on it instead of laying it across the string, take it slow too
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#4
a 4th finger at your disposal is pretty essential for advanced playing. I would recommend his chromatic idea working up and down the strings and up and down the fretboard from 1st to 12th fret 4 frets at a time. As a rule of thumb for these exercises they are 4 frets long for each pattern and each finger should be assigned to a specific fret, an example is 4th = index, 5th = middle 6th = ring 7th = pinky, make sure you stick to that to isolate each fingers muscles.

try these patterns on all strings
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
------------------------etc.-------------------------and so on--------------------|
----------------1h2h4---------------------2h3h5---------------------------------|
--------1h2h4---------------------2h3h5-----------------------------------------|
1h2h4---------------------2h3h5-------------------------------------------------|
just bump up a fret everytime.
use the example shape, and also this 1h3h4 to 2h4h5 to 3h5h6 all the way to 12th fret
do the exact same thing backwards from the 12th fret using pull offs like 12p10p9 and 12p11p9.

(sorry for shitty examples but i dont need to hold your hand)

practice picking each note, and also picking the first note and using hammerons/pulloffs on all the strings.. make sure each shape is excluding either the middle or ring depending on the spacing. also use a metronome or at least rhythm and start slow and focus on accuracy. you can also do this shape 2h4h6 or 12p10p8 but its a little of a stretch for an untrained pinky. dont stop til your pinky is sore, basicly when its sore you trick it into thinking its not strong enough to do what your doing and it will build muscle strength - individual finger dexterity is really important to lead guitar AND accurate rhythm playing, especially more advanced chord shapes. hope this helps!
Last edited by jjd07 at Nov 8, 2008,
#5
Can you play with just the three fingers . . . yes. Will you be able to do more with four fingers . . . yes. I am a culprit of being pinky lazy. You can teach your muscle memory to use just the three, as I have, but it is a very hard habit to break out of. I've been playing for 30 some odd years and get very frustrated when trying to use my pinky. If I had only used it when I first started playing . . . Oh well, I do well and get by with my three finger limitation . (just for the record, I'm a pentatonic player and not a shredder).
#6
Quote by bfloyd6969
Can you play with just the three fingers . . . yes. Will you be able to do more with four fingers . . . yes. I am a culprit of being pinky lazy. You can teach your muscle memory to use just the three, as I have, but it is a very hard habit to break out of. I've been playing for 30 some odd years and get very frustrated when trying to use my pinky. If I had only used it when I first started playing . . . Oh well, I do well and get by with my three finger limitation . (just for the record, I'm a pentatonic player and not a shredder).


hmm its not just for pentatonic or "shredding" its very handy in using for long stretches like 6-7 fret stretch for example
#7
People in this thread are over complicating a simple problem. He's probably trying to incorporate his pinky, failing, then immediately switching back to using his ring finger. You can't expect to make progress that way. Practice it man. That's the only thing you need to do.
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#8
I tried condensing a common exercise i read a few years ago that I can't find on UG anymore.. if you dont get it but like the idea look around the lessons and youtube for exercises and warm up stuff.

**why pinkys suck**
more muscle in your fingers lets you play faster, and with more accuracy. your pinky and ring fingers use the same muscle groups, ever try moving only one? yeah right. the other will at least twitch. thats why the pinky is harder to use, its not as independent as other fingers but it can work a lot more independently with more muscle because the muscle group has small, weak muscles dedicated to the pinky. so try wearing it out a few times and as they grow it will perform better. practicing in general slowly builds these muscles so don't think you need to do fancy exercises over and over to progress.. there's just more effective ways than just playing! its what exercises are for. and you did ask for suggestions after all! not just uhh keep playing.. i dont think you need to be told to do that!! :P
Last edited by jjd07 at Nov 8, 2008,
#9
It took me a while but I just decided "I'm going to learn the use this pinky" one day and forced myself to use it, and now I can use it quite easily, I'm actually much more comforatable using it compared to my ring finger

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#10
sorry to post so much, but he has a great point. The ring and pinky are a bit hard to use really close together, just use the finger thats more comfortable for the situation.