Flying Fingers

Post your question here and an experienced guitar player or teacher will get back to you.
Post Reply
User avatar
Full Member
Posts: 210
Joined: November 15th, 2004, 11:30 pm
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Flying Fingers

Post by rsadler » April 28th, 2012, 3:33 pm

I've been taking some online lessons over at Justinguitar, and have finished the beginners course and starting the Intermediate section. One lesson is about keeping your fingers as close to the strings as possible. I've tried some scales over and over, going so slow, one note at a time, and for the life of me I can't seem to stop my pinky from pointing up when I lift it off the string. Is this a habit that makes much difference? Do most people past the beginner level have this technique down? I've gotten to the suggested 120 bpm with the Major scale, but that's only if I let my "fingers fly" as they say. Is this something that matters much?

User avatar
Guitarnoise Denizen
Posts: 1284
Joined: March 4th, 2008, 10:52 am
Location: Lancashire, England

Re: Flying Fingers

Post by almann1979 » April 28th, 2012, 3:39 pm

I remember my own flying fingers, and they only seemed to fly when I was playing the top E and B strings. Try as I might I had the same problem as you, and couldn't seem to control them.

For me however, it was a wrist position issue. I found if I dropped my thumb further down the back of the neck, the amount of lift in my fingers instantly reduced. That, and a lot of metronome work solved the problem.

Good luck with it!
"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Posts: 41
Joined: May 25th, 2010, 9:23 pm

Re: Flying Fingers

Post by danooo » April 30th, 2012, 11:53 am

I had an issue with just my pinky coming off too far. I just would do a sorta pinky focused technique session every time i would practice. Try starting at like the 10th fret with the pinky than hit the 9th with the index. Start slow and focus on getting a strong ring out of every note. I would do that about 20 times a day than do the same process with hammers and pull offs. I also thought the metronome was key...instead of thinking about trying to keep my pinky close to the strings i was more worried about the pinky notes being in time eventually i noticed my pinky would start hanging out alot closer to the fretboard.

Posts: 34
Joined: December 8th, 2011, 8:25 am

Re: Flying Fingers

Post by MatthiasYoung » May 4th, 2012, 8:17 am

This is a great topic—

Keeping your fingers close is good. It's less distance they have to travel. You can play faster. However, with minimizing finger motion, it needs to be executed in a way that does not cause the hand to tense up. It's really a matter of your muscles being in shape and using them properly.

However, there are plenty of really great and fast players who have a lot of finger motion. The main thing is to keep your hand as relaxed as possible. Tension slows you down.

After a note has been played, rather than "lifting" the finger, just relax it.

If your pinky is flying way off the fretboard, your hand is probably too tense, and you probably have a bad hand-to-fretboard angle which is making your pinky feel the need to fly off.

There's always anchor exercises that you can work on, but check your hand position first. Your pinky should be very curved rather than straight.

Post Reply