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Need help with a few techniques

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Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

I have trouble changing notes to lower strings but using the same fret. For instance, I have trouble playing something like this.


But if it was the other way around.


I would play the 10th fret then just bend my finger down. I find that way easiest. How do you recommend playing the first one?

My pinky isn't strong enough to play certain things such as.


I use my first, second and pinky to play the 5-7-8 frets. But when I get to the last 2 notes, my pinky isn't strong enough to bend down and hit the 8th fret on the A string. So, I end up using my first, second, and third finger for the last half. How would you play it?

My last question is about sliding. Say I was to perform a slide from the 16th fret to the 1st fret using all the strings. Is the sound produced by fretting the strings hard before I begin the slide? Or do I have to strike the strings first then slide.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184

Fret first then slide in most cases.
Reach on the lower strings and pinky strength will improve with time and practice.
Shift your thumb more toward the center of the neck when reaching for the lower strings.
If you still have problems moving to the lower string try holding your neck higher.

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 216

playing scales will strengthen your pinky. I would start with the major scale, train your ear and strengthen your pinky at the same time. :)

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184

good pinky exercises: 1-4 2-4 3-4 3-4 3-4 2-4 then move up a fret and repeat. when you can go up and down an octave, then start doing it with hammer-ons with the pinky.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

For the string changing problem: when you go from the third string to the second, you're just flattening your finger to get the second note. You could do exactly the opposite - put your finger down on BOTH strings, play the B string, then raise your finger so just the tip is on the third string, and play that note. Changing the arch of your finger will dampen the B string, so you can get it to sound very clean - I do that sometimes in arpeggio figures and whatnot.

For pinky development, start small. Fret a string 1-4-1-4, and when that's comfortable, do 2-4-2-4. You'll be building up the muscles on the side of the hand - they play a role in using the pinky. Then do 3-4-3-4 figures - that will help with coordination.

For the slide, you usually pick the strings first, then slide.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

I am with NoteBoat, when you know you are going to play a note on the string below at the same fret, use a little barre over both strings.

For that tab you showed, I would use the index, ring, and pinky.

Also, for this particular piece, make sure you have proper fretting hand technque. This is a case where you would want to make sure your thumb is in the middle of the neck, not wrapped over the top. There should be a space between your palm and the neck of the guitar. Then, curl your fingers over like a spider. This will give you much greater reach and strength with your fretting hand.

This is a picture of a barre chord, but your hand should be in this position. Notice you cannot see the thumb, and that the palm is off the neck. This is the correct position your hand should be in when you play on the bass strings of the guitar.

Correct Fretting Hand Position

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