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Pinky Movement


(@twsteffen)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

Hi All

First post here, though I have been reading these forums for awhile. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to increase pinky control. I feel like it has a mind of its own. I've been stretching it out when not playing, but whenever I pick up the guitar it goes back to dragging my ring finger where ever it goes. Obviously just keeping at it will help, but any specific suggestions would help.

thanks!


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Try playing major scales to start with (slowly).

Then shift on to blues and minor ones.

Then play them fast.

Hope that helps.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I suppose you could try something like hammering-on and pulling off, making sure you use your pinky....little things like turning a D (200232) chord into a Dsus4 (200233) and back again by using your pinky on the high E string. Or maybe turning a C - x32010 into a C7 - x32310 or maybe a Cadd9 - x32030, again by using your pinky for the changes.

Something like that would build up strength in the pinky, and would make you move ONLY the pinky with your remaining fingers anchored to the fretboard.

Another good exercise would be playing a blues shuffle using powerchords.....

A5 - 5 7 x x x x
A6 - 5 9 x x x x
A7 - 5 10 x x x x

D5 - x 5 7 x x x
D6 - x 5 9 x x x
D7 - x 5 10 x x x

E5 - x 7 9 x x x
E6 - x 7 11 x x x
E7 - x 7 12 x x x

You'd play A5/A6/A7/A6, A5/A6/A7/A6, A5/A6/A7/A6,A5/A6/A7/A6,
D5/D6/D7/D6, D5/D6/D7/D6, A5/A6/A7/A6, A5/A6/A7/A6,
E5/E6/E7/E6, D5/D6/D7/D6, A5/A6/A7/A6, E5/E6/E7/E6 for a 12-bar blues.....

you'd do this with your first finger at the 5th fret and your third finger at the 7th fret, then use your pinky for the 6th and 7th chords. For the D and E chords, it wouldn't matter if you hit the bottom E string as well, as long as your first finger is on at the 5th and 7th frets respectively. I've always found this a hell of a workout for my pinky!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Learn to play piano. Seriously.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Learn to play piano. Seriously.

Or use your pinky on another keyboard - the one you're sitting in front of! Most people just peck at it with two fingers - use 'em all!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

Maybe you could play piano with your right & guitar with your left....
I've been thinkin' about tryin' that.......


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(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
 

A good exercise that helped me:

Play on 4 frets
1st fret: index
2nd fret: middle
3rd fret: ring
4th fret: pinky

Exercise index - pinky

------------------------------5-8-5-----------------------------
------------------------5-8----------8-5------------------------
------------------5-8---------------------8-5-------------------
------------5-8---------------------------------8-5-------------
-------5-8--------------------------------------------8-5-------
--5-8-------------------------------------------------------8-5-

But the better exercise to "separate" your ring finger from your pinky is:

Played with your ring finger and your pinky

------------------------------7-8-7-----------------------------
------------------------7-8----------8-7------------------------
------------------7-8---------------------8-7-------------------
------------7-8---------------------------------8-7-------------
-------7-8--------------------------------------------8-7-------
--7-8-------------------------------------------------------8-7-

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

Chromatic scales up and down the fretboard give your pinky a good work out, especially the descending patterns as the pinky has to be in place to play a note and then lift off so you can play the next note with the 3rd finger.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@tyler-n)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 45

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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf7OTbl__aU

Yeah, that'll strengthen your fingers alright.
But this might be a bit more gentle way to start.
Then move to the hammer-ons.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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(@twsteffen)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf7OTbl__aU
Thanks for everyones replies here.

This was perfect by the way. I'm only doing the hammer ons right now, but I have definitely seen improvement. I can even hit (with mild accuracy) the 1-4 hammer ons, which seemed impossible when I first tried. I guess I should work on the pull-offs next.


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

The book "Rock Guitar Secrets" describes an exercise called "the Spider." It is hard as HELL and can only be done (by me) very slowly. But it's done wonders for the strength and control I have of my pinky, and other fingers as well. Just do it real SLOW.

It works like this- Choose your favourite fret (you can do it anywhere on the fretboard) and-
(using index for the first note on each string, and moving up one finger at a time.)

-----------------------------------------------------5-6-7-8--------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------5-6-7-8----------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------5-6-7-8----------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------5-6-7-8------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------5-6-7-8------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----5-6-7-8---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looks easy, right? Hard part is, you move each finger OFF the string only when it's its turn to fret on the next string- each finger rests on the previous string until needed, so each one moves indepently. (So when you fret the 5th fret on the A string, your ring middle through pinky are still resting on the E string, frets 6,7, and 8- then when you play 6 on the A string with your middle finger, index and middle are on the A string, ring and and pinky on E, etc.)

Then do it back down. remember, slow.

Best,
ande


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(@matt_e)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8
 

There are a couple of exercises on http://www.justinguitar.com that are really helping me develop pinky control and strength. (Finger Gym and Stretching, something like that)


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