Skip to content
strengthening pinky...
 
Notifications
Clear all

strengthening pinky finger..

16 Posts
9 Users
0 Reactions
3,779 Views
(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

How can I get more strength in it?

Im getting fret buzz when doing a 6-9 stretch and a 2-5 stretch.

Cheers.


   
Quote
(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

The more you use it, the stronger it will become. It's like any other muscle in your body, it has to be worked to gain strength. Practice chords and riffs that require you to use your pinkie (blues shuffles that require you to reach are good exercise for the pinkie). When I first started back playing, I couldn't use my pinkie to save my life! But, with practice, it's as strong as my other fingers now.

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
ReplyQuote
(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

The more you use it, the stronger it will become. It's like any other muscle in your body, it has to be worked to gain strength. Practice chords and riffs that require you to use your pinkie (blues shuffles that require you to reach are good practice for the pinkie). When I first started back playing, I couldn't use my pinkie to save my life! But, with practice, it's as strong as my other fingers now.

ta :) i'll just keep doing the stretches i have, and do string shuffles then. need to stop it buzzing for next thursday lol


   
ReplyQuote
(@niiickmuse)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8
 

I would try doing trills. Just put your index finger on the first fret, and do trills(hammer on and pull offs over and over) with your pinky on the fourth fret. Do it for about a minute, or as long as you can while staying in time. You can also do this with your other fingers, it definitely helps build strength. As with all exercises, try to do it with a metronome and keep time. Hope this helps!


   
ReplyQuote
(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Trills help, but a 1-4 finger trill will work your wrist & palm more than your pinky (you'll be using bigger muscles to power the finger, simply because you can).

To isolate just the pinky muscles, do 3-4 trills.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I agree completely with NoteBoat on the 3-4 finger trill to strengthen the pinky. I practice this constantly.

Do not feel bad that your pinky seems weak, it is not unusual at all. At lot of it has to do with how are hands are made. You may have had someone ask you to do this before:

1) Bend your middle finger at the large joint.

2) Now place that hand palm down on a table. All your fingers will be extended, except your middle finger which will be tucked under your palm.

3) Keeping your hand palm down on the table, raise your thumb only off the table. Easy

4) Now raise your index finger. Easy

5) Now raise your pinky. Easy

6) Now raise your ring finger. IMPOSSIBLE!

So the difficulty with the pinky is very natural, it is how our hands are made. You really have to spend lots of extra time on the pinky to not only strengthen it, but to make it as fast as the other fingers as well.

You have probably noticed that the pinky likes to raise up high off the fretboard when playing solos. And of course, this means more time for the finger to come back down to play a note. So, the pinky can be a little slower when trying to play super fast scales or runs.

So, for me, I just do this 3-4 trill NoteBoat suggested. But I also just pick and play with these two fingers only as fast as possible and change strings. This can get very tiring, but it will speed up both fingers and increase strength as well.

Here are four exercises I practice constantly to strengthen, speed up, and give finger independence between the ring and pinky fingers. Play at a good steady speed and slowly speed up. Notice how difficult it is to lift the ring finger up when changing strings at speed. This is a great exercise that will get both these fingers very fit.


e--------------------------------3--4-
b--------------------------3--4-------
g--------------------3--4-------------
d--------------3--4-------------------
a--------3--4-------------------------
e--3--4-------------------------------
r p r p r p r p r p r p

e--------------------------------4--3-
b--------------------------4--3-------
g--------------------4--3-------------
d--------------4--3-------------------
a--------4--3-------------------------
e--4--3-------------------------------
p r p r p r p r p r p r

e--3--4-------------------------------
b--------3--4-------------------------
g--------------3--4-------------------
d--------------------3--4-------------
a--------------------------3--4-------
e--------------------------------3--4-
r p r p r p r p r p r p

e--4--3-------------------------------
b--------4--3-------------------------
g--------------4--3-------------------
d--------------------4--3-------------
a--------------------------4--3-------
e--------------------------------4--3-
p r p r p r p r p r p r

Do these every night and see how fast your fretting hand gets in a short while. You will be able to trill much faster with strength as well.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
(@welshman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 99
 

Wes

I just tried your exercise and I have to say .. I think I hate you! :-D

Only kidding - thanks

D

What did the guitarist do when he was told to turn on his amp?
He caressed it softly and told it that he loved it.


   
ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I just tried your exercise and I have to say .. I think I hate you!

Only kidding - thanks

Thanks. The nice thing about these exercises is you don't have to think or even concentrate to perform them. I will often just sit and watch a TV show while playing these exercises. This exercise will also improve picking, especially changing strings while picking at fast speed.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Thanks Wes, I'll give that a try!

main reason i want to strengthen it is so that i can keep it planted when stretching properly.

Im trying stretching exercises as well, as i can only stretch over 4 frets - a work colleague with similar sized hands can stretch over 6 so I know it MUST be possible for me?


   
ReplyQuote
(@hyunjae)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
 

:shock: I tried your excersize... right? It's my ring finger that had trouble keeping up :? Is that natural?


   
ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 



I tried your excersize... right? It's my ring finger that had trouble keeping up Is that natural?

Well, everybody is different, it may be easy for some, but like you I have noticed that the ring finger is actually the problem sometimes. That is kind of funny, because most guitarists in general feel that the index and ring fingers are their strongest and fastest fingers. And if you are just using the two fingers that is generally true. But not always.

Years ago I used to copy the solo from Reelin' In the Years by Steely Dan. That is a great solo. I could play the whole solo well except for one little part, especially one certain note in the solo. Here is the little run that gave me problems:


*
e-----------------------------------
b-3m-2i----5p-3m-2i-3m-2i-----------
g-------4r----------------4r-2i-----
d-----------------------------------
a-----------------------------------
e-----------------------------------
1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3

Now, this whole passage is picked (no hammer-ons or pulls). I am not a super fast picker, but I realized my ring finger was just a little slow on the third note of this passage only. Why?? I am kind of a perfectionist on these things, and this little problem really bothered me. I could practice this little passage over and over and get it right, but when I tried to play it within the whole solo I was always late on this one single note. You would be surprised the amount of work I put into this one little passage over the years.

I also noticed that my ring finger which usually feels very strong, kinda felt weak on this one note only. Again, why??

I concluded that the problem was the first note was played by the middle finger. The middle finger has to rise to play the second note with the index. This is what slowed my ring finger down on the third note. Just like the little exercise I wrote about in my first post, the middle and ring fingers are tied together physically, they cannot move absolutely independently of each other. All other finger combinations can. But these two fingers have to move together to a small degree.

Hold a note on any string with the index finger. Raise the middle finger up a little high over the fretboard. Now without lowering the middle finger, try to play a note on the same string (or any string really) with the ring finger. Feel the resistance?? When the middle finger is raised, it resists the ring finger coming down. I don't know about you, but I can feel it, it is slightly uncomfortable.

When you play the exercise I wrote out, note your middle finger. Notice how it moves in sync with the ring finger. It has to.

You cannot free these two fingers from each other completely, but with exercises you can improve their independence. And this is important if you want to play fast passages cleanly that involve these two fingers.

Some may think I am making a big fuss over this (probably am), but I want to play any passage clean and precise, and hopefully fast too. So I make up little exercises to help these fingers be independent. And I have seen improvement over time.

Here are a couple of little exercises I play. These exercises were pretty difficult for me at first, you may be different.


e—3r-2m-4p-2m-------------
b-------------------------
g-------------3r-2m-4p-2m-
d-------------------------
a-------------------------
e-------------------------
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

e--3--2--4--3------------
b------------------------
g-------------3--2--4--3-
d------------------------
a------------------------
e------------------------
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

Now, both of those exercises were a little difficult at first, but if you are like me, the 2nd exercise is a little tougher than the first. Why?? Because you have to raise the middle finger to play the note with pinky. The middle finger can come back down on the first example easily, but the ring finger is slowed by the raised middle finger on the second example.

Leave your middle finger down on both exercises. Now they are both far easier to play arent' they? :D

Anyway, most players probably don't worry about this kind of thing, but I try to understand and hopefully correct problems when I find them. I found this problem between the middle and ring fingers some time ago and try to make up little exercises that will help them be independent, stronger, and quicker.

At the very least you will see an improvement in finger independence with these exercises, and jumping over strings is a good picking exercise as well.

Wes

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
(@rmorash)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108
 

Our very own Dave Hodge wrote an article on that very subject for Acoustic Guitar recently. For those that have access to the magazine it is in the June 2007 issue (Tony Rice on the cover) and is called "Pinky Power".
He gives several exercises and a song "Duncan and Brady" to practice with. I think the lesson is available on Acoustic Guitar's website but it requires a sign-in.


   
ReplyQuote
(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

Our very own Dave Hodge wrote an article on that very subject for Acoustic Guitar recently. For those that have access to the magazine it is in the June 2007 issue (Tony Rice on the cover) and is called "Pinky Power".
He gives several exercises and a song "Duncan and Brady" to practice with. I think the lesson is available on Acoustic Guitar's website but it requires a sign-in.

i doubt its available in the UK?

I'll sign in.

thanks :)


   
ReplyQuote
(@hyunjae)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
 

:oops: Guess I'm lucky... my index is double jointed so I can move it without bothering the middle finger... :? Thanks you Jesus?

:twisted: I picked up and can play that Steely Dan solo pretty quickly pretty fast... dunno how fast it's supposed to be played though...

( :( My post feels so small and insignificant compared to your mighty *sagely?* posts =x)


   
ReplyQuote
(@mikehull)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 93
Topic starter  

I'll need to get trying these sooner rather than later - time isnt in my favour again at the moment :(

reason i want a really strong pinky finger, is because it slips on 3 and 4 fret stretches, so i want to be able to hold it there.


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2