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I have Eric Clapton SYNDROME!

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(@flashback)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 266
Topic starter  

Yes EC Syndrome. Its a not so horrible but horrible none the less condition that causes to use only your index, middle, ring, and thumb to fret. AND RARELY hte pinky. I know I should be using it. But it seems I have made the ring finger the "Go to" fretting finger for far reachs. Which gives me some great reach but limits my pinky.

So I am trying to develop some exercises as warmups to condition my pinky. And hopefully build some SERIOUS pinky dexterity.

So any exercise suggestions would be much appraciated!

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.


   
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(@nottheguy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 164
 

I recommend good old 4 note per string chromatic runs

----------------------------------------------------------1-2-3-4---------

-----------------------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------

-----------------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------------------

------------------------1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------

-------------1-2-3-4------------------------------------------------------

---1-2-3-4----------------------------------------------------------------


and then back down 4-3-2-1

move all up and down the neck

Its a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

here's an exercise they gave me when i was taking classical guitar. hammer ons: i-m i-r i-p-p-p-p all the way up and down the fretboard on one string, then pull offs using the same pattern. or play a lot of rhythm guitar and that stuff where you play the melody and the chords at the same time. you have to use your pinky for that.
i just noodle a lot and sometimes i'll see how far i can go with a pedal note. i'll end up with stretches of 5 or more frets, so i have to use my pinky. or i'll have a bar chord and want to play some stuff while holding it down, so once again, the pinky is the only option.


   
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(@ivankaramazov)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 181
 

Yes EC Syndrome. Its a not so horrible but horrible none the less condition that causes to use only your index, middle, ring, and thumb to fret. AND RARELY hte pinky. I know I should be using it. But it seems I have made the ring finger the "Go to" fretting finger for far reachs. Which gives me some great reach but limits my pinky.

So I am trying to develop some exercises as warmups to condition my pinky. And hopefully build some SERIOUS pinky dexterity.

So any exercise suggestions would be much appraciated!

I had no idea Clapton didn't use his pinky, that's cool. I almost never use it when soloing above the 7th fret or so. I am tall and have large hands, or at least that's the excuse I'm using.


   
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(@u2bono269)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1167
 

i use mine occasionally...and i only use it for fretting the high e and b strings on the pentatonic minor scale. and on some chords, of course. crazy pinkies.

http://www.brianbetteridge.com


   
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(@flashback)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 266
Topic starter  

Yes EC Syndrome. Its a not so horrible but horrible none the less condition that causes to use only your index, middle, ring, and thumb to fret. AND RARELY hte pinky. I know I should be using it. But it seems I have made the ring finger the "Go to" fretting finger for far reachs. Which gives me some great reach but limits my pinky.

So I am trying to develop some exercises as warmups to condition my pinky. And hopefully build some SERIOUS pinky dexterity.

So any exercise suggestions would be much appraciated!

I had no idea Clapton didn't use his pinky, that's cool. I almost never use it when soloing above the 7th fret or so. I am tall and have large hands, or at least that's the excuse I'm using.

Yea Clapton really does not use that pinky unless its a very particular chord. And even then he has been known to find away around it.

Thanks for the hammerons exercise jason it seems to be helping.

I mean honestly I am saying I need to build the level of speed for my pinky that my other fingers have. I just feel bad not being able to hammeron and pulloff wide intervals with it paired with my index. :D Cool thing is trying to eliminate the index and ring and working the pinky and middle. Offers some different tones in the solo department. Sortof like a more precise and conservative style rather than blarring notes and bends! Then if you limit yourself to one or two strings or 3 or 4 notes. It gets even more interesting!

Thanks guys!

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.


   
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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1106
 

Here is the finger exercise I use to work the pinky in! There are LOTS of different ones to use, or you could make one up. Anyway, here is the one I learned YEARS ago, off a guitar intruction video:

Pick a string and work your way ALL the way up, then back down, one fret at a time - 02132432, then move up a fret and 03243543, etc.

You only play the pinky note once before you move up a fret, but when you go all the way up the neck & back down on all six strings, your pinky will get a workout.


   
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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Pick a string and work your way ALL the way up, then back down, one fret at a time - 02132432, then move up a fret and 03243543, etc.

I remember this one from the old "Doug Marks Metal Method" lessons! Very good exercise to build up finger strenght and speed.

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1106
 

You are correct, Dan. That was the lesson I picked it up from, years ago. I still use it, almost everytime I practice. It is a great way to lossen up the fingers!


   
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(@jasonrunguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 273
 

I always found this one particularly grueling and a good pinky workout. It's supposed to be a bunch of trills, so keep the finger on the lower fret anchored while the other one does the quick hammers and pulls. And, of course, one finger per fret, so the pinky really gets in the mix!

h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p
e|2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-|3-1-3-1-3-1-3-1-|4-1-4-1-4-1-4-1-|3-1-3-1-3-1-3-1-|3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-|4-2-4-2-4-2-4-2-|
A|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
D|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
G|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
B|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
E|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|

h p h p h p h p h p h p h p h p
e|4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-|4-2-4-2-4-2-4-2-|
A|----------------|----------------|
D|----------------|----------------|
G|----------------|----------------|
B|----------------|----------------|
E|----------------|----------------|

-Jason
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To those about to rock, we salute you!
http://www.soundclick.com/jasonwittenbach


   
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(@andrewlubinus89)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 181
 

The pinky is a LIFE SAVER on chord melody type things. I love holding a chord and then playing a sweet melody on the bottom two strings with just my pinky. Fun stuff.

A hoopy frood knows where his towel is....


   
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(@losodo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 27
 

No pinky? How do you even play? :wink:

I can't even imagine not using my pinky... impossible!

First I bought it, then I paid for it.


   
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(@ivankaramazov)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 181
 

I use it constantly in chords, and when holding down a barre and playing little riffs while holding parts of the chord as mentioned above, but when playing lead, I play at such an angle where using the pinky isn't really useful. A while back I forced myself to learn to play with it at the standard angle, but didn't notice enough of a positive difference to stick with it.


   
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