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Need advice on training "pinkie" finger

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Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

I know..stupid question..but I'm trying to avoid learning bad habits..You guys are the people to ask..I'm practicing Am & Em Pentatonics..& 1/2 the time I either hit the wrong fret (with my "pinkie"), or not solidly..or, instead of my fingertip hitting the string..the flat part comes down on the string..Any exercises, equip. that would help?..(Or just advice)..Thanks in advance!!...

Illustrious Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5108

Try some of the exercises on MacFarlane's Exercises. They should help.

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Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 17

Try some of the exercises on MacFarlane's Exercises. They should help.

WOW, thanks man. I can use those exercises too.

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Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 653

I practice that strength builder exercise on the back of my right hand. I use my right hand as a "fretboard" and build up that muscle memory for independant finger movement/strength.


Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2849

This is a little hard to explain but many many years ago I broke a couple of fingers on my left hand in a motorcycle accident. All but the pinky healed perfectly and it points back in the more I extend it. In other words if I hold the 4 fingers side by side they are all relatively straight. As I spread the fingers the tip of the pinky starts to point back to the ring finger. What happens when I stretch out 4 or 5 frets with it is that the outer side of the pinky is what wants to press on the string. I have actually learned to compensate for it but you can still imagine the fits it can give me.

It was so frustrating I actually talked to the doctor about breaking it and resetting it but he could not promise it would be any better.

I have used the exercises similar to the ones posted above and I swear they help so I stand by them and highly recommend them.

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Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2892

Musenfreund gave that site out awhile ago, and I can say with out a doubt that, that site has helped A LOT. The one thing that I realized was, as soon as I stop looking at my fretting hand and just read the tab; I could feel my hand developing more strength and speed AND my sight reading was quickly being developed as well.

Food for thought.

Thanks again Musen!

New Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2

This is helped me a lot:


Joe Satriani plays this arpeggio in "The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing". Tap it w/ your left hand only (no picking) and mute the strings with your right hand between you left hand and the headstock to avoid unwanted noise. Use a compressor for a start but the goal is to play the thing cleanly without it, with all the notes at the same volume.

Another good "exercise" is the fast repeted lick Kirk Hammett plays at the end of the intro to "Am I Evil":

B--0h5h8-0h5h8-0h5h8-0h5h8---...and so on.

I hope this helps.