Uncontrolable Pinkie Finger....
Timmy b
Aug 2 2016, 01:25 PM
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Hey Guys,

I've been very busy lately improving my alternative picking technique and have had good success so far. My picking hand has become very good, but I've noticed an issue with my fretting hand that has been an issue for a while.

I've noticed the problem whilst concentrating on my fretting finger. All my fingers except for my pinkie finger hover closely to the fingerboard ready for action, but the pinkie likes to fling it self far away after releasing the fretted note. I can control it only at really slow speeds while concentrating on it very hard, otherwise, muscle memory kicks in and the control is lost.

So my question(s) to you all is,

Should this be something I should be concerned about and go about retraining that finger?

Has anyone had similar problems?

Does anyone know a good method to help fix this problem?

Is it worth the effort/necessary?


Any help and opinions would be much appreciated

(If my description of the problem is hard to understand, le me know and Ill make a Video)

Cheers

Tim

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 2 2016, 01:42 PM
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Of course there's some truth in that the more control you have over your fingers, the faster you can play, but I've seen players with "wild" fingers that still play very fast.

I think there's really only one way to work on this, and that is playing VERY slowly and controlled, going back to the "basics" and practicing slow and increasing the BPM very, very slowly.

I'm trying to think of who it was that I saw with crazy fingers, but I can't remember his name. I will have to look it up and get back to you.

EDIT: Just remembered. It's Andy James I was thinking of smile.gif

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Mertay
Aug 2 2016, 03:00 PM
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I tried some excersises at the time to lower it but didn't work as I never felt relaxed.

What happened was as I learned to relax my hands more while playing it really didn't become such an issue as if the position needed the finger close before being used, it somehow did this automatically smile.gif so for me rather than making a specific program to fix it, I spreaded into time while focused on other stuff but keeping that in mind.

Still, it would be nice to atleast focus when doing something like chromatic warmups.

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 2 2016, 04:20 PM
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By the way, look at 1:55 in this video to see what I mean. Not the fastest bit, but look at those fingers going miles from the fretboard smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Aug 2 2016, 07:17 PM
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I would be a great help for us to see a video of you playing to analyze exactly what you are doing. However I can say that the pinky is not the one that is always totally close to the fret-board as it happens with other fingers. It must be ready when it's needed and in the case that the lick demands a constant use of it, it should stay close but if not, it's not very close most of the times.

There are two things that I recommend, the first one is to share a video of you playing here. The second is to check some shred guitarists to analyse how they use their pinky.

Here is an example:

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Phil66
Aug 2 2016, 10:35 PM
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There is something weird about the pinkie, it seems to naturally want to raise itself. Look when people take a drink at their pinkie lifting off the glass, even our own Kris Dahl has this issue. Watch whenever he takes a drink during his Sunday youtube live chat, his pinkie lifts up.
I don't know the answer and I have been out in the bars but it is a tricky little bugger to conquer.
I'm sure you'll conquer it though.
Enjoy the challenge

wink.gif

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fkalich
Aug 3 2016, 02:35 AM
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the old flying pinky question is back, you will see all the way back to the beginning of this forum.

Many of the best guitarists have a flying pinky. Including some of the best imho on this site. Heck, I would say most of them do. I don't worry about it. At all, not a bit, nothing, zero. Other things are 1,000 times more important. 10,000 times. A million times.

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Timmy b
Aug 4 2016, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for all the replies Guys!

Good to know that im not alone with this problem! Nice to see your insights on the Issue

After roaming around on the net looking for players who have wild pinkies, Its nice to see that there are loads of players out there who can really let loose, even if their pinkie is all over the place!

As Gab requested, here's a quick video with a chromatic run and a short lick.





Cheers

Tim

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 4 2016, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Timmy b @ Aug 4 2016, 05:15 PM) *
Thanks for all the replies Guys!

Good to know that im not alone with this problem! Nice to see your insights on the Issue

After roaming around on the net looking for players who have wild pinkies, Its nice to see that there are loads of players out there who can really let loose, even if their pinkie is all over the place!

As Gab requested, here's a quick video with a chromatic run and a short lick.





Cheers

Tim


I really don't think your pinky is THAT wild smile.gif Looks okay to me. Seems I'm even "wilder" smile.gif



But as you probably already know, practice and practice slowly is usually the way forward, but I think there's also some truth to be found in that the faster you play the harder it is to control smile.gif

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This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Aug 4 2016, 06:14 PM


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Todd Simpson
Aug 4 2016, 07:08 PM
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Ben nailed it smile.gif To get your control back you sorta have to retrain your fingers on what you want them to do. If you can get them to rest just above the strings, they can be right there when you need them. Just start slow and work up smile.gif However, per your vid. I've seen FAR worse cases. Your's doesn't seem that bad. If you could practice keeping all of them kinda close to the strings, it can make playing certain bits easier just cause it takes less time to get the finger to the fret. But honestly your playing looks ok to me smile.gif



Todd

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 2 2016, 08:42 AM) *
Of course there's some truth in that the more control you have over your fingers, the faster you can play, but I've seen players with "wild" fingers that still play very fast.

I think there's really only one way to work on this, and that is playing VERY slowly and controlled, going back to the "basics" and practicing slow and increasing the BPM very, very slowly.

I'm trying to think of who it was that I saw with crazy fingers, but I can't remember his name. I will have to look it up and get back to you.

EDIT: Just remembered. It's Andy James I was thinking of smile.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 5 2016, 02:43 PM
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Just a thought I had. Having your fingers closer to the fretboard at all time...does it make legato harder? I mean, you would have less space to get a hammer on to the string.

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Roadside
Aug 5 2016, 08:21 PM
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Hey Timmy,

actually I dont know your skill level but check out Piotrs lesson:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/move_y...le_finger!/

This one helped me so much to improve my pinky smile.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Aug 5 2016, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE (Roadside @ Aug 5 2016, 09:21 PM) *
Hey Timmy,

actually I dont know your skill level but check out Piotrs lesson:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/move_y...le_finger!/

This one helped me so much to improve my pinky smile.gif


Good call, Roadside. It's a great lesson!

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Timmy b
Aug 9 2016, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 4 2016, 07:08 PM) *
I really don't think your pinky is THAT wild smile.gif Looks okay to me. Seems I'm even "wilder" smile.gif



But as you probably already know, practice and practice slowly is usually the way forward, but I think there's also some truth to be found in that the faster you play the harder it is to control smile.gif



QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 4 2016, 08:08 PM) *
Ben nailed it smile.gif To get your control back you sorta have to retrain your fingers on what you want them to do. If you can get them to rest just above the strings, they can be right there when you need them. Just start slow and work up smile.gif However, per your vid. I've seen FAR worse cases. Your's doesn't seem that bad. If you could practice keeping all of them kinda close to the strings, it can make playing certain bits easier just cause it takes less time to get the finger to the fret. But honestly your playing looks ok to me smile.gif

Todd


Thanks guys, Sometimes its good to get other peoples opinions on something that concerns you. The outside perspective settles down all the silly thoughts and worries that whirl around in your head about the problem.
I have tried doing slow exercises in the past, but not often enough to get the full effect from them. (they're just so boring! tongue.gif ) I will incorporate some into my practice schedule, but also not worry about the issue too much and just concentrate on playing Guitar and having fun smile.gif

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 5 2016, 03:43 PM) *
Just a thought I had. Having your fingers closer to the fretboard at all time...does it make legato harder? I mean, you would have less space to get a hammer on to the string.


Good question! My legato technique is wofull! but logically it makes sense that the longer the distance from the string, the more force the finger will bring. I wonder....

QUOTE (Roadside @ Aug 5 2016, 09:21 PM) *
Hey Timmy,

actually I dont know your skill level but check out Piotrs lesson:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/move_y...le_finger!/

This one helped me so much to improve my pinky smile.gif


Excellent!! this looks extremely interesting!! Thanks for the tip!!

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This post has been edited by Timmy b: Aug 9 2016, 12:23 PM
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Todd Simpson
Aug 12 2016, 11:02 PM
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It usually doesn't for me, but I guess it could, depending on your finger strength?

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Aug 5 2016, 09:43 AM) *
Just a thought I had. Having your fingers closer to the fretboard at all time...does it make legato harder? I mean, you would have less space to get a hammer on to the string.

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