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> Small uuhh..hands...
Doug
post Jan 26 2007, 08:41 AM
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Hey rockers!

I have this problem of having small hands. And at 32, I'm pretty much done growing smile.gif

My pointer, middle, and ring finger seem to be doing ok however my pinky is just, well, short. After seeing Kris and tons of other videos it seems like their pinkies are almost as long as their pointer fingers. And it seems that their fingers are straight for the most part, just bending at the top knuckle when playing. My hands are not capable of this, not sure if that's natural ability or ridiculous dedication. On top of that, my pinky curves a bit inwards when its bent. Great genes mom and dad!!!

For things like barre chords or even playing scales, I find myself basically making a claw out of my left hand just to get my pinky inline with my other fingers. And that I'm sure is taking quite a bit away from my progression.

Is there anyone else in my position, or anyone who may have some tips?

Thanks

Doug
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Why
post Jan 26 2007, 09:09 AM
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Look at how small Michael Romeo's hands are.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1WDqduTnj34

Hand size really doesn't matter. You can still shred up a storm. With practice you'll be able to stretch further which will solve this problem.
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Doug
post Jan 26 2007, 09:15 AM
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haha..Thanks why!
That is certainly some inspiration.

Doug
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Why
post Jan 26 2007, 09:18 AM
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QUOTE (Doug @ Jan 26 2007, 09:15 AM) *
haha..Thanks why!
That is certainly some inspiration.

Doug


How long have you been seriously playing for? It'll give me a good indicator on what the problem is because I thought the same for awhile (despite my hands being perfectly normal tongue.gif)
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Doug
post Jan 26 2007, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE (Why @ Jan 26 2007, 03:18 AM) *
How long have you been seriously playing for? It'll give me a good indicator on what the problem is because I thought the same for awhile (despite my hands being perfectly normal tongue.gif)


Only been playin a few months seriously. Of course I want to emulate those who play well, and that's when i notice my left hand just doesnt look like everyone elses. Even the video you sent me, his hands are small, but his fingers are quite well lined up from what i can tell.
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JCJXXL
post Jan 26 2007, 09:28 AM
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Doug,

I thought the same thing too the first day I picked up a guitar (a few months ago) and I will tell you that the arc in the fingers you are talking about will come as you put in more time on the guitar. Not meaning long practice sessions, but rather practicing on a regular schedule as much as possible.

When I first started the arc in my fingertips was weak at best, especially in my pinkie. In the beginning my pinkie would fret with the underside more than the tip. Needless to say, power chords were my thing for a while...hehehehe. It hasn't been until this past week that I am actually able to bend my pinkie.

The same thing is true for reach. In the beginning it seems difficult to fret a string with your index and then fret with your ring finger just 2 frets away... but over time the muscles stretch and develop and next thing you know you are fretting 4-5 frets like no big deal.

There are way too many decent guitar players in the world to say all of them were physically built the same way.
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Why
post Jan 26 2007, 10:07 AM
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QUOTE (Doug @ Jan 26 2007, 09:28 AM) *
Only been playin a few months seriously. Of course I want to emulate those who play well, and that's when i notice my left hand just doesnt look like everyone elses. Even the video you sent me, his hands are small, but his fingers are quite well lined up from what i can tell.


A few months isn't enough. It'll take about 6 months practicing, with a metronome and alternate picking that your finger strength will build alot. It'll make your pinky as independent as your index finger and it won't have to lay flat on the fretboard to fret a note, it'll form an arc itself. Your hands will be able to stretch way further after this period of time.

It's funny how every guitarist starts off with the idea that 'My fingers are too fat/small' but that's human nature to blame failure on available resources. Trust me, it will come with practice.
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Doug
post Jan 31 2007, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE (Why @ Jan 26 2007, 04:07 AM) *
A few months isn't enough. It'll take about 6 months practicing, with a metronome and alternate picking that your finger strength will build alot. It'll make your pinky as independent as your index finger and it won't have to lay flat on the fretboard to fret a note, it'll form an arc itself. Your hands will be able to stretch way further after this period of time.

It's funny how every guitarist starts off with the idea that 'My fingers are too fat/small' but that's human nature to blame failure on available resources. Trust me, it will come with practice.

sad.gif I am NOT a failure!!! I just suck..lol...All of your comments were helpful and my pinky does seem to be making strides.
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JCJXXL
post Jan 31 2007, 09:18 PM
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Not too long ago I came across of website of a guitar player who I believe is from San Diego. He was born with deformity to his arms/hands. He basically had little nubs for the few fingers he had and his arms were deformed and short amd he could not straighten them. Anyway, he is a pretty good guitar player. I listened to some of his recordings and you would never know he had any deformity.

I'll see if I can find the page and I'll post a link.
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Scott Gentzen
post Feb 1 2007, 12:57 AM
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I've always thought this as well. It's why I picked up sax instead of guitar in school...not as much reaching. I look at some of these 6-7 fret reaches and I wonder how I'm going to get flexibility to make up for the lack of finger length. I'm working on it. I've seen a little progress but not that much.


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Doug
post Feb 1 2007, 02:37 AM
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QUOTE (JCJXXL @ Jan 31 2007, 03:18 PM) *
Not too long ago I came across of website of a guitar player who I believe is from San Diego. He was born with deformity to his arms/hands. He basically had little nubs for the few fingers he had and his arms were deformed and short amd he could not straighten them. Anyway, he is a pretty good guitar player. I listened to some of his recordings and you would never know he had any deformity.

I'll see if I can find the page and I'll post a link.


I guess I really have no excuse now! Maybe if I pull on my pinky for 20 minutes each night it will stretch.
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Pavel
post Feb 1 2007, 03:59 AM
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I met a lot of guitarists that have problems with pinky so i guess that would be a good lesson - i came up with a great lick for pinky a few days ago so i think that would do it.


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Doug
post Feb 1 2007, 04:34 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Jan 31 2007, 09:59 PM) *
I met a lot of guitarists that have problems with pinky so i guess that would be a good lesson - i came up with a great lick for pinky a few days ago so i think that would do it.


Pavel,

Please share smile.gif

My pinky needs all the help it can get.

Doug
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raqroso
post Feb 1 2007, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE (Why @ Jan 26 2007, 05:07 PM) *
It's funny how every guitarist starts off with the idea that 'My fingers are too fat/small' but that's human nature to blame failure on available resources. Trust me, it will come with practice.


So true. And it does come.

I picked up the guitar lefthanded last night - just to see what it was like again as a beginner -
It's amzing how uncomfortable it can feel and then later how 'right' it feels. Seems like my fret hand contoured to the guitat over the years and it's just comfortable.
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Beaker
post Feb 16 2007, 10:39 PM
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I'm just a beginner but I too have short fingers and a pinky that felt like a hinderence.

TIP: Use, it, use it, use it!

I'm already feeling the benifit of focusing on using it in the simple beginner metronome lesson. I've actually dedicated part of my practice session each day to stretching it.

What I do is run a simple (1)(-)(-)(4) pattern vertically up and down at a low tempo (the first notes on the low E of the Am pentatonic scale if you will) but rather than following the scale as normal, I try to stretch my pinky to the furthest fret away from my first finger I can reach to. The trick is to move the shape up and down the neck as you do this. It improves your accuracy with the pinky pretty quickly and allows it to easily reach the frets actually "in" the scale during normal scale/metronome practice.

Sure it sounds out of key on occasion but it means you're not concerned with trying to remember finger position, just reach as far as you can without causing yourself any pain. Play low down the neck where it's harder as well as high up but if it hurts, don't stretch so far so soon! There is going to be a physical limit you can reach to but I bet you can get it to reach any note that follows in any scale on the same string your first finger is fretting after a while if you dedicate some time to this smile.gif

This is just an exersise I do as a beginner so if the experts can comment on this being a good idea or not I'd take their advice over mine. As a beginner it just seems a simple exersise to force you to use the pinky and personally it's helped me loads already!
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Luciferi
post Feb 18 2007, 05:32 AM
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.

This post has been edited by Luciferi: Apr 6 2010, 02:48 PM
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Doug
post Feb 18 2007, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for all of your words of advice guys. I've started on some pinky exercises and they seem to be producing results smile.gif Good stuff!
Rock on!
Doug
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Ironhead85
post Feb 18 2007, 08:28 PM
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I made it a point to learn at least the first minute One Day Remains by Alterbridge, it's not a big stretch, but at the time I always tried to subsitute your ring for your pinky when possible, and this is a 5 fret stretch so if you do that its prolly gonna sound crappy with lots of ringing on the low e which is not that goal here. I was playing yesterday and noticed I can comfortable play across the first 5 frets without repositioning my hands (i say the first 5 because they are the widest obviously) but if I have like infant hands LOL, obviously towards the higher frets I could strectch between like 7 frets becuase there is less neck in between mt fingers
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