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> Small Fingers
Brandon Earman
post Nov 23 2010, 02:36 AM
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I have small fingers and when it comes to certain exercises and stretches, it's really frustrating! For example a 5th fret High E string to 10th fret high E string is almost impossible for me without pulling a muscle.

Does anyone else suffer from small fingers, and/or have any tips? I know you can stretch and practice, but your fingers can only go so far. On the other hand, I feel that on the higher frets, my small fingers could be an advantage since they won't "trip over themselves" like long fingers might. smile.gif


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jstcrsn
post Nov 23 2010, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Nov 23 2010, 02:36 AM) *
I have small fingers and when it comes to certain exercises and stretches, it's really frustrating! For example a 5th fret High E string to 10th fret high E string is almost impossible for me without pulling a muscle.

Does anyone else suffer from small fingers, and/or have any tips? I know you can stretch and practice, but your fingers can only go so far. On the other hand, I feel that on the higher frets, my small fingers could be an advantage since they won't "trip over themselves" like long fingers might. smile.gif


yes there might be some limitations to your stretches , you need to keep stretching - but not into pain.
but for inspiration , check out how small his fingers are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG2804ggsI0
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slash48
post Nov 23 2010, 03:33 AM
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Check out John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom book. He has some stretching exercises in there that I practice a lot and I'm seeing an overall improvement in my finger flexibility. I wish I could post it right here but sadly that would be illegal. wink.gif I strongly suggest this book.


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kahall
post Nov 23 2010, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Nov 22 2010, 07:36 PM) *
[..]
Does anyone else suffer from small fingers, and/or have any tips? I know you can stretch and practice, but your fingers can only go so far. On the other hand, I feel that on the higher frets, my small fingers could be an advantage since they won't "trip over themselves" like long fingers might. smile.gif


No tips really. But I have small stubby 47 year old barely working fingers and what I think might be the start of some kind of arthritis in my elbow on my fretting hand when I try to do things that my fingers just don't want to do. I still try hard to do the big stretchy chords and stuff but sometimes I just have to figure out different way to play it or just skip it. Not ideal but that is how I deal with it. I sometimes wonder if I had started playing earlier in life if it would still be a problem for me but according to a Les Paul book I have here it would have been. He struggled later in life with everything guitar wise due to age and he always played.
Everyone has their limitations physically so I would not sweat it too much and if you just can't do it get good at doing it another way. And don't ask me what that other way is because I have no idea.



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Mudbone
post Nov 23 2010, 05:02 AM
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I don't see why you need to stretch that far, you can just go to the lower string for the same note. For example, on the low E string, the 5th fret is "A", and the 10th fret is "D". But the 5th fret on the A string is also "D", which is much less of a stretch. So unless you want to do some crazy legato stuff, there really is no need to stretch that far.


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maharzan
post Nov 23 2010, 05:38 AM
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My wife is 7" smaller than me but her fingers are longer than mine. You explain. You can see my videos too. Im 5'9" yet my fingers are really small. A girl once told me your fingers look funny.. and is it true that small fingers (small feet) means small .... ? LoL!

Anyway, I now think it doesn't matter how long/short your fingers are. (I used to think few years back that only people having long fingers like vai, gilbert could shred.) There will be stretches to everyone, I guess even Vai had problems when he tried at first. It might be easier for people with longer fingers but after some hard practices, I am sure you can do it. I can do what you said and I did try Muris's stretching lesson few months back which was a nightmare of course. biggrin.gif

and if you ask me, yeah I did go through the pain. smile.gif

This post has been edited by maharzan: Nov 23 2010, 05:41 AM


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Brandon Earman
post Nov 23 2010, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for everyone's responses! The Michael Romeo video shut me up pretty quick! I can't complain any longer after seeing his fingers (which might be a little shorter than mine even!).

Haha thanks again for the input!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 23 2010, 06:47 PM
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If you simply cannot stretch further, this doesn't mean you cannot play the guitar! There are several ways to adapt your playing skills and guitar to your hand size. For example, you can get a smaller scale neck guitar, like Les Paul, and you can use more arpeggios, slides, and CAGED approaches in your playing.


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Sollesnes
post Nov 23 2010, 07:05 PM
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There is a lot of great guitar players with short fingers smile.gif
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SirJamsalot
post Nov 23 2010, 08:15 PM
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If you're pulling a muscle when reaching for those strings, then you're guitar is slung too low. Either raise it, or pivot the head stock to eye level. If your left hand is playing any lower than your elbow, then your wrist is going to cocked at a very unnatural angle to be able to reach the low notes.

Check out high Jason Becker slings his guitar to avoid the wrist cocking - also notice how high the head stock is - it's eye level. See his wrist? It's straight - not bent, so he can reach the lower notes - and he has average sized hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jK978921Yw

How about Marty Friedman?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wCsDnumbSo

he's slung lower, but look at his wrist - he cocks his guitar headstock up, and pulls it back so it's behind his left shoulder - see his wrist? it's barely bent and his fingers are attacking at an angle to the strings so he tends to use his middle finger where people like Jason Becker would normally use his little finger - because he overcomes with whatever it takes to reach the notes.

Herman Li
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uLXu4Zjpu4...feature=related

he slings pretty low, but see how he makes up for it? the headstock is cocked up, and his arpeggios are concentrated on the first 3 strings. When he reaches past the 3rd strings, he tucks his little finger away and now only plays with this index middle and ring fingers.

Michael Romeo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT-aERl5rwY

Be sure to check out Michael Romeo - he has pretty small fingers, but uses them well. See how his thumb is practically never seen?

Paul gilbert doesn't count -- he has monkey fingers - I think he's a genetic mutation cause his pinky is the same length as his middle finger - that is odd....

So, small hands /fingers aren't the issue. Experience is. You just need to practice, and you need to discover the best way to carry your guitar in order to reach what you need to reach. Also, I tend to over emphasize when I post, that practice to a backing track is essential. A metrinome forces you to want to hit a note on time, but a backing track makes you really want to hit that note, and your mind, with practice, will make your hand do whatever it needs to do to reach that note. It knows nothing of fret distance - it just knows it needs to take your hand there when it needs to be there to hit that note because it want's to be pleased by hearing that note smile.gif





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Fre
post Nov 23 2010, 08:36 PM
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You know Django Reinhardt?
He had only 2 fingers for his solo-work! He lost his some fingers in an fire accident.
He's the shredmaster of jazz music. ohmy.gif

What I wanted to say with that is, that you could adapt your playing to your fingers. Like Ivan said btw.
If there's a Gilbert-lick that doesn't work, do something of your own instead!
Ofcourse practice could do the job too biggrin.gif
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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 23 2010, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Nov 23 2010, 08:15 PM) *
If you're pulling a muscle when reaching for those strings, then you're guitar is slung too low. Either raise it, or pivot the head stock to eye level. If your left hand is playing any lower than your elbow, then your wrist is going to cocked at a very unnatural angle to be able to reach the low notes.

Check out high Jason Becker slings his guitar to avoid the wrist cocking - also notice how high the head stock is - it's eye level. See his wrist? It's straight - not bent, so he can reach the lower notes - and he has average sized hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jK978921Yw

How about Marty Friedman?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wCsDnumbSo

he's slung lower, but look at his wrist - he cocks his guitar headstock up, and pulls it back so it's behind his left shoulder - see his wrist? it's barely bent and his fingers are attacking at an angle to the strings so he tends to use his middle finger where people like Jason Becker would normally use his little finger - because he overcomes with whatever it takes to reach the notes.

Herman Li
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uLXu4Zjpu4...feature=related

he slings pretty low, but see how he makes up for it? the headstock is cocked up, and his arpeggios are concentrated on the first 3 strings. When he reaches past the 3rd strings, he tucks his little finger away and now only plays with this index middle and ring fingers.

Michael Romeo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT-aERl5rwY

Be sure to check out Michael Romeo - he has pretty small fingers, but uses them well. See how his thumb is practically never seen?

Paul gilbert doesn't count -- he has monkey fingers - I think he's a genetic mutation cause his pinky is the same length as his middle finger - that is odd....

So, small hands /fingers aren't the issue. Experience is. You just need to practice, and you need to discover the best way to carry your guitar in order to reach what you need to reach. Also, I tend to over emphasize when I post, that practice to a backing track is essential. A metrinome forces you to want to hit a note on time, but a backing track makes you really want to hit that note, and your mind, with practice, will make your hand do whatever it needs to do to reach that note. It knows nothing of fret distance - it just knows it needs to take your hand there when it needs to be there to hit that note because it want's to be pleased by hearing that note smile.gif


very good examples!!


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 24 2010, 03:49 AM
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I have a lesson in my series here on GMC that is just for working your stretch and getting your pinky stronger/faster. Here is the link, it's lesson 33. Here is a link to the notes page. Just scroll down till you see LESSON 33. Join me this Saturday at 5pm EST in the vid chat room for more.
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...mp;#entry473580


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Gary
post Nov 24 2010, 05:48 AM
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This person seems to have small hands and they are getting on pretty well... smile.gif





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Bogdan Radovic
post Nov 24 2010, 11:36 PM
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Yeah as everyone said - there is no reason to worry about this! You can play guitar and you can make those stretches with some practice. Everyone is different and there is no special body/fingers constitution that makes it easier to play. Its just the practice that matters.


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