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> How Much Is You Pinky Supposed To Be Off The Fret Board
JOhn
post Jun 27 2007, 07:39 AM
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When ever i play with my pinky even at very very slow speeds it will always come of about an inch give or take. No matter how hard i try to keep it down unless i tension my left hand heaps so it can barely move. because of this im starting to believe its normal but im not totally sure.

so is it normal? But if not how would i work on it other then going extremely slow because iv already tried that.


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fkalich
post Jun 27 2007, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 01:39 AM) *
When ever i play with my pinky even at very very slow speeds it will always come of about an inch give or take. No matter how hard i try to keep it down unless i tension my left hand heaps so it can barely move. because of this im starting to believe its normal but im not totally sure.

so is it normal? But if not how would i work on it other then going extremely slow because iv already tried that.


wierd, two threads at the same time, pretty much on the same subject. the other advises to look at Pavel's alt picking lesson 1, and that is good advise.

i see this as really a matter of learning to relax muscular tension, in this case, in the hands.
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JOhn
post Jun 27 2007, 10:16 AM
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i already tried looking at the videos but it didn't really help but that wasn't really my question.

My question was how much you pinky is supposed to be of the fret board.


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fkalich
post Jun 27 2007, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 04:16 AM) *
i already tried looking at the videos but it didn't really help but that wasn't really my question.

My question was how much you pinky is supposed to be of the fret board.


answer, as close as possible. not necessarily over the fret board, sometimes one angles their hand, and it is not over the fret board. But not raised like that. Look at videos of Batio. You can see his pinkie drop when it is not over the fret board. Some people hardly use their pinkie, it is easy to see how they get into the habit of raising it like that. I don't think this is something you can fix overnight, just have to work on it.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Jun 27 2007, 12:44 PM
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Resurrection
post Jun 27 2007, 10:57 PM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 07:39 AM) *
When ever i play with my pinky even at very very slow speeds it will always come of about an inch give or take. No matter how hard i try to keep it down unless i tension my left hand heaps so it can barely move. because of this im starting to believe its normal but im not totally sure.

so is it normal? But if not how would i work on it other then going extremely slow because iv already tried that.



This is a fairly common issue - you're definitely not alone on this one! As fkalich has mentioned, the usual causes are muscular tension and a lack of independence in the movements of the individual fingers. This results in one finger (often the pinky) being dragged to an unwanted position by the movements of other fingers. I actually have a weird variation of this problem, where playing patterns involving fingers 1, 3 and 4 makes my middle finger want to pull away from the fretboard. It's something I have to keep working on! Maybe I have an unconscious desire to give a one-finger salute to anyone watching me play laugh.gif

IMO playing slowly, in itself, won't solve the problem. I've found that concentrating on maintaining good left hand thumb position and applying no more than the minimum required pressure on the strings helps keep the tension in my left hand down. This reduction in tension means that the non-fretting fingers don't pull away so readily. If playing more slowly helps you achieve this then great, but playing slowly whilst maintaining excessive tension probably won't help much. Good alternate picking exercise will help too, by encouraging proper use of all the fingers and increasing the independence of the finger movements.

Hope this helps. It's certainly an approach that I've used with some success.


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rokchik
post Jun 28 2007, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 03:39 AM) *
When ever i play with my pinky even at very very slow speeds it will always come of about an inch give or take. No matter how hard i try to keep it down unless i tension my left hand heaps so it can barely move. because of this im starting to believe its normal but im not totally sure.

so is it normal? But if not how would i work on it other then going extremely slow because iv already tried that.


I feel your pain JOhn...I too have pinky issues. (Mine tends to bend away from the neck than move up)
I don't think there is a standard as to how high your fingers should be from the frets though for speed it is better to have them close I've noticed.
I don't know how long you've been playing but for me it's only been about two years and my hand strength has been a problem. However I'm finding now that my pinky issues are getting better as I build up my hand strength and my fingers get use to moving individually. The pinky issue is a common one and unfortunatly it's one of those things that comes with practice I think. The alt picking and Legato lessons have helped me aswell as just doing the scales and concentrating on where my fingers are. Also I've found that stretching before I practice has given me a bit more control as well as stamina while playing. Not sure if this was much help.
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Ryan
post Jun 28 2007, 12:51 AM
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I dont know if this will actually help on independence, or how high yoru fingers are from the fretboard. But what i do, is when im not playing guitar. Ill put my fretting hand on a table and concentrate on them fingers separatly. Moving one up, and tap once, twice or three times. NOTE: Domt move any other fingers in the process. And then when you tapping try to keep it as close as possible to the table/fretboard, or wherever you wanting to do them. And also i have found that. If you move your fingers in order. It helps, but it helps more if you move them differnetly like for Example: Pinky, Index, Pinky, Ring, Index, Middle, Pinky, Ring, Pinky.

I really honesltly dont know if this helps me at all, or if it will even help you, but if you think about it a little bit. It seems like it would.


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fkalich
post Jun 28 2007, 01:48 AM
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QUOTE (Resurrection @ Jun 27 2007, 04:57 PM) *
This is a fairly common issue - you're definitely not alone on this one! As fkalich has mentioned, the usual causes are muscular tension and a lack of independence in the movements of the individual fingers. This results in one finger (often the pinky) being dragged to an unwanted position by the movements of other fingers. I actually have a weird variation of this problem, where playing patterns involving fingers 1, 3 and 4 makes my middle finger want to pull away from the fretboard. It's something I have to keep working on! Maybe I have an unconscious desire to give a one-finger salute to anyone watching me play laugh.gif

IMO playing slowly, in itself, won't solve the problem. I've found that concentrating on maintaining good left hand thumb position and applying no more than the minimum required pressure on the strings helps keep the tension in my left hand down. This reduction in tension means that the non-fretting fingers don't pull away so readily. If playing more slowly helps you achieve this then great, but playing slowly whilst maintaining excessive tension probably won't help much. Good alternate picking exercise will help too, by encouraging proper use of all the fingers and increasing the independence of the finger movements.

Hope this helps. It's certainly an approach that I've used with some success.


i pretty much concur, based on working on this, improvement has occurred for me, in similar fashion, with similar observations.

i read this book long ago on this topic in a general sense. i still practice it, if i can't sleep you just put myself in a state of relaxation, and pretty quick i doze off. it is really very similar to yoga i think, only from a more western pov (scientific rather than mystical)

http://www.amazon.com/You-Must-Relax-Edmun...9440&sr=8-1

many people are not aware of how much they keep the muscles in their body in a state of pretty constant tension. one can learn to relax that, but it takes determination. in this case, we are trying to relax the superfluous tension in the hand. it seems to me that you get faster when you do that. at least i have noticed that in myself.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Jun 28 2007, 02:14 AM
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Anastasio123
post Jun 28 2007, 02:47 AM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 05:16 AM) *
i already tried looking at the videos but it didn't really help but that wasn't really my question.

My question was how much you pinky is supposed to be of the fret board.


In one of the first videos in Pavel's alt picking lesson 1 he gives a pretty good description of where your pinky should be when alt picking. Honestly, it's not something you get overnight in one practice session, it takes weeks even months to cement into your own playing and get your hands used to. Really its as close to the fretboard as how fast you want to play. Serious shredders keep all there fingers close to the fret board naturally because it just makes things more comfortable and controlled when your speed picking. The rules tend to be bent a bit with legato, but the better u are at legato technique the closer your hands stay the fretboard in that technique as well. It has a lot to do with finger independence and strength/control. I recomend for extra help, going to youtube and searcing for John Petrucci's Rock Discipline videos. In this series he explains some simple exercises that really help your fingers exercise this discipline. There's also a descent Joe Satriani lesson somewhere on youtube for this as well.


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JOhn
post Jun 28 2007, 07:38 AM
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Thanks i only really tried for about about 5 minute to keep the pinky close to the fret board laugh.gif


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MercyfulDiamond
post Jul 3 2007, 10:14 PM
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You know, I have the same trouble with my pinky (it seems to tense up like there's a splint around it when i play) and I too was wondering how far off is an acceptable distance for the pinky, but going back and looking at the alt picking lesson 3, he has his pinky fairly high off.
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jammer91
post Jul 5 2007, 01:19 PM
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QUOTE (JOhn @ Jun 27 2007, 10:39 AM) *
When ever i play with my pinky even at very very slow speeds it will always come of about an inch give or take. No matter how hard i try to keep it down unless i tension my left hand heaps so it can barely move. because of this im starting to believe its normal but im not totally sure.

so is it normal? But if not how would i work on it other then going extremely slow because iv already tried that.

yeah my pink has the same problem, after i play a note with my pinky, it just goes a few inches away from the fret board later.

I then decided to practice pavels legato lesson etude and it helped!!!


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