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Old November 14th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Mr.Sister
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5 finger picking - using your pinky

Hey guys and girls.
I'm just curious if anyone of you uses his/her pinky for classical guitar playing. Just found a lil practice of a german player and it seems like the use of the pinky would open new possibilities.
Maybe someone knows the name Domingo Prat, he's from Argentina and a student of Tarrega. He published some Etudes for the use of your pinky, but I couldn't find theme.
So if anyone knows where to get those, or knows some other material for this technique, please tell me!
Or just say your opinion to "pinky picking"
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
da.benson8r
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I very rarely ever try using my pinky. I always use it as an anchor to the body and use all the others to pick - I've always noticed that when I tried, the "floating hand" kind of technique was both less comfortable to use and put harder strain on my hand. The pinky as an anchor seems to be a much more practical way to play any kind of fingerpicked guitar, whether classical or not. I've noticed that Chris sometimes uses his pinky, so it seems to work for him. I'm not discrediting it as a bad or unusable technique, not at all; I'm just used to one technique over the other.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, for some classical pieces the "floating hand" position is necessary. I can't imagine playing tremolo pieces with my hand on the guitar. Though I still remember the struggles I had switching my playing to this position. Anyway: A big problem with the pinky is just the anatomy of the hand (or maybe just my hand). First of all it's hard to use him without the ring finger, but I think this needs just a bit practice, but secondly: because it's the shortest finger it basically can't play a string, that isn't "occupied" yet by the ring- or middle finger. So it's just hard to find good ways to use this technique. (Oh, and btw: shaping the nail of your pinky sucks)
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
Kohlrabihaus
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I am a student of music with main instrument classical guitar, and I was never to use it in any piece or etude. so I asked my teacher and he was very certain about not to use the pinky, because of hand position and lot of other technical things (ring and pinky are anatomically connected, which is not a good thing either. I remember of famous german composer Robert Schumann, who build a machine to get independence of his fingers and the through this caused injury it ended his career as pianist- thus concentrating on composing instead).
so, my teacher never came across a piece where the only way to go is use the pinky. and he showed me some examples. and basically it also would be a big compromise sound wise! and I guess even the rasg. playing of the newer generation of flamenco players avoid the pinky.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well the german player I mentioned is actually Johannes Tonio Kreusch. Since you're german, you'll maybe know him (Übrigens: Grüße aus Thüringen!). He wrote, that the training of the pinky actually helps the whole hand to avoid bad strain and it strengthens you're whole picking hand, whether you'll use it in you're playing or not. In the etude he showed, the pinky is really useful. I once trancribed parts of the moonlight sonata I for classical guitar, and the only way I found to play it, was using my pinky. (Maybe I'll post some tabs, if I find the time)

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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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http://www.charlespostlewate.com/techwork.html

Check out that guy, he's always playing with all 5 fingers and released a lot of instructional material.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks, I will read it and send it to my teacher as well!
please show me the Mondschein Sonate tabs, you mentioned. I do have the piano notation myself, though.
in some parts of Prélude No. 1 by Villa- Lobos these things are solved by simultaneously playing 2 notes with the thump, or a rapid arpeggiated 'p p i m a'.
but I am highly interested in this topic!
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Old April 28th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, I've made this with Guitar Pro, where you can only put in 2 voices, so the notation is fucked up a bit and it's nearly impossible to notate the right hand fingering in a proper way. The arpeggios in the middlevoice are always played ima, the top notes mostly played with the pinky and the bassnote with the thumb. I think easy to figure out. Of course you could play it also without the pinky, since is not too difficult and pretty slow, but I prefer the pinky version.



And here: A lil bit of Brahms. When I learned that, my goal was to incorparate my pinky, and this is the result (Somehow Guitar Pro uses an "o" for the pinky, instead of the much more popular "c" or "q")
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Old April 28th, 2012, 05:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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And btw: I got to know Charles Postlewate through the new Acoustic Guitar magazine issue this month here in Germany, it contains a lil etude of him, though I have to admit, that this one's not really exciting.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for the quick reply on this. the pieces however don't seem to necessarily need the pinky, do they? I think the problem is, the angle of that finger is different from the others, perhabs that is the reason I also find the tone not too convincing. interestingly enough by playing the piano it always is the ring finger, which seems to be detached from the others, that's why Robert Schumann built this finger- machine for gaining independence, which ultimately ruined his hand. moron^^
the mockery aside, I think that tells us something about out weaker parts of our bodies.

oh btw. guitar pro 6 offers up to 4 voices, maybe you try that?
do you have a 7 string classical or is it an electric?

if you like to talk more, add me @ facebook:
Nicolao Dos Santos
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Old April 29th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think it's possible to play 90% of classical guitar reportoire without even using your ring finger, but using it makes it easier. So why not incorporate your pinky? I think the bad sound is also coming from the big arch of the pinky nail. Still not too sure how exactly shape that lil bastard.
I've always wanted to buy a seven string classical guitar, but I never did. To quote THE 90s movie: "It will be mine. Oh Yes! It will be mine."
And my laptop's to slow and old for GP6 and I'm a proud facebook refusenik.
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