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need help fixing left hand finger problems

Discussion in 'Musicians Corner' started by bball_1523, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    I can't seem to fret the notes correctly between my left hand's middle and pinky fingers. For some reason they just do not interact well and this has been happening since August. I have tried to do alt-picking exercises designed for those two fingers, but they are still awkward and just not flowing. I can play ok with my ring and pinky, but I do notice my pinky is very weak.

    Does anyone know how to both increase strength in my pinky and increase a smoother interaction between my middle and pinky fingers? My fingers are very small and my pinky is even smaller so it makes it tough to reach other the fretboard to the lower strings (5th and 6th), and it tenses my left forearm.
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    I have that same problem, and I got over it by doing those alt picking exercises but I bet if you got one of those grip-masters or whatever I forget what they're called you could just keep that in your pocket and just take it out once in a while and exercise with it. My pinky is also fairly weak, I cant bend strings too much with it so I use my other fingers... But I've grown to have a very dextrous left hand so don't worry too much about it, hand size only makes a big difference on a bass.
     
  3. HackerX

    HackerX Member

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    I'm lucky in a way, being a left hander but playing right handed. I don't have problems bending with my pinky at all.

    Perhaps try something like:
    1 finger, 3 finger, pinky (bend as far as you can). Start bending with both your pinky and ring finger working up to bending with just your pinky to build up strength. Then move on to 1,2,4
     
  4. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    my pinky also tends to pull off each time it frets and it's annoying because it wants to quickly fret the note then let go and it accidentally mutes other strings sometimes, and it tries to crawl back into my palm.

    Does anyone have any specific exercises geared towards fixing this problem?
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    I'm not even completely sure what you mean :S
     
  6. Earth Breather

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    I got a solution. Get John Petrucci's Rock Discipline DVD. :)
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    I've been thinking of buying that, is it worth my money?
     
  8. Earth Breather

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    Yes, it is very worth your money. He teaches you things you would have never thought of, like stretching before playing, he includes demonstrations on different stratches and messages to avoid injury. He goes into detail of scale fragments, sweep picking, alternate picking, warmup excercises, legato, and even stuff to advance your theory knowledge.
     
  9. Eternal Dragon

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    I think some of it is on youtube. Should probably take his advice on stretching. Tonight I pulled a muscle in my right arm trying to build up my finger strength. Its OUUUCH!! I need to build up my 4th and 5th fingers so i can play the intro to LTE's Universal Mind properly...... and its a real bitch cos of the weird stretches that require +++strength. So yeh.... I just kept going until after the point of pain. My advice (since this is embarrasingly not the first time) is to play UNTIL the point of pain and not after, THEN stretch and once you feel better than you started then try again...... but don't do it again if your arm/fingers are fatigued cos u need time to recooperate.

    This is all the same for whatever instrument I guess, so just because I had a keys injury doesnt mean u cant get one on guitar.....although its probably less likely cos of the nice action.
     
  10. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    I've already tried rock discipline, but he doesn't go into detail about training your pinky. he just gives quick examples of his exercises and that's it.

    I'm looking for more creative solutions to my problem. I'm talking about how to place the pinky correctly with my other fingers placed correctly, and my thumb placed in the right position behind the fretboard, and my body posture in the right position, and myself relaxed.

    that's what I'm talking about that I need help with.

    My pinky is just retarded. It will not conform with my middle finger. So if I were to play something like 5-7 on each string with my middle finger playing 5 and pinky playing 7, my pinky will just not play the notes cleanly, and I will tense fast. But if I play 5-7 with my index and ring fingers, it is no problem!
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    How long have you been trying to train your pinky? All it took me was time and practice.
     
  12. Eternal Dragon

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    try just mucking around playing random stuff like 3-6-3-6 using those sorta intervals (just random notes all over the fretboard), as fast as you can...... just too see if it helps with strength. I don't know though.
     
  13. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    well I started re-training my fingers over the summer because I knew my technique was horrible. Before the summer my middle/pinky interaction was ok, but ever since I started to re-train both my hands for alternate picking, my middle/pinky fingers interaction fell apart.

    So now it's been since August that I've been trying to train my pinky. I usually practice about 20 min per day doing this.
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    That's rough, I don't think I'm qualified to help out with this so I'll just shut up. Perhaps someone who teaches guitar could help you out.
     
  15. Eternal Dragon

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    *cough*mattmolitidarkempirepwnzor*cough*
     
  16. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    does anyone have tips on preventing the pinky from always pulling off the frets? I want to pull the pinky off smoothly, but it usually seems to stick and causes it to block the middle finger from playing its note.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous L'Étranger

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    My pinky is erratic when I play. It never stays at the same spot.
     
  18. SyXified

    SyXified Member

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    One thing I can think of is to make sure your wrist is bent under enough that your pinky hits with a slight bend towards the fretboard at that last knuckle(rather than flat against the board with the fat part of your finger). That way when you take it off a string you can pull it away from the board rather than sliding/yanking it off the string (which may be what you are referring to).

    The other thing worth mentioning since this seems to be a long term problem for you is that some people develop a 'trigger finger' which is a problem with a knuckle joint where your tendons get messed up and it can cause your finger to kindof snap from one position to another. Granted it's probably not that - but that can be an issue with guitar players, obviously far less common that the ol carpal tunnel syndrome.
     
  19. 1by4by9

    1by4by9 Member

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    Mine too, it has its own will.
     
  20. bball_1523

    bball_1523 Member

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    does anyone else feel like they cannot control their pinky? My pinky keeps wanting to pull off when I play from pinky to middle finger.
     

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