Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

bad fingers


outlawlebo

Recommended Posts

i'v got this thing with my fingers on my fret hand where i cant move my pinkie without the finger next to it doing the same...and its really making it hard for me to do pretty much anything.....do you reckon this will go away with practise...or am i just screwed :P
"There is more stupidity in the universe than hydrogen , and it has a longer shelf life ." - Frank Zappa
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 34
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Try a basic major scale:

 

----------------------------4-5-

------------------------5-7-----

------------------4-6-7---------

------------4-6-7---------------

------4-5-7---------------------

--5-7---------------------------

 

Start with your middle finger on the 5th fret so that it's

-index on the 4th

-middle on the 5th

-ring on the 6th

-pinky on the 7th

 

Keep that configuration with your fingers. ie. the pinky is ALWAYS in the 7th fret etc.

 

Work your way up the scale and back down again as slowly as you have to, to play it perfectly. As you get better, increase the speed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its actually to do with the tendons in your hand. If you hold your hand face up towards you and try to just bend your pinky its not physically possible.. You'll also find that when your doing certain hammerons and pulloffs using your ring finger that your pinkie pops out and goes back in again. Its technique that comes in time that allows you to work with it that way so you dont even notice it.

 

When you start working hard on your hammeron technique you may also notice your pinky starting to ache.. Its because of it popping in and out again as you do them... But after a while the muscle builds up in the pinky and makes it a little bit more independant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outlaw, you might be able to train your fingers and build up the strength to move your pinky independent of the others. However, that might just be the way your hands are.

My pinkies curl inwards towards the other fingers. I cannot reach 4 frets out on the lower part of the fretboard. I even tried putting a brace between my third finger and pinky to get the reach I need, but in the end, I simple have to improvise. I invert chords or try to find a different way to make a riff work. I find it frustrating at times when I cannot find a way to get something done satisfactorily, but that is just the way it is. I look at it this way. If I lost my pinky due to injury, would I still want to play? Guess I'll not let the odd shapen pinkies stop me.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finger independence exercises. Put your hands on a table as though you were playing a piano. Slowly raise and lower each finger individually, then in combinations. Don't strain, just make easy movements. This is something you can do at your desk, sitting in a bar, etc. It might make people think you're a bit wierd, but it's effective.

 

Some fingers will be more independant than others. The middle and ring fingers share a tendon so they'll tend to move in concert with each other.

 

There is a good book out by John Duarte called "The Guitarist's Hands" that really goes into depth about how our hand work, why they do, or don't, do the things they do and how to prevent injury. Good stuff. If you want to really go into depth, it's worth picking up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The points about the pinky and ring fingers being on the same tendon is right on, as well as all the points made above.

 

Hey Joe Bbach, my fingers curve towards each other two, but unless we're looking at each others hands-- which is kinda hard with me in NJ and you in ND-- I can't be sure we're talking about the same thing. One of my teachers called it our bone structure and he had the same thing. Here is what I'm talking about, when I put my fingers on the guitar and thumb is in back say up by the heel and my fingers are hanging out each along their fret on a string, my knuckles are further apart than my finger tips-- especially my pinky. If that is what you're talking about then it is no big deal at all.

 

As for the question at hand, pinky independence: here is what I do and used to show people.

 

Place your thumb in back around 7th fret in the middle. Place your fingers each fretting a note on the fourth string at the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th frets. The only note they are fretting that could ring out is the C at the tenth fret on that D String (and of coarse the opens strings). While still holding down all your fingers (holding them gently without excess tension, learning to relax while working is part of this exercise) pick up and move the index finger to the 7th fret of the third string and pluck that note. Then while still holding down all the fingers pick up and move the middle finger over to the third string 8th fret and pluck that note. Continue with all the fingers up the stings two the first.

 

To descend after the four notes were played on the first string, move the first finger over to the second string 7th fret while still holding the rest down and continue similarly.

 

Becareful about building up excess tension and excess motion. We used to call these the "economy of motion" exercises because it addressed the out of position pinky issue that so many people suffer from-- when the pinky is like under the guitar or some crazy place right before it has a job to do, and thus it has to travel like inches to play it's note. This exercise gets it so that only the finger doing the work goes anywhere and the other fingers learn to stay still.

 

It is important to play playing up on the finger tips for this, so the open strings adjacent to the strings your working on should always be able to ring out in this exercise. In fact you should be creating a line in your callous as you play and this line is where the sting slides into on your finger so that you use exactly the same part of the finger each time that finger frets a note. At the end of this exercise, which I and a lot of guys I used to know used to practice endlessly, you should have one line driven into each finger.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nice link hard tail,i have finger problems two only its not when im moving my pinky or anything like that.its my nuckles and finger joints,after about half an hours playing they start to ace.i think its got something to do with holding my guitar to tight or(the super ninja death grip)as my unkle calls it.any one know how to fix this
"The Bridge Above The River Is Only The Begining Of Your Fall"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by scatterbrain:

nice link hard tail,i have finger problems two only its not when im moving my pinky or anything like that.its my nuckles and finger joints,after about half an hours playing they start to ace.i think its got something to do with holding my guitar to tight or(the super ninja death grip)as my unkle calls it.any one know how to fix this

Yes, relax! Finger a chord or note, but don't press down. Start strumming or picking and listen to the thump. Gradually increase the pressure with your picking hand until the note/chord sounds cleanly. You DON'T need any more pressure than that. Use the weight of your arm NOT your fingers to exert pressure.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hand up move one finger at a time, bending at the first knuckle. If necessary hold the other fingers until you can hold them back by themselves (it helps to put the back side of your hand against your leg). Then do 1st and 3rd holding the others down, moving to the 2nd and 4th. The second is veeery hard to do. You can do this anywhere anytime. It helped me gain finger independence.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

E-|---------------------------------------------------|-----------3--4--5--6--

B-|-----------------------------------------------3---|--4--5--6--------------

G-|-----------------------------------3--4--5--6------|-----------------------

D-|-----------------------3--4--5--6------------------|-----------------------

A-|-----------3--4--5--6------------------------------|-----------------------

E-|--3--4--5--6---------------------------------------|-----------------------

 

 

Take this ex. which is just a 1234 thing, in other words, fret 3 is your first finger, fret4 your second, fret 5 your third, fret 6 your fourth finger.

 

So starting on the 6th string you are just going 1234 then going to the 5th string 1234 etc etc etc.

 

Practice with stricly alternating UP and DOWN strokes of the pick. You may start with an UP or a DOWN stoke it does not matter, in fact it is really good to practice it both ways. Just make sure whatever you start with you alternate strictly.

 

Use a metronome if possible and slowly increase the speed as you get faster. Start SLOW.

 

Make each note equal in duration and loudness ( attack.....stoppit Warthog ) as you go. This is as much an ex regarding that, as it is a speed and dexterity ex.

 

Now here is the trick to answer your post.

 

Try doing this ex where you DO NOT lift the finger you just fretted with until you have sounded the next note and/or try holding them all down until you have to move to the next adjacent string.

 

Economy of movement....very important.

 

You will have to start slow and it might be frustrating but if you keep it up this single ex will help you build speed and accuracy.

 

Luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

E-|---------------|---------------|--------3--4---|-----

B-|---------------|---------------|--3--4---------|-----

G-|---------------|--------3--4---|---------------|-----

D-|---------------|--3--4---------|---------------|-----

A-|--------3--4---|---------------|---------------|-----

E-|--3--4---------|---------------|---------------|-----

 

 

Also try this specifically using your third and fourth fingers. So fret 3 is 3rd finger, fret 4 is 4th finger. It is a tough one. Same deal alternating strokes and go for sameness of attack and duration.

 

You can also do this ex using fingers 1 and 2.....and fingers 2 and 3...much easier. But do the 3,4 finger one until you feeel the burn and then let up...wring your hand out, massage it etc. It will take time but you will get good finger strength this way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by lee83:

If you hold your hand face up towards you and try to just bend your pinky its not physically possible..

Really? I can do it without any trouble at all.

 

Is this one of those things where it turns out I'm some kind of freak? :confused:

apparently i am a freak too.

maybe we are related Astring. :confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by lee83:

If you hold your hand face up towards you and try to just bend your pinky its not physically possible..

Really? I can do it without any trouble at all.

 

Is this one of those things where it turns out I'm some kind of freak? :confused:

**whew** I thought I was the only one. I have to think about what I'm doing, but it's doable.

 

Now... putting my hand on a table and raising my ring finger so it's parallel to the tabletop? THAT's hard. It's downright painful. Maybe it's actually impossible.

 

Can you guys do that one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by musicalhair:

Hey Joe Bbach, my fingers curve towards each other two, but unless we're looking at each others hands-- which is kinda hard with me in NJ and you in ND-- I can't be sure we're talking about the same thing. One of my teachers called it our bone structure and he had the same thing. Here is what I'm talking about, when I put my fingers on the guitar and thumb is in back say up by the heel and my fingers are hanging out each along their fret on a string, my knuckles are further apart than my finger tips-- especially my pinky. If that is what you're talking about then it is no big deal at all.

Nope. My when my hand is in the fretting position, the pinky bends inwards actually underneath the 3rd finger. If I take my right hand and pull my pinky and third finger apart, the pinky still curls back toward the third finger. In fact it resembles a reverse c. I've learned to adapt well enough for my needs. This isn't the worst thing that could happen and you'd be surprised how you can get along without the pinky when playing guitar. I'm just a three fret span kinda guy. :D

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh...I thought this thread was about the band..."Badfinger"... ;)

 

Hey...I have full, independent motion of my fingers...does that make me a freak too? :eek:

It's called "practice"...doing a lot of 4-finger scales will help with individual finger motion.

Of course, if the fingers/tendon were injured or something unusual happened...then you may have a tough time with it.

 

I was in a band once with a guitar player who do to injuries, only had full use of his forefinger and middle finger. He played leads only with them, and of course, his leads were limited, but he learned to get the most out of the two fingers...

...though he could play chords using the other fingers, he just couldn't move them independently enough to pull off any multi-note leads.

I always got to do those. :cool:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by lee83:

If you hold your hand face up towards you and try to just bend your pinky its not physically possible..

Really? I can do it without any trouble at all.

 

Is this one of those things where it turns out I'm some kind of freak? :confused:

Really?? I can do it but i have to concentrate pretty damn hard on it and have to tense the other three fingers and force my pinky down.. Are you saying you can do it by just relaxing your hand and not thinking about it too much? Coz if you can you are definately a freak :D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow cheers guys... yeah i realised this was a problem a while ago so i started practising heaps of scales but i couldnt remember how bad it was to begin with so i didnt know if i had improved :P ..... but yeah i think it has..... i can do it perfectly on my other hand just not on the one where it actually matters :P .. thanks for all the advise....ill definatly try them out.... thanks heaps....
"There is more stupidity in the universe than hydrogen , and it has a longer shelf life ." - Frank Zappa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mind over matter. Try to control your fingers. While you do exercises, make sure you pay attention to what you're doing. If not, the exercises are worth nothing and will only re-inforce bad habits.

 

So what should you be paying attention to? Make sure you lift the fingers as little as possible off the fretboard. Sometimes to get a finger off a string all you need to do is release the pressure, not extend the finger (pulling the finger away). RELAX! Practice really slowly, not just slow tempo, but in slow motion.

 

Practice "string-exchange" exercises. Like this one: fix all 4 fingers on the 3rd string, starting on the 5th fret, place them so that you have a finger to a fret, spanning 4 frets. Now put the 1st finger on the 4th string, same fret, and the second on 2nd string same fret where it was. Pluck both strings at the same time, make sure none of the other fingers move. Leaving the other fingers fixed ont he 3rd string, exchange strings between the 1st and 2nd fingers and pluck again. Make sure the fixed fingers are still fixed and pressing, and that the fingers you';re moving and playing w/ (1st and 2nd) go directly to where they need to go, w/o lifting them too far off the fretbaord (actually, just right above the strings, flying low, avoiding the radar, whatever you wanna call it). Repeat w/ any combination of 2 fingers, leaving the others fixed.

 

This exercise will give you more finger independence, strentgh, and more mental control over your digits.

 

Also, I strongly recommend the last exercise fumblyfingers posted. Again, make sure you're not lifting any fingers (especially the ones not "in use") too far off the fretboard like antennae trying to pick up a signal. Have fun.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nah i'm left handed, and i play a left handed guitar... i figured that if i tryed to learn right handed it might hold me back somewhere down the line, where i could have been faster or better if id learnt left handed....which probably isnt true but still :P .... cheers guys..
"There is more stupidity in the universe than hydrogen , and it has a longer shelf life ." - Frank Zappa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...