Jump to content


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

My lazy ring finger (left hand).


DavidMPires

Recommended Posts

Hello all

 

I have a lazy ring finger on my left hand and I don't know what to do about it. I have tried even really ortodox ways to improve it.

 

Can you help me with some exercises to correct this as this affects some arpegios progressions that I try to do.

 

Jeremy do you have any sugestion?

Seems that my ring finger doesn't detach from the small one.

 

Please help.

 

Cheers

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 14
  • Created
  • Last Reply
The only way that I know is to force yourself to use it by repeated practice. Play arpeggio exercises and any exercises that demand the use of four fingers until the use of all fingers becomes subconscious. I played for many years, self-taught, with three fingers and still tend to slip back into it - it's like playing with a self-enforced disabilty and it hampers what you can do. There's nothing wrong with a 3 fingered approach, just that if you have the option of one finger per fret it gives you more possibilties.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Place your hand flat on the table palm down and rise your finger up as high as it will go while pushing down with the other fingers. Do this a few times then turn your hand over and repeat doing the opposite. Go gently with this one, only use the one hand don't force you finger down with the other hand. Eventually the tendons will stretch.

You can do this anywhere.

I'm not a doctor or physiotherapist or anything so don't sue me if you strain something. Take it easy. :D

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That doesn't sound like a good idea, Tim.

 

The composer/pianist Schumann tried to stretch his third finger tendon (he built some sort of finger stretching gadget to pull up his third finger) and it ended his playing career. The third finger has a shorter tendon than the other fingers.

 

If you play a scale without any open strings, the first obvious fingering is 24 124 134. Play this scale somewhere further up the neck where the frets are not quite so wide.

 

How about starting on C on the 8th fret of the E string? Play scales all the way up to F and back down to C(so you've got one more 134 fingering on the G string).

 

Then play scales in thirds: C E D F E G F A G B A C B D C E D F and back down F D E C D B C A B G A F G E F D E C D B C.

 

Then play some minor scales using the fingering:

134 134 13. Try A minor starting on the fifth fret: A B C D E F G A and back down.

 

Play a nice chromatic walking riff:

C E F F# G F

F# F E. The fingering is 2 1234321.

 

Start on the 8th fret and play a blues in C using this riff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I split my fingers on my leg. Like my 1st and 2nd, then 2nd and 3rd, then 3rd and 4th. But working on the smaller frets and moving up will also help. I dont strain. Also, I have found that when "stretching" it is not helpful to feel the burn. For about 4 months I got nowhere when trying to stretch my legs, but once I just relaxed I seriously went from about 1 foot from the ground to sitting fluch on the floor. Maybe jsut realxing will help you. Do you do a lot of heavy lifting? It seems to be very hard for most people to relax.

Best of luck, Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your ring finger actually shares a tendon with the middle and little fingers; that's why you can't move the ring finger independently of the little finger. (There's a great explanation of the anatomy here -- scan down to "fingering principles.")

 

Here's an old typing exercise I still use: Lay your hand flat on the table. Raise each finger in turn. Your ring finger won't want to move, and when it does, it will try to take the little finger with it. That's okay. Just lift it as high as you can without strain, even if you can't actually lift it off the table. It'll get better in time. Be patient with yourself and don't let the rest of the hand tense up.

 

Another exercise that might help -- hold your hand out in front of you, palm down, at a comfortable height. If it's more comfortable to let the palms rotate in slightly, do it. Now, curl your little finger in so it touches your palm (or as close to it as you can get without discomfort), then your ring finger, middle finger and index finger. Reverse -- index finger out, middle finger out, ring finger out, little finger out. Rinse. Repeat. (Are your shoulders tensing up? Take a deep breath. Shake it out. Relax. Begin again.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Phil and Jeremy's approach of trying to work this out while playing exercises on the bass.

 

One exercise I was taught is to start in first postion (pointer over first fret) and on the E string play open-1-2-3-4. (Maybe start with quarters at a slow tempo.) Play the open E string again, and while it is ringing/sustained, shift to second postion (pointer over second fret) and repeat the 1-2-3-4 (fingers, not frets). Keep doing this all the way up the neck.

 

On the way back down the neck, reverse the fingering pattern to 4-3-2-1, but keep alternating with the open string.

 

Repeat the exercise on your other strings.

 

 

The real goal of this exercise is to help you keep your fingers close to the string so there is minimal movement.

 

When going up, don't lift your 1 finger when you play with the 2. Keep both 1 and 2 down on the string when you play with the 3. And when you play with the 4, all 4 fingers should be down on the string.

 

Going down is harder for me for some reason. (Mental block?) Here you start with the 4, and all 4 fingers are down on the string. Lift the 4, and the remaining 3 fingers are down on the string. Next lift the 3 and just 1 and 2 are left on the string. When the 1 plays, the other 3 are off the string.

 

How far are your fingers hovering away from the strings when they're not playing? Try to keep them as close to the string as possible. Minimize your movements. Be more efficient.

 

As you get more comfortable with the exercise (and your technique is good!), slowly bump the tempo up.

 

 

[i was taught this exercise in private lessons from a college bass professor after he identified a shortcoming in my technique. Private lessons are well worth the investment. This exercise cost me 1 college credit (uh, less than $100 for about 3 months worth of lessons back in the '80s). I'm giving it to you for free. Of course, there's no one there to watch you to make sure you get it right, or identify any other problems you may be having. Private lessons are well worth the investment.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

When going up, don't lift your 1 finger when you play with the 2. Keep both 1 and 2 down on the string when you play with the 3. And when you play with the 4, all 4 fingers should be down on the string.

Rick - I agree with "minimizing motion." But I'm curious about the reasoning behind keeping fingers "locked in place," as it's exactly counter to my own left hand technique and the technique I taught (when I did).

 

Seems to me that keeping the fingers on your left hand glued to the frets below the one you're playing is a recipe for all kinds of nasty stress injuries, and needless left hand tension.

 

Most peoples' hands just aren't shaped to allow their hands to remain in a single-fret-distanced pattern, and so keeping them like that requires extra effort (with little added value) - which is exactly what good technique attempts to minimize, no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I urge my students to keep fingers down. But I tell them that their fingers can creep together so that when all four fingers on the string, they are really only covering three frets.

 

What I am trying to get the students to do is to rest their fingers on the strings and just gently push with the finger that is playing the note. That way you are expending minimum effort and at the same time you are playing notes, you are also muting the strings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I think what David is trying to do is to have different fingers on different strings to enable him to play faster. So really he is after developing a bit more Independence between fingers and to be able to stretch more.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the scale exercises that I gave will have you moving across the strings.

 

You could always practice this non-musical but nifty little exercise.

 

Play F on the E string with your 1st finger

Play B on the A string with your 2nd finger

Play F on the D string with your 3rd finger

Play B on the G string with your 4th finger

 

then

Play Ab on the G string with your 1st finger

Play E on the D string with your 2nd finger

Play C on the a string with your 3rd finger

Play Ab on the E string with your 4th finger

 

Then move up a fret and do it again.

Try to keep your fingers as low as possible.

 

It makes no musical sense and you'll never use this pattern in a song but maybe that's what you're looking for (normally my exercises are based on scales and chords--something with musical content).

 

Of course, if you practice this for any amount of time, your wrist will hurt. That is not a good thing. Try letting your thumb float on the back of the neck so that it moves as you go from finger to finger...that will make it more comfortable. If you can keep your fingers reasonably close together instead of forcing them to stay in a one finger per fret position, you will have a much longer playing career.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not only is the tendon shorter. Look at a diagram of the extensor tendons of the hand. Here\'s one. You'll see that the ring finger doesn't have an independent tendon/muscle group to activate. Rather, a couple of muscles pull the ring finger combined with either the fourth or the third finger. The extensor muscles are responsible for straightening the fingers.

 

Looking at the flexor tendons (responsible for bending the fingers) you see a much different story. Hand flexor tendons. Here you'll see that the ring finger tendon is large, but travels with a much smaller pinky tendon.

 

The fourth finger pushes with greater force, but can't lift independent of the pinky and middle finger.

 

This anatomical problem can be overcome.

 

The best way is just to practice. You can teach your muscles to give some sense of independence to each finger. There is no better way to develop your muscles; no machine, no method.

 

The suggested exercises are great for this.

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys thanks alot to all.

 

I am really going to do this exercises, I actually do this last one Jeremy.

 

I don't fancy those strech ones, I think that will be a fast path for injuries and I saw my teacher with Tendiditis and I don't want to be the next one.

 

I remember now that when I was having lessons my teacher also said to me about keeping your fingers down on the strings but without stressing it.

 

I will put all this in practice and practice more as well.

 

Thanks everyone

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use this sometimes. Idea taken from Rush's - Tom Sawyer. Just use it on different positions around the fretboard.

 

Sorry for TAB just quicker/easier to communicate.

 

G--857-5-

D-----8-6

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...