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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Europe)
Posts: 199
Reviews: 2
Pinkie craze

Hey guys... Since it's vacation here and I won't see my guitar tutor until over a week from now, I thought I'd ask you for your advice on the pinkie craze I suffer from.

My pinkie seems to jump up from the fretboard a lot (as in: it doesn't stay close enough to the strings for fast action). Someone got some tips or practises that'll keep my pinkie closer to the strings?

I notice that when I play alternate picking excersizes like:

A ---------1-2-3-4
E 1-2-3-4--------- and so on, and the John Petrucci sweep picking excersize, that my pinkie stays pretty close to the strings. But on any other practise or playing, it'll bend back like insane!

Any help will be appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
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If im picturing what you are describing correctly, most people i watch do tuck their little finger away. I consider my self quite strange in that i dont, it just hovers there next to my ring finger. But as i said, most players i have seen do tuck their finger away!


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Europe)
Posts: 199
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I noticed that Satch and JP do that a lot aswell yeah. But yesterday in MSN, Shakeel solved this problem for me. With some practise it'll go away in a few weeks maybe.

That dude is crazy! He said that in my mind I have to say "stay low" or something like that, to that little pinkie of mine, while playing of course. And you know what? ... IT FRICKEN WORKED!! I tried it and it really works!

So now, I'll have to focus on cursing on the pinkie in my mind, until it gets used to staying low. I guess that'll take a few weeks...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2003, 01:12 PM
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As long as ur happy thats the main thing
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2003, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,514

i know the problem your talking about.... i like to call it first position syndrome and nearly all guitarists suffer from it whether they know it or not.

its to do with the way you learn the guitar when you first start to play. you form alot of bad habbits that you then modify to let you play better as you go along.... but you can see it with most guitarists and probably all electric guitarists. The easiest place to see it is when people go to play in the first position and suddenly their technique goes out the window their thumb comes up over the top of the fingerboard and their wrist gets stuck out or they place their palm against the back of the neck and basically technique goes to crap...

this is where most peoples pinkey problems comes from when you break it down. you may have really good shape and technique on the higher frets but your pinky just jumps off teh fingerboard and has to travell miles to get back and in guitar distance = time + energy

so the problem comes for most people from teh fact that you tell your brain to do two things that you want minimal movement and really efficient playing... but that its ok to flail about wildly (ie when you get to teh lower frets and usually just the first position cause thats where you started with a couple of chords)

basically the trick is like someone said there a few posts ago that you have to consciously tell youur pinky to behave.... really focus on playing things you know not just teh chromatic excersises. cause you can teach your pinkey to behave just in that excersice like teh way your hand behaves totally different in the first position, but it will still be leaping off teh board when you play other stuff... so practice minimum movement with everything you play... and start slow cause its difficult to do and requires alot of concentration and like anything feels awkward when you first try it eventually it will become second nature...

hope this helps

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-26-2003, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Europe)
Posts: 199
Reviews: 2
It's beginning to help already, and not only in chromatic and sweeping excersizes. I'm beginning to think that it also has to do with my frets though.. Or the neck of my guitar. I play on a GRX40, it has a fine neck and good frets (a bit worn out but it's okay) but, my next aim is for a S520X (pretty much unknown but SWEET S-model) and it has a super wizard with thin jumbo frets. (I say thin, because a super wizard on a RG has thicker frets of some sort )

I noticed that I didn't have much problems with keeping the pinkie low on that guitar, and I didn't curse him in my mind... The super wizard is a fine neck which I think helps my playing a lot. I play the guitar every week until I can afford it. Here's a pic:
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alternate picking , electric guitar , john petrucci , jumbo frets , sweep picking

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