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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Netherlands
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The pinky - more useful than I thought

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share my experience with you on this pinky topic.

I always thought that the pinky was kinda redundant when trying to play fast solos up in the neck (12th fret upwards) where you don't have to stretch your ring finger so much to accomplish the same as the pinky (also the ringer finger is stronger, so easier to play right ?).

Now as an example, take Dream Theater's Another Day solo. There's a pretty fast run in there. (which I won't describe as you can find the tab around the net, but it's a major chord progression I think..).

If I try to play that lick without my pinky I always fail whereas with the pinky I can almost nail it (not quite yet though )
It seems like the effort needed to adjust the fingers's positions to all the different spacings in that run when not using the pinky is greater than to just "trigger" your other fingers + pinky when needed which happen to be at the right spacing already. At least in my hands' size...
The problem is that the pinky is usually a bit less trained, lacks strength, independence and speed to pick and release the string quickly but once you master than, it's well worth it! In fact I've been trying to play this specific solo for many months now and I kind of reached a point of no progress, until I decided to try it with the pinky.... wow!!! what a difference! At first I thought given the small space using all 4 fingers would be a mess but no.. that's the way it should be!!! For me at least... I'm sure others guys feel fine not using the pinky! In a way.. if you can get rid of a finger the better.. one less point of failure
mindwalker is offline  
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f23/an...ate-93653.html

Mr. Killer is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Netherlands
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

LOL..... I mean the pinky in the fretting hand, not the picking hand

You probably didn't read my post past the topic's title
mindwalker is offline  
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

Yea a lot of players forget to use their pinkies.
MattyG is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Red face Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

I use my middle, ring, and pinky fingers so much when picking, that I've developed a signature way of playing some of my chords which has become very predictable for me as one of my buddies has pointed out several times...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindwalker View Post
LOL..... I mean the pinky in the fretting hand, not the picking hand

You probably didn't read my post past the topic's title
Oh I see ... I'm sorry then I mean, whenever someone talks about a major change in his technique due to his pinky finger, you inmediately think it is the pinky in his picking hand. I did read your post, but didn't notice the part where you mentioned the pinky in your fretting hand, you talked about effort and spacing and picking speed, I thought you were talking about the anchoring debate. My apologies
Mr. Killer is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Burbank, CA
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

I can't imagine not playing with my pinky. Unless you're doing pentatonics all the time, I find it kind of necessary.
SchecterWhore is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

After my own experience and close analyzing Joe Satriani's playing, the guy who is my greatest influence, I've set up a rough rule for pinky use:

1. From frets 1-12, top three string (high E, B, G), If I'm using my ring finger, I don't use my pinky. Ring finger takes pinky's place, middle finger takes ring finger's place. HOWEVER! I still practice using it in these situations.

I have read that your pinky and ring finger share a tendon. This is why it can feel so unnatural to hammer-on from your ring finger to your pinky. The pinky is also, IMO, the least "toneful" of fingers because it lacks the strength and mass of your other fingers. Things can actually sound better if you don't use it.

2. Frets 1-12, bottom three strings; use your pinky and ring fingers.

Using your middle and ring fingers together here can be akward. This is where your pinky becomes neccesay and all that practice (hint hint) you did in rule # 1 comes into play. The strings are thicker and therefore make up for the lack of pinky mass.

3. Above the 12th fret...all bets are off.

Above the 12th fret, anything goes. You can now stretch between two, three, or more positions on the fretboard. Why would you NOT want to use your pinky?
RedTiger is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

i cant imagine playing without the pinky! i know its the hardest to train up as a beginner but unless its been amputated theres no excuse not to use it. Your gonna really be limiting yourself in scale runs and chord stretches if you dont.

I see what your saying about adding vibrato and feel, it is easier with the other 3 fingers, but with constant use of the pinky it can do it too
richard1973 is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 04:53 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Re: The pinky - more useful than I thought

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID! :P
Alepheleven is offline  
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