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Jun 13, 2018 - 11:01:32 AM



178 posts since 8/11/2015

I'm learning a tune that ordinarily requires left index on 2nd string, 6th fret, then left pinkie going to 3rd string, 9th fret. Simple right. Well in trying to build speed, I find that I miss or muffle the 3rd string using my pinkie sometimes. I can nail it easily with my ring finger although it's a bit of a stretch; however, I feel I should continue to try to use and develop the pinkie for such situations.
Are there any short-cuts to learning to accurately hit a sting with the pinkie other than starting slowly and increasing the metronome little by little (which is what I've been doing, but gosh, it's a slow process)? I've been attempting this for about 10 days now, and have only slightly been able to increase tempo without messing up.

Jun 13, 2018 - 11:10:32 AM
like this



34922 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

I used to do this one - if I can explain it right..... fret the third string with all three fingers (index, middle, ring) down at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd frets. Then practice moving your pinky from 4th string, over to the 3rd string, then to the 2nd string, finally to the 1st string, with the other fingers holding down their positions. You can mix up the movements to and from different strings (2 to 4,, 3 to 1 ,etc.) hope that’s clear as mud...good luck

Jun 13, 2018 - 11:11:19 AM



3973 posts since 8/20/2016

Chuck has a great idea, try that.

Whenever I have a problem with a lick, I isolate the measure and the one before it and play only those two measures over and over. Depending on the difficulty it can take a while. 10 days seems a bit much. I would probably just use what works by now...I don't know what the next and previous notes are but the same two notes can be found at the 1st string 3rd fret and the 2nd string 5th fret. Good luck

Edited by - Mooooo on 06/13/2018 11:12:27

Jun 13, 2018 - 11:31:26 AM

1444 posts since 2/16/2017
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10 days...could just be a mental block.

Banjo is a lot like golf for me, sometimes my mind gets in the way.

Put it aside and forget about it for a few days or a week. When you come back to it, you might suddenly be able to do it.

I like Chuck's exercise. I'm going to try it.

Jun 13, 2018 - 11:49:51 AM



178 posts since 8/11/2015

Oh, I can hit it most of the time, but I want to be able to hit it all the time without worrying about it. As I said I can hit is square on with my ring finger, but my little one needs work. I know I'll get more consistent with it the more I play...just impatient.
If I do it slowly enough, I can get it every time, but it's only when I try to speed up...
Thanks, guys.

Jun 13, 2018 - 12:22:28 PM

Alex Z


3141 posts since 12/7/2006

10 days is a very short time to acquire a new skill and strength if you haven't been using that little finger much.  Figure 3-4 weeks.

"If I do it slowly enough, I can get it every time, but it's only when I try to speed up..."

And there's your answer. smiley   To gain a new skill, want to practice doing it right.  Kind of like shooting free throws -- get in the groove and keep the repetitions going.  Doesn't do any good to practice missing free throws.

So go only as fast as you can get it, and do that for 3 more weeks before you consciously try to speed up.  You may even find that during the 3 weeks you are unconsciously going a little faster, and that's great.  Speed may come in jumps, not necessarily gradually.

Multiple repetitions in a session are good -- but if your fingers start feeling tired, take a break.  Again, we want the correct motion and feel, not overworking tired muscles and compensating.  Better to have 10 reps three times a day, rather than 30 reps in a row.

You'll get there, no  doubt.

Jun 13, 2018 - 12:25:06 PM

Alex Z


3141 posts since 12/7/2006

And, that new skill, strength, and precision will transfer over to other parts of your playing, not just the one lick.

No band-aids or work-around.  Go for it, brother.  smiley

Jun 14, 2018 - 6:19:35 AM

gtani7 Players Union Member


628 posts since 3/22/2017

When you're doing different chord grips you're turning palm of left hand towards peghead or towards bridge to make the reaches easier (or you should be) and thumb position changes also

There's mechanical exercises you can do like spider walking, just google "guitar finger exercise":

But really the best way to improve is to find lots of different tunes that exercise your LH differently: fast chord sequences, single note lines, chord melody, and play them on different instruments..

Edited by - gtani7 on 06/14/2018 06:22:37

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