Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
aNovitiate

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by aNovitiate » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:58 pm

Jratwen wrote: I have a tough time getting the pinky to move independent of the ring finger. I feel I have been able to work past this with the other three right hand fingers, but after working the pinky both on and away from the guitar the past week or so - seems I have had only limited effect - the ring finger still wants to move a good deal in sympathy with the pinky finger. Just curious if any of you have had good success overcoming this.

Thanks - Jim
THAT's the trick: DON'T try to gain pinky independence from the ring finger. Anatomically, it's not going to happen because the ring finger and pinky finger muscles are too interrelated. But, when you experiment at bit with pinky, you'll notice that:
  • pinky falls, naturally, to about the same string as the index finger. Check that out. Thus, pinky can be an index-finger 'helper'. For example, if your index finger is used/'busy' on G (string 3), pinky falls, naturally, onto #3 ! Thus, pinky can be used for 'pick-up' notes, for example on string 3, when your middle and ring fingers are busy, elsewhere, like on strings #2 and #1.
  • While no two fingers alternate as well as index and middle fingers and, as you pointed out, trying to alternate the ring finger with the pinky is fighting a losing battle, the index and ring fingers alternate acceptably well AND the index and pinky alternate acceptably well ! Try it.
So what? Why not just alternate between index and middle fingers, as usual? Well, when the index and middle fingers, which are side-by-side, alternate, they produce a similar sound due to their proximity. However, because pinky is perhaps 3 inches (or so) closer to the bridge than the index finger, when pinky and index fingers alternate, they produce more contrasting sounds. Pinky produces the crisper (higher harmonics) sound due to being closer to the bridge. Thus, a pinky-index alternation adds an additional tone color to your 'toolchest'.

Sean

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by Sean » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:59 am

I've had a bit of success with it - it was very awkward at first and, like the post above says, total independence ain't likely to happen. However, I have noticed a marked improvement in control with arpeggio practice and with chromatic scale practice.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun May 01, 2011 5:44 pm

Thanks Sean,
Here two completely different pieces illustrating what one could do with his little finger ;)

In this one I used little finger almost for all kind of techniques (because I played seven string guitar my thumb was almost always busy with fretless seven string) -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krdLcMQ_Usk

in this I use it for harmonics and other things (I played jazz fusion on midi guitar with nylon strings )-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW05RtdRttU
-
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Sean

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by Sean » Mon May 02, 2011 7:49 pm

I can tell a huge difference in my RH 'a' finger - I can control various angles I wasn't always able to prior to beginning the pinky work.

GuitarMaster

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by GuitarMaster » Tue May 03, 2011 3:52 pm

I use all my fingers many years for Classical-Acoustic and Hollow body electric for my jazz compositions, you have absolutely right my friend Andrei.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue May 03, 2011 9:35 pm

GuitarMaster wrote:I use all my fingers many years for Classical-Acoustic and Hollow body electric for my jazz compositions, you have absolutely right my friend Andrei.
Thanks! it is nice to feel that you are not alone :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

cpierce

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by cpierce » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:20 am

This is a very interesting topic. I have used my little finger at times, but maybe not as often as I should.

I have listened to some of your music. It is very nice thank you for posting the links.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:49 pm

cpierce wrote:This is a very interesting topic. I have used my little finger at times, but maybe not as often as I should.

I have listened to some of your music. It is very nice thank you for posting the links.
Thanks for your comment and interest to this topic!
Good luck with your little finger playing!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Mikkel
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:19 am
Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by Mikkel » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:27 am

Many teachers encourage the training of the little finger, they argue that even though they don't need (and use it) in a conventional classical context, it strengthens the right hands balance and as Sean noted the facility of the a finger. The argument is valid according to my experience - I don't use my pinky when playing, but training it has given me more facility and a more fluid right hand technique.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:43 pm

Yes I absolutely agree - it is good to be able to use it, but you use it when it is necessary.
Thanks for your comment!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Jean-Paul

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by Jean-Paul » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:47 pm

Kazuhito Yamashita is notorious for using his pinky in his symphonic interpretations. Look up his playing the the "Hut of Babba Yaga" as an example. He indicates using the pinky with the symbol, "ch" which stands for "chico." In the "Hut" he uses it like a mandolin pick to play a tremolo, while simultaneously playing a melody with his other fingers. Pretty freaky stuff!

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:14 pm

Jean-Paul wrote:Kazuhito Yamashita is notorious for using his pinky in his symphonic interpretations. Look up his playing the the "Hut of Babba Yaga" as an example. He indicates using the pinky with the symbol, "ch" which stands for "chico." In the "Hut" he uses it like a mandolin pick to play a tremolo, while simultaneously playing a melody with his other fingers. Pretty freaky stuff!
I like how Yamashita playing Mussorgsky.
Thanks for adding interesting information about his fingering! :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Steffi

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by Steffi » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:21 am

I often use the RH little finger, even if there is another fingering on the sheet :) . My teacher doesn't like it, so I have to practice all the pieces using only four fingers of the right hand.

:bye:

barry haywood
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:24 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by barry haywood » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:42 pm

What an interesting concept.
I've been using my pinky for rasguedo and - very rarely - for 6 string arpeggios. Now I can look into a wider use.

Thanks Andrei, I always felt I had too few fingers on my right hand :wink:
If you don't grow up, you'll never grow old.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1760
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Little finger of right hand can play a lot!

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Steffi wrote:I often use the RH little finger, even if there is another fingering on the sheet :) . My teacher doesn't like it, so I have to practice all the pieces using only four fingers of the right hand.

:bye:
Thanks for your comment Steffi!
Practice your pieces both ways with 5 and 4 fingers :)
Certainly it is not necessary to use pinky everywhere and for everything... but it is very logical in some places and gives interesting sound alternative in repetitions, and developed pinky will help to develop all other fingers of the right hand! :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”