Mark Featherstone wrote:Thank you, Alan and Konstantin. I'm trying to keep all finger tips within a few mm (less than 5 mm) of the string, while moving them over the fret/string to be played in advance (say, while playing a scale).
It seems that it would be better to be able to keep the 4th finger over the fret on the 4th string, but that takes real effort, and I can feel my hand getting tired. It's tired even now after a night's rest.
If your hand is still tired after resting overnight, there is more going on with your hand than the LH finger 4 not behaving. I would suspect that there is considerable tension in your left hand which is effecting your fourth finger.
For starters, check your overall sitting position, position of the guitar as you hold it and how your left arm & hand are orienting to the neck of the guitar. There are many adjustments that can be made in this area alone that can help improve the presentation of the left hand.
Tension that causes the pinky to extend can be caused by having the hand in a state of extension. You may feel that simply playing a scale is not extension but for many people, the four fret span of the lower positions does cause enough of an extension to trigger tension. Doing four fret finger patterns in an upper position where the fingers can cover four frets comfortably (fret VII is typically a good place to start). These should be done slowly, carefully with awareness of muscle effort and release of effort. Exercises could be as simple as slowly playing 1-2-3-4, 4-3-2-1. And also repeated fingers, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4,4-3, 3-2, 2-1.
Check your thumb. A thumb that is working too hard can add tension to the hand and inhibit finger independence.
Improve your finger independence. A search on this forum will yield many results for ideas for finger independence exercises. Be sure to be gentle and start with simple exercises.
Book some time with a well trained classical guitar teacher to watch you play and help you to develop your left hand.
Good luck taming that finger!
So much music, so little time.