right hand pinky finger

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right hand pinky finger

Post by fetch » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:51 am

Any tips on how to prevent the little right hand pinky finger from pointing out? I realise this problem especially when my playing get tensed up.

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Christopher Langley
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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by Christopher Langley » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:00 am


Try slowing down the bpm of whatever you are playing enough that you can focus on making your hand relax (a metronome is a very useful tool).

Practice at the slower speed and very gradually speed up while watching and remaining mindful of that pinky. Make sure you have whatever you are playing committed to memory so you aren't trying to watch two things at once.

Practice enough while focusing on your pinky to be loose and it will eventually become the new normal, then you can speed things back up.

It can take some time and repetition to unlearn bad habits. Stick with it, you can do it. I faced the same problem for a while.

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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by DCGillrich » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:12 am

I had exactly the same issue; a sense of tension in the joint between my pinkie and hand. In addition to Christopher's suggestion, I recommend one other thing. As soon as you become aware of the tension, stop, correct the position of your finger, thereby releasing the tension, and then proceed again. This process, sometimes called "spot correction" or "spot adjustment" or "spot practice", may also help. The aim is to become more aware of the issue and circumstances in which it occurs, ingrain a better sense of what your hand (or finger when in a good position) should feel like, and, over time, allow your hand to adjust to the new normal.
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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by lagartija » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:53 am

Although I have not had the problem of my pinky sticking straight out, I used to notice some outer hand tension when i and m are on the trebles and I must reach back to the bass E string with my thumb.
Check to see if it happens with speed, when you approach a difficult passage, or whether your hand is spread wider than is usual for you. The conditions under which it happens will give you a clue to the solution.
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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:35 am

fetch wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:51 am
Any tips on how to prevent the little right hand pinky finger from pointing out? I realise this problem especially when my playing get tensed up.
This is a very loaded question. First we have to understand WHY the pinky is point/sticking out. This occurs mainly because we do not play with our pinky - therefore it becomes a dumping ground for excess tension. Work on training the pinky to move along with the A finger. And when you play M, have A and the pinky move together as a singular unit. This will take time - start with real basic exercises to develop the sensation and habit.

I tell students to wrap a rubber band loosely around their A and Pinky fingers, to encourage the movement. If they are practicing I/M scales and not using A to play, then wrap the rubber band around M, A and the pinky. Do this ALL of the time while you practice, for at least a month or two. From there start to test the development of the habit by taking the rubber band off every once and a while afterwards. You'll see a huge difference.
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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by jaan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 pm

Probably not what you're asking, but I spent about 2 years when I was a teenager trying to get my right pinky to rest alongside my a finger, but it would always jut out to the side. Figured it was a tension thing, so tried to relax. Tried using a rubber band, but it would jut out immediately after I took it off.

Then one day, I was noticing my dad's hands and that his pinkies jut out from his a finger. Looked at my hands in their relaxed state and realized that's just my physiology, rather than the result of excess tension.
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Re: right hand pinky finger

Post by gckoca » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:57 pm

I read in a book once that the 4th and 3rd finger tendons are connected and also some people have 2nd and 3rd connected tendons. So some can close the 4 without affecting 3 etc... So peoples fingers are different and one shouldn't do what feels unnatural.

I think it's good idea to give the pinky some work so you can practice something with any combination with pinky like a e | m e or p e (e is pinky) whatever, also maybe some chords on 5 strings with all fingers closing, because pinky does nothing usually so he is much weaker than others, so It's a good idea to give it some exercise to make it stronger and more controllable, also that would give me an enjoyable feeling in my hand as if I was doing something useful...

You can do some slow exercise like playing m a with the pinky going together with a, also i did some exercise with the rubber band connecting the two which would lead me to strange feeling after short time so I'd stop. And of course fingers are delicate so don't push...

It's best to keep it slow and relaxed and if playing too long, avoid being in same position I sometimes play on bed lying down, sometimes without a stool, or you can take your shirt off so the guitar sticks to your skin so you can get quite good position standing :)

You can make bread or pizza dough with your right hand, it's good practice for fingers (also nice feeling in hand), although you'll have some work afterwards beneath the nails...

Also Aniello Desiderio plays with the pinky pointed up and he's pretty good. Maybe he's catching some waves from interstellar space...

I cut my pinky nail completely as the hand is then lot more useful for daily use...

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