Is is by playing chords that use your 4 finger or by playing scales. For the past 2 months i've been playing for 6 hours on week days and on saturday and sunday i play all day. I still have so much trouble playing with my 4th finger Also is i put all 4 finger tips down on the table, i cannot lift up my 3rd finger with out lifting up my 2nd finger. Is there a better way of getting the fingers strong
Trills with your 1st and 4th finger work very well.
You simply hold your 1st finger anywhere on the high-e. Then hammer-down with your 4th and pull off. Repeat as much as you can without hurting yourself. Rinse and repeat every day.
Boring but extremely effective.
Im pretty new at this but from what I've gathered it's both scales and chords as long as you're incorporating you're 4th finger. My fingers were pretty weak at first and it used to hurt to hold the strings down but eventually with enough practice they get calluses on the tips, your fingers get more dextrous and stronger. If you want to work your 4th finger specifically try going through the chromatic scale but leave out your second or third finger.e.g 6th string 1st fret finger one, 2nd fret finger two and/or 3rd fret finger three, 4th fret finger 4, 5th string same thing till you get to the first string then reverse the process till you get back to the 6th string then skip one fret so you start on 6th string fret 2 with finger one, continue the process till you get to about the 12th fret then work your way back to fret one. Just make sure you can hear the notes clearly and you dont bend the strings. This is what works for me but dont "fret" one of the more experienced players on here will probably give you a more detailed and informative response.
Hope this helps a little though.
I seriously need to learn to use the tables. ???
Thanks, ill try both of your ideas. Every night i play scales and chords. I've been playing for just over a year. I don't feel pain any more. Yesterday i started playing from 9am and only finished at 1:30am. i can still feel dead skin on the tips of all my fingers. For example when i play my 1st finger on the 6th string(1st fret) and then lift my 1st finger to play 4th finger 6th string(4th fret) My 2nd finger doesn't want to stay close to the string. 4th finger is basically using my middle finger mussle
Further to Norio's and Gray's excellent suggestions, perhaps you should also try playing chromatics all over the neck in the following fingering combinations:
1 - index finger, 2 - middle finger, 3 - ring finger, 4 - pinky
1 2 3 4
1 2 4 3
1 3 2 4
1 3 4 2
1 4 3 2
1 4 2 3 etc etc
And in all numerical combinations of the above-mentioned digits.
Once you have this down solid in the first position, then move it around the fretboard in all possible directions and shapes. I usually warm up by drawing X , / , \ and Z shaped patterns on the fretboard. This exercise will help you build finger strength and accuracy. A hybrid of this exercise would be to hum the note as you play it in order to improve ear training. This will help you identify tonalities and help you with choosing notes to play over progressions. And the super hybrid of this exercise would be to memorize the names of the notes, and recite the note name in your mind, while you hum the note and play it at the same time (this is an exercise in Satch's book titled Guitar Secrets). This will help you, besides identifying notes and tones, find any note anywhere on the fretboard any time you wanna find it.
With reference to the number of hours you put in, remember it is quality and not quantity that counts. I have seen many people sit for hours on end noodling around and not really achieving much when they're done with the day's practice. And i can honestly say that i have been a victim of this, many many years ago.You should set yourself realistic goals before every practice session and achieve those goals at the end of the practice session. To quote guitar legend John Petrucci, take the total amount of time you have to yourself (time when no one will interrupt your train of thought etc etc), divide it into equal parts and assign specific goals that need to be achieved at the end of each of these equal parts of time.
For example, say you have 2 hours per day all to yourself when absolutely nothing can come between you and your guitar. You can split it into equal parts depending on the number of topics you want to cover (e.g. 2 topics = one hour per topic; 4 topics = 30 mins per topic etc etc). Lets say 2 hours gets split into 6 parts of 20 mins each.
The first 20 minutes = warm-up exercises, chromatic exercises, exercises to build mental focus.
The second 20 minutes = choose a note that you need to get comfortable with and practice its various chord voicings (i.e. maj, min, 7th, sus2, sus4, add 9ths etc etc)
The third 20 minutes = Understand the theory behind each of the chords you played. Identify its formulae and the notes that form each of the chords. Get to know this information intimately.
The fourth & fifth 20 minutes = Play the major scale and its modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian). An easy way to remember this to associate the first letter of each mode to form a sentence. In this case, remember the phrase "If Dora Plays Like Me, All is Lost" to remind you of the seven modes of the major scale.
The sixth 20 minutes = A recap of the topics covered in the practise session. This will help you remember the things you have learnt.
To be continued....
Thank you. i've been doing it this way.
string 6: 124
string 5: 134
string 4: 124
string 3: 134
string 2: 124
string 1: 134
I'll do it your way. See what happens. I've also been learning a lot of classic songs with all these weird finger positions. That has also been helping me out a lot. I play for at least 6 hours a night and weekends all day.
When all my friends are out clubbing and getting drunk im in my room learning guitar.
Continuation to previous post...
Good exercise, that one, Gerald. And i applaud you on your dedication 🙂
I believe you will find considerable rewards in the exercise i suggested. As for your original question of strengthening your pinky, Norio's suggestion of trilling is very good...provided you trill in every conceivable combination of your index, middle, ring and fourth fingers. Also, start with smaller intervals and then stretch as far as you can. At the same time, start at a slower tempo and then build up speed. Your focus should be on hitting the right notes accurately every time before you can focus on building speed.
Now, when you have built finger strength by doing trills, start moving these trills around to various positions on different strings to build speed (remember, accuracy first). Then, start skipping strings when you do the trills. And lastly, skip strings and change the positions when you move to a different string.
While developing your left hand ( i assume you're right handed) technique, you must also pay equal attention to your picking.
Next post : Focus on picking technique
Thank you 🙂 I'm gonna do what ever it takes to get my 4th finger ready in the next month. The tips of all my fingers are hard it just the 4th finger is so weak, Especially when i need to hold down the 6th string with my 4th finger. My right hand is pretty good. Been playing a lot of finger picking songs lately. Remember the 1st post when i started this thread, I said i cannot lift up my 3rd finger with out lifting up my second finger. Well now i can lift it up about 1 center meter.
My apologies for not having followed up with the lessons on right hand technique. I'm quite busy at the moment and will make sure that i put up the lessons sometime in the coming week. However, you mentioned that you were having issues fretting the 6th string with your 4th finger. This leads me to think that your technique may need some attention. Focus on proper left hand technique (i.e. make sure that the flat of your thumb is at the middle of the neck, and that you're able to spread your fingers out on the fretboard without any issues).
May the force be with you ;D
Thanks Arjun. For example if i have my 1st finger on the 6th string 1st fret, 2nd finger 2nd fret, 3rd finger 3rd fret and 4th finger 4th fret. My thumb must be in the middle between my 2nd and 3rd fingers. I've tried that and it actually hurts my wrist if im doing scales with my thumb staying in the middle all the time.
The technique you mentioned is the ideal technique, but you mention wrist pains. Have you had any wrist related accidents (pun unintended) before? Or is the pain somehow a result of playing? This is very important because if it is playing related then you need to attend to it pronto ( i would even suggest reducing on the amount of time you spend playing and building up your forearm and wrist strength along with finger strength). If the pain is due to a previous accident, you should look at altering your technique to find a comfortable one. To give you some hope, Steve Morse (in his dregs days) has gigged with an arm in a cast and he even took the Musicman Steve Morse serial number 001 and sanded down the heel so that he could reach the upper registers with his arm in a cast.