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Pinkie trouble


oldsubguy
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The little finger is by far the weakest and must be used as much as possible in order to strengthen it.

If you simply avoid it, it will never gain in strength.

Try exercises such as Sevcik op1.

Also many people have an involuntary sympathetic reflex in the bow arm causing them to release bow weight commensurate with the decrease in finger pressure as applied by the little finger. Do not allow this to happen. Keep the bow weight constant with all fingers.

Stephen.

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I agree. Keep using your fourth finger. Don't try to shift to avoid it. In my first year of lessons, I couldn't get any kind of a decent sound out of notes played with my fourth finger. But now after a few more years of playing, that finger is almost as strong as the others. I don't even think about it any longer. Your pinkie just needs some additional time and practice to get its act together.

SJ

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I am another adult beginner who has only been playing for about 8 Months. I was one of those people who could lose his pinkie and probably never notice. When I first started having to use my 4th finger it was horrible but I have refused to shy away from it and in the few months I've been using it I can tell a huge difference. So don't give up.

Also to strenghten my pinkie and make it not so weak I started using one of the Gripmaster grippers that work all of the fingers individually so that they all have to do the work. I bought the Extra Light Tension one since my pinkie was so weak I needed one that I could depress all the way with my pinkie. You can get these at most music stores they are also very popular with Guitar players. It has made a huge difference now the problem with my pinkie is learning to play the right note and not a lack of pressure. I keep it at my desk at work and use it through out the day when I am on the phone. I hope this helps. smile.gif

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Yep it stinks, you just have to learn to stretch out your pinky. Move your thumb so that it is opposite your middle and ring finger and it will force your hand to come down more squarely on the strings facilitating the use of your pinky.

Also do that old Mr. Spock thing where you stretch your fingers apart laterally. Do it gently and if you feel pain STOP!

A little bit every day will help you get that baby moving.

Good Luck,

Don Crandall

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quote:

Originally posted by stephen redrobe:

Also many people have an involuntary sympathetic reflex in the bow arm causing them to release bow weight commensurate with the decrease in finger pressure as applied by the little finger. Do not allow this to happen. Keep the bow weight constant with all fingers.

Stephen.

Hmmmm that's true and exactly what's been happening to me but I never realised till now smile.gif Excellent advice --- I just experimented with consciously keeping the bow pressure the same, and discovered my pinky comes out in the same kind of sympathy reflex with the bowing, a much stronger sound instantaneously (still need to exercise pinky some more though) Thankyou, I'm amazed at this little bit of insight, I had been struggling with this problem for ages and now see a 'way out'.

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quote:

Originally posted by MrWoof:

... Move your thumb so that it is opposite your middle and ring finger and it will force your hand to come down more squarely on the strings facilitating the use of your pinky.....

I agree. Keeping the thumb too close to the scroll is a very common bad-habit (guilty as charged) & that tends to hinder the 3rd & 4th fingers.

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It all seems like good advice ..pay particular notice to those who say STOP when it begins to hurt. I overdid trying to strengthen my pinkie last year and had to stop using it for six months I strained it so badly. Thanks Mr. Redrobe. Instant improvement! I have been decreasing bow pressure when I use my pinkie - result very anaemic sound.

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...or try something more radical: take up the electric bass and WORK that pinky.

It'll improve your rhythm, too.

There's really no other answer to your problem than working it out. Whatever's weak needs to be strengthened. Pick a method...

Are the responses you've received helping you?

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The problem with the pinkie is not primarily one of strength. It is a problem of facilitation of the muscle responsible for EXTENDING the pinkie.

The circuitry for the pinkie is very poor from the brain to the hand for the pinkie. 95% of the neurons and synapses are devoted to the thumb and index. As a demonstration try alternate taping of the right hand index and middle. Easy, right?..now try tapping the right pinkie alone. most people can do this pretty well. Now try tapping the left pinkie alone, and an alternate tapping of the ring, pinkie on the table WITHOUT activating the middle or index. Most people cannot do this without specific practice. This is the action required to use your pinkie on the fingerboard. The reason for this, is that the muscle and nerves for the pinkie are not so well defined as they are for the index

The extensors for the whole hand and even the wrist are involuntarily recruited. this causes tension, making playing impossible. However, to use the pinkie effectively, you MUST be able to use it alone, without recruiting the rest of the hand. Very important!!

Try taping and lifting the pinkie lots during the day, on the table and on your knee while driving. also do an alternating tap with the ring, and try very hard not to move the middle or index, although this will be impossible at first, for most people. It will be enough to make you want to wet your pants at first, so only make BRIEF attempts,but frequently, let's say two or three attemptts at 15 second intervals, for five minute, or until late fatigue.

Within a few days you will see amazing results.

This method is strongly based on the neuromuscular physiology of the CNS,hand interface.

Good Luck

Bud

[This message has been edited by fiddlefaddle (edited 04-19-2002).]

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