Miscellaneous Rumbles

question for you hybrid pickers

1

I've always used my pinky to some extent, but it's never been anything but lame, figuratively speaking. I also go back and forth between hybrid style (flat pick with fingers) and thumb pick. Question for you who use only hybrid picking for Travis/Atkins style playing. Just how practical is it to expect to be able to develop the pinky to any level of real strength and control? I'm talking about using it as much as the ring finger with a thumb pick. Most classical guitarists say it's impossible because it's too short and shares a bone with the ring finger, or something like that. Anyone here 'done it?' Know what I mean?

2

There’s a guy in town who would do this tremolo picking with his pinky. He showed his hand to the crowd and got the little finger vibrating, then set it down on the strings.

My guitar teacher told me a story where he said he broke a fingernail one night and amazed himself by finishing the gig with index, ring and pinky. He suggested keeping the finger as a reserve, in case you take up woodworking.

4

I've never used my pinky finger. Does the ring finger really share a bone with the pinky finger? I can't find it. I'm doubtful.

5

I've never used my pinky finger. Does the ring finger really share a bone with the pinky finger? I can't find it. I'm doubtful.

– Jim Krause

I guess it's not really the bones, but perhaps the tendons and one of the muscles that the ring and pinky share; something like that anyway.

6

Right---shared tendon, not bone. The pinky and ring finger work somewhat in unison.

I'm primarily a piano player, so using my pinky is natural.

I didn't say good. I have more problems with my fretting pinky, tho. Due to piano playing, it's somewhat arthritic and bent.

7

I sometimes use pinky when plucking chords that have a bass note on 6th or 5th string, then a dead 5th or 4th string, and three more notes on strings 1-3. Pick is in between the thumb and index and it plays the bass note.

Now thinking of it, I may use it even when there's high notes on just 1st and 2nd string. I guest the habit originates from classical guitar playing technique.

8

I use it all the time Journeman, in the context you illustrate. Is it as strong as the ring finger? No, It's not. However a purposeful degree of independence and power is to too difficult to cultivate.

9

I use it all the time Journeman, in the context you illustrate. Is it as strong as the ring finger? No, It's not. However a purposeful degree of independence and power is to too difficult to cultivate.

– ade

Thanks Ade. Did you mean 'too difficult' or "not too difficult?" If it is not too difficult, I'll put in the time and see what happens. Every system has its limitations and the hybrid right hand is the one I keep coming back to. If I can get even close to the facility of thumb pick with flat pick and fingers, it would make life easier. Sometime less is more.

10

Never could get mine to work,and i'm too set in my ways to change now.

11

Pardon my typo, it's not too difficult. A pinkie is as a pinkie does- initially it won't want to get out of bed and do an honest day's work but it soon gets the idea. It never quite has the power of the other fingers but it gets about accurately and with speedy finesse.

I tried all the other ways, thumbpick etc- flatpick and two worked well but wanted to use the lazy little finger and it really does work well with persistence.

12

Pardon my typo, it's not too difficult. A pinkie is as a pinkie does- initially it won't want to get out of bed and do an honest day's work but it soon gets the idea. It never quite has the power of the other fingers but it gets about accurately and with speedy finesse.

I tried all the other ways, thumbpick etc- flatpick and two worked well but wanted to use the lazy little finger and it really does work well with persistence.

– ade

By Jove, I'll do it. Thanks for the note of encouragement; I'll give it a few weeks and see how it feels. Actually, even after a few days of playing some things that normally get played with the thumbpick & fingers, it's starting to feel a tad more secure.


Register Sign in to join the conversation