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Thread: Which finger is your weakest

  1. #1
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    Which finger is your weakest

    I thought my fourth finger was the weakest one but I discovered that my index finger was my weakest link. This is because 90 percent of the time guitar players keep the first finger down while the other fingers are always moving.

    I watched this Shawn Lane video and he said to make a deliberate motion with the index finger when using it. The reason being is that the extensor muscles do not get developed properly with this finger due to lake of motion. This is especially true for hammer on technique. Try to do a hammer on with your index finger, it ain't as easy as the others..why is this??? Greg Howe practices hammers with his index and so did Hendrix, this is how he was able to play without a pick, just hammers...the index finger needs love too..


    I realized my index finger was the weakest because when ever I tried to put any speed into my laying, the index finger would always trip me up. So now, as a warm up, I practice deliberate up and down motion with this finger, on an exaggerated level and since I have been doing this for a few months, my ability to speed up has improved.

    Many people are skeptical about this idea but trust me, it works. If anyone wants me to show an example of what I mean let me know and I will do a short video.
    Joey D




  2. #2
    Registered User Guido Sarducci's Avatar
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    I know me too. But Im lazy so I just pick the first note when I do hammers and pulls so I never notice the index is weak. But when your picking every note isnt it better to drag the index to the next string for speed?

    This forum looks a little dead?!
    Last edited by Guido Sarducci; 11-10-2011 at 02:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    For me, the weakest is definitely the little finger ("pinky").

    Short personal story - I had always used my little finger ever since I first began playing 40 years ago. And because I could quite easily play big bends and wide stretched legato lines with my little finger, I thought I had probably developed a good degree of strength and control in that finger.

    However, about three years ago whilst struggling with some fast alternate picking stuff and various wide legato stretches, I decided I had identified a need to be more precise and “correct” in the way I was fretting notes with the left hand, and also in how accurate and consistent I was being with my alternate picking.

    In order to deal with that, amongst a whole load of other playing exercises, I began to work again through the first 40 or so exercises in Speed Mechanics. I had previously practiced a lot from that book many years before, only now the difference was that I was forcing myself to be far more strict in monitoring exactly how I was fretting and picking each note.

    That very quickly exposed the fact that my little finger was nowhere near as strong and accurate as I had thought.

    That’s the end of that particular “short story”, except to say that now I try to spend 15-30 min at the start of most practice sessions, just playing as accurately and carefully as I can through those first 40 exercises from Speed Mechanics … and I do that now as an endless pre-practice routine, ie as something intended to be repeated before any practice session, for ever.

    In case that seems too pedantic, and perhaps as if it’s not the best use of anyone’s practice time - sure, if you only have say 1 hour a day, then I would not spend half of that simply on very precise left-right technique exercises. But if like me, you spend many hours every day practicing and playing, then I have to say the reason I now try to practice those technique exercises in that strict way is - I found it was impossible to play anything except the simplest licks and phrases really cleanly and articulately, unless you do develop that sort of strength and control in correct technique for both hands … so, nowadays, when I teach students, I always begin by stressing the need to adopt and practice good technique in both hands … otherwise the student will never play well, no matter what else he or she learns.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Sarducci View Post
    This forum looks a little dead?!
    Yes, there are not too many new posts each day, which is a real shame, because in many respects this is probably the best and most knowledgeable music forum on the net (mainly thanks to a couple of very knowledgeable regular posters).

    But a significant reason for that lack "traffic" is that the forum has always had strict rules against posting on certain very popular topics. Particularly, against any gear discussion, or any discussion of favourite musicians etc.

    In a way that's a good thing, because gear discussion often ends up in a childish argument about who has the most expensive guitar lol.

    And similarly, it's pretty tedious reading hundreds of posts from guys arguing about whether band X is better than band Y, and saying that the best guitarist in the world is the bloke out of their current new favourite pop band.

    That said - personally I would have a section for gear discussion, and I think it would be easy to shape that so it remains sensible and informative. And I would introduce several new sections designed to attract more new members and wider discussion of other instruments and other musical genre's apart from the usual contemporary electric guitar stuff ...

    .... but I’ve said all that many times before … to absolutely no avail whatsoever.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 11-10-2011 at 01:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads View Post
    Yes, there not too many new posts each day, which is a real shame, because in many respects this is probably the best and most knowledgeable music forum on the net (mainly thanks to a couple of very knowledgeable regular posters).

    But a significant reason for that lack "traffic" is that the forum has always had strict rules against posting on certain very popular topics. Particularly, against any gear discussion, or any discussion of favourite musicians etc.

    In a way that's a good thing, because gear discussion often ends up in a childish argument about who has the most expensive guitar lol.

    And similarly, it's pretty tedious reading hundreds of posts from guys arguing about whether band X is better than band Y, and saying that the best guitarist in the world is the bloke out of their current new favourite pop band.

    That said - personally I would have a section for gear discussion, and I think it would be easy to shape that so it remains sensible and informative. And I would introduce several new sections designed to attract more new members and wider discussion of other instruments and other musical genre's apart from the usual contemporary electric guitar stuff ...

    .... but I’ve said all that many times before … to absolutely no avail whatsoever.
    I agree and sign this petition BONZZ (Well said that man)

  6. #6
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    Speed Mechanics

    Crossroads, is the Speed Mechanics only for electric guitar? Can you tell me how to gain speed on acoustic guitar? I watched somewhere that practice a song slowly then gradually play it faster and faster is not the best way to gain speed as it doesn't push yourself up?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    I think speed Mechanics is mostly aimed at electric guitar playing. ie The book and cd. Though i think the idea applies to everything. Start slowly and then when you have it accurate increase the speed a little and rpt.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitarrista View Post
    Crossroads, is the Speed Mechanics only for electric guitar? Can you tell me how to gain speed on acoustic guitar? I watched somewhere that practice a song slowly then gradually play it faster and faster is not the best way to gain speed as it doesn't push yourself up?
    Thanks!
    Yes, unfortunately Speed Mechanics is written for electric guitar players.

    It's a very well known book (I might almost say "famous"). Its' arranged as a progressive course in technique and technical playing. So it starts with exercises which are either easier to practice, or else which are essential things that you need to get right from the beginning ... and then it gets progressively more advanced from chapter to chapter.

    It was written at a time when high speed metal and shred were the height of fashion So all the songs/etudes and exercises etc. are aimed at that sort of very fast rock-metal style of electric guitar playing.

    But, now that I'm thinking about it (since you asked), in fact I think the book is so good that almost all the exercises would also be a huge help to most acoustic guitar players. Obviously you won't be able to play the stuff at the very high speeds intended (and demonstrated on the included CD), and you won't be able to play the licks that are way up past the 17th fret ....

    ... but, the first 40 or so exercises in particular are all designed to improve your left and right hand technique in terms of accuracy and strength of fingers (especially the little finger), and those exercises are just as good for acoustic players. In fact, out of all the hundreds of books, videos, DVD's etc. that I have practiced from over the years, Speed Mechanics is one of only a tiny handful where I found the practice material to be truly effective and something which really works.

    If you were an electric guitar player then I would say Speed Mechanics is really a "Must Have" book. But for an acoustic player ... well, I can't really judge that, but if I were you then I would definitely try it (espescially when I think of all the other entirely useless books which are often recomended), .... anyway, it's not expensive, so get a copy and see what you think.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 11-15-2011 at 12:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Bonzz & Crossroads!

    I'll look for the book next time I visit the music book store

  10. #10
    Antipodean Downsizer
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    Many guitarists use a warm-up exercise I've mostly heard called "'The Worm"", Chitarrista, and it works particulary well on acoustics as a way for beginners to increase speed.
    It's F, F#, G, G# on the sixth string using the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers, then you play across the other strings using the same technique of 1,2,3 and 4rh fingers.
    Then the same from frets 5 to 9, then the same from frets 9 to 12.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, Clearwater! I just tried what you suggested, and will keep trying.

    Ay, at this moment, I really think piano is waaaayyyy easier >.<'

  12. #12
    Antipodean Downsizer
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    Your Yamaha has a far flatter fretboard than most other accoustics, which seems to often slow folk down a little. When you are near another guitar brand, with a more standard fretboard curve try it- you'l see what I mean.

  13. #13
    Registered User Guido Sarducci's Avatar
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    Steve Morse has a cool finger exersize - you put your fingers on the D string like 10/11/12 and hammer/pull off the A string 9th fret/open with the index finger. And do the same thing with the rest. Good for speed and independence. My ring finger is the slowest and weakest. Youll notice improvement every day though.

  14. #14
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    @ Clearwater...eh? far flatter fretboard? didn't realize it...silly me. Is it also the reason I have a hard time in barre position?

    @ Guido...thanks, Guido. I'll try it too. Hm...sei italiano?

  15. #15
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    my pinky is freakishly weak
    it's ridiculous
    it's always letting me down
    youtube to mp3 converter http://youtomp3.com/

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