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There are lots of question and answers related to ring and pinky fingers. However, I am asking a similar question related to pinky finger as I need to know the answer specifically with my problem.

I have been playing guitar as an hobby for more than 3 years. Still I am having a problem in the movement of my pinky finger. It moves like a spring is controlling the movement. The problem becomes worse when I press my ring finger harder. I know there is dependency between the ring and pinky fingers, but I don't see any of my friends having this spring like movement, even though they are not as good in playing guitar as I am. So, is there anything wrong with the anatomy of my fingers?

Now I am 28 years old; will it be possible for me to overcome this problem by practice?

If so, what type of practice do you recommend especially for this kind of problem?

  • Describe this movement more, is it involuntary, or is it part of "not arching" or "locking" your finger as you press down? A poor technique problem called locking would be when one or more of your joints collapse so that they are not all bending in toward your palm (which could be said to have a spring like way). – amalgamate Feb 27 '15 at 20:02
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It's probably a more straightforward problem on violin (since one uses chords much less).

The key is basically a mixture of finger strength and avoiding the "snapping" configuration altogether by keeping the finger joints well-rounded/bent, so that you are playing with the tip of the pinky whenever possible.

This will not work when barring with the pinky, of course, since the whole point then is to have the finger flat.

But other than that, try avoiding getting the last pinky joint close to straight, because that is the snapping/weak configuration.

And when you have to barr with the pinky, don't let it "snap" into flat position but rather have it go flat already before applying significant pressure.

With suitable finger strength and when being careful to not go through snapping for either tip or flat configuration, hopefully the problem will get triggered less over time.

  • It's been some time, and speaking for myself, my problems with the 4th finger have only gotten worse. It's most likely due to the multiple breaks I suffered in both 3rd & 4th fingers as a child. So I went to a professional teacher/perfomer with 20+ years experience, playing in tribute bands (Metalica, Led Zeppelin, The Doors) and jazz and blues bands. He took a look at my fretting hand and my crooked fingers and said "put that pinky away and forget about it. Use it for basic chords, but for you I recommend the 3-finger method and slide guitar". – Matt Davenport Apr 12 '18 at 3:51
  • I took his advice and have made some great music. Whenever I try to use the "four finger method" my playing goes to pieces. So the moral is: there is not one "correct" way to play guitar. Different methods for different people. I doubt this will help you in your specific issue but if you really can't control it (it's biology, and sometimes there really are limits, despite what the "positive thinking" crowd would have you believe) then perhaps try to make a virtue out of your limitations. Worked for me. – Matt Davenport Apr 12 '18 at 3:54
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Well, all I can say is you are not alone. I have that problem too. Involuntary in my case. It "springs" up and wobbles around. I have had made some progress using the "spider" exercise, going really slowly and placing the tip down in a slow, deliberate way trying to fret with the tip. Anyway, you really aren't alone, for what that is worth :)

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