I'm practicing a lot of scales as mentioned in my earlier question. When I stretch my pinky to reach for a distant fret, I almost always "land" on the side of my pinky. Is this ok? If not are there any specific exercises I can do to improve my technique, or will it just come with time?

1 Answer 1


I think this is something that will come with time, patience and perseverance, practising your scales.

You could however do something like the following to try and accelerate the process. These exercises are just off the top of my head and not something I have ever used myself but they should help strengthen your pinky. You can pick each note or try playing them as hammer-ons, and moving down the neck one fret at a time, at whatever speed you can comfortably play them.

$6 1 5  $5 1 5  $4 1 5  $3 1 5  $2 1 5  $1 1 5

This next one should be done with your ring and pinky fingers or your middle and pinky fingers. whichever you use.

$6 3 5  $5 3 5  $4 3 5  $3 3 5  $2 3 5  $1 3 5

These exercises are not very musical so I wouldnt spend too much time doing them, maybe make them part of your warm-up session and play them for 5-10 mins or so.

  • One thing I'd suggest is that you start these exercises in a higher position - perhaps 5-9 instead of 1-5 and 7-9 instead of 3-5. The stretch will be smaller and the the position of your left arm more relaxed, allowing you to concentrate on pinky precision. Once you're comfortable in this higher position, shift the exercises down a fret, repeat and continue doing this until you can play them in first position comfortably and accurately.
    – user321
    Jun 11, 2011 at 23:56

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