Finger Issue question. Advice would be appreciated

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  dubrova 1 week ago.

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  • #29746

    becky7777
    Participant

    I’ve erased this like 4 times. I can’t make this clear.

    My ring finger on my fretting hand seems to be my most uncoordinated and I guess it’s kind of acting connected(?) to my middle finger. I started noticing this practicing stranger things last month but I thought I was having a different problem.. I made a chord shape that needed my pinky and middle holding down strings while my ring lifted and hammered on. It only lifts barely off the string. To get it that way took an abnormal amount of work. I figured this was just a hard thing to do, but because of this I realized it’s a finger I have to concentrate on using certain ways. It’s the finger that messes things up 99.34% of the time and I have issues controlling it.

    I guess I have no idea what to do. Should I just keep on like I’ve been going and kind of hope it’s just me being a beginner? or since I know it’s a problem should I do something during a practice session that will work those fingers since it feels ‘tied’ to my middle finger. The whole stretching thing is just slow constant progress, but I think I have pretty good reach already, but maybe I just need to focus on those two somehow?

    #29750

    robinboyd
    Participant

    Hi Becky,

    Do you remember Matt’s live lesson on barre chords? I commented that I couldn’t bend my finger the right way to do partial barres. Then I ended up actually doing it, even if it wasn’t terribly coordinated. Anyway, that took 6 years of trying. Just keep working at it, but don’t expect results anytime soon. Here’s an inspirational quote for you:

    When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. — Jacob Riis

    #29755

    lisadmh
    Participant

    Finger independence is a lifetime goal. It doesn’t come fast and that ring finger is the worst. When not playing, you can still work on it. Lay your hands on the table and tap your fingers, one at a time, while keeping all the other fingers down, like if you were playing the piano. When I was a kid my piano teacher wanted me to do that. I wish I had, but instead here I am with a wimpy ring finger.

    #29760

    rickeymike
    Participant

    Becky – you are definitely not alone with this problem. Mine also do not want to work independently of the other. It’s a matter of practicing over and over again. I’ve got to the point where my ring finger can work somewhat independently but I still have a worse problem with my pinkie. When I want to use my pinkie independently, that darn ring finger always wants to tag alone. Just keep at it.

    #29766

    gstriph
    Participant

    Not sure that exercises will help a lot. This is a common complaint in musicians like guitar players and pianists. There are 2 anatomical concerns (remembering there is some variation in all of us). Most of us share a common tendon between the middle and ring fingers making it hard to move one without the other. The other issue (and this one practice might help) is that the pinky and ring fingers have a separate nerve branch than the thumb and other two (branches of the ulnar nerve). The lore is that we do so much more with the index and thumb that this nerve branch (which is also larger) works better. It’s also more of problem with the whole finger than just the tips (people type ok. You can see this in action. Put your palm flat on the table and fold your index finger under. You can lift the others three independently but the middle (same nerve) is the hardest. Now just fold under the middle finger – probably can’t life the ring finger but pinky and index are find. Now fold under just the ring. You can lift the middle somewhat but not as well as the index and pinky — a combination of the nerve and tendon split (or so the theory goes…)

    It is somewhat similar to the Spock Vulcan salute – some people can do this easily and some people just can’t. I read that the actor who played the young Spock had to rubber band and sometimes glue his fingers together when filming. Don’t know if that’s actually true.

    #29767

    rickeymike
    Participant

    In each of the palm flat scenarios, I have no problem lifting the middle finger. but the ring is difficult to lift just a cm with the middle finger tucked in. With the pinkie tucked under, my ring and middle move simultaneously and in unison.

    #29800

    becky7777
    Participant

    Thanks guys. I never had to do anything that made me notice this obviously. I was really starting to freak out it had something to do with what happened with my arms and I got worked up enough to ask.

    Jerry- You rock, thank you. (btw I’m a natural for the spock V thing I guess too lol.) The examples show what was freaking me out. When your brain tells your finger to move and nothing happens without focusing 100% on what you’re doing, then just barely being able to do it with full concentration. It’s freaking scary.

    I’ll have to refresh on finger independence again. There’s only one thing attached to that search term here. (Andrew, ROFL! at that little unintentional easter egg. 😆) And thank you, Ricky and Robin. Robin I remember you talking about that. Glad you (are still working) worked though it.

    Sorry for bugging people about this, I really feel like a moron but but thank you soooooo much.

    #29811

    becky7777
    Participant

    Robin- if you see this, email me please. It’s uke related but not something I want web wide particularly.

    No hurry btw. And if you’re uncomfortable with the email thing that’s fine. 👍

    Edited out the excess.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  becky7777. Reason: Done
    #29812

    robinboyd
    Participant

    Done 🙂

    #29813

    becky7777
    Participant

    Ty 👍

    #29847

    dubrova
    Participant

    Hi guys! I am a very newbie; practicing barre chords for the last few weeks. I got it about fingers strength and independent fingers movements, but my problem is different.
    I can’t move/bend my middle finger to the next fret. It stays always above the index finger and I can’t put it to the side (even if I try to do it with the right hand). I can move fingers independently, but not at that angle. Sorry, hard to explain, but I am really stuck.

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