Help with Little Finger

TerryM

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I started playing ukulele about 3 months ago, so a beginner and not expecting perfection yet, but I'm having difficulty with placement of my fretting little finger that I hope someone can help with. When I try to reach with it straight across the neck (straight up toward my face), the finger curves inward toward the palm (toward the headstock). Does anyone have any tips, suggestions or maybe exercises for training the pinky to do what you want it to do?

Thanks,
Terry
 

robinboyd

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Hi Terry. I think little fingers tend to curve that way, and there is only so much you can do. I've got even more of a problem because I've got a boutonniere deformity in the little finger of my fretting hand. The best advice I can give is to move your thumb further down the back of the neck to stop the little finger from curving up.
 

rainbow21

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Too many variables to give a definitive answer... It might help to name the chord and what string the pinky is on in your post. So if you fret this chord, look at your hand position. Are the other fingers pointed straight across the frets or are they pointed so they are angling away from the headstock.? If one, try rotating to the other. Does this help? FWIW, my pinky does the opposite of the other three fingers (and I fret different chords in the different positions). Be reassured that many players may take months to years to use their pinky comfortably in the fretting hand.
 

badhabits

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it will take time to develop pinky skills. try some 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 drills (1=index finger, 2=middle, 3=ring, 4=pinky). you can start with one string then move across the fretboard and then up and down. it will come, it just takes practice/training.

btw, a minor deviation, pinky bending inward upon flexion (laterally with palm up or medially palm down) is normal.
 

Patty

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I started playing ukulele about 3 months ago, so a beginner and not expecting perfection yet, but I'm having difficulty with placement of my fretting little finger that I hope someone can help with. When I try to reach with it straight across the neck (straight up toward my face), the finger curves inward toward the palm (toward the headstock). Does anyone have any tips, suggestions or maybe exercises for training the pinky to do what you want it to do?

Thanks,
Terry
I have the same problem! Curving pinky syndrome. I end up fretting on the outside edge of that finger.
 

ripock

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I actually use these
1649336777019.png

and I use it with my pinky. Obviously I cannot tell if it works. I mean it does strengthen the pinky but does that translate into improved fretting? I don't know. Maybe just playing has made my pinky better. There are so many variables at play, I cannot say what is efficacious and what's a waste of time.
 

TerryM

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

...I've got a boutonniere deformity in the little finger of my fretting hand....
Similar on my strumming little finger but from a boogie board wipeout. Retirement is so much fun.

...It might help to name the chord and what string the pinky is on in your post. ...
I wanted to keep it more generic because I didn't want the thread to become a "here's an alternate way to make that chord".

...look at your hand position. Are the other fingers pointed straight across the frets or are they pointed so they are angling away from the headstock.? If one, try rotating to the other. ..
I'll pay more attention to this, thanks.

it will take time to develop pinky skills. try some 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 drills (1=index finger, 2=middle, 3=ring, 4=pinky). you can start with one string then move across the fretboard and then up and down. it will come, it just takes practice/training.

btw, a minor deviation, pinky bending inward upon flexion (laterally with palm up or medially palm down) is normal.
Good tip. Will up my scales and 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 drills with more emphasis on across the fretboard.

I have the same problem! Curving pinky syndrome. I end up fretting on the outside edge of that finger.
Yes, Patty. This is exactly what prompted the question. I don't want to get/stay in that habit. Maybe it's inevitable, though.

I actually use these [photo] and I use it with my pinky....
Great suggestion. Was keeping my eye out for a discarded tennis ball, maybe a not too spitty dog's lost ball, but I like these better.
I know it's dependent on the person, but can you advise as to strength? (come in 7 strengths) Otherwise, I'll try a mid-strength.
 
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robinboyd

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Similar on my strumming little finger but from a boogie board wipeout. Retirement is so much fun.

Mine was from playing catch. Anyway, try moving the thumb like I suggested in my first reply. It might help.
 

ripock

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Great suggestion. Was keeping my eye out for a discarded tennis ball, maybe a not too spitty dog's lost ball, but I like these better.
I know it's dependent on the person, but can you advise as to strength? (come in 7 strengths) Otherwise, I'll try a mid-strength.
I wasn't aware that the little grippers had gradient resistances. I use 1.5 grippers for the big ones, but I would suggest a low resistance for the pinky. It is a really weak finger. Also you should get some resistance bands as well so that you are taxing and exercising your tensors as well as your flexors.