Exercises for strengthining pinky finger?

The Trash God

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  • Jan 2, 2021
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    So despite me practicing and playing guitar for almost a year, my pinky fimger is still very weak and not as strong as the other 3 fingers. Despite me using it whenever I can it still is uper weak and is the bane of my existence. I was just wondering there are any excersises or playing styles or techniques that can help strengthen my pinky finger. Thank you all in advance for any information or tips!
     
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    The Trash God

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  • Jan 2, 2021
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    eighth or 16th notes to a metronome for 1 minute each:

    1-4-1-4-1-4-1-4
    2-4-2-4-2-4-2-4
    (and this is the hard one)
    3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4

    Speed up as you get comfortable, but get SMOOTH with it, not "floppy" like everything with the goddamn pinky is :) .
    (3:15 in video) This exercise helped me a ton. Basically anytime I do scales or chromatics I sneak this in at the end just for that extra bit of pinky catchup practice
    I’ve found legato exercises really helpful. Play 1/16 notes to a metronome with each combo of fingers 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, etc., and you can spend extra time on any trouble spots.

    Thank you, everyone! I'll definitely be trying each of these with my practice sessions. Thank you for all the help! :)
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
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    eighth or 16th notes to a metronome for 1 minute each:

    1-4-1-4-1-4-1-4
    2-4-2-4-2-4-2-4
    (and this is the hard one)
    3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4

    Speed up as you get comfortable, but get SMOOTH with it, not "floppy" like everything with the goddamn pinky is :) .
    You can do this without the guitar too. Connect the finger to the thumb five or 10 times and switch fingers. I was doing it while waiting for my cab today lol
     
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    Brian Haner Sr.

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    These suggestions are all great. But if you want to do it quickly - play baby chords like D, G, C, E, A, etc. and then play some simple major scales WITHOUT using your index finger. Basically anything you play now. Just practice it using ONLY your other three fingers - like you have no index finger. Do that for a week or two. It's brutal.
    What you're doing is forcing your pinky to do the work of your ring finger. You will sound horrible and feel worse - but on the other side of this torture is a crazy strong pinky.
     
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    Jak Angelescu

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    All amazing answers. I would like to add though, that strength does not necessarily equal control. Kiko Loureiro said once "if your pinky is flying way off the neck when you play, you have no control."

    My private guitar teacher has grouched at me about my pinky control for a year and I finally noticed a huge difference in my speed, control and comfort.

    Do permutations, scales AND licks super slowly and watch your fretting hand. If your pinky comes off any more than 3/4 of an inch, your control needs to be improved. Practice doing everything you do with lead while moving your pinky as little as possible. When you force your pinky to stay the hell down, it naturally works those muscles.
     
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