If you’re like most guitarists, your pinkie is probably the weakest of your digits.
But your little finger isn’t going to get strong on its own. You have to exercise it. That takes time and effort, but once you do it, you’ll reap rewards in the form of easier fretting and more fluid and faster playing. You’ll also develop greater independence among your fretting fingers.
This week, our good friend Jim Lill is back with an exercise that’s all about building pinkie strength and finger independence. As Jim explains, his “Weak Pinkie Cure For Guitar Players” is based on an exercise he found in an old guitar instructional book. He demonstrates it for you here in the video, and as always he helpfully provides tab, which you can find here.
“The idea behind the drill is getting your fingers used to acting purposefully and independently in any order,” Jim writes.
He starts by showing you patterns that you’ll play up and down the neck using all four fingers. He then demonstrates how to play the exercise using only your ring finger and pinkie via hammer-ons and pull-offs.
The drill takes some dedication, but as Jim notes, if you perform it at 120 bpm with each note played as a quarter note, you’ll be finished in under half an hour.
“You can achieve the entire marathon of all those patterns up and down the fretboard in 30 minutes,” Jim notes. “And that is a good ways to spend 30 minutes.”
We couldn’t agree more.
As always, be sure to visit Jim’s YouTube channel for more of his great videos, many of which we’ve featured in our Guitar Essentials series. Be sure to give his videos a “like” and leave a note of thanks.