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shrediknight

I wish you the best of luck. In my experience the little finger is often not long enough to reach the strings without drastically re-evaluating the position of the other fingers, going against virtually all modern teaching methods. For me, and for any student I've had who wanted to try it, the effort of completely rebuilding the right hand technique for something that is only going to be used occasionally isn't worth it. Even as an improviser I can't really think of a situation where I would *need* an extra finger to do something that I couldn't play otherwise. I'm curious what problem(s) you're hoping to solve with your method and how you see it benefiting the average player.


pbotmeyertron

Hey there. The goal is that the little finger would not be used occasionally, but as an integrated finger into all RH technique. It would naturally replace the 'a' finger as the finger which sits upon the top string, and provide an extra finger for larger chords, more complex arpeggiation patterns, and faster scales. One technique I have developed for years has been the playing of scales using an 'amip' pattern in the RH, which is like a tremolo beginning with the 'a' finger instead of the thumb. It of course does not fall naturally with the standard three-note-pre-string scales we typically play, being a four-finger pattern, but once developed it unlocks a much greater potential for scale velocity and fast passage bursts. I have been using this same principle over the last few weeks but practicing scales with a 'cami' pattern. This pattern ultimately works with scales and tremolo due to how the hand itself is structured. You can get a sense of your natural capacity for RH velocity by tapping your fingers on a table in a particular pattern. You'll notice that the natural-feeling pattern of 'rolling' your fingers beginning with the pinky and ending with the thumb can produce a very fluid, even sequence of taps at a very high speed. Tremolo takes advantage of this physiological fact, and incorporating the pinky is another finger to balance the RH and increase velocity. Since the pinky is shorter, it does indeed require a slight adjustment of the RH, and tradition has been, at least since Tarrega, that developing this finger simply isn't worth it. I think that it comes down almost entirely to tradition. My belief is that classical guitar is going to continue to evolve, and things like 8-string guitars are going to become more and more common, and extra strings provides opportunity for more complex repertoire. There are a few top virtuosos who have incorporated the little finger into their techniques: Stephan Rak, Kazuhito Yamashita. But there really hasn't been any systematic way to develop the little finger as a natural part of guitar technique. I will continue to develop this technique and create exercises, and share my results with you all in a few months as a 'proof of concept' to show that it can be done and is worth all the trouble.


shrediknight

I don't find your claims of speed potential or balance to be particularly compelling without some sort of proof so I suppose I'll wait and see. I will say that it would not be a "slight" adjustment to my technique to use my pinky with any effectiveness, as I said before it is too short, I would have to play on the right side of my nails Lagoya style.


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pbotmeyertron

Yes, nice ideas! Part of my method will include a section on 'double-notes', which will have detailed fingerings for scales in double thirds, sixths, octaves, tenths, and other intervals. The RH sequencing here is an alternation of \[{ p, m } and { i, a }\] or \[{ p, a } and { i, c}\], allowing for fast double-note passages. Again, this is something I have not seen well-developed within standard CG technique regimens, and I feel like it's a huge area of technique that's basically unexplored.


qwxxxx

I've read, and I also feel it, that the little finger and the ring finger are governed by the same muscles. So it's physiologically difficult to move them independently. Nonetheless, I use my little finger : I let its nail being much longer than the others and use it like a pick for chords or to highlight some notes. But it's an occasional use. I'm really curious to read your conclusions after this interesting attempt to explore new RH technique.


pbotmeyertron

Yes, what you say is true about the physiology of the right hand and the difficulty of developing independence between the 'a' and 'c' fingers. However, I would point out that, much of our finger independence begins in the mind and not in the fingers themselves. That is, motor movements can be controlled, strengthened and developed using attention and relaxed practiced. The 'a' and 'c' fingers of the right hand are no exception. For example, there is a tremendous wealth of piano repertoire and exercise material devoted specifically to the development of the weaker fingers of the hands. Look at Chopin etudes op. 10 no 2, and op. 25 no 6. Op. 10 no 2 is all about developing the outermost fingers of the right hand, as the passages themselves demand that the chromatic scales be fingered with the 3,4, and 5 fingers (same as the 'm', 'a', and 'c' fingers). Most pianists describe this type of exercise as 'excruciating' when first tried, but after years of work and practice, playing passages with the little fingers becomes comfortable and second-nature. With careful and patient development, I believe that it is entirely feasible to develop the 'c' finger of the right hand in a similar way. The piano repertoire is filled with these types of innovations. Back in Bach's time, it was considered bad practice to use the thumb on the black keys of a keyboard, but now it's standard practice in all concert repertoire. Same thing goes for octaves, double-note passages, and hand-crossing. I would say that, outside of a few players like Kazuhito Yamashita, Alexey Zimakov, Alexander Vynograd, and a few others, CG technique seems to have stagnated.


qwxxxx

Well, you're right. I should have thought about piano players. I believe like you that things must evolve - I try to push a new guitar shape with the Lenvers, believing it's much more ergonomic, and it's not easy !!! I wait for your conclusions, hoping for a video to see that.


eszther02

I only use it for harmonics but that doesn't really matter. I have also heard that it helps with tremolo. But I'm not a professional so I don't know.


arnedh

I read an article about a South American guitarist who did this early in the 20th century (IIRC). His approach was to rotate the hand differently, allocating different fingers to the strings. He would use p on the bass strings, but then a on the G string, i on the h string, p on the e string. This compensates for the little finger being shorter - but the thumb may be in a less useful position, or you may need to hold your wrist differently. Your suggested exercise would then become be to play {c a m i} instead of { p, i, m, a } or { i, m, a, c }.


heikematthiesen

I practise with it at home but I never play with it on stage. By far to short...


JavierDiazSantanalml

I tried once doing that. I recall the right hand position changing drastically and using an extraordinary long pinky finger nail (I used to call it "periquera" here in Mexico, the joke making reference to a form of cocaine consumption using that fingernail) which scratched everything i touched. I personally wouldn't use that finger, it is pretty difficult and i think it might even lead to harm of the hand muscles. I find interesting the reach you give it, and indeed it is a resource mostly overlooked and unused, but i wouldn't try it. What i personally recommend: Use the other fingers as usual and the pinky only as an extra resource to play right hand harmonics. It is pretty useful