" -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
RichardALGilbert

" -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by RichardALGilbert » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:13 pm

Hi.
Just wondering if anyone has had this problem - or may be its not a problem at all.
I noticed that 4th finger of LH sometimes goes flying (sticking up high above the fingerboard) when I'm concentrating on something else. For proper LH technique I'm thinking this a bad habit. Is there an easy cure or am I worrying unnecessarily?
Thanks!

simonm
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Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by simonm » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:26 pm

Somehow makes me thing of porcelain tea cups and triangular cucumber sandwiches. Left-handed of course. :-)

If it behaves itself when it is needed then I can't imagine there is any issue. I can't say that I have ever paid it any attention so who knows maybe mine goes off for a walk round texas once in a while as well.

George2ec

Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by George2ec » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:42 pm

my pinky finger has own life.

Lovemyguitar
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Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by Lovemyguitar » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:51 pm

I think that this is a fairly common problem, others around here have mentioned it from time and time, and my little finger does it, too. Ideally, it should rest close to the strings at all times, but other than just trying to practice consciously holding it closer to the strings to sort of "train" it to settle down (which I admit I haven't practiced enough to know if it works, because I still have the "problem" after several years of playing), I have not come across any solutions.

RichardALGilbert

Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by RichardALGilbert » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:09 am

Thanks!
I think I won't worry 'bout it too much. .....keep flying high then! :D

Luis_Br
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Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by Luis_Br » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:51 am

I think the comparison of flying 4th finger with famous flying finger for holding a tea cup very funny. In the tea situation I always thought brain is just avoiding damage from touching the burning cup. when I drink beer my finger does not fly, maybe because it is too heavy... :D

So I would take care of this. You are thinking wrong when you think you are not worrying. It is going up because you are worried. Learning to release it means learning not to worry. You are affraid, but you shouldn't, the guitar strings are not burning out...
Lovemyguitar made the important point. Don't learn to hold it down against your worries and your fear of playing well. Learn to release your worries and relax, so it doesn't go up in first place.

You can actually learn to release while holding it down. I recommend fixed finger exercises, not to forcefully hold it down, but simply to put some focus to this finger, so you keep using it, you get used to it, and you learn not to fear this finger anymore...
For example, keep 4th finger fixed in a pedal note while other fingers play scales, like the exercises 1-6 and 15-18 in Carcassi Op59, end of part1, page 38 of the pdf in the link below:
http://carkiv.musikverk.se/www/boije/Boije_1129.pdf

You can also practice this kind of exercises without actually playing the pedal note. You may keep finger 4 just slightly touching the string in total relaxation, while other fingers go up and down the fretboard. Look at this independence exercise from Pavel Steidl. Pay attention to his recommendations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvdhuP0m9DA#t=2m00s
Practicing slurs with 4th finger may help too.

simonm
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Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by simonm » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:38 pm

Luis_Br wrote:….when I drink beer my finger does not fly, maybe because it is too heavy…...
The practiced drinker of beer (proper "pints" that is) is exceedingly careful with the positioning the little finger. This is critically important as the night wears on. The little finger belongs firmly planted underneath the bottom of the glass in order to prevent the glass landing on the floor if for any reason your iron grip on the glass loosens. Many a disaster has been prevented with this technique.

RichardALGilbert

Re: " -Flying" - 4th finger LH

Post by RichardALGilbert » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:21 am

Well.....that's all very interesting. Seems I am going to have to rethink all this. I am going to start with practising the beer drinking 4th finger position until I have that sorted. I can then see if that success transfers to the fingerboard. I will try hard over the weekend and report further on my findings but it may take more than one session.........

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