Topic: Unlearning a Bad Habit

For years, I mainly used my first 3 fingers for doing lead work (scales, etc.) and only used the little finger when needed. The dexterity's fine, but it became a bad habit that violates the "four frets - four fingers" principle. And as I'm discovering, and old habit is hard to break. Does anyone else struggle with bad habits when playing?

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HGqulYK5_3E/hqdefault.jpg

This where taking some lessons all those years ago would have made a difference.

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T / Cort GB34 Bass
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Tenement Funster VK212 / Traynor AM150T / Fender Rumble 150
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

I use all four,  but the primary are the first 3.  Pinky for the Chuck Berry type stuff and some pull offs but for bending  its the 3rd finger, pinky hits the string under the bend for the blues riff.  sometimes I use it for my root 5 chords instead of my 3rd finger.

Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

TF just start chromatically walking up the neck string for string.   1234 slide to 5 w/ index and 678 and so on.then go back to first position and go 6 to 1 and back frets 1-4.  I do this sometimes when I dont feel like playing and know I need to.

Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

My hands turn in to clamps when I get excited. Kills tone, sustain, etc. Notes go sharp.

And I get waaaaaayyyyyyy too much tension in my upper body, which slows me down, tightens up my voice, and is generally uncomfortable.

Regarding your bad habit, try learning all your open position chords without your index finger, if you haven't already. I found that by leading with my pinkie and ring finger instead of index and third finger during chord changes and common tone pivots and such, it made me realize that my little finger is available for scales, solos, etc. Plus its a great stretch!

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

Yep. I have a bad habit (I think) that I can't seem to break.

I learned the G chord using my index, ring and middle fingers. I eventually dropped the middle finger for the pinky on the high E. For the last couple years I've been trying to drop the index finger and use the other 3 for the chord which would free up the index for little bass fills. But it hasn't been going very well.

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[b]Today Is Only Yesterdays Tomorrow[/b]

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

unclejoesband wrote:

Yep. I have a bad habit (I think) that I can't seem to break.

I learned the G chord using my index, ring and middle fingers. I eventually dropped the middle finger for the pinky on the high E. For the last couple years I've been trying to drop the index finger and use the other 3 for the chord which would free up the index for little bass fills. But it hasn't been going very well.

I have a cheat for that.

If you are playing an open b string you have the 3rd covered.  So just play high e string 3rd Fret with your pinkie or ring finger and play the low e 3rd Fret with your middle finger and use the pad of your middle finger to mute the a string.  Way easier than trying to sound the a string 2nd fret; also those d and g string fills get a little muddy when you're playing that low b.

I did this in my cover of ripple and it worked out pretty good for being a lazy cheat smile

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

Baldguitardude wrote:

I did this in my cover of ripple and it worked out pretty good for being a lazy cheat smile

Ripple is what made me look at the way I played the G.

__________________________________
[b]Today Is Only Yesterdays Tomorrow[/b]

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

unclejoesband wrote:
Baldguitardude wrote:

I did this in my cover of ripple and it worked out pretty good for being a lazy cheat smile

Ripple is what made me look at the way I played the G.

Yeah you really need a finger for doubling the melody in Ripple.

Actually now that I look at my video, I played the roots with my pinkie and ring finger, the melody on my middle and I used the index to hammer on the c major chord as a fill. 

https://youtu.be/W5wYvGC9LJA

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

Near as I can recall it, my first conscious effort to use the little finger was when I was learning "Lucky Man" (ELP) back when I was in Grade 8. I use it regularly when chording (especially transitions like C > G, E > Esus, Am > A, D > Dsus, etc.) and try to use it when running scales, doing lead, etc. But unless I focus on doing it on purpose, the old "bad habit" comes back immediately.

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T / Cort GB34 Bass
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Tenement Funster VK212 / Traynor AM150T / Fender Rumble 150
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

This thread is a veritable shopping list of all my problems.   smile

In defense of the pinky, though, mine is actually shorter on average.  Take a look at the back of your hand.  Your pinky most likely goes to the second knuckle on your ring finger.  Mine stops well short of that.  So I gotta excuse!

I also, reach with my thumb, clench when I'm not paying attention, get sloppy with the pick...

I'm a mess, actually....

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

Thanks for the useful information! You helped me with advice!
bfg

12 (edited by Tenement Funster 2017-09-22 09:24:30)

Re: Unlearning a Bad Habit

jerome.oneil wrote:

In defense of the pinky, though, mine is actually shorter on average.  Take a look at the back of your hand.  Your pinky most likely goes to the second knuckle on your ring finger.  Mine stops well short of that.  So I gotta excuse!

Just looked at my hands, Jerome, and never noticed the proportion you describe ... cool. I have the opposite problem, with my hands being too big for many guitars. I can easily "palm" a basketball with either hand, and that creates problems with standard-width guitar necks. It's why I like 1.8" - 2" neck widths (at the nut), and prefer a 12" radius neck to a 14". I'm amazed that someone like Jimi Hendrix could manage a Strat neck so easily.

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T / Cort GB34 Bass
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Tenement Funster VK212 / Traynor AM150T / Fender Rumble 150
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah