New riff, any tips?

Karolina K

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Nov 11, 2019
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As you can see I have some problems with pinky. I can control it only when I need to use it. Playing parts where I need only three fingers and trying to flex pinky to be where it’s supposed to be ends up as a disaster, I can’t concentrate on what I’m playing.
Another thing is playing to backing track without vocals and guitars. It’s very difficult for me, don’t know when should I start to play, don’t “feel” the melody. Is a metronome the only solution in this case?
A7X Warmness on the soul solo [COVER]
 

Calvin Phillips

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To elope pinky strength I had to slow it down. I learned my scales first then I’ve been doing small hammer on and pull offs using all 4 fingers. Thatll help add some diversity in your fingers. When you play faster your pinky will follow suit more. To add to this when I get up past the 12th fret I use my ring over my linky everytime. If it’s a clean reach I’ll do it. Leave ther pinky open for some other notes if you wish.
At for improv the melody usually lies in the notes the chords are using. Maybe there’s just too much going on for you to figure out what you wanna do maybe try just guitar.
 

Ed Seith

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Also, if you’re not using your pinky for a particular part, it’s normal to not be able to control it very well. It’s like your tongue when you go to the dentist. Unless it’s introducing problems for when you DO need it, it might not really be an issue.
 

Andrew Saunders

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Warmness on the soul is one of my favourite solos to play, You should learn both solos for so far away and gunslinger. Gunslinger is especially fun to play.
 

Andrew Fernandes

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When I was watching it felt like your fingers were really tense or stiff. I could be wrong. Try to use the ring finger for more of the stretched notes. It looks like your fingers/hand is too far away from the fretboard like they are arched too much, you sounded great maybe like 1 mistake, but that’s nothing.
 

Jak Angelescu

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Hello Karolina! I definitely see what you’re talking about with your pinky. When you don’t use it, it’s like way out in no-man’s land. I would strongly suggest you practicing your scale patterns. I know you may practice your scales, but do you really PRACTICE them? The reason why your pinky flies off the neck is because the nerve connection between the ring and pinky fingers are too dependent on each other. Your pinky sticks out and extends and flexes because it knows the ring finger is doing SOMETHING, but it’s not doing ANYTHING, so it extends and flexes because muscularly, it’s what it’s trained to do. “Oh, ring finger is doing something, i have to be READY and ENGAGED to do something.” Practice your scale patters keeping the largest middle knuckle of your pinky finger BENT and keep all your fingers curled like you’re almost trying to hold a small golf ball. You are also more than welcome to scan my riff page for my finger exercise that’s geared JUST for the pinky and this specific problem! Several students have loved it so far.
As far as your second concern, it takes time. You have to play a song long enough to get the timing down. And it takes HOURS and DAYS of practice to do this. What you want to do, is in the beginning listen to where the downbeat of the singer’s melody is. Like
“SEIZE the DAY or DIE regRETTING the TIME you lost.”
“Hate to TWIST your MIND, but GOD ain’t on your SIDE.”
The words in all caps are where Shads (just using him as an example) sings a word on the downbeat of a song. You can hear a certain emphasis on counts where a singer has his melody. Sometimes it’s the whole word, sometimes it’s only a part of the word. But you can in the beginning listen to the beat that the singer is doing and try to find the downbeats of the melody. If that’s hard to understand, I’ll make a video to go into further detail 🙂 hope that helps!
 

Ids Schiere

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You’re doing pretty great!
For the pinky I would recommend to just try and play the major scale up and down the neck because you will definitely need your pinky for that. If you don’t use your pinky try to get used to keeping it close to the fretboard to make sur it’s always ready for action. That last part may be a bit uncomfortable at first but you will definitely benefit from it later!
 

Karolina K

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Nov 11, 2019
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Thank you guys for all the tips you have given me. They are priceless to me. After analyzing what am I doing wrong I realized that I don’t practice enough and should concentrate more on technique, finger independence than speed because it can be also a reason why I struggle to play fast. I will add some scale exercises to my daily practice and I hope you will also see results soon 🙂