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That Darn Pinky

Mike Mullins Interviews

That Darn Pinky

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(Strumming the guitar)
Hello! hello and welcome to another episode of Acoustic Snapshots in this chapter I wanted to introduced to you to what I considered to be one of my greatest weakness as a player, and I hope maybe you will avoid this habitual pitfall that I have built upon over years of playingnd that is the used or nonused rather of my pinky on my left hand I am what I refered to as a 3 fingered player. And admittedly I don’t use my pinky as much as I should when I play and I often had people say; hey you know what you got around with that Mandolin pretty good but boy you don’t used your little finger very much aren’t you really supposed to used that more? and I said yes I am most of the really great players have their pinky in the mix and some with equal facility with the other fingers. Now there’s something about the little finger at least physiologically I think its some with more with others, but especially with me. It seems like I don’t know filled with novacaine or something it’s always a little bit behind the other fingers it seems to be bringing up in the rare. It’s just like never really seems to be quite connected with the other three. I’m not really counting the thumb. Because I don’t really fret with very often. But I’m talking about the four fingers here and. And so when you get you know I’m losing like my 25 percent of my capability by not using my little finger.
So I try and used it but the thing is I have to try to used it very often. I play with only this 3 fingers and I’ll think man I better used my little finger. So I sort of wedgy in their on the run or something, but the other ones, I don’t really have to tell them what to do that if I wanted my pinky get into the mix, I’ve gotta sort of insert the pinky into the process here and sort of just consciously you know put it somewhere were that the ring finger might have been. Anyway the point is my pinky is underdevelop as far as my left hand technique on the Mandolin and I think I do used a bit more on the guitar but on Mandolin I tend to kind of become a slacker as far as the little finger. Now one of the reasons for this, I think perhaps maybe I was lazy when I was learning to play on the tip of the path least resistance and I found that I could play pretty well with just this 3 fingers and I just sort of forgot about the little one. And so, basically at 75 percent capacity here if you wanna look at that way, co’z I’ve got this digit that’s not doing a whole lot. Another reason possibly might more physical about five years ago I ruptured the tendon of the middle finger of my left hand I couldn’t play for several months and it took a couple of years to heal fully. And since it healed my left hand a whole apparatus since a little bit weaker and it seemed to even more. So alienate the used of the pinky, so anyway my whole point here is to try and get you avoid with this pitfall and give you a couple of exercises to practice with using the pinky.
Now this is gonna be the funny part I might be able to screw this up, because I don’t so them enough and my pinky is just not my strongest sick when it comes to my playing. But anyway I’m gonna show you a couple of things anyway to help you develop the strength of the little finger on your left hand. So that hopefully will be equal with you other fingers and you won’t even think about using it like I do. So one thing you can do here is I got this one little scale here, start of on the E string the top string and just play an open E note and then your second note would be an F sharp which would be the 2nd fret using you 1st finger, the 3rd note will be a G using the middle finger, the 4th note would be an A the 5th fret using your ring finger and the top note would of course would be this B using the pinky. So it sounds kind of like this (Strumming the guitar), you can get faster and faster, you’ll get a little more strength in it, the little finger it get it more built up. Ok that one (Strumming the guitar),another licks exercise you can do is instead of playing a G major scale the 3 finger method which is what I do a lot it’s like this (Strumming the guitar), instead of playing this open notes, you can used the 7th fret like say for example like this D string which is the 3rd string instead of playing that open you can play that note using your pinky on the 7th fret of the G string (Strumming the guitar), like that so a G major scale would sound something like this if I don’t mess it up (Strumming the guitar). Ok see I got that one open string in their the point is to play it all (Strumming the guitar), close position. Ok! thats one other thing you can do and slowly it’s like (Strumming the guitar), ok I’ll probably come up with a little bit of tablature for this too so you can see where I’m putting my fingers. Ok one other crazy exercise you can do. This is what I don’t do very well but its supposed to get your fingers all coordinated together working as a team and this is where you play the same note, same string but using a different finger each time you’d play the note it’s like this like it started around on the 5th fret. You don’t wanna used your little finger down here in the 1st fret its not probably a very good technique, it’s usually at the 5th fret or above. So, I go like this I started with the 1st finger on the 5th fret which is at the E string which is an A note (Strumming the guitar), so slowly it sounds like this, first finger, middle finger, ring finger, pinky and go back to the ring finger, middle finger, first finger and you stood up alternate like that (Strumming the guitar). I’ve learned this from one of my Mandolin personal Mandolin idol Mike Marshall and he is a very, very excellent player he uses his little finger like its connected to the other it’s just right in their and its effortless the way it makes it look . So that’s one of his exercises, so anyway I hope I help you out by pointing out one of my most glaring,,,as a player and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the same fate that I have so far. We’ll you know its not never too late I could just, I’m gonna start practicing using my pink as much as possible… Alright well see you next time.
(Strumming the guitar)

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