Due to an accident when I was a teenager, I can’t bend the last joint my left pinkie. I can use it to fret with some pretty extreme wrist contortion but my question is, should I try and persevere with this or ditch it and concentrate in micro shifting? I’m about a quarter of the way through the course and feel like I need to make the decision!
There’s no rule that says you need to use your pinky. Rather than go to extreme measures to try and use it, I would suggest to focus on a playstyle that is comfortable for you now, and work in some shifting.
Welcome to the forum! My advice/opinion, would be to choose what is most comfortable for you. If that extreme wrist contortion is uncomfortable, or difficult to pull off if you need your pinky in a hurry, I would suggest focusing on micro shifting.
On the flip side, if it isnt that much of a bother and you think you can devise a way to get that pinky in there, go for it. Maybe you’ll develop your own unique style. I don’t believe there is a “right” way or “wrong” way neccesarily. What matters is you’re happy with your playing.
You could use modified Simandl technique. Josh has a comparison video. Just use your ring finger instead of the pinkie.
This is actually what I do
I don’t use my pinky on its own as much as Simandl-style.
Same here, pinky is only when absolutely necessary to reach for some odd note.
I missed that Simandl video. Never heard of that technique before and it’s basically what I’ve been doing. I just need to work on my shifting. Thank you all for the great advice!
Smandl is the technique taught to upright players, which is where it comes from.
Necessity there, option on electric bass.
You can play without your pinky, just microshift.
Hmmm….what would Django do?
Play guitar. And extremely well.
Wonder if a short scale would help
Using pinky can be helpful but not necessary, I play with three finger sometimes 2 finger all the time outside practices. Every time I play my UBass I only use 3 fingers max there’s no space for 4 finger so I have to pick 1, 2, 3 or 1, 2, 4. On the left hand.
I have a similar problem…but it’s with my left index finger. can’t bend the front joint at all, and the middle joint is limited. Hoping I can make this work somehow.
As someone who has an issue with my middle finger and a similar situation I understand what you’re going through. So I would still work your pinky in on bar chords or whenever it can be done fluidly but don’t dwell on it. You can still hit plenty of notes stretching your ring finger. It’s just going to require being creative and finding your own way a little bit. sometimes I’ll try to work my middle finger in especially doing minor 7 or other off chords just to try to keep it more coordinated but otherwise I compensate with shifting from index to ring when I can’t get the middle to be fluid enough. Just don’t get discouraged and don’t let anyone tell you you’re playing wrong when you’re just trying to do what you can. If you can figure out where to go you can play all over the neck and do anything that you want.
I’m just going to chime in and reiterate what my lovely co-forumites have already said.
The technique only goes as far as it is practical for the individual. Change it to work for you.
Index, middle and ring finger should work for you just fine.
That’s very encouraging. I’m certainly not going to let it put me off. Really enjoying the journey. Thank you all again for your very kind advice.
If finger functionality is the issue, I don’t think a short scale would help, but possibly it could.
Maybe just reducing the amount of stretch would help.