No Pinkie on left finger

Hello good B2B hopefully friends,

I only have 4 fingers on the left hand. I have tried and tried to get started with the left handed Bass.

I could help with any possibility is there a way to produce the notes with out the pinkie finger.

I am determined to learn this course. With my right hand (normal) Ibanez I can play most plucks but I really need to overcome the issue.



Wait… hang on a sec.
You have a right-hand bass, but do you also have access to a left-handed bass?

Having a pinkie on your fretting hand is definitely an advantage. It’s not to say that it can’t be done without a pinkie, but you’ve got more of a challenge. So… if there is a possibility to use a lefthanded bass to fret with the right hand, I’d say, give it a shot!


I believe @DannyS is writing of his frustration with the left handed bass, and asking if he would be ok to use the right, less a pinky, because of coordination issues on the left hand instrument @peterhuppertz .

I know you can become a very skilled bass player, even less a pinky. There have been guitarists with less fingers.

If frustration with the left hand bass is going to drive you to quit, I say go pinkiless on the righty.
You will just become a shifter, slightly larger then micro shifts, but it can be done.


You may be right. Let’s see what @DannyS says.


True too. Django Reinhart only had the full use of two fingers on his fretting hand.

True three.
Don’t give up. It can be done.


Yes, @JoshFossgreen mentioned Django in another post we were talking in, about @DannyS missing a pinky.

BTW, I love the movie “The Sweet And Low Down”. With Sean Penn, where he plays the eccentric drunk guitarist, who both worships and fears Django more then anybody in the world. Always cursing him as the Gypsie guirarist.
Great movie.


Yes I had a lefty Bass, but my arthritis is pretty painful to use the frets. I tried for several months and used all every gadget to try were all not working. I am now using my 5 string that I got from the guys at work for my retirement. I am going to do every trick to finish this course.


I’m a little confused about how you are playing now.
Are you fretting with the left hand or the right hand?

I look forward to reading your posts and keeping up with your progress.

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Yes I am fretting with the left hand and pluck with the right hand.


Edit: Are you right or left handed?

I am a lefty and so all my writing is from the left hand but for other things like pitching a base ball and more strength with the right. isn’t that strange???


Not at all strange, @DannyS . . . :slight_smile:

You may have a slightly higher than average degree of ambidexterity.

Cheers, Joe


@DannyS don’t worry, you will soon be able to play circles around many of us with your index, middle, and ring fingers on the fretboard. You just have to do more microshifting to make up for it, but you can do it!
Don’t give up!


Thank You for the encouragement


Nope. As Eric says, that’s a fair indication that you might be ambidextrous.
However, if, as you state, your arthritis in your right hand is affecting your fine motor control, playing as if you were right-handed is probably the best idea.

Having to play without the pinky is going to make you do more shifting, and stretching. In a worst-case situation (small hands, limited stretching capability and a missing pinky), a short-scale bass might be a solution. But by all means, get started and see where you end up.
You will find that, as you go along, things that seem physically impossible now will get easier than you thought they would be!


That’s cool. Both of my kids are the same way. Semi-ambidextrous.
I was just trying to gain some perspective before trying to answer any questions.

Are you done with the left hand bass because of arthritis?
Do you plan to do the course using the right handed bass?

If using your left hand to fret the notes, then you’ll need to use your ring finger instead.

I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean, working around not having a pinky?

That’s all that really matters. We can help figure out the rest. :+1:

Edit: I think @peterhuppertz and @PamPurrs already beat me to most of this.


I am the same way (except for the missing pinky). I write left handed so am considered a lefty, but I’m all over the place. Throwing a baseball or football overhand I do lefty, yet shooting a basketball, throwing a frisbee, golf, hockey, swinging a bat all righty. It is kind of ambidextrous, because I will likely be better at something with my off hand than most people are with their off hand, but there are very few things I do well with both… there is always a dominate hand for each activity.

That all being said, I’ve never had any luck playing bass lefty, righty is natural for me there. I would say if righty feels more natural to you on the bass, you should stick with that even with the disadvantage of the missing pinky. Like others said, you will just need to get better at shifting and do more of it than most of us.


I am giving up the lefty Bass because It was way to awkward and could not grip due to arthritis of the hand. Fortunately I have 4 working fingers to do the plucks on the right hand.