Tapping the Open G String with the pinky

Hi Guys-

Firstly, I hope everyone is safe during this nutty time. Just crazy…

I’ve been playing for about 2 years now and signed up for BassBuzz to try and clean up some stuff. I recently decided to start recording myself playing to existing songs. Once I started playing back my work solo’d on headphones it became apparent some of my playing is quite sloppy, almost all in the muting arena.

One issue I cannot seem to figure out is how to not accidentally tap the G string when fretting with the 4th and 5th (pinky) finger. My pinky ends up laying somewhat flat when I naturally come around to the E or A strings. I’ve tried rotating my hand under the neck a little more to give enough room to curve the pinky, but it feels unnatural and am worried of repetitive injury since my hand doesn’t want to naturally sit that way (or am I overthinking it)?

I’m currently practicing David Bowie’s Heroes where the main riff is D,D,B,A,D which I am doing on the E&A strings. I can’t mute the G string with my right hand obviously.

Note I am also playing this on a Ernie Ball 5 string Stingray which I know the neck is slightly wider than a 4 string.

Anyway open to any thoughts. Thanks again and healthy and safe vibes your way!



Hi @mattford1! I have pretty much the same issue(s) - with respect to muting, but more so also with respect to my pinky touching/ringing/fretting the G string when I am fretting on the D, A or E string. I have a medical condition in my pinky, where, among other things, the last joint (the one closest to the tip) wants to collapse inwards, which flattens the rest of the finger, causing the problem with touching non-intended strings.

I guess there is no other way than to train your pinky (and other fingers) to be quite curved (concave in a more technical term) in order to attack the strings a bit more from the top. This doesn’t need to be exaggerated (like a claw), but of course enough to “clear” the higher strings. What helps me in this respect is to push my hand a bit more outwards (away from the body) resulting also in a bit more bend in the wrist. (This is a bit hard to explain, I hope you can understand what I am trying to say).

Overall, being aware of the issue is a great first step. We are all different (anatomically), but for many instances there are workarounds, and while not always very elegant or even very efficient, they let us (hopefully) play what we want to play.

Good luck!


Hi Joerg-
Thanks for the reply! I have a Ernie Ball 4 String Bongo that I may use (although I like the tone of the Stingray much better). I tried it on there and the neck is a good bit thinner on the 4 so I seem to not have the same issue.



matt! If you could post a video or audio of what this is so I can see what’s going on specifically, I could chime in with some precious pearls of wisdom!