Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Finger exercises

What finger exercises do you find effective to strengthen and stretch especially the ring and pinky fingers. I find that sometimes my ring and pinky fingers have a mind of their own.

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Archie gave me a tip the other day and it’s great at killing both those birds with one stone. I’m surprised at how quickly it’s made a difference.

Make an awkward F chord at the fifth fret.
Then, while keeping your ring & pinky finger in place, switch strings your middle & index fingers to make the D chord shape.

The first two days will drive you nuts, because it seems to be humanly impossible, and only freakazoid mutants can move their fingers like that. By Day Three you too are on your way to being a freakazoid mutant!
(Of course I mean that in the good way! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:)

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What instrument are you talking about?

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I believe Annie plays mandolin?
Here’s what I use to warm up on fiddle or mando…

Scales (particularly in 3rds) & arpeggios in different keys, combinations, & directions

scales of ascending & descending triads of the chords of that key.

linear triads in different directions & orders

licks that have “different” orders of using all four fingers

I will try to do these both with open strings and using the fourth finger.

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Fiddle_wood, you are correct. I do play the mandolin. I will work on the things you suggested. I enjoy scale type of things. And this will also give me a chance to try to be creative, which is something I struggle with. I learn quickly but have a hard time applying what I learn. Hopefully over time and practice that will get easier, but that is another issue I have, and any suggestions would be helpful. Banjoe, I think I can do something similar by doing the 4 finger g cord and switching to the 4 finger d chord while leaving the pointer pinky finger in place or with as little movement as possible. That will be quite a challenge for me. Thank you all for your suggestions.

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