Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Finger Length

I realize this is a pretty random/odd question, but how long are yall’s fingers?

Index = 3 and 3/8 inches

Middle = 3 and 5/8

Ring = 3 and 1/8

Pinky = 2 and 5/8

Best way I could figure to measure, was to bend my finger (almost like a fist) and hold the ruler just below where I thought my knuckle joint was, and then straighten out my finger. So this is just below the knuckle to the end of each finger. I can just barely palm a basketball with my left hand, which is my fretting hand.

I’ve seen people of all finger/hand sizes wear out an instrument though. :smiley:

mine go all the way to the end… :wink:

Medium size hands and appropriate finger lengths. I can almost palm a basketball, but not quite. No worries there as I can’t jump high enough to dunk either.

Also, my fingers don’t go quite as far as fiddlewood’s.

How long you need em? I need 'em a long time I’m trying to play guitar :laughing:

Index: 3 and 1/2
Middle: 3 and 7/8
Ring: 3 and 1/2
Pinky: 2 and 7/8

— Begin quote from "TNTaylor414"

I’ve seen people of all finger/hand sizes wear out an instrument though. :smiley:

— End quote

Absolutely. The first time I watched IZ fret a Ukulele I knew finger sizes made no difference in learning to master an instrument.

Flexibility is important. Probably more so than finger length.

A quote from Paganini’s personal physician:

— Begin quote from ____

Paganini’s hand is not larger than normal; but because all its parts are so stretchable, it can double its reach. For example, without changing the position of the hand, he is able to bend the first joints of the left fingers --which touch the strings–sideways, at a right angle to the natural motion of the joint, and he can do it with effortless ease, assurance, and speed. Essentially, Paganini’s art is based on physical endowment, increased and developed by ceaseless practicing

— End quote

Don’t know, but have you ever noticed that a lot of “Bear Paw’d” fellas end up playing the mandolin?

Watch your elbow position also… A way to get elbow position and train fingers is to practice fretting with only the tips of your fingers. I make a point in trying to never use a finger as a “bar” (lay a finger down across a string vs using the tip) when playing lead. Sure sometimes you have to, but I am conscious of it and try to shy away from it if it is not needed. Try playing with the tips and watch where your elbow position ends up…elbow position can compensate for short fingers.

As mentioned before, I played some collegiate golf in my day and at the end of the day the consistent ones that were always at the top of the leader board were the ones that understood and disciplined themselves on FUNDAMENTALS, I was not as good as those guys because my fundamentals were not as honed, so when I took up guitar I told myself that fundamentals from a technical standpoint was gonna be my main focus.

Not our style, but take the time to peak at Steve Vai’s fingers…dude could play a 4" wide nut width with no problem :laughing: where the short stubby finger guys like me don’t stand a chance!

I will say that my fingers on my fretting hand are at least 1/8" longer than the fingers on my other hand, and much more slender…I am pretty sure this comes from the aerobic workout they get from playing the guitar for 20 some years.

As others mentioned “flexibility” is pretty important. On guitar practice your 3 notes per string G major scale in the 3rd position to work on flexibility.

very little if any between the right hand and the left but my index is 3 1/8, 3 and 3/8 on the middle so I figure I am about average for stubby fingers and yes you can work around fingers being to short it plays havoc with finger style noting though . I re measured so I came up with another 1/16 on the middle finger LOL parallex of vision I guess. Night all I am very tired .

[attachment=0]long-fingers.jpg[/attachment]This is long fingers supposed to be Robert Johnson . check it out .

The dude has spiders for hands.

He could damn near shake his own hand. I’ve seen this before on one of them tree frogs!! :laughing:

Bottom line " you have to work with what ya got!

Guess I will have to stop blaming my fingers being short! Oh Well another excuse bites the Bullet! Banjo exercises any suggestions … In my old age I have developed Dupraines Syndrome it causes your left hand to curl into a fist. I had the operation but it made it only a little better. My middle finger is 4" when straight I have been taking my right hand and bending the joints I can now make a G position Chord … I have improved a little since BBC video mentioned Tabledit Great site I am glad to have found this site. I hope to save my shekles and buy a life time membership! one other question I have an old Malaga 5 string I have gotten the playability better Does a better Banjo make a lot of difference? The harmonics are sure not as clean as I have heard on better instruments. I bought a DVD from Hatfields on setup hope this helps.

Pickin oouch aaa Marge bloody nose … Grandpa