Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

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tonequester
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Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by tonequester » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:56 am

tonequester here.


Greetings to all ! I'm a "newbie" on this forum and at 54, after playing mostly pop, rock, and country for 32 years, I've decided to work exclusively
on playing the Blues. I've always loved the Blues, but just didn't have the audience. I know that's a stupid reason, but priorities change as we get older and I'm
actively trying to catch up. I'm a big fan of Muddy, Otis, the King "brothers", S.R.V.(God rest his soul), Clapton, and Leslie West among many others. That said, I
wish to know if anybody out there has had success with using the "Pinkie" finger to do full bends with vi brato ? I can't say that i've ever seen anybody besides me
TRYING to do this. Originally, I was classically trained(just a few years). However, my teacher really drilled the whole 4 finger/position thing into me, and I've always
pretty much stuck to it whenever possible. My hands would not be considered big, so the little finger has to come into play quite a bit anyway. I ask the question
because my teacher was a pretty flexible guy if you had your lesson down pat, and he would pull out a '59 Les Paul Gold-top when there was time and he would attempt to show me how to play something that I wanted to specifically learn. I immediately noticed that the by the book classical style went by the wayside
when he played pop, country, roch n' roll, etc. The "Pinkie" disappeared, and the ring finger did double duty. I've been working on hand/finger strength and can
pull off full tone bends with vibrato using my "Pinkie", although I still need work on the vibrato. Am I wasting my time in doing this. Should I be concentrating on
using the ring finger as most guitarists do. Any comment welcome, as are tips and advice. Thanks, and "have a good'un ! tonequester.


Quote : "You can get away with a lot, if you have a good vibrato." Sonny Terry. :thumbsup:

MichaelRobinson
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by MichaelRobinson » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:14 am

I never use my "pinkie" for bends and vibratos. I don't have the strength in that finger. I can live with it and I don't see way I should strengthen my "pinkie".

Scuse the spelling.

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VikingBlues
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by VikingBlues » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:32 am

I have a tendency to overuse my pinkie - evidemced by the amount of black gunk on it if I'm playing a new guitar with that oily sort of neck finish that some of them seem to have.
100_0056sm.jpg
The evidence of pinkie use
100_0056sm.jpg (192.33 KiB) Viewed 7445 times
The trouble with this is that, given I have a problem with twinges and pain in hands / fingers if over-used, is every so often I have to concentrate on using the ring finger more to avoid damage. Not an unexpected problem in my late 50s I suppose. :sad:

As far as bends go I use the pinkie along with the other fingers at the same time to bend the third string down towards the floor - I find this combination make it easier to get a good controlled vibrato on top of the bend. I think if I used the pinkie on it's own for bend I would be having to stop using it at all befor very long.

I do use the pinkie a lot for hammer ons and pull offs though - tendency to use one finger per fret so that in Box I in key of A on the pentatonic for example I'll be using the little finger on the 8th fret of the 6th, 2nd and 1st strings - and also on the third string too for that bluesy note.

Really with blues playing I think it's pretty well accepted that you should do whatever works for you, and whatever sounds right. :icon_whoknows:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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12bar
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by 12bar » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:45 am

Interesting point...

If you play strictly classical guitar, the classical style is simply the best. Intense string bending does not exist, even the vibrato is quite different. You have a rather wide fretboard and can cover all strings. When trying to adopt this to a steel string guitar, it's getting hard. That's why most players, even when classical taught, switch to a better suited method. The pinky usually is small (and quite short in comparison) and weak. There's also no finger to assist like the pinky can do for the ring finger. Most self taught old school players from the 60's don't use the pinky at all, except for chords. During the 80's when speed got hip they discovered the pinky again (I still see the guitar mag lessons "how to increase you speed + 25 %"). Bending and vibrato however were neglected then.

In short: no, I don't use the pinky for bendings. :icon_whoknows: But: if you master it, why not? Blues is always open for new techniques. :peace:

tonequester
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by tonequester » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:17 pm

tonequeste here.


Greetings to 12bar, Viking blues, and Michael Robinson. normally I'd send seperate replies. However, I'm pressed for time today, but i didn't want
to come off uninterested. Please excuse me this time. I appreciate your replies on such an odd question. I have found that my ring finger definitely is more suited
for speed in a vibrato than "pinkie", but the little finger sure comes in handy for "covering the whole neck" fast. I guess I'll try to hybridize the two. Like you mentioned 12bar, "blues is always open for new techniques." Now if i can get better "wiggle" out of my index finger !!!!!!! Thanks gentlemen. May each of you have a "good "un". tonequester.

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Blindboy
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by Blindboy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:04 am

Outside of chords, I rarely use my pinkie. Sometimes for hammer-ons', or scale runs. Often for grace notes and nuances in chords, but never for bending. For bends, I usually use the ring finger, backed up with adjacent fingers for vibrato (I like to get my whole arm into vibrato). That being said... whatever works for ya, Man. Anything you do that isn't mainstream makes you sound like you.
editActually, while fingerpicking, I do bend notes with the pinkie, but, rarely full bends with vibrato...
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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12bar
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by 12bar » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:14 am

tonequester wrote:However, I'm pressed for time today, but i didn't want to come off uninterested. Please excuse me this time.
No need to excuse - we're old enough and have a real life. Sometimes I'm also offline for days, sometimes old thread come up again after weeks. :oldie:

sergiojl
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by sergiojl » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:25 am

BB used it all the time.

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12bar
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by 12bar » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:23 pm

sergiojl wrote:BB used it all the time.
BB didn't use his pinky very much at all. He also seldom did bends with vibrato on it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg7ugDja1fA

sergiojl
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by sergiojl » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:09 am

Of course pinky wasn't his most used finger but he used it more than other players.

fenson
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by fenson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:16 am

Three screen captures followed by their sound sample files grabbed from YouTube 'bout using the 4th finger for bending and vibrato
:cool:

Mod edit: removed content, not public domain, sorry.

Hope this helps, there's also vids from John Mayer, Matt Schofield & others including BB King & SRV discussing fingering technic...
:D Hope this helps

Later
IF
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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12bar
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by 12bar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:24 am

Thanks, but just to be sure - you own the copyright for both text and audio?
Otherwise a link would be save.

fenson
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by fenson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:43 am

As I said both screen captures and sound clips have been downloaded from YouTube videos... As far as I remember it mights come from free trailer for instructional DVDs. Anyhow it's there over the internet for years... I've got all this material in my 2008.tgz archive files!

Feel free to cut if you think it infringes any third party copyrights
IF
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

fenson
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by fenson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:42 pm

Don't wanna start any discussion about copyrights here :D

But you'd better cut the post rather than pointing to content that do not cover the topic!
Both video & tab links do not cover the subject: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie".
Thus copyrights are own by both RHE/Hal Leonard/... Certainly not by the owner of this YT channel you lead me by... :icon_whoknows:

IF
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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12bar
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Re: Bends and vibrato with "pinkie"

Post by 12bar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:06 pm

I googled for some phrases from the text posted, found the book "playing the Blues" which contains this text, and then looked at YouTube for it. :icon_whoknows:

I know that YT doesn't hold any copyrights but has enough money to pay their lawyers so it's more save for me to post a link than to embed copyrighted content on this site. I simply try to avoid any problems because it's just a private website.

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