Do you use the pinky on 3NPS scales high up on the fret board?

I noticed something today while practicing my 3 note per string scales, when I get above the 12th fret and no longer need to use the pinky to reach the 3rd note on each string, I sometimes use the pinky and sometimes don’t. I know that a lot of players don’t and a lot do. I’ve seen Vai not using his pinky alot when he’s high up.

I have always had poor control between my 3rd finger and pinky when doing pull-offs and hammer-ons, so I think that naturally I try not to play, for example, the 12, 14, 15 shape using my pinky. I instead play it with 1st, 2nd, 3rd finger if possible. That’s where this conflict comes from for me.

What is the correct technique ? I am assuming using the pinky is correct ?

Not using the pinky can also become confusing when you need to change the interval pattern from one string to the next, for example, from 12, 13, 15 to 12, 14, 15 but using the same fingers. It certainly feels more natural to use the pinky because of this and therefore I try to force myself to use my pinky and improve my control.

However, if you have fat fingers it gets pretty cramped the higher you go up.

I think it probably depends on whether you need to change the interval pattern from one string to the next and if you do then it’s beneficial to use the pinky as much as possible, if not then you can use the first 3 fingers and, in my case, increase the consistency of the lick.

I think you summarized it pretty well, and I agree. For the most part I will always use the pinky until I either get into the really small frets, or something in the fingerings makes it “less confusing” to just not use the pinky.