Help un-learning a really bad left-hand habit?

Hi - thanks again to anyone who reads this and all of you for being part of this super rad community, it’s already been game-changing for me.

Took me a while to finally peg down what this issue was and what the root cause of it is, but the TL;DR is that for whatever reason (big hands maybe) I have used my pinky instead of my ringer finger to do almost everything that the ring-finger would normally do EXCEPT two-fret jumps during like pentatonic runs.

Think a powerchord, but with pointer and pinky and go from there. Until now it wasn’t the end of the world and I changed my style (and picking as I now know) to sort of roll with the slop.

Descending licks and ANYTHING that requires a quick, syncopated use of pinky->ring->middle or ring->middle going down the fretboard is bizarrely hard. The inability to cleanly descend using those fingers in that order (or better put licks that require that) is strange, like seems to be so far beneath all other technique I’m not sure what’s up.

Is it just the result of all this time and that it’s sort of learning from scratch? What are the best exercises for descending ring-index stuff?

Thanks for any advice here, like for some context if my picking and fretting syncopation everywhere else on the board is a 7-9/10, this specific gap on the descending scales/licks might be a 2 or 3.

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No so bizarre. The pinky and ring fingers have a lot in common under the hood, so especially if you’ve been favoring one, you may need to take a few steps back speed wise and focus on playing things that emphasize the independence of the two. You’ve identified an issue. Can you write your own exercises at this point? Or find palatable musical phrases to practice in sheet music? There are some common pattern based ones, but I encourage folks to create more musical exercises related to whatever they are working on at the time. My two cents. Good luck!

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Hey - thanks for the reply!

Yes - I’ve come up with a few exercises after really trying to figure out specific licks or runs that made me flub each time ONLY on that part. Since I’m like 95% self-taught I’m not sure if it’s best to just pursue those, hence why I’m asking.

Aside from the CTC stuff I’ve been running these in various shapes and forms to a click and trying to make sure that ever note is like studio-worthy clean/articulate.

Any others you know of would be amazing, it’s still bizarre to me how far behind just this part of my left hand is.


These things take time! Have fun opening new doors!

Indeed, that’s true. It really feels like I’m learning this from scratch, I didn’t realize how much I used my pinky in place of my index finger.

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