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Old 10-05-2017, 09:05 AM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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Default D Chord with Pinky on 4th Fret D or G String

I am not sure what this chord is called. I suppose itís some variation of the D chord. Here is a video of it being used in Norwegian Wood tutorial.

https://youtu.be/QRelphXssJU

I canít get my pinky to move this way. I know pinky strength is something everyone has to work on and I continue to work on this but I wanted to know what some of your experience was in getting to the point where you were able to move the pinky this way. And itís not just with the D chord. I see pinky being used this way with other chords.

The problem I have is that the pinky curls in towards the ring finger... probably a common occurrence but how do you get it to not do that.

I do a bunch of spider walk exercises and I can do those pretty OK without the pinky being a problem. But this pinky thing while holding a chord is probably a whole another thing and wanted to see if I can get some advice from you guys here.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:32 AM
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People's hands differ. I can use the pinky on that but find it more comfortable to barre the top strings and use the middle finger (no pinky),
or probably better use the pinky just on the fourth (D) string so you can hold the barre longer.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 10-05-2017 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:09 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
I am not sure what this chord is called. I suppose it’s some variation of the D chord. Here is a video of it being used in Norwegian Wood tutorial.
Those notes are part of the melody (not the chord)*. He's playing the tune and the chord(s) at the same time.
The 4th frets (in 3rd and 4th string) are not played all the time, only when that notes occur in the melody. Likewise the open G string, the E on 4th string, and C and B on 5th string.

* In fact the F# on 4th string IS part of the D chord, but you wouldn't normally add it to the x-x-0-2-3-2 shape.
But try this shape (as another exercise for your pinky): x-5-4-2-3-x. It's the "C" shape, and can be moved anywhere on the neck, for any major chord you want. You should be able to barre the top 3 strings to get the 1st string too.
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Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
I can’t get my pinky to move this way. I know pinky strength is something everyone has to work on and I continue to work on this but I wanted to know what some of your experience was in getting to the point where you were able to move the pinky this way. And it’s not just with the D chord. I see pinky being used this way with other chords.

The problem I have is that the pinky curls in towards the ring finger... probably a common occurrence but how do you get it to not do that.

I do a bunch of spider walk exercises and I can do those pretty OK without the pinky being a problem. But this pinky thing while holding a chord is probably a whole another thing and wanted to see if I can get some advice from you guys here.
Sorry it's a boringly predictable answer, but it's practice.

Playing guitar is not something humans have evolved to do, but our hands have evolved to be immensely adaptable tools. They can be trained. I don't know old you are, but it's a sad fact that the older you are the longer it takes to teach your hands new tricks. Kids and teenagers rarely have this kind of problem. The older you get, the more your hands get used to the everyday tasks they perform, and the less they like to be introduced to new things. But the potential is still there. You just have to be firm and repetitive. Fingers are stupid: don't expect them to do what you ask straight away. You have to tell them over and over...

One way of building up pinky strength and flexibility is - when playing anything (chord or melody) employing the pinky - to always start with the pinky. Get the pinky in place first, making it comfortable; then arrange the other fingers. I.e., lead with your pinky as much as you can. Also practice hammer-ons with the pinky - from open strings to any fret, or 3 frets above where your index is fretting. (Don't overdo it though; little and often is best.)
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:14 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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JonPR, Thank you for clarifying.... Yes, I am trying to play a note with my pinky while holding the D chord. (If someone is reading this, you can refer to the YT vid on the original post)

And when I do that, the pinky wants to drag the ring finger away from D note (3rd fret B string) on to the 4th fret where the pinky is trying to go.

You wondered how old I was. I am in my forties, so yes, my fingers may not adapt as easily to new tasks.

Just to give an idea of my playing experience: It's really in the last 2 years that I've played on a consistent basis and pushed myself to improve. During this period, I've cleaned up a lot of my deficiencies, so I know things can improve with consistent and effective practice.

But this one seems especially difficult. I would like to hear from anyone that might have gone through this struggle... How to reach a note with a pinky while holding a chord, D chord in this case. I've seen this done with other chords as well and I marvel at it whenever I see someone doing that.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
...But this one seems especially difficult. I would like to hear from anyone that might have gone through this struggle... How to reach a note with a pinky while holding a chord, D chord in this case. I've seen this done with other chords as well and I marvel at it whenever I see someone doing that.
Probably the majority of multi-year players here have gone through this and can successfully do that kind of playing out of a D position. It's a very common way to ornament a D chord or play chord-melody out of D.
If your fretting hand has never had a motion-limiting injury, you very likely are perfectly capable of this type of independent pinkie movement also. It's likely that the angle your pinkie and ring finger move apart from each other in your spider exercise is different from the angle they need to be able to move apart in the D chord.
Practicing what you want to play is about as targeted as you can get; it'll probably take a while. Try it up the neck, where the distance to reach is smaller...
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:54 PM
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I suggest the mini barre as I posted earlier. That particular little pinky finger stretch may never be comfortable for you. There are no magic exercises.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:00 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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BFD, yes, no injury, so you're probably right. And what you said about the angle of the fingers when doing the spider exercise vs this particular move is correct... very different. I've tried holding the D chord with my fingers more vertical (as you would in a spider exercise) and that does make reaching with the pinky easier, but then the D chord gets all mucked up.

Well, as you say, I guess I just have to keep plowing away at this move for a while. With most things so far, I am able to see small progress after about a week of consistent practice but this one... I don't know.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:06 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I suggest the mini barre as I posted earlier. That particular little pinky finger stretch may never be comfortable for you. There are no magic exercises.
I did see your earlier post... I don't quite see what you are describing.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:35 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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I guess I just have to keep plowing away at this move for a while.
I would definitely encourage you to do so. I watched the video, and you just need to follow what he instructs. That's how the song is most easily played. Focus on the beginning, when he holds the chord down, and plays the melody (slowly) with the pinky. That's the kind of finger independence you need to develop and it's a good way to do it. You'll see after a while that it's really not that difficult to do.
I like BFD's suggestion to move the capo up a few frets to make it easier at first.
I'm curious about how you do your spider exercises though. I do them as well, and I think they are very useful for that sort of thing. Are you making sure to hold/place finger pairs down before changing positions?
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:43 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
I would definitely encourage you to do so. I watched the video, and you just need to follow what he instructs. That's how the song is most easily played. Focus on the beginning, when he holds the chord down, and plays the melody (slowly) with the pinky.
Except when I do that, the D chord gets all messed up because the ring finger gets dragged away by the pinky... haha.


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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
I'm curious about how you do your spider exercises though. I do them as well, and I think they are very useful for that sort of thing. Are you making sure to hold/place finger pairs down before changing positions?
There are many variations of the spider exercise, but as BFD noted, the angle of the fingers (in spider, the fingers are more vertical and spread apart, vs in holding a chord, the fingers are more slanted and more bunched together) make it not necessarily translate from being able to do one to the other.

But if you think there is an exercise (spider or otherwise) that might apply, please let me know.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
I did see your earlier post... I don't quite see what you are describing.
Barre just the E-B-G strings with the index finger on the second fret. Fret the B string on the third fret with the second finger. The middle finger and pinky fingers are both free to do the rest. The way done in the video is fine but personally I find using a barre more comfortable and reliable.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:05 PM
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Once you get that down, try holding the D chord and fretting the e string at the 5th fret. I had some trouble learning Norwegian Wood, I hadn't been playing long when it came out, so I remember the difficulties you are experiencing. The stretch above is more difficult, but it really helps the independence and dexterity of the pinkie.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:25 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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Originally Posted by Rodger Knox View Post
Once you get that down, try holding the D chord and fretting the e string at the 5th fret. I had some trouble learning Norwegian Wood, I hadn't been playing long when it came out, so I remember the difficulties you are experiencing. The stretch above is more difficult, but it really helps the independence and dexterity of the pinkie.


Reach the E on the 5th. Woahhh. Easy there....
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:30 PM
RockyRacc00n RockyRacc00n is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Barre just the E-B-G strings with the index finger on the second fret. Fret the B string on the third fret with the second finger. The middle finger and pinky fingers are both free to do the rest. The way done in the video is fine but personally I find using a barre more comfortable and reliable.


I get it now. There is a place in the song where you have to play the G string open. I will try this later but I wonder how that might be... I suppose you will have to release the barre on the G then. I will keep your suggestion in my back pocket. For now, I am inclined to keep at the way it is done in the video.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:44 PM
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I've always played this with the high E string open, which I guess would be Dadd9, and it seems to fit in with the overall feel of the song. It certainly is a lot easier. But now that I've looked at all of the Youtube's of famous people and Beatles tribute groups playing this, it does sound better with the full D and I will get that pinky working!
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