As your guitar playing matures, your fingers should natural gain more strength and independence. But I have found that one major and important plateau that is hard for many young guitarists to cross is developing the pinky finger in particular. Many beginners choose to use other fingers in situations that call for the pinky to be used. This may be ok in the short run, but eventually pinky neglect will catch up to you. If you have been doing this, you must do some fretboard workouts for you pinky. These exercises are guaranteed to pump up your little finger and get it in shape.
We’re going to start out with a variation on the basic chromatic exercise that most people know. This particular variation is a great workout for the pinky. The fingering is shown below on the tab.
If you like that one, try to experiment with some other variations of the basic 1-2-3-4 chromatic stuff.
This next one I came across in a Randy Rhoads lesson. Though it is not in the tab, use hammer-ons and pull-offs. A good way to practice it is to set a timer to it. A 3-minute egg timer works well. Start the timer and continuously play the exercise until the timer goes off. When you’re done, you’ll definitely feel the burn. Use only your index and pinky fingers. It is an amazing exercise for building pinky strength. Use it often. Note- The stretch involved in this one might be a little to much for some people’s hands. If this is the case, move the whole thing up a few frets.
Next we have a few diminished arpeggios. The key part of this next one that will help your pinky strength is the slides. You must exaggerate the slides to get the full effect. I’ve highlighted the notes you should slide into in red. Also make sure you use the fingering I’ve given. It may not be the most economical fingering, but we’re not going for that this time.
The final piece I have is another Randy Rhoads one. Use all pull-offs.
You’re pinky should really be in shape if you do these consistently, and as a result your playing will reap the rewards. If you have a questions about any of the things covered or anything about guitars in general, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org