Pinkie Problems (Slide)

Discussion in 'Acoustic Delta Blues Slide Guitar Questions' started by LanceMiller, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. LanceMiller

    LanceMiller Blues Newbie

    Jun 19, 2020
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    So. I started learning slide a few months back. I chose my ring finger for the slide, since it seemed the most comfortable and effective.

    Over the past week or so, I have been tying to play with the slide on my pinkie, to make more fingers available for fretting. BUT, I've really been struggling and I think my pinkie is just too short in comparison to my other fingers. (Everyone's proportional finger lengths are different, of course.)

    @Griff plays with the slide on his pinky, pushed clear down to his lowest joint. I've been trying to emulate that position. My problem is that, when I lay my slide down on the strings, my other fingers are bowed. As a result, I can't mute the strings behind the slide. If I lay my other fingers across the strings, then my slide elevates.

    For those of you that play slide on your pinkie, where do you position your slide?

    I suspect that due to the geometry of my hand, I need a slide that's only worn on the top two joints of my pinkie - such that my other fingers can lay parallel to the slide for muting. That's how I wear my ring finger slide, and I noticed that Ariel Posen also wears his pinkie slide on the top two joints only.

    I also noticed that @Griff 's pinkie is nearly as long as his ring finger. My pinkie is barely as long as the first joint of my ring finger.

    Appreciate any advice - struggling at the moment. I really want to make pinkie slide work. Even the shuffle chords in Up And Gone Blues are a PITA to play with my ring finger tied up.

    (I'd post pictures, but having trouble getting images to embed - think I'm too new a user)

  2. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
    Staff Member

    Nov 29, 2008
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    My pinky is actually a full joint shorter than my ring finger, but I understand completely about wanting to use the ring finger and I would not dissuade you if it really feels more comfortable.

    I need to use my pinky because I need my other fingers to do stuff, but if I didn't have to have those other fingers available, I'd use my ring finger too.

    Truly, it's just experimenting with a LOT of slides and being open to something that might be unconventional. Whatever works for you, go with it!
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2009
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    One of the best slide players out there is Derek Trucks and he uses his ring finger, so you would be in good company.