Pinkie Problems (Slide)

LanceMiller

Blues Newbie
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)

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Griff

Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
Staff member
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!
 

MikeS

Student Of The Blues
Staff member
One of the best slide players out there is Derek Trucks and he uses his ring finger, so you would be in good company.
 

LanceMiller

Blues Newbie
You might want to look at RockSlides https://www.therockslide.com/ . They have a cutout at the foot of the slide that allows you more flexibility in angling your finger onto the string.

Thanks, Glynnd - I actually have both a glass and brass Rock Slide now - love them! Danny is a super helpful guy - I highly recommend Rock Slides.

I also found a shorter Moonshine slide that fits the top two joints of my pinky pretty well. So, I'm not all set with glass, brass, and ceramic! Thanks all!
 
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