There's something wrong about my Ring Finger

Hello :wave: :wave::wave:
While trying to make sense of my persistent struggle with some chord changes, especially to Gs using ring finger on the thickest string, I did this little experiment: I shut all the fingers in a fist and raised them one at the time. I made a short video of it so you can understand better and see what the problem with my Gs might be. As you’ll see index and middle can raise up by themselves, little pinky does a very good job too, but ring finger :see_no_evil: …it’s not even halfway there!

I do my fingergym 5 minutes a day and I also work a lot on the chord changes. I thought I could add a 5 minutes of fingergym working out ring and pinky only + another 5 minutes working out ring and middle only. Is it a good idea? Have you got any other suggestions?


Thanks for showing from the side, otherwise I would have felt this was just an excuse to flip everyone off!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I think your finger extension is normal, in fact, probably better than normal. It is better than mine by 20 degrees. Below is my video, I did it a little differently, and made sure the first phalanges were horizontal (parallel to the floor). Yours are angled up a bit.

The ring finger is not independent and shares tendon with the middle finger. It will only extend higher along with the middle finger.

My professional opinion as a neurologist, a former massage therapist and anatomy instructor is that you are normal or better.

Keep trying, you will nail that cord sooner or later!


Silvia I was waiting for you to perform a magic trick :roll_eyes:

Joshua I was waiting for you to answer the door and let em in :roll_eyes:


Hi Silvia,
Why make a fist when playing the strings? :rofl:
Fortunately, that is not necessary with guitar :sweat_smile:
Everything is normal :sunglasses:



Ha! I forgot sound was on! That is the dog doorbell. I let the dog in after I made the video, so no worries. She gets a little impatient, but it is better than her scratching up the door. In our old house I had to repaint the front door 3 times and it will never be the same.


My opinion as a former anatomy instructor and psychiatrist is that there is nothing wrong with the fingers- but she is definitely not normal :rofl:


This is very interesting! In fact now I’m trying and it can raise up perfectly together with middle finger, but can’t with pinky! But this means middle is not independent as well and nevertheless it can raise up by itself :thinking:

:joy: oh no I wouldn’t really ever do it!

It’s already more than one year now…I start feeling some frustration :sob:

Isn’t this the case for everyone? :smiley:

TBH, I wouldn’t worry about too much. Fretting chords and flexing fingers 1 by 1 are different motions involving different muscles.

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:rofl::rofl::rofl: James some good humor is just what I need! Thank you!


Many thanks Mr. Larsen! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
You need to know that I harmonised a little Melody for you…the challenge on the solfege thread, remember? Well it would sound super sweet but due to this difficulty I can’t play it smoothly :triumph::sob:

I think I would like to see a video please Joshua. :smiley:

@SILVIA My ring finger is the same. Obviously just another obstacle to overcome in the great guitar adventure.

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Your test is interesting, but we need somewhat different movements for playing. The major movements are on the two larger knuckles, and then we want good flexibility to be able to bend the smallest joint at the finger tip so we hit just one string. What you appear to need is to get better control over independent motion.

We don’t really need our fingers to straighten. In that respect, your flexibility is better than mine. I have trouble with triads (if you are that far into the lessons) where I need to flatten the tip of finger 1 against strings 1,2 and then cleanly fret string 3 with finger 2. This is the stretch I think is important - but maybe it is just my hand and not yours.

You mention doing the finger gym. Those are really good. I also have another exercise that is similar I outlined in item #3 here: Older Beginner Fret Board Issues - I can't land my fingers on a chord at the same time - #15 by sequences.

It helped me get better control over my fingers. I still have plenty to work on when swapping fingers 3 and 4, but at least I can do it now, even if I need to concentrate on it. I don’t do this very often now. I seem to be doing ok with what independence I now have, but will go back to this daily if I find something I need to work on.


Your hands are more flexible than mine I can’t even push my ring finger back as far as you can. My wife tried it as well and her hands move about the same as yours. So I think you’re in the majority of guitar players.

For better finger independence try this little exercise. Lay you hand flat on a table, spread the fingers slightly then try and lift each finger off the table one at a time.
don’t use your other hand just the tendons in your fingers. You’ll find the ring finger may not lift at all at first but it will with time.

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In all honesty, I don’t really see anything abnormal, my finger motorics is also kinda like that. I found finger stretching excersices helped improve mobility and finger independence, but that took about half a year till I began noticing this.

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Hi Silvia,

There’s nothing wrong with your fingers!

Here’s a little exercise for you.

Put your pinky on 3rd fret, 1st string and walk your ring finger across the 3rd fret from 2nd string to 6th and back again, keeping pinky on 1st string.

Try it the other way round as well. Leave ring finger on 6th string and walk pinky across the strings.


that’s a great exercise. Thanks for mentioning it.


Thank you @stitch @BurnsRhythm @sequences for suggesting the exercises, I’ll do them all as they all seem vey useful.

This one seems really to target my personal difficulty for the specific vertical movement it requires and make me feel optimistic and feeling halfway there already :star_struck::partying_face::grin: …ok, it’s a bit too early to celebrate :joy: …but I can see how effective it will be!

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Thanks to anyone who tried my little silly experiment…I still can’t see why ring shouldn’t be able to raise up by itself when all the other fingers can…anyway what matters is being able to play the chords with less effort and I’m super happy and grateful you helped me to find out some more targeted fingergym !

We’re all in good company here in this great adventure! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

You know how they say…a trouble shared is a trouble halved :sweat_smile:

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I’m taking the liberty to copy and paste @sequences exercise here from the linked post. Thank you Michael, this will be super helpfull too, not only for ring but for all the fingers!

  • Place all 4 fingers down on string 3, each on their individual fret. Go for comfort as to the frets you choose.
  • Lift one finger to string 4, then string 2, then back to string 3. Do this a few times and pay attention to hitting the strings accurately, not quickly. Pick the strings if you want to check for ringing correctly.
  • Cycle through each finger until you feel you have control.
  • Next stage is to move two fingers, placing one on string 2 and one on string 4 as simultaneously as you can manage, then swap them. Slowly is fine.
  • cycle through finger pairs carefully and deliberately trying to move to the strings in the same time on both fingers. Keep it slow.
    I found that anything involving finger 3 was a disaster and it took me 3-4 weeks to get some reasonable control of that finger. Once I did, some of the chords started to really come into sounding right, and I can hit many of the sus chords as shown in Justin’s lessons much more comfortably.

Michael @sequences , your exercise sounds like a really good workout! I’ll be trying it later. Cheers!

Thanks Silvia for typing out Michael’s exercises. Should keep us all quiet for a while!

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