Three Great Exercises For Guitar You Can Use Today
Finger exercises are extremely beneficial for guitar players. I like to use them both as warm up exercises, and as speed builders. I'm going to show you three of my favorites in this lesson. I'm going to talk about them more in the warm up sense. But you can definitely use these as speed builders too.
Before you get started on your warm ups, be sure to give your wrists a good stretch. This will let you make the most of these exercises. Here's a great stretching routine I use every day.
Take each exercise nice and slow until you get the hang of them. I recommend playing each of these for about a minute. You can play them longer if you'd like too.
I call this the Finger Developer 2. This one is great because it gets your often-neglected pinky in the mix. It's a simple chromatic exercise that uses all six strings.
Start by playing the 5th fret of the 6th string. Then play the 6th fret of the same string, then the 7th fret and lastly the 8th. Make sure you use all 4 of your fingers for this. Once you play those four notes, move up a string and do the same thing on the 5th string. Play the 5th, then 6th, then 7th, then 8th frets. Do this all the way up to the 1st string.
Try to focus on fretting the note right by the fret without being on top of the fret. You want to find that sweet spot when the note rings clearly without buzzing. Make sure to stay relaxed too. Taking the exercise slow at first will help you be relaxed when you play.
I like to call this The Spider #1, and it's a left hand only exercise. The idea of this is to make your movements between notes as small as possible. The smaller your movements, the faster you'll be able to play. Here's how to do it.
Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 6th string. Now, without lifting your index finger, place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 6th string. Keep both fingers down and put your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 6th string, then your pinky on the 8th fret of the 6th string.
All of your fingers should still be on their respective frets. Here's the spider part. Without lifting any other finger, take your index finger and fret the 5th fret of the 5th string. Your other three fingers should still be on the 6th string.
Then without moving any other fingers, move your middle finger to the 6th fret of the 5th string. Then move your ring finger to the 7th fret of the 5th string. And lastly move your pinky to the 8th fret of thr 5th string. At any time you should only be moving one finger, with the rest staying where they last fretted a note. You can do this all the way up to the 1st string.
This is an exercise a lot of classical guitar players do and it's a surefire way to build dexterity in your left hand.
This is the Spider #2 exercise. For this exercise we're going to add in the right hand. This is way easier if you've done Spider #1 a few times. You're going to do the Spider #1 exercise but you'll pick each note you fret.
The challenge here is to make sure you're using the right part of your fingers to fret the notes. You might find that when you move to play the first note on the 5th string, that your fingers that are still on the 6th string are muting it. Make small adjustments and take it slow until you can play it cleanly all the way through.
If you want to turn this into Exercise #3.5 you can reverse the whole thing after you've played all of the notes on the 1st string.
How To Use Finger Exercises
The best way to use these exercises is to memorize them and practice them daily. I still use these all the time as warm ups. Play them slow at first and then gradually build up speed over time.
When you've been doing these for long enough, your fingers will go to the right place without you having to think too much about it. This is extremely valuable and will help you in other areas of your guitar playing to.
Thanks for joining me today! We're up to day 9 of my 30 day guitar coaching challenge. If there are other lessons or topics you'd like me to discuss, leave a comment and let me know!