This free guitar lesson will be all about further finger exercises to build finger strength in all 4 fretting-hand fingers.

These will also be good for building coordination between your picking hand and fretting hand. A few things before we begin, however:

1) Use a metronome when practicing these (try this one).
Simply select a number on the metronome, this will be your tempo/speed in beats per minute. Start at a low tempo and build up the tempo as you improve your finger speed. I cannot stress enough the benefits of using a metronome. Having that steady tempo really forces you to focus on playing in time and gives you a great foundation to build technical skills and speed.

2) Don’t try to fly through these at lightning speeds. Start of slow, and be accurate. If you start noticing that your notes aren’t ringing clearly or you are going out of time, slow down a bit and work your way back up. Speed comes with accuracy. I’ve seen many guitar players forget about that.

3) Don’t numb yourself with drills and finger exercises. Break up your practice time with other things. Play some songs, learn some riffs. Don’t bore yourself with one exercise. OK so let’s get down to business.. These first few exersizes are spinoffs of your typical chormatic patterns.

EX1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------1-------1-2-----1-2-3---1-2-3-4-
---------1-------1-2-----1-2-3---1-2-3-4---2-3-4-----3-4-------4---------
-1-2-3-4---2-3-4-----3-4-------4-----------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------1-------
---------------------------------1-------1-2-----1-2-3---1-2-3-4---2-3-4-
-1-------1-2-----1-2-3---1-2-3-4---2-3-4-----3-4-------4-----------------
---2-3-4-----3-4-------4-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1-2-----1-2-3---1-2-3-4-
----3-4-------4---------
------------------------
------------------------
------------------------
------------------------

To do that descending, just follow the pattern backwards

EX2
-------------------------------------------------------------1-2-1-3-1-4-
-------------------------------------------------1-2-1-3-1-4-------------
-------------------------------------1-2-1-3-1-4-------------------------
-------------------------1-2-1-3-1-4-------------------------------------
-------------1-2-1-3-1-4-------------------------------------------------
-1-2-1-3-1-4-------------------------------------------------------------

-4-3-4-2-4-1-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------4-3-4-2-4-1-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------4-3-4-2-4-1-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------4-3-4-2-4-1-------------------------
-------------------------------------------------4-3-4-2-4-1-------------
-------------------------------------------------------------4-3-4-2-4-1-

EX3

-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-
---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------
-------------------------4-3-2-1-----------------
-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------
---------4-3-2-1---------------------------------
-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------

-1-2-3-4
---------4-3-2-1---------------------------------
-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------
-------------------------4-3-2-1-----------------
---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------
-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-

EX4

-----------------------------------2---4-4---2-----------------------------------
---------------------------2---4-1---3-----3---1-4---2---------------------------
-------------------2---4-1---3---------------------3---1-4---2-------------------
-----------2---4-1---3-------------------------------------3---1-4---2-----------
---2---4-1---3-----------------------------------------------------3---1-4---2---
-1---3---------------------------------------------------------------------3---1-

 

Part 2

These next part of my lesson does not require tabs.

Individual finger strength is something that a lot of guitarists seem to overlook. I have found a few different things that really help build individual finger strength and independence. These will also help you with control.

Pressure And Control

Here’s a great exercise to bring into perspective how tense you are while playing without even noticing.

Pick a fret, any fret will do on any string. Now mute the string with your finger and slowly apply pressure until you hear the note ring out clearly. Notice how light you are pressing? Try playing through some exercises and scales without pressing any harder than that. It takes some concentration doesn’t it?

An important part of finger strength is being able to control how hard you are pressing down on the fretboard. Having that control enables you to apply many different expressions to your playing.

Metronome

Again, I cannot express how much working with a metronome can help you. Just use the one I recommended, if you don’t already have one of your own. It is important to note that when you increase your tempo on a metronome, not to increase it by too much. You can overload yourself and get frustrated easily if you do so.

Please be warned, that improving your speed and technique will take time. But it will be ¬†worth it in the long run when you can play through an exercise at 200 bpm smoothly. When increasing, try not to increase more than 4-6 bpm at a time. I stick to 4, just because it’s simple for me when using that metronome I recommended to you earlier.

All in all, just experiment and find things that work for you. You can take any chromatic pattern and change it to make it more difficult. Instead of 1-2-3-4 try 1-3-2-4 or any other variation. You can even try string skipping, or changing the pattern on each individual string. The possibilities really are endless. Thank you for taking the time to read through this. Hopefully these exercises help you as much as hey helped me.

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