Finger Exercises for the Beginner Guitarist
Hey, this is Chris for jamplay.com. If you’re just beginning the guitar whether you’re playing electric or acoustic, your left hand probably gets pretty tired after you’ve maybe even just fretted a few chords here and there or tried a few scales.
So I have two exercises for you today. One beginning one and one that’s a little tougher that are going to help you strengthen your hand, add a little bit more dexterity to your fingers and really just make it possible for you to play longer without feeling pain.
So these exercises are specifically for the left hand. They don’t involve your right hand at all. The first one here, we’re going to be up on your fifth fret and you’re going to put one finger per fret. So five, six, seven, and eight. All right. Then what we’re going to do is we’re just going to practice taking one finger off at a time while leaving the other ones on. For some of you, this is going to be pretty easy depending on the other things in your life that you do, typing, whatever. You’ll notice that when you do this that the third and fourth fingers, especially the third finger is a little bit more tough. You can’t really bring it out as much as say your second finger or your first finger or even your pinky. The reason for that is that your left well both hands have a tendon sheath back here that is split between your third and fourth fingers.
So these two don’t have as much independence as these two fingers do. All right. So that’s the first thing you’re going to do. All right and then really as part of the same exercise, after you’ve done this a couple times, you’re going to arch your fingers and put them on the sixth string. All of them on the sixth string and then you’re just going to practice taking them off and putting them on one at a time like this.
Then you’re going to move to the next string down, fifth string. Do this on all the strings. We’re not really concerned about hammer-ons and pull offs or really making sound on the guitar at all. We’re just concerned about the hand position and spreading your hand out and practicing a little bit of finger independence. All right.
So do this maybe every time you sit down to start practicing especially if you’re experiencing pain in the top part of your arm. All right. The more advanced one that we’re going to be working on is in this same area and it’s along the same lines. This time, instead of just taking your fingers off like this, you’re going to take each finger off, bend it and try touching it to your palm. Pretty hard when you get to your third and fourth fingers. This one is going to take your finger independence to the next level and it’s going to target this side of your arm which is what gets tired when you start practicing bar chords or a lot of chording.
So by doing this one, you get the top side a little bit more and by doing the one where you take your fingers all the way off and touch your palm, you’re getting your forearm. Now when you’re doing this exercise, it’s kind of tough to see what I’m doing when I have my fingers on the neck but you want to have your each finger come down and touch this part of your hand. That’s the goal and it’s much easier to do when you’re -- when you have the guitar neck there. If you don’t have a guitar neck and you want to do these exercises, it’s actually pretty easy. Just take your other arm and do the same thing.
All right. So those are two finger exercises for your left hand to help strengthen your forearm, help gain finger independence and you’ll find more finger exercises as well as practice techniques and skill building ideas at jamplay.com.