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Guitar Finger Exercises For Beginners

Updated on July 7, 2011
Music is the voice of the soul
Music is the voice of the soul

Why Do Guitar Finger Exercises?

          As everyone finds out when they start learning guitar, learning the notes and chords is only half the battle. Getting your fingers to do what you want them to is the other half. Of course this is the reason you need to practice every day. But just practicing chords and the songs you're trying to learn is not enough. You need to be exercising your fingers to improve their coordination and flexibility. There are literally hundreds of different guitar finger exercises that can be done. I will show you two great exercises that every beginner should incorporate into their practice sessions. By making some guitar finger exercises part of your practice routine you will be surprised how much it helps improve all aspects of your guitar playing.

Tab for Guitar Finger Exercise #1

Guitar Finger Exercise #1
Guitar Finger Exercise #1

How To Use Guitar Finger Exercise #1

This first exercise is the most basic but it's still one that I use to warm up every time before I play. If you are not familiar with guitar tab, here is what the above diagram is telling you. The six horizontal lines represent the six strings of the guitar. The bottom line is the sixth, or fattest string on the guitar. The numbers represent your fingers.

1= Index finger
2= Middle finger
3= Ring finger
4= Little finger

This exercise can be done anywhere on the fret board but I will use the fifth fret as the starting point for this explanation. Start at the fifth fret, on the sixth string with your first finger, then play the sixth fret on the sixth string with your second finger. Now the seventh fret with your third finger, and then the eighth fret on the sixth string with your little finger. You then repeat this on the fifth string and then the fourth string and so on.

Below is a video of this guitar finger exercise being done starting at the fifth fret.

This exercise should be done on all six strings and then back down again. To make this a really good workout, after you go up and back down then move up one fret and repeat the whole thing. You can do this all the way up the fretboard.

I suggest that you also use alternating picking when doing this. If you are unfamiliar with this term it just means to alternate between up strokes and down strokes. Do this exercise as slow as you have to to maintain an even tempo and making sure that each note is been played clearly.

Video of Guitar Finger Exercise #1

Guitar Finger Exercise #2

String skipping guitar Finger exercise
String skipping guitar Finger exercise

Video of String Skipping Exercise

Explanation of Guitar Finger Exercise #2

This exercise here will take awhile to do smoothly but it is well worth spending the time on it. It will greatly improve the independence of each individual finger. Make sure you take this one nice and slow making sure every note is played clean. As you improve with this one you can do the same as with exercise #1 and play it all the way up the fret board.

Final Thoughts On Guitar Finger Exercises

I really can't stress enough how beneficial guitar Finger exercises are. If you devote just five minutes at the beginning of all your practice sessions to finger exercises you will notice an improvement in all aspects of your guitar playing.

                                                  To Your Success

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    • theindianblues profile image

      theindianblues 7 years ago from Some where on the Globe

      Good information and exercise techniques. Thanks for sharing such interesting topic.

    • Arthur Fontes profile image

      Arthur Fontes 7 years ago from Fall River,MA

      Great exercises and awesome warmup techniques. These were some of the first things I was taught some thirty years ago. Great info.