Guitar finger exercises | Guitar Practice for strong, Fast Hands
Did you know that effective finger exercises can be one of the keys to your success and spectacular playing ability?
Have your fingers ever not cooperated? Bar chords hard to form and hold? Guitar fingerpicking not as fast and accurate as you think it should be?
Guitar finger exercises can help. They have helped my finger strength, flexibility and speed tremendously.
Maybe your hands gave out on you 20 minutes into your 4 hour practice session?
How do professionals practice huge amounts of practice a day?
Are they super-human? Maybe.
Most likely they have a program of effective guitar finger exercises. One thing I can almost guarantee their hands are in great shape.
Another thing I'm almost sure of - they have probably had their share of repetitive stress injuries. Sometimes that how it works, people have to learn the hard way.
If you want to play for all of your life, get and stay in top physical shape. That usually takes a regular schedule of guitar finger exercises, proper practice techniques, nutrition and rest from workouts for recovery.
I'll give the following advice for guitar finger exercises and any other physical exercise routine.
Make sure you consult your doctors on anything I suggest here and do not start any exercise program without your medical doctors consent.
So what are the objectives that we should be seeking with a program of guitar finger exercises? -
1. To build strong hands and fingers and speed your progress while learning how to play guitar.
2.To increase your guitar fingerpicking abilities,
3. Strengthen your hands and fingers to improve your technique by improving your abilty to form chords, building flexibility and dexterity confidence while playing the guitar.
4.Strong pain free hands with the agility, speed, control and endurance to play the things we want to play and continue to practice and improve continually.
So what your needing is strong finger independence which is the ability to isolate the movements of one finger at a time while keeping the others as still as possible. A effective regular program of guitar finger exercises can vastly speed your progress.
5. Finger strength and endurance. By exercising and strengthening the gripping muscles for holding chords and the extensor muscles of the hand for the ability to move quickly over the fretboard.
This is needed for gripping bar chords as well as open chords and fingerpicking.
Guitar finger exercises 1 -Alternating picking and fretting hand speed
The first speed and strength exercise seems simple and is but Increase the speed gradually and take your time with the transition to upward stroke when you reverse directions.
Using upward strokes as well as downward strokes leads to a versatility in your picking helping you change directions with finesse.
Directions for guitar speed and finger strength exercise 1 - start on any fret on the 6th or fattest string. The numbers are for your fingers. 1,2,3 and 4. When you get to your 4Th finger (pinky) switch to your first finger on the next string. Start with a down, up alternate picking pattern.
When you run out of strings and you come to your 4Th finger change directions using a upward stroke to start your alternate picking. Continue with a up, down alternate picking pattern.
1. Be patient with yourself. Slow and relaxed hand movements will speed you towards you end results of finger and hand strength speed and accuracy.
2. Concentrate on small movements of the pick. Almost a rotating movement of the tip of the pick.
3. Use palm muting to keep the strings under control while you are learning accuracy.
4. Get the movement down first and then use the metronome at a slow tempo and then increase the tempo as you gain confidence and accuracy.
Guitar finger exercises 2 - Hammer on and Pull offs for finger and hand strength and endurance
The hammer on and pull offs for this exercise are simple.
Tips for this exercise:
1. Start out slow and work up to your target speeds.
2. Keep the first finger planted and hammer on the next 3 fingers.Which is simple slamming the finger down on the next fret to sound the note on that fret.
3 Keeping the first finger planted pull off on the 3 fingers that did the initial hammer on movement.
4. Start at any fret that you are comfortable with and try to cover the entire fretboard.
Guitar finger exercises 3 - Trills on all four fingers - Plyometric finger exercises for speed, strength and dexterity.
This is one of the most effective things you can do to improve the seed and dexterity of your fingers.
Directions for Exercise 3: Your index finger is number 1. Keep it planted on the fret you have decided to start on. It does not have to be fret 1, it can be any fret that you like.
With fingers 1,2,3 one at a time - rapidly hammer on and pull off to sound the two notes in a rapid trill.
When you are finished with all the fingers on one string move over one string and do it again.
This exercise is really effective, but don't overdo if your hands start to hurt take a break.
Guitar finger exercises 4 - Basic sweep picking movements for speed
This exercise is very enjoyable when done with a metronome. Gliding between strings adds to finesse and skill.
Directions for exercise 4: Pretty simple stuff. Just pick straight down smoothly while fretting the strings. Don't pause between strings.
Guitar finger exercises 5 - String skipping with alternating picking for finger control and speed.
String skipping exercise builds your brain to hand connection so you don't have to think so much about where you are with your picking.
You go through several steps to get to a place where you don't have to think about what you are doing so much on a guitar.
1. Start out with absolute concentration on every move picking and fingering. Get to the place where it no longer feels awkward.
2. When you no longer feel awkward start to use the metronome at a slow pace and speed it up slowly.
3 Reinforce over a few days to ingrain it into your nervous system.
4. Do it long enough and people will think your a natural because it will feel natural to you.
Here are some great sources of information and and some great hand exercise equipment I've used and a few finger exercises to help get the job done.
1. A good stretching, exercise and massage program for your hands, wrists and forearms.
Quick hands with the dexterity needed to move quickly over the fretboard are going to have to have amazing flexibility and strength. Stretching each finger carefully through its range of movement.
Here are some simple stretches for the fingers. Proceed with caution.
Gently stretch the fingers out by grasping the finger and apply a easy stretch outward and through its range.
Stretch between the fingers with your other hand in between each set of fingers.
stretch the thumb out away from the hand and repeat until a good stretch is felt.
A good daily hand stretching program will help keep your hands supple and fluid.
I recommend one called Healthy Hands by Martin Grey. I have this program and it is the only one that I have been able to find.
He is a massage therapist that specializes in this area.It has some great isometric exercises, stretches, and a very thorough massage routine.
2. Chinese Exercise Balls - Greg Irwin of Hand health unlimited has a great video that show not only exercises but shows how they are made and some of history behind them.
These provide great guitar finger exercises for developing hand, finger and forearm dexterity, coordination and speed. There are many ways to use them. They are fun to use and after you get used to them , you can work with them while your doing other things like watching television.
They are excellent for gaining coordination and fine movement in your fingers wrists and hands.
3. Gripmaster Pro - The Gripmaster Pro provides effective exercises for strengthen individual fingers and overall hand finger and forearm strength. They come in different tensions so pick one that is right for you
If you just leave it around where you normally watch television it makes it easy to get a hand workout and gain hand strength.
4. Finger Weights - These slide onto your fingers and provide resistance hand exercise while you go about practicing your guitar. Increasing hand, fingers and forearm strength.
I've got to admit I was skeptical about these at first, but was surprised when they actually made a difference that I could notice.
They do take some getting used to. They pinched the heck out of my fingers but I found that if you move them around just a little bit that goes away. but I have found them to be a great help, and they are great to use in the Finger fitness Program.
5. Dynaflex Pro Sports Gyro Wrist Exerciser - These work the wrists and hand, fingers and forearm strength.
These are for closing grip strength and grip. They also work the wrists and forearms.
These can really give a great workout - just keep close track of the included string used to start the ball rotating.It's a great piece of hand exercise equipment.
It can be started by hand but I haven't mastered the technique yet. But I'm getting there.
6. Flextend Glove - These are for rehabilitation of carpal tunnel syndrome and numerous other repetitive stress injuries. Many people are saying they are getting good results.
I don't know too much about that. I've never experienced carpel tunnel syndrome or anything like that. - I use mine to exercise the extensors muscles in my hands as a preventative and to build strength and speed in hand, fingers and forearms.
Around 15 finger exercises from one outstanding tool.
I like them. They are probably what I consider towards the top results producing tools that I have. I feel I'm getting great results with the exercises.
They are not inexpensive at $80 a pair but if it helps a person avoid a $20,000 carpel tunnel operation that might fail, hey that what I consider a good investment.
Sleep and regular physical exercise is also a good idea for most people unless they are in really bad shape. Plenty of good fresh water, eating healthy food and keeping your stress level down will help maintain the enthusiasm and energy levels needed for some kick butt guitar.
Get out into nature and take care of yourself. Take a break every once in awhile from the guitar so you will look forward to getting back to it.
Shake your hands out frequently, move your fingertips quickly in the air. This keeps them loose, relaxed and ready to play guitar.
So in summary if you want results, in your tone and ease of playing a regular program of daily guitar finger exercises is the way to go.
Make sure you check out these related webpages on this site.1.Guitar speed training. - Check out these techniques for gaining amazing speed.
2.Changing guitar strings. - How does the weight and type of string affect how you play?
3. Guitar practice motivation - Making serious progress on the guitar along with a program of effective guitar finger exercises takes willpower and motivation. Do you have it?
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