Finger Exercises For Guitar You Need To Know
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Finger Exercises for Guitar You Need to Know

Are you ready to stop struggling and start progressing with your guitar playing? Today I want to share with you a tool I believe to be invaluable to every guitarist. This article explains finger exercises for guitar that increase the speed in which you build dexterity dramatically. They will improve your accuracy and speed at incredible rates.

All you have to do... Is do them.

What Exercises Matter?

  1. Chromatic
  2. Scalar

For beginner and intermediate guitarists the most important dexterity exercises are chromatic and scale-based (scalar). I recommend spending some time during each of your warm ups to doing dexterity exercises. They will help your guitar playing tremendously. If you spend an hour or less a day practicing, focus on primarily the 2 dexterity exercises I mentioned (chromatic & scalar) for the first 12-18 months of playing.

Chromatic

Doing chromatic exercises will help build finger dexterity and synchronization. You will find this also results in a huge improvement in your speed and accuracy as well. I'll tell you a little known secret: Accuracy is speed.

If you play 200, 300, 400 BPM but every 4th note is dead- you ain't really playing that fast buddy. Hate to break it to you. Focus on accuracy and clean sounding notes when you're a beginner and it will pay off sooner than you think. Don't rush yourself.

Scalar

Scale based exercises are also important. For the first few years of learning guitar, you should be learning at least 1 scale a week. By including the scales you are learning in your dexterity exercises you will keep them fresh in your arsenal.

Another cool side effect of doing this is you develop muscle memory very quickly. You are training your hands how each scale feels. Try learning a scale one week then incorporating that scale in your dexterity training the following week. This system will also improve your improvising and soloing ability. They're basically the same thing, right?

I want to stress again: with scalar exercises, focus on accuracy, not speed. Speed will come with time. Make it sound pretty. Fancy and flashy comes later. You wouldn't build a house on a crappy foundation, so don't develop your guitar playing abilities off of one.

Your Homework

Alright, now you know exactly what you have to do for rapid progression. What I want you to do is for just 5 minutes, everyday, add these dexterity building exercises to your guitar practice routine. Make sure you have your practice time planned out ahead of time.

I hope this lesson has helped you out. If you have any questions, concerns or comments please leave them for me in the box below. I want you to succeed and will typically respond within 24 hours.

Good luck and never quit!


Street Talk

Thorough article with good information. Call to action at the end is great too. Nice work. I've always wanted to play guitar and indeed started to teach myself when I was about 19 or 20. I stopped not long after and have yet to pick it up again. I have a guitar that my friends bought me when I was 25 and I haven't picked it up once in almost 9 years that I've had it. Sad huh? If and when I pick it up again I'll definitely be using your article as a reference! Cheers! :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Enjoyed reading the article, Deven. I've never tried to learn guitar, but your article makes me want to give it a go! I'll be honest here: even after reading about the two important exercises, I'm still not sure exactly what each exercise entails. I guess it's safe to assume that any beginning guitar player with a few lessons under his/her belt will know what these two exercises are all about? I've got a pretty good idea what the scalar exercises might be, but chromatic is still a mystery. Can you provide a little more detail on the nature of each exercise? I'm going to follow you here at SA, and maybe one day, I'll be able to play more than just Smoke on the Water. :-)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Hi Bill, thanks for reading the article. I'd be glad to help clarify for you. A "scalar" exercise is an exercise based around a scale. It can be any scale, major, minor, dorian, locrian, you name it. Since it is an exercise and not just a scale, you won't just be playing the scale beginning to end, end to beginning. You will be mixing up the order of the notes, forcing your fingers to memorize the patterns of each scale and building your dexterity at the same time, as well. The term chromatic refers to the Chromatic Scale. The Chromatic Scale is built of all the notes in the musical alphabet. So if you were to play every fret up to the 12th fret, ONLY on one string, that would be a chromatic scale. In essence, since you are mixing up the order of the notes it won't really sound like a scale at all. The main point of chromatic exercises is to confuse your fingers with as many patterns as possible to really build your dexterity faster. The in-article links on the lesson link to more in-depth explanations of both types of exercises as well as several TAB examples of each. I hope I cleared things up a little bit. Please feel free to tell me if I've left anything out, or something is still confusing you. Good luck! Dev

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great article. The "do it" part -- lol -- that's for me! I'm now inspired to pick up the guitar sitting next to me by my desk everyday, so thanks. :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Hi Mikayla! Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you liked that part because that's probably the most important thing to take away from this whole article. I am admittedly guilty of being a bit of a hypocrite. I've been so busy with my studies, job and website I've spent very little time practicing myself, lately. Time for us all to get back on that horse!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Paul Hope  

I've been playing for about 12 years and I can say without hesitation that building finger dexterity will take your guitar playing abilities to seriously new heights... Scales are awesome especially when you become comfortable enough with them that you can play leads to jam tracks and really hear evidence of your progress. Killer article, Devon

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Hi Paul, Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree, once you are comfortable with a number of scales your leads and solos will benefit tremendously. Thanks for the kind words! Best, Dev

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Lawrence3  

Fantastic article Dev!. I will be doing my homework after reading this :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Lawrence! I'm glad you found the lesson helpful! Good luck!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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