Conclusion Of Left Hand Techniques

author: Martin Messner date: 04/15/2009 category: guitar techniques
rating: 7.9 / votes: 11 
Hey, this is my first lesson so I'm looking forward to your critics... Well, first at all this is not really a lesson. This is a summary of some exercises for: -a fast, clear left hand -a clear alternate picking of the right hand -the harmony of both hands I was inspirated by so many lessons about left hand trainings and their exercises, so there is to say that the core of this training is not all mine! The basic rule of all these exercises is regular training. Every day at least 20 minutes is really necessary, because daily but short training is a lot better than one training a week which takes 5 hours. The second rule is that speed is not the key! So don't start with 400bpm, start slowly. The importance is to hit every clear tone in the absolutly correct timing. The speed comes with the training, because your hand will learn the movement "by heart" and after that, the speed will increase a lot! All exercises should be done with alternate picking! That means, that the pic goes down, up, down, up... Do not use the method that the pic goes only down, down, down! If you use alternate picking, your whole guitar sound will be - trained for some time of course- improved in a very good way! The third rule is to not give up! Here are listed 8 exercises and it seems like here is a lot of work to be done... And yeah, it is. But if there is work to do, don't say "I'll start tomorrow" or "I'll will train the weekend". Do it as soon as possible... Why not now? The last rule is to combine the boring lesson with nice songs. Every time you tell yourself "I'll stop now, this exercise is only a waste of time- and it sounds so shit!" play a nice song! As you will see, even a short training will improve the song! Now, when the song is over, you continue with the training.
notes which are marked with i should be play with the index  finger
notes which are marked with m should be play with the middle finger
notes which are marked with r should be play with the ring   finger
notes which are marked with p should be play with the pinky

EX 1
  i m i m i m i m i m i m   m i m i m i m i m i m i 
E---------------------1-2-I-2-1---------------------I
B-----------------1-2-----I-----2-1-----------------I
G-------------1-2---------I---------2-1-------------I
D---------1-2-------------I-------------2-1---------I
A-----1-2-----------------I-----------------2-1-----I
E-1-2---------------------I---------------------2-1-I


EX 2
  m r m r m r m r m r m r   r m r m r m r m r m r m
E---------------------2-3-I-3-2---------------------I
B-----------------2-3-----I-----3-2-----------------I
G-------------2-3---------I---------3-2-------------I
D---------2-3-------------I-------------3-2---------I
A-----2-3-----------------I-----------------3-2-----I
E-2-3---------------------I---------------------3-2-I


EX 3
  r p r p r p r p r p r p   r p r p r p r p r p r p 
E---------------------3-4-I-4-3---------------------I
B-----------------3-4-----I-----4-3-----------------I
G-------------3-4---------I---------4-3-------------I
D---------3-4-------------I-------------4-3---------I
A-----3-4-----------------I-----------------4-3-----I
E-3-4---------------------I---------------------4-3-I
This exercise shows how weak the ring finger and pinky are! The EX 1 is a lot easier than EX 3, because the index finger is - of course - stronger than the pinky! A big problem is that many guitarists use only the first 3 fingers because they are naturally stronger than the pinky, but this little finger is very important to reach fast higher frets and to be faster in solo! After these 3 exercises, we go on with exercises with 3 Finger on each string.
EX 4
  i r p i r p i r p i r p i r p i r p   p r i p r i p r i p r i p r i p r i
E-------------------------------1-3-4-I-4-3-1------------------------------I
B-------------------------1-3-4-------I-------4-3-1------------------------I
G-------------------1-3-4-------------I-------------4-3-1------------------I
D-------------1-3-4-------------------I-------------------4-3-1------------I
A-------1-3-4-------------------------I-------------------------4-3-1------I
E-1-3-4-------------------------------I-------------------------------4-3-1I

EX 5

  i m p i m p i m p i m p i m p i m p   p m i p m i p m i p m i p m i p m i
E-------------------------------1-2-4-I-4-2-1------------------------------I
B-------------------------1-2-4-------I-------4-2-1------------------------I
G-------------------1-2-4-------------I-------------4-2-1------------------I
D-------------1-2-4-------------------I-------------------4-2-1------------I
A-------1-2-4-------------------------I-------------------------4-2-1------I
E-1-2-4-------------------------------I-------------------------------4-2-1I
EX 4 and 5 are important for the timing (3 notes a string)! The next exercise is one of the most important!
EX 6a
  i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p
E-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-I
H---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------I
G-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------I
D-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------I
A---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------I
E-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------I

EX 6b

  p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i
E-4-3-2-1-----------------------------------------I
H---------4-3-2-1---------------------------------I
G-----------------4-3-2-1-------------------------I
D-------------------------4-3-2-1-----------------I
A---------------------------------4-3-2-1---------I
E-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-I

Repeating EX 6 often is definitly NO waste of time!
Following: a Version of EX 6

EX 7a

  i r m p i r m p i r m p i r m p i r m p i r m p
E-----------------------------------------1-3-2-4-I
H---------------------------------1-3-2-4---------I
G-------------------------1-3-2-4-----------------I
D-----------------1-3-2-4-------------------------I
A---------1-3-2-4---------------------------------I
E-1-3-2-4-----------------------------------------I

EX 7b

  p m r i p m r i p m r i p m r i p m r i p m r i
E-4-2-3-1-----------------------------------------I
H---------4-2-3-1---------------------------------I
G-----------------4-2-3-1-------------------------I
D-------------------------4-2-3-1-----------------I
A---------------------------------4-2-3-1---------I
E-----------------------------------------4-2-3-1-I
At this point is to say, that all exercises should be done in the other direction. Here is how the exercise EX 6 would look like if you reverse it
EX 8a
  p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i p r m i
E-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-I
H---------------------------------4-3-2-1---------I
G-------------------------4-3-2-1-----------------I
D-----------------4-3-2-1-------------------------I
A---------4-3-2-1---------------------------------I
E-4-3-2-1-----------------------------------------I

EX 8b

  i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p i m r p
E-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------I
H---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------I
G-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------I
D-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------I
A---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------I
E-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-I
All exercises should be often reversed, because then the pinky is the leading finger! This improves the pinky and the whole technique as well. I'll come to an end now. If I find a "new" exercise, I will tell it. I hope that this contribution was helpfully and I'm sorry if there are mistakes in this text. See you, Martin Messner.
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