Finger Stretching for Diligent

author: TheNameOfNoone date: 04/02/2013 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8 / votes: 7 
Finger Stretching for Diligent
So, you've came across all the "1234" exercises, all finger stretching lessons and endless licks? You might want to take your stretching to another level. Human fingers are amazing tools and, if exercised properly, can do amazing things. Let's start with Yngwie Malmsteen's famous lick. He mostly uses minor harmonic scales in his playing, and has some interesting fingerwork:
E|-16-15-13-------------------------------------------------------------
B|----------16-15-13-12-13-15-13-12-------------------------------------
G|----------------------------------12-13-12-10-------------------------
D|----------------------------------------------13-12-10-9-10-12-10-9---
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------11
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------
...c..a..i..c..a..m..i..m..a..m..i..a..c..a..i..c..a..m..i.m..a..m..i.a.
(the last line is fingering: i-index finger, m-middle finger, a-ring finger, c-pinky) This is the intro to Malmsteen's renowned "Suite Opus 5". As you can see, he is using somewhat uncommon fingering - he is separating the middle and ring finger two frets apart (which can be pretty tough thing to do). It can show pretty useful in long stretches to have those fingers separable. *** Now, let's turn to some Buckethead's stuff. Buckethead is an American virtuoso guitarist, praised by many fellow guitarists on the UG and beyond. He has one of the largest pair of hands ever seen on guitarist, and his stretches can be insane. Let's see some of his classic long-handed licks:
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------
B|---------10-------------10-------------------------------------------
G|-----11----11--11---11----11--11-------9-------------9---------------
D|---12--12----12---12--12----12-----12---12--12---12---12--12---------
A|-10--------------9---------------10--10---10---10--10---10-----------
E|--------------------------------7-------------8----------------------
(I think you can figure out the fingering on your own.) This is intro melody to "Waiting Hare". While the stretch goes only 5 frets apart, it takes some balls to play it flawlessly.
E|-------------------------------------------          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
B|------------------------------------------.          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
G|-------------------------------------------          
 |3x-------------------------------------------------  
D|-------------------------------------------          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
A|------------------------------------------.          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
E|-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-          
 |--0h5h10-10p5p0-0h5h10-10p5p0-0h3h8-8p3p0-0h3h8-8p3p0
(You should play the lower note with index finger and higher with pinky) This is the infamous "Siege Engine" lick, which should be played at pretty high speed. F--ked up lick, I must say. Buckethead is really showing off his long hands on this one. *** Everyone knows about Shawn Lane's insane dimished shredding? Well, if you don't, here is a nice little exercise for you.
E|---------------------------------12-15-18---------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------12-15-18------------------------------
D|----------------11-14-17--------------------------------------
A|--------10-13-16----------------------------------------------
E|-9-12-15------------------------------------------------------
(fingering is index-middle-pinky on everything) This should be played as fast as possible to achieve Shawn Lane's "spaceship" sound, which he is known for. However, it's a pretty damn long stretch that many people wonder how the heck could Shawn Lane play it with his medium hands? Well, practice makes perfect. *** For the end, here is a nice lick I have figured out on myself.
E|--------------------------------------------------12-14-15-17-
B|--------------------------------------10-12-13-15-------------
G|----------------------------7-9-11-12-------------------------
D|-------------------5-7-9-10-----------------------------------
A|-----------3-5-7-9--------------------------------------------
E|-0-2-3-5-7----------------------------------------------------
.....i.m.a.c.i.m.a.c.i.m.a..c.u.m..a..c.i..m..a..c..i..m..a..c..
...hope you get the idea. *** This was my first lesson I have contributed on UG, since I am currently in mood for giving away free knowledge, which is a rare occasion. Heh heh. Hope I haven't helped you at all. :)
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