I've been playing over 3 years now. Been a bit lazy with practice due to motivation/depression or whatever.

Past few days i've really tried to practice getting my technique better so I can finally progress and notice a change.

I've got Speed Mechanics for lead guitar by Troy Stetina to work on general exercises properly and find things to use in developing a proper practice/warm up regime.

One thing i've noticed with my fingers in the years i've played is my middle and ring finger seem quite close together, I can feel them touch each other on the sides of the tips when I move them.

I thought i'd work on some stretching exercises and i've done some reading on the UG forum.
I noticed I don't keep my thumb right behind my fingers, its kept down the neck behind wherever my index/first finger is (if that makes sense). But I read it should be between the middle and ring finger and I believe i've noticed this in pictures in books and such.

Heres one problem I noticed. When doing this or even when doing it my old way, my index finger lays on the frets sideways slightly, not exactly on the tip.

Is this normal?
Also how can I get my two middle fingers to properly stretch? I can force my 2nd and 3rd on the 2nd and 3rd frets respectively but if I try lift and put them in that position using just my fingers my middle finger slides along towards the ring slightly.

Any ideas or tips?
My gear
ESP Horizon II FR (Seymour's with coil tap)
Wesley Explorer/Dominator

Ashdown Fallen Angel 40w DSP

BOSS DS-2 Turbo distortion
BOSS AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
its all about where your thumb naturally falls. if That is where your thumb naturally goes when you play and when your hand is totally relaxed then that is the right place for you. As long as you are not putting any unnecessary pressure on the guitar neck with your thumb you should be fine.

My thumb actually falls in between my thumb and index

As for stretching exercises: one simple one is to just play every other fret with your fingers

for example: 1st finger 5th fret, 2nd finger 7th fret, 3rd finger 9th fret, 4th finger 11th fret.

Just simply move your hands up or down the neck of the guitar to increase or decrease distance.

another simple one is stretch your fingers against the back of the neck of the guitar. Press your fingers against the neck with one finger fascing toward the body and the other facing toward the head stock and press. switching directions imagine opening a pair of scissors as wide as possible.
Another stretch is to do the same thing across the neck of the guitar. to do this simply force the neck of the guitar between two fingers.

Hope this info helps.
Last edited by Zayrank at Jun 13, 2010,
Try playing some wider intervals with those fingers. Watch John Petrucci's Rock Discipline (it's on Google Video). He has some great stretches in the first 20 minutes or so.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.