Doing this, but after I do the 5,6,7,8 I keep my second, third and fourth fingers on the 6, 7, and 8th frets while my first finger goes down a string to the next 5th fret.

It's actually hard for me to do, as I have to do it slow to keep my other fingers from moving and coming off the fretboard.

I believe this is helping my finger dependency, as I have been playing poorly and have very shitty dependency with my 3rd and 4th finger.

Am I right? Or is that wrong?
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Independence is the correct term; that they can work independently from each other.

What you should really be doing is only using one finger at a time; don't leave them fretted. Only have tension in the finger for the duration of the note being played. Also, don't "move" your finger to its resting position; relax it.
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If you haven't watched this, do - www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvhZ80OsuTQ

When you're fretting the 8th fret, are you still fretting the 5th-7th? Or are your fingers just relaxed?

Basically, the former is bad, the latter is good.

You don't need to do specific exercises, this one is okay. You can do it with any lick or riff, although it's best if it uses all four fingers.
The permutations of chromatics is endless. Anything you can do to become independant on the fretboard is good in my opinion.

After you get the straight 1-2-3-4 down....mix it up by changing the when you stop from forwards to backwards. Unfortunately, this is the place where most get frustrated with the instrument and put it down. Hang in there, after you practice till you are blue in the face, push forward and do it some more.
Last edited by RCShadow at May 31, 2011,
Ya i personally like it because it uses all four fingers in one excercise, whereas some licks only use two fingers.
I was going to answer the question but i forgot what it was on account of RCShadow's avatar...
+1 and all that for only fretting with one finger at a time

Other than that, I'd say that you might want to focus more on the 3rd and 4th finger if you really want to work on them more.

Perhaps something like this?


Just make up exercises that are weird to play and you'll definitely get them more up to speed.
Space out frets more as you please and don't shy away from trying to make things sound a bit musical (or weirder!) either for that matter

Remember, however, that the pinky and ring finger share a tendon (I think Guthrie Govan said that in one of his books anyway..), so you'll never get them quite as independent as the other fingers.
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I was going to answer the question but i forgot what it was on account of RCShadow's avatar...

Same here.... all of a sudden I've got a dry mouth and dont know where I am...
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one of the best thing you can do for your finger Independence - trills.

Frets as follows. One finger - one fret.


now the best one
3-(4trill) (ring finger on 3rd fret, pinky "trilling" fourth) with this dont rush and dont get your pinky and whole hand tensed up. At first there may be very little sound produced, because your pinky isnt strong enough to hit the note without the help of wrist rolling.Try it slowly till your muscles have strength to go faster.

End with

Go to the next string. When done on all six - move one fret up and go through all strings again. Make at least 5 shifts.


Why keep fretting notes is bad? I used to do that to keep fingers from flying away from fret board (keep minimal movement) and it helped!

By the way, great lessons! Really helpful.
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Why keep fretting notes is bad? I used to do that to keep fingers from flying away from fret board (keep minimal movement) and it helped!

Because it's a lot more work!

If you only need to play the 8th fret and you're fretting the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, you're doing 4 times as much work as is necessary - not to mention that while your fingers may not be "flying away", it's going to be very tricky to "unclamp" and then move them with any dexterity.
Freepower is right and his video is a great introduction to finger independence principles. (I recommend watch the whole thing)

To me finger independence is primarily:

1 - individual finger strength
2 - the ability to keep other fingers relaxed while using one finger. (minimal involuntary movements)

Many people concentrate on #1 with trills, and that is highly effective.
But trills alone do not help #2.

So here are a few more exercises for learning to keep fingers relaxed...
Take any 3-4 note-per-string pattern (variety is good). You're going to play through it very slowly. Put your hand in position on the neck, and completely relax the hand.
- Now pick the first note and keep it fretted.
- while the fretting the note, let your other fingers go limp, don't worry if they hit the fretboard this is only an exercise. Just release all tension from the hand except the single fretted note.
- Next (still fretting that note) extend all your other fingers and wiggle them around.
- After that, go back to relaxed state... Let all other fingers fall down again.
- Finally, gently release the note you are fretting.
- Fully relax your hand again, and move the the next note in the pattern. Reapeat.

(It should take up to 5 minutes to get across all strings - take it slow)

Another exercise that has helped me...
Place your fingers on B string frets 9-12, but do not press down. just touch the string.
- now lift your index finger and being hammering and pulling off fret 9 of the G string very slowly.
- At the same time, try to leave the other fingers just touching the B string (neither pressing nor pulling away)
- Do that for a minute, then relax and return finger to touching the B string.
- Now repeat the same with all other fingers at their corresponding frets, 1 minute each. (again take it slow)
This is a great exercise because it demands that un-used fingers stay completely relaxed - while at the same time developing fully independent use of a single finger.

But it's very important to understand the goal of the exercise.
If any of that is difficult or impossible for you right now... do not force fingers into position.
Just let them be, and do the best you can.
If any fingers are not staying put, it's because your not able to keep them relaxed and separated yet.
So forcing that will not help... you'll just tense up your hand in the process (defeating the purpose).

But practice these and other relaxation techniques a little bit every day and it gets easier over time.
These are motor skills that don't come naturally to most people, so they need to be trained in.
hope that helps.