Fingers of Flying Fury

This lesson in the topic of triple F as it will now be called will twist your mind and shatter your brains

Ultimate Guitar
Hey there readers and welcome to this lesson on finger movement. I keep trying to pass off lessons on this stuff but it's a journey and I think this stuff is worth sharing.

Before you stop reading and call this another lesson on chromatic lessons, know that this is not one of those.

Take a riff you like and hold dear. Something in one hand position preferably at a manageable pace. Let's try a golden oldie:

That is the riff from "Crazy Train" for those of you who don't know it. For the rest of you, go learn that song now. This riff isn't tough, it's so slow and basic. I get that, but now play it overhand.

Yup. Hand over the top of the guitar neck, play it with your fingers swapped around and using your little finger for the 2nd fret position. Playing like this for those who don't really do it or haven't really tried it is super weird and almost frustrating to figure out. I experimented with this for a few riffs for my bands songs to look impressive on stage with (read: my ego needed stroking) and found that this highlighted some points in my playing:

My little finger was weak. I thought I muscled it up but it couldn't do much.
My fingers didn't know what to do in an unfamiliar environment. Not very good when I want to get out of a rut or learn a new song.
My hammer-ons and pull-offs were weak.

Take this riff off of "Travesty" by Haste the Day (L means tied note):
D |----------6---------6-----------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------|
F |--7L--7-8---8-7-5-7---7-8-0-5-7-------------------------|
C |-------------------------------------5-----7-----8------|
G |--------------------------------------------------------|
C |--------------------------------------------------------|

Playing this isn't very difficult in one position, but upside down is something else and is a new challenge to overcome on guitar.

I have been doing this kind of thing now for the better part of a week and a bit and I have to say it has opened up a whole new world of independence for my fingers on my fretting hand. It helped general technique and picking accuracy for me because now my brain was focused on getting it on time. Fingers also while confused now had a newer mastery on techniques and awkward fingerings.

This lesson is pretty short but it hopefully opens up a line of inspiration for your practice sessions. Fret scales or licks overhand to better get it into your memory and get your fingers fully independent by making them work both ways. Thank you for reading and I hope you take something useful away from this

Until next time. Keep rocking!

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is very ideal, I am looking for as many different types to get that independence. It's like expanding the box your in, the more space. The more freedom. What I did was looking at ridiculously hard classical guitar songs. Now that is a finger lacking independence buster! Check out GoliathGuitar and try stuff like A-Team and Let It Go, or whatever you favor. Those things are hardcore. Really good to build timing aswell Thanks for this lesson! I'll try it out