Fret Pressing and Alternate Picking

Teaches you how to play with ring finger and pinky finger without hitting any other strings at your own pace with alternate picking. For people teaching themselves.

Fret Pressing and Alternate Picking
8
Play only as fast as your hand will let you without messing up. If you mess up you're playing too fast. Slow down. Play each fret with its corresponding finger (i.e. 4th fret is 4th finger, 3rd fret is 3rd finger and so on and so forth) also play with alternate picking. Play at a pace where you don't mess up then if you successfully play it at that pace speed up some.

The point I created this tab was to show how to play without messing up and letting your fingers touch other strings (which is what I had problems with) and to get better at speed and alternate picking as well as using your pinky and ring finger (that's why everything begins with 4). Use the tips of your fingers to play not the belly of them.

(continue to the next measures without stopping)
e|-----------4-4---------------------3-3-----------|
B|---------4-----4-----------------3-----3---------|
G|-------4---------4-------------3---------3-------|
D|-----4-------------4---------3-------------3-----|
A|---4-----------------4-----3-----------------3---|
E|-4---------------------4-3---------------------3-|

e|-----------2-2---------------------1-1-----------|
B|---------2-----2-----------------1-----1---------|
G|-------2---------2-------------1---------1-------|
D|-----2-------------2---------1-------------1-----|
A|---2-----------------2-----1-----------------1---|
E|-2---------------------2-1---------------------1-|

e|-----------------------------------------4-3-2-1-|
B|---------------------------------4-3-2-1---------|
G|-------------------------4-3-2-1-----------------|
D|-----------------4-3-2-1-------------------------|
A|---------4-3-2-1---------------------------------|
E|-4-3-2-1-----------------------------------------|

e|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------|
B|---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------|
G|-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------|
D|-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------|
A|---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------|
E|-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-|

e|---------------------4-2-2-4---------------------|
B|-----------------4-2---------2-4-----------------|
G|-------------4-2-----------------2-4-------------|
D|---------4-2-------------------------2-4---------| 
A|-----4-2---------------------------------2-4-----|
E|-4-2-----------------------------------------2-4-|

e|---------------------3-1-1-3---------------------|
B|-----------------3-1---------1-3-----------------|
G|-------------3-1-----------------1-3-------------|
D|---------3-1-------------------------1-3---------|
A|-----3-1---------------------------------1-3-----|
E|-3-1-----------------------------------------1-3-|

e|---------------------2-3-3-2---------------------|
B|-----------------2-3---------3-2-----------------|
G|-------------2-3-----------------3-2-------------|
D|---------2-3-------------------------3-2---------|
A|-----2-3---------------------------------3-2-----|
E|-2-3-----------------------------------------3-2-|

e|---------------------4-1-1-4---------------------|
B|-----------------4-1---------1-4-----------------|
G|-------------4-1-----------------1-4-------------|
D|---------4-1-------------------------1-4---------|
A|-----4-1---------------------------------1-4-----|
E|-4-1-----------------------------------------1-4-|
Now play in reverse.

I am still not good at this. I try to practice it every day. I play it slow still and play it twice then take a few minutes break for my fingers to unstick then play it again and keep repeating that. I'll get better eventually right! It cant make me get worse. I've only played guitar for two months (if you can even say I play it) and I'm teaching myself so I figured anything I can do to help myself would benefit others as well. Hope it works for you. Maybe if you get good enough at it then you can try playing it with hammers and pull offs.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    jules.cournoyer
    I love our siteI pay by the month but Your system do not recognysw mw the usual way I have to use facebook.....how to fix that problem
    kdragoo
    Ethan, thanks so much for this very useful exercise. I'm picking up learning guitar again after I took a class a number of years ago. This is a great daily activity for a beginner, and very much like exercises we did for my class. Someone who uses this will be able to see improvement in the accuracy of picking on the right hand as well as the fingering on the left--not to mention how nicely it will aid in the initial process of building calluses. Really helpful, almost a replacement for a handout I got from a class I paid to take from a pro. I know from my experience then that doing things like this every day is the way to make meaningful progress toward making music. : thanks
    Clydelee
    This reminds me of permutations across the fretboard, interesting way to get your fingers more comfortable for those odd movements and awkward positions you can find yourself in when playing, i still always find it very difficult to get the tip of my pinky(4th) finger on the string as opposed to the "belly" of it. The beginning of this lesson confuses me though, why is it a good idea to use the same finger all the way up and down over the same fret position? Seems odd/impractical but i might not be getting the point either...
    michael.parent.
    I liked it. Very simple and straight forward. I've been playing for a number of years and even I found this neat as an exercise to sharpen up and strengthen the fingers and flexibility.
    donnyb123
    so each different set of numbers is a different fret? Am I right, I just picked up a guitar last year and want to learn to read tabs any and all tips are appreciated thanks
    azrael4h
    Pretty much. So if you see --1----3----1 -----2----2- ----- ----- ----- --- -- It means play the first fret on the first string (high e assuming standard tuning), 2nd fret on second (or B string), 3rd of high e, then so forth. There's usually a lot of other notes in tabs, like p (for pull off), h (hammer on), and /\ for slides, but often enough whoever tabbed it will have a handy key on the tab somewhere.
    azrael4h
    Also, people who are much better at tabbing things will make it not look like utter crap.
    jaredmcd
    azrael4h, I've only been playing for a few months but from what I've gathered from reading this website, what you called the 'high e assuming standard tuning' is usually referred to as the low e string. I found it infuriating at first because it is the higher pitch, but the proper way to talk about it is how it is set up on the fret board, rather than the pitch. Just like working "UP" the fret board means going to higher numbered frets, even though intuitively it seems like you're moving down the neck of the guitar since the headstock of the guitar is raised.
    yousef213
    This is only useful IF you also use it to find as little force as you need to play the notes. Learn the feel and apply the absolute least amount of pressure you can the get a clean note. This will reduce left hand tension and fatigue and help you play faster