Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering

I always find these exercises boring where you just play chromatic frets up and down the strings, move up one position and so on. So I started thinking of more exciting ways of training fingering technique, string changing with alternate picking and learning scales.

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A note before beginning: Start SLOW! Your brain will memorize the motion way better if you play it slowly first. This will make your playing more satisfying as it will sound better, and that's what we all aim for, right? 2. Finger independence, changing strings, alternate picking Basic Rule for the following examples is: keep in the fingerset. The lowest fret in each example will be played by your index finger and so on. So I more or less by accident played a pretty nice lick for this. It is in E minor. You only need the d, g and b string for this one
e||---------------------------||
b||----------10---------------||
g||-9-11-12----12-11-9-11---||  <-- this means repeat
d||-------------------------||
a||---------------------------||
e||---------------------------||
So repeat this over and over again. It's quite hard to manage the middle and ring finger not getting mixed up, huh? Well, just keep it slow at first and you'll learn this one in no time. Now we have the same pattern just with the ring finger on the other string. And as we want to stay in key we move down (tonewise) So you'll get this:
e||---------------------------||
b||---------------------------||
g||---------11--------------||
d||-9-10-12----12-10-9-10---||
a||---------------------------||
e||---------------------------||
This again needs some getting used to. If you can play both of them seperately, piece the two together. Play the first one twice and the second one twice and then start over. The quick change of the two patterns will stick the thing up a notch. Push these patterns around the fretboard and you'll get some interesting melodies. I'll give you a few more examples of what you could do: E-minor lick:
e||------------------------||
b||------------------------||
g||------12-11-9-11----9-||
d||-9-10------------12---||
a||------------------------||
e||------------------------||
A (very) little E minor blues fill:
e|----------------|  / ------------ \
b|--------8-10----| |  --10b11r-8--  | could continue like this.
g|----7-9---------| |  ------------  |
a|----------------|  \ ------------ /
Another blues thing, just flip around the strings and rhythm:
b|-------------------------|
g|--11-10-8---8-10-8-10----| 
d|----------9--------------|
a|-------------------------|
A crazy example that sounds really proggy/jazzy/wierd :
e|------10----------12-10----|
b|------------11-12-------11-|
g|----9----12----------------|
I can't play this one very fast myself, it's just here to show you what you can do with some very simple "finger seperation" exercise. So you can do a heap of things with these little patterns. Just play around. Why not skip a string? Why not put a hammer-on or pull-off somewhere in there? You could play it in a 3/4 beat so there will not be this repetition at the end of the pattern. The first one in 3/4:
b|-----------10---------|
g|---9-11-12----12-11---|
Many opportunities lie before you :) You can also (I mean aditionally!) play guitar hero - sounds wierd, but believe me, it is good finger training, espacially on Expert Well, I hope you enjoyed this and it helped you get better. Of course all these things are easily played with alternate picking. May the force be with you T

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    HarvesterofPain
    Can we get this lesson in A minor? .> Ahem... Enough of that... Short lesson, but a good point. This will also help players break out of the annoying habit of "boxing" themselves in, something we were all guilty of for some time(or a LONG time).
    NightEagle
    Nice! You have to but concentration and time in it, but if you do... Gr8! Thank you so much.
    eljono123
    I don't mind fingering. It doesn't bore me that much as long as there is something on TV.
    discostud
    HarvesterofPain wrote: tarrei wrote: Didn't really think about the title well, too bad. HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor? for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string. It was actually a joke . A very bad joke, at that. "Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A Minor." *shrugs*
    +2
    link no1
    The title is dirty enough... but why is everything else written in a filthy way aswell?
    anideer
    After about a minute reading the comments, I actually realized what you were talking about fingering. My first thoughts aren't dirty. I didn't even think it that way until I read the comments. This IS about guitars, which involves your hands, so how could "fingering(the sexual way) actually come up while reading this site? haha
    gdp740
    anideer wrote: After about a minute reading the comments, I actually realized what you were talking about fingering. My first thoughts aren't dirty. I didn't even think it that way until I read the comments. This IS about guitars, which involves your hands, so how could "fingering(the sexual way) actually come up while reading this site? haha
    same with this guy hahahaha the moment i realized what you guys are talking i laughed hard xD OMG
    gdp740
    Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A note before beginning: Start SLOW! =-----= LOL !! xD
    tarrei
    NightEagle wrote: Nice! You have to but concentration and time in it, but if you do... Gr8! Thank you so much.
    finally a comment that'S not sexist! thanks for the thumbs up
    Aliens-exist182
    WeinerJohnson wrote: Did anyone else giggle at the name of the article?!?!?
    No, NOT ONE DAMN PERSON ur the only one.. -_-
    DimebagZappa
    Guitar hero for finger training? No. I can shred like buckethead and df on expert, and have gained nothing for it guitar wise. Except having to break an all downpicking habit. Rock band 3 fender controller sure... But its lame anyways.
    TheBrightBeast
    XD innuendo win (even though i knew what you meant) and what's with all the guitar hero hate? it's just a game..
    The_Waltermelon
    OK here goes.... my first post....."PUSSAHY" (now judging from the other post this should be fine)
    sandhya
    now I need to go back to the beginning....I learned this stuff 20 years ago, now I have to go back and relearn again..ah the aging mind...
    BDbrea03
    I start Loving this PAGE!!!! Its like All I need For Being a professional Guitarist like i want to be
    Vampire96
    lol picking on guitar hero.. just use a varigrip or grip master something..
    Good_Lord
    This reminds me of Alexi Laiho's T-Shirt : '' Guitar Players Finger Better ''
    KJKINFLAMES
    gotta love how more then half the posts are about fingering and not guitar playing... UG.... home of the pervs
    ExOblivione
    Well the article was a let down to the title. Hell, even the first paragraph was a cocktease. Thanks for nothing. ...Oh, good exercises by the way.
    krypticguitar87
    Dumpster510 wrote: these exercises are ok for beginners. but guitar hero? seriously? no. just no.
    I guess that would be why it is in the beginners section.... and why no on guitar hero? don't worry you don't need to answer because you wwont be able to give a good reason... guitar hero does help with finger independence and finger strength... and go ahead try to prove it doesn't, obviously it doesn't teach you how to play guitar, but I know it definately made my pinky a much more promenant finger...
    krypticguitar87
    KJKINFLAMES wrote: gotta love how more then half the posts are about fingering and not guitar playing... UG.... home of the pervs
    I don't think it's just UG, I'm pretty sure it's just the internet... I mean is't like 85% of online content pornographic....
    tarrei
    Didn't really think about the title well, too bad.
    HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor?
    for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string.
    Zeletros
    "play guitar hero - sounds wierd, but believe me, it is good finger training, espacially on Expert" Good for finger strength perhaps, bad for technique in general
    HarvesterofPain
    tarrei wrote: Didn't really think about the title well, too bad. HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor? for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string.
    It was actually a joke . A very bad joke, at that. "Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A Minor." *shrugs*
    EL2T
    HarvesterofPain wrote: tarrei wrote: Didn't really think about the title well, too bad. HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor? for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string. It was actually a joke . A very bad joke, at that. "Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A Minor." *shrugs*
    0_0
    ExOblivione
    HarvesterofPain wrote: tarrei wrote: Didn't really think about the title well, too bad. HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor? for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string. It was actually a joke . A very bad joke, at that. "Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A Minor." *shrugs*
    I would like to buy you a beer.
    MetalheadforJC
    At first I was all like then I was reading the comments and went . Shame on you pit dwellers, shame on you lol
    x3chaos
    ExOblivione wrote: HarvesterofPain wrote: tarrei wrote: Didn't really think about the title well, too bad. HarvesterofPain wrote: Can we get this lesson in A minor? for A minor either slide the 9th fret to the second or 14th fret. Since the first note of the First pattern is an E you can simply push the root note around the string. It was actually a joke . A very bad joke, at that. "Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering A Minor." *shrugs* I would like to buy you a beer.
    I second this.