Finger Stretching for Diligent

Stretching your fingers like you never stretched them before.

Finger Stretching for Diligent
5
So, you've came across all the "1234" exercises, all finger stretching lessons and endless licks? You might want to take your stretching to another level. Human fingers are amazing tools and, if exercised properly, can do amazing things. Let's start with Yngwie Malmsteen's famous lick. He mostly uses minor harmonic scales in his playing, and has some interesting fingerwork:
E|-16-15-13-------------------------------------------------------------
B|----------16-15-13-12-13-15-13-12-------------------------------------
G|----------------------------------12-13-12-10-------------------------
D|----------------------------------------------13-12-10-9-10-12-10-9---
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------11
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------
...c..a..i..c..a..m..i..m..a..m..i..a..c..a..i..c..a..m..i.m..a..m..i.a.
(the last line is fingering: i-index finger, m-middle finger, a-ring finger, c-pinky) This is the intro to Malmsteen's renowned "Suite Opus 5". As you can see, he is using somewhat uncommon fingering - he is separating the middle and ring finger two frets apart (which can be pretty tough thing to do). It can show pretty useful in long stretches to have those fingers separable. *** Now, let's turn to some Buckethead's stuff. Buckethead is an American virtuoso guitarist, praised by many fellow guitarists on the UG and beyond. He has one of the largest pair of hands ever seen on guitarist, and his stretches can be insane. Let's see some of his classic long-handed licks:
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------
B|---------10-------------10-------------------------------------------
G|-----11----11--11---11----11--11-------9-------------9---------------
D|---12--12----12---12--12----12-----12---12--12---12---12--12---------
A|-10--------------9---------------10--10---10---10--10---10-----------
E|--------------------------------7-------------8----------------------
(I think you can figure out the fingering on your own.) This is intro melody to "Waiting Hare". While the stretch goes only 5 frets apart, it takes some balls to play it flawlessly.
E|-------------------------------------------          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
B|------------------------------------------.          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
G|-------------------------------------------          
 |3x-------------------------------------------------  
D|-------------------------------------------          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
A|------------------------------------------.          
 |---------------------------------------------------  
E|-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-          
 |--0h5h10-10p5p0-0h5h10-10p5p0-0h3h8-8p3p0-0h3h8-8p3p0
(You should play the lower note with index finger and higher with pinky) This is the infamous "Siege Engine" lick, which should be played at pretty high speed. F--ked up lick, I must say. Buckethead is really showing off his long hands on this one. *** Everyone knows about Shawn Lane's insane dimished shredding? Well, if you don't, here is a nice little exercise for you.
E|---------------------------------12-15-18---------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------12-15-18------------------------------
D|----------------11-14-17--------------------------------------
A|--------10-13-16----------------------------------------------
E|-9-12-15------------------------------------------------------
(fingering is index-middle-pinky on everything) This should be played as fast as possible to achieve Shawn Lane's "spaceship" sound, which he is known for. However, it's a pretty damn long stretch that many people wonder how the heck could Shawn Lane play it with his medium hands? Well, practice makes perfect. *** For the end, here is a nice lick I have figured out on myself.
E|--------------------------------------------------12-14-15-17-
B|--------------------------------------10-12-13-15-------------
G|----------------------------7-9-11-12-------------------------
D|-------------------5-7-9-10-----------------------------------
A|-----------3-5-7-9--------------------------------------------
E|-0-2-3-5-7----------------------------------------------------
.....i.m.a.c.i.m.a.c.i.m.a..c.u.m..a..c.i..m..a..c..i..m..a..c..
...hope you get the idea. *** This was my first lesson I have contributed on UG, since I am currently in mood for giving away free knowledge, which is a rare occasion. Heh heh. Hope I haven't helped you at all. :)

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Livingtime
    ah, I love finger stretching, there's so much to do with it! Paul Gilbert makes good use of it with string skipping and Rusty Cooley has some extremely frightening legato licks too!
    jai_kali
    Always love that Shawn Lane lick. He used a variant at the cadenza of his "Watchtower" solo that floors me every time I hear it.
    lightdark
    It's good, but where's the third Buckethead lick?
    TheNameOfNoone
    It seems it didn't turn out quite good, my apologies. E|-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h7h12-12p7p0-0h5h10 E|-10p5p0-0h5h10-10p5p0-0h3h8-8p3p0-0h3h8-8p3p0 This is the lick separated in two lines. It is played only on the low E string. If you are confused, watch this live video of Buckethead playing Siege Engine, the lick I'm talking about is at 1:43