Finger Independence

The following are what I do that really gives each individual finger a workout, while also working on your stretching and string skipping skills.

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Well, after a significant break from playing guitar, I've been practicing a lot with the ol' axe lately. One thing in particular stood out to me as I've been trying to get back into shapethings were proceeding slower than they normally would. And then I remembered what I used to do that sped up the process by a factor of ten. Finger Independence exercises. The following are what I do that really gives each individual finger a workout, while also working on your stretching and string skipping skills. To start off with, take a finger pair and set it on the high E-string on the fifth fret. Your two remaining fingers should find a resting spot on the D-string. It'll look something like this:
E--------5,8---------------|
B--------------------------|
D--------6,7---------------|
A--------------------------|
E--------------------------|
Now, without moving any other fingers, move your pinky finger from the 8th fret on the E-string to the 8th fret on the A-string. Clearly play a note with your pinky, then a note with your index finger, bring your pinky down to the E-string 8th fret and play a note, then play a note with your index finger. Repeat the process a couple times. The corresponding figure should sound something like this: Repeat Remember, you're not moving any finger besides your pinky when you're doing this. Make sure you're able to play every note cleanly, and make sure that the fingers on the 6th and 7th fret are still fretting solidly. The goal is to engage your moving finger individually. When you've finished with that pair, move on to another pair until you've done this for all the pairs (so play 5 7 5 7, 5 6 5 6, 6 7 6 7, 6 8 6 8, 7 8 7 8 as in the second figure). Do that for a total of fifteen minutes each day and you will notice a significant improvement in the coordination of each of your individual fingers. They will be stronger and more limber than before. As the D string becomes easier and easier to rest your non-engaged fingers on, move them to the A string. Contrarily, if you're having troubles resting them on the D string, move them down to the G string. That should be all you need to give your fingers a good workout. Hope this helpsgood luck with your playing!

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    LP94
    This confuses the hell out of me... It's like... Yea..
    BlaqIc3
    CombatWombat 95 wrote: U know what helped me? intro to Master Of puppets
    You speak words of wisdom
    radiovideo
    CombatWombat 95 wrote: U know what helped me? intro to Master Of puppets
    Definitely.
    Just1Guitarist
    CombatWombat 95 wrote: U know what helped me? intro to Master Of puppets
    To warm up, I always play that intro.
    guitarsftw
    Freepower has a video lesson on finger independence that is MUCH better than this. I suggest people view that.
    strat0blaster
    Looks/sounds to me like you're just telling us to do trills... I could be misunderstanding - it's pretty confusing, IMO.
    SilverSpurs616
    I dont understand what you're saying here, which is a shame because it sounds a very interesting topic =/
    Zeppelin Addict
    i agree with what is being said by herrmagnum.. its not conveyed well, youre tab could at least show the progression of the exercise, not to mention you left the G string completely out. :s i believe i know what youre saying and ill probably give it a try as it looks like a good idea, but its not goin to work if noone else gets it.
    David Blackbird
    I believe he's saying this: keeping your 2nd and 3rd fingers anchored to the third string, 6th and 7th frets, play this: e---5-8-5---5-8-5-| B-----| G-----| D-----| A-8 -----8-----| E-----| Then, keeping 2nd and 4th fingers anchored to third string, 6th and 8th frets, play this: e---5-7-5---5-7-5-| B-----| G-----| D-----| A-7 -----7-----| E-----| and repeat with all fingers
    eliterun
    It got hacked in the transfer. Here is the second figure that got chopped, as well as a clarification on finger pairs. E-----5----8----5----| B-----| Fig 2: G-----| D-----| Repeat A-----8-----| E-----| E-----5----7----5----| B-----| G-----| D-----| Repeat (you're simply doing other finger pairs) A-----7-----| E-----|
    HerrMagnum
    This lesson is really confusing and although you might know what you are talking about, you don't really convey it well. Also you refer to a second figure which isn't there so the (5 7 5 7, 5 6 5 6, etc.) is unclear. What 'finger pairs'? It would be easier to just say index on 5th fret high E, pinky 8th fret high E, etc instead of assuming we know what pair of fingers to use. I also don't see how this increases the independence of all your fingers if you are just moving your pinky? Sorry to be so harsh, because I'll bet this is a good exercise and you are trying to help others out, but it is just too confusing.