Finger Exercises For Guitar …. Developing Finger Independance part 1 (intermediate)

In Finger Exercises for guitar I (intermediate) am going to show you the possible combinations of fingerings to help you develop finger independence. Each exercise should be done slowly so all notes ring out properly and so that your fingers can get used to the new movements. If you want to do beginner exercises click here.

Each exercise should be done using a metronome starting at a slow tempo and increased after you can do each exercise without messing up. Some of these patterns will probably feel awkward at first but if you consistently make a conscious effort at a slow pace, it will eventually start to feel natural and then you can work on increasing the speed.

I am going to group these in patterns of finger start point. The first group of exercises will be starting with the 1st (index) finger. If you do not know the way our fret hand fingers are numbered, they are numbered as follows 1st finger = index finger 2nd finger = middle finger, 3rd finger = ring finger and 4th finger = pinkie.

Foundation of the exercises

We are going to have our 4 fingers above 4 frets and as we press one finger down we are going to lift the previous finger up. We will be starting on the top string and working our way down all the strings and once we get to the bottom string we will use the same pattern to work our way back up all the strings.

After we get back to the top string we are going to shift our position of our hand up one fret and repeat the process of working from the top string down to the bottom and back up to the top using the same fingering pattern. We will continue to repeat this up the neck patter and then once we get to the 12th fret we will reverse the process by using the same pattern from to string to bottom string and back and then position down a fret and repeat.

This is an ex tenuous exercise and after a while it may get boring so at the end of this lesson I will teach you ways to do the same sort of finger exercises different ways to make it more interesting if the same way does get boring and then I will teach you ways you can come up with your own ways to keep it interesting for you.

1st Week Finger exercises beginning with the first finger

1 way to make the exercise interesting

For the 1st week we will do all the combinations using the four fingers starting with our first finger.

Exercise one. Place your four fingers above fret 1 2 3 & 4 on the top string. Starting with your first finger, play fret one. Now with your 2nd finger play fret 2 ( as you place your 2nd finger on fret 2 lift your 1st finger off fret 1). Now place your 3rd finger on fret 3 while lifting your 2nd finger off fret 2 and then place your fourth finger on fret 4 as you lift your 3rd finger off fret 3.

Do the same thing on the 5th string starting at 1st fret with first finger, moving to 2nd fret 2nd finger, 3rd fret 3rd finger, 4th fret 4th finger. Then go down to 4th string and do the same thing followed by moving to 3rd string then 2nd string and then finally the bottom string.

Now that we are at the bottom string we are going to do the same pattern and work our way back up to the top string. Start with 1st fret 1st finger on 1st string and then play 2nd fret with 2nd finger on 1st. string, next 3rd finger 3rd fret and 4th finger 4th fret. Now we are going to do the same patern on the 2nd string, up to the 3rd string, then 4th string, 5th string and finally top string,

Now we are going to move our position up a fret so that our first finger is over fret 2 our 2nd finger over fret 3, 3rd finger over fret 4 and 4th finger over fret 5 and we are going to work our way down from the top string using the exact pattern as before and working the pattern on down each string until we reach the bottom string.

Again we are going to start at the bottom string, this time on 2nd fret with our 1st finger and then 3rd fret with our 2nd finger 4th fret with our 3rd finger and 5th. fret with our 4th finger. Do this same pattern on the 2nd string then move up to the 3rd string, 4th string 5th string and then top string.

Now we are going to move our hand position up another fret so our fingers are now above frets 3 4 5 & 6. Use the same finger pattern that we have been using and work your way down the strings to the bottom string and then work your way back up to the top string in the manner we have been doing

Move your hand position up another fret and continue down and back up the string using the same pattern we have been and repeat this process of moving the pattern down the strings, back up and then up a fret.

Spend at least a week on each pattern (longer if you need to) before you move on to the next fingering pattern, after you are comfortable with the 1st pattern and then the next pattern.

Fingering Patterns / Combintions

Here are combinations to work on after the first week/group. WorkSpend a week on each or until you can play them perfectly along with a metronome at a fast tempo (120+bpm)

  • 1 2 3 4……… 2 1 3 4……… 3 1 2 4……… 4 1 2 3
  • 1 2 4 3 ………2 1 4 3……… 3 1 4 2……… 4 1 3 2
  • 1 3 2 4 ………2 3 1 4……… 3 2 1 4 ………4 2 1 3
  • 1 3 4 2 ………2 3 4 1……… 3 2 4 1 ………4 2 3 1
  • 1 4 2 3……… 2 4 1 3 ………3 4 1 2……… 4 3 1 2
  • 1 4 3 2……… 2 4 3 1……… 3 4 2 1……… 4 3 2 1

There are all the patterns for 4 fingers, be sure to go from string to string and position to position so your fingers get use to the different size strings and frets up and down the neck.

Feel Free to Comment Below and See you next lesson.

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2 thoughts on “Finger Exercises For Guitar …. Developing Finger Independance part 1 (intermediate)

  1. Will

    This is such a great breakdown and something I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. I’ve been wanting to learn guitar so I will definitely reference this again!

    1. Mike Lanning Post author

      Thank you for the comment. If you’ve been wanting to learn, once you do reference again I have a similar page for beginner exercises which would be a stepping stone and help prepare your fingers prior to these intermediate exercises.

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