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Thread: Fixed Finger Exercise

  1. #1
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Fixed Finger Exercise

    Hi guys,

    here is another left-hand exercise I use sometimes. It is a fixed finger exercise.
    A fixed-finger exercise means that one or more fingers of the left hand are being moved, while the others stay down.
    A simple one:
    Put your first finger on the G-String, second fret. Put the middle finger on the 3rd fret, ring finger on the 4th, pinkie on the 5th fret.
    Now only move the first finger to the 4th string, second fret and start to do trills ( 2nd fret / open string ). The other three fingers remain on the G-String !
    After you have done those trills for half a minute, move the first finger back to the G-String. Now put the middle finger on the D-String, 3rd fret ( Again, the other fingers stay on the G-String ) and do trills... continue and do that will all four fingers.
    Now for the actual exercise I wanted to show you. Please make sure you´re warmed up before you do this one !!!
    OK, put your first finger onto the G-String, 1st fret, middle finger on the 2nd fret, ring finger on the third, pinkie on the 4th.
    Only the 1st finger is being moved now. Here´s the TAB of the exercise:



    Tough one, huh ?
    Well, check out the variation: Here, the 1st finger is returned to the G-string and stays there. The 2nd finger is the one being moved now:



    You can repeat those exercises with the third and fourth finger too ( I think the system is obvious ).
    As I said, warm up before you do this stuff, and also take some breaks in between. These kinda exercises may feel awkward at first, but they really help a lot to improve the "independence" of the left hand fingers, and also increase the flexibility of the left hand.
    Have fun !
    Warm regards
    Eric

  2. #2
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Eric,

    These are very nice exercises - cool.

    I got one too that I do from time to time and which my students call mind-boggling. It's actually just performed with the left hand.

    Put your first finger on the low e string, 1st fret, middle finger on 2nd fret, ring finger on the 3rd, pinkie on the 4th fret.

    Now lift your 1st finger off the neck while the others stay in place and put it back into the same position. Try the same with all other fingers. Best would be if someone else tells you which finger to lift.

    Now, let's do this with 2 fingers at the same time. Lift 1st and ring finger while middle finger and pinkie stay where they are - put them back down again. Then lift middle finger and pinkie or 1st and middle finger ....... Important is that you really watch that both fingers move at the same time.

    Then again lift 1st and ring finger but instead of putting them down on the E string, put them down on the A string. Then lift middle finger and pinkie off the E string and put them down on the D string. Lift 1st and ring finger off the A string and put them down on the g string, etc etc ... so it's like a crab walking over the fretboard.....

    I hope that came accross

    Guni

  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Pretty mind-booglind indeed
    Man, those are some finger-twisters... Ralph ( bassist of the EVB ) showed me one a while ago, gotta ask him to show it to me once more, I´ll post it here then.

    I mean, some people might wonder what those exercises do have to do with music, but I think that if you combine them with other kind of exercises and things to practise, it´ll help your playing quite a bit.
    Just my opinion though
    Warm regards
    Eric

  4. #4
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EricV
    I mean, some people might wonder what those exercises do have to do with music, but I think that if you combine them with other kind of exercises and things to practise, it´ll help your playing quite a bit.
    I also think that such exercises are helpful. I mean, they show that it's not only the muscles that make the fingers work but also the brain. Strengthening the ability to give clear orders from your brain to your fingers plays an important role.

    Guni

  5. #5
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    YIKES.


    Guni's exercise is monstrous!!

    In fact, all of them are!

    The person I have seen with the most finger independence was George Bellas...crazy.

    I'm sure other people have equal or better independence though
    Boogie On!

  6. #6
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    Yeah I've done something similar to Guni's exercise. In fact it's the same left hand movement, but you play actually the notes with the right hand so make sure you do it on time and strength (use metronome), in the beginning it is very hard. Try to find a way back wich is quite awkward and start again but one fret below, so in the 2nd fret of the low E string and go up and down along the neck chromatically (do it very slowly).

    Some nice (but mental) variations will help to stretch left hand fingers:

    _ same exercise but with different finger configuration:

    Put your first finger on the low e string, 9th fret, middle finger on 11th fret, ring finger on the 12th, pinkie on the 13th fret. Well I chose 9th because I feel comfortable there but you can start wherever you want and then do the exercise chromatically up and down (especially DOWN which becomes terribly sore...), becareful, never force, relax fingers periodically and go easy.

    Between the first finger and the middle there is a fret hole, so other combinations would be with the whole between the middle finger and the ring finger, and between the ring and the pinky one (quite mad this last one).

    I don't have my guitar here so I hope these exercises make some sense.

    These exercises will become really hard in an acoustic or classical guitar, but if you do them once a week or sometimes they will open your hand greatily and you will be able to play nice classical or flamenco which is actually nice and very hard guys. I'll post something nice about Flamenco one of this days.

    Regards. Have a good WE. I think I'm gonna be busy with all those Guni's mental-arpeggios....

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