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Left Hand Exercises Part 3

Left Hand Exercises Part  3 Brought to you by: guitar.com

Now we're gettin' to the difficult stuff. Here's a bunch more exercises along the line of "Left Hand Exercises" Part 1 and Part 2 that will challenge your abilities and your patience, but reward you with stronger, faster, fleeter fingers.

Exercise 1
Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, then G at the 3rd fret with your second finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger. Repeat this same shape up and down the strings, and all the way up the neck. For most people, this exercise will be pretty simple. The next one won't.

Exercise 2

Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, then F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger. Don't worry about what your first and second fingers do when you reach for the G-sharp with your third finger. Just make sure you play the notes. Repeat up and down the strings, all the way up the neck.

Exercise 3
Play F at the 1st fret with your second finger, then G at the 3rd fret with your third finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat as usual. This can be a really difficult stretch, but it will help you get a separation between your second and third fingers, which on most people's hands, seem almost welded together.

Exercise 4
Play F at the 1st fret with your second finger, then F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your third finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat. These fingers tend to be a little spastic, but this exercise will teach 'em a thing or two.

Exercise 5
This is an extreme stretch exercise, which will benefit you during solos high on the neck. But you should practice it low to really get the full extension. Play F at the 1st fret on the sixth string with your first finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger, then A-sharp at the 6th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat as usual.

Exercise 6
More extreme stuff - even more extreme than Exercise 5. Play F at the 1st fret on the sixth string with your first finger, then G-sharp at the 4th fret with your second finger, then B at the 7th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat 'til you can't stand it no more. This one is actually useful because it outlines a diminished triad, which sounds evil, ominous, and devilish. It might be difficult low on the neck, but up high will sound really cool.

You don't have to practice these things until your fingers bleed. But then again, no pain, no gain - right? But just like an athlete who doesn't warm up first, you can literally hurt yourself by playing too much, too fast. Don't become a victim of tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These things sound like jokes and copouts when your friends tell you they have them. They're not. Your friends might be joking, but these are real problems that real players get. Typists get them too. Take them seriously. Work out on the exercises in Parts 1 and 2 a lot before you start fooling around with the stretchy stuff in Part 3.

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