Left Hand Exercises Part 4

Left Hand Exercises Part  4 Brought to you by: guitar.com

This set of exercises is specifically designed for four-fingered guitarists, which means most of us. In fact, if you've got four fingers, and you're not using all of them, consider this: Most of the celebrity guitar players I've interviewed in the past 15 years use all four fingers. I've often been surprised to find that certain players, who I thought might be the lazy, three-fingered kind, actually used all four fingers. Use only three fingers and you're cutting off 25 percent of your possibilities. Get that pinky workin'.

Exercise 1
Easy. Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, G at the 3rd fret with your third finger, and G-sharp at the 4th fret with your fourth finger. Play the same pattern up and down the strings, and all the way up the neck.

Exercise 2
Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, G at the 3rd fret with your third finger. Then play F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, G at the 3rd fret with your third finger, and G-sharp at the 4th fret with your fourth finger. Play this pattern up and down the strings, and all the way up the neck. Watch out for your alternate picking on this one.

Exercise 3
Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, G at the 3rd fret with your third finger, then stretch and play A at the 5th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat as usual.

Exercise 4
Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, G at the 3rd fret with your second finger, G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger, then A at the 5th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat as usual.

Exercise 5
Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, F-sharp at the 2nd fret with your second finger, G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger, and A at the 5th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat.

Exercise 6

Play F at the 1st fret with your first finger, G at the 3rd fret with your second finger, G-sharp at the 4th fret with your third finger, then A-sharp at the 6th fret with your fourth finger. Repeat.

All the exercises in this column, and those in the preceeding columns titled "Left Hand Exercises" Parts 1, 2, and 3 are meant to be part of your regular practice regimen. That doesn't necessarily mean you should play all these exercises every day, though you'd quickly become an incredibly agile and speedy player if you did. But unless you're playing six or eight hours a day, you won't have time to do more than a few of these each day. If that's the case, mix 'em up. Play all the stuff in Part 1 one day, Part 2 the next day, etc. Or, if you haven't been playing very long, play the drills in Part 1 for a week or two straight before going on to Part 2.

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