This finger stretching exercise could either be really easy or really difficult for you, depending a lot on your anatomy! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle with this. We’ve all got different hands and fingers, so even if you have to work a bit harder at this than some others might, just remember – you’re doing just fine!
This exercise is great for finger strength, finger flexibility, working your little finger, developing the muscles in your hand, developing finger independence, and more!
We’re going to be using all down-picks for this exercise. If it helps, use your pinky finger to anchor down your picking hand.
- Starting on the 5th fret, place your 1st finger down on the thickest string and pick.
- Next, leave your 1st finger down and place your 2nd finger one fret higher and pick.
- Then add Finger 3 and pick it (keeping Fingers 1 and 2 in position)
- Lastly, add Finger 4 while of course keeping all the fingers in position.
- Check the fingers are spread correctly and the palm of your hand is more or less parallel to the fretboard.
- Hold the fingers there for a second and make sure you are feeling a bit of a stretch, but no pain!
- If this feels too much of a stretch you could try moving it up the fretboard to start on Fret 8.
- Repeat the process on the next string down, and continue.
- When you’re comfortable doing thew whole exercise at Fret 5, start moving the exercise down the fretboard until you’re able to do it starting from the 1st fret.
Keep In Mind…
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of this exercise.
- This is NOT a speed exercise! Take your time and do this one slowly. Think of it as yoga for your fingers. Your movements should be steady and deliberate. Focus on doing it properly rather than quickly.
- Keep your fingers parallel to one another as best you can. The natural tendency will be for the fingers to start slanting in one direction or another. This is totally normal, so don’t get too frustrated if you find yourself doing this at first. It will get easier the more the do the exercise.
- Keep your fingers roughly where they should be. That just means to have your fingers sort of lined up and ready to place on the string as you work through the exercise. No flailing fingers!
- This is a finger stretch exercise, not a finger pain exercise! Yes, you should feel a good stretch while doing it, but if it gets to be too painful, either take it more slowly or just stop and rest for a bit. It really shouldn’t hurt very much.
- Always be forgiving with yourself. We’re all built differently, so some things will be more difficult for you than they will be for others, just as things will be easier for you than they will be for others!