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what are your "standard finger exercises" ?


(@dennett340)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 44
Topic starter  

Hi guys,
What's the Hanon method for guitar?
Meaning- what are the most important fundamental, technical, mechanical exercises that you work on regularly to keep your fingers in shape?

At this moment, the ones I have learned are the chromatic scale, the major scales in 12 keys, various types of arpeggios, and different strumming patterns.
Am I missing anything here?

Thanks.


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(@tuna-melt)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 40
 

Sweep picking, speed picking, string skipping, and tapping...maybe...


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I practice finger independence a lot. Real simple, I play one finger per fret with a metronome. I try to cover all the possible orders.

Starting with index finger

1234
1243
1324
1342
1423
1432

Starting with middle finger

2134
2143
2314
2341
2413
2431

You can see the pattern.

Some are super easy like 1234, I can play sixteenth notes at 160 BPM or better. But some are difficult like 1324. I practiced this today, do pretty well up to about 110 BPM, over that I make a few mistakes.

But I try to spend time on the difficult patterns. I start at a slow speed like 80 BPM and slowly speed up. My goal is to play any pattern at at least 160 BPM.

I also practice crossing strings, inside picking, little bit of arpeggios, not much. Finger independence is the big goal for me.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

Wes's spider exercise is really good.

I normally run through two octave major, harmonic and melodic minor, and chromatic scales in all keys, and do a couple of melody lines. It's basically the fretboard knowledge part of my Grade 7 classical guitar exam (coming up next month - wish me luck), and it really gets the fingers working. Quarter notes at 288 bpm using alternating i-m fingers.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Usually I practice the Wes's exercise ans also this one:

||-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
||-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
||------------------------------------------1-0-1--2-1-2--3-2-3--4-3-4--5-4-5--
||--1-0-1---2-1-2---3-2-3---4-3-4---5-4-5--------------------------------------
I I M I M A M A P A P P A P

It is call "Tárrega's chromatic exercise". I remeber my teacher (first time I tried to learn, more than 20 years ago!) made we repeat it continuously.

I is for index, M for middle, A for "anular"/ring and P for pinky. The numbers indicate the fret. I run all the strings, up and down, chromatic (the G string goes to the 4th fret).

Nuno


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

It's basically the fretboard knowledge part of my Grade 7 classical guitar exam (coming up next month - wish me luck),

Best,

A :-)

Our luck is always with you. I am sure you will pass with flying colours. The day's not far when you are a certified grade 8 player.

Hope we are having a party when you clear Grade 8 !


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(@gerry)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 441
 

Usually I practice the Wes's exercise ans also this one:

||-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
||-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
||------------------------------------------1-0-1--2-1-2--3-2-3--4-3-4--5-4-5--
||--1-0-1---2-1-2---3-2-3---4-3-4---5-4-5--------------------------------------
I I M I M A M A P A P P A P

It is call "Tárrega's chromatic exercise". I remeber my teacher (first time I tried to learn, more than 20 years ago!) made we repeat it continuously.

I is for index, M for middle, A for "anular"/ring and P for pinky. The numbers indicate the fret. I run all the strings, up and down, chromatic (the G string goes to the 4th fret).

Nuno

Thanks Nuno I'll try that, normally I just flex my fingers until they stop creaking.

Gerry

Those who can't dance always blame the band.

http://www.gerrycooper.com/


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Thanks Nuno I'll try that, normally I just flex my fingers until they stop creaking.

I think the warming phase is important when we make activities with our muscles. In a DVD of Scorpions, Rudolf Schenker shows some warming exercises, I think is "Acoustica". He puts a "C major"-like chord and change to an "inverted" or "mirrored" form (the index in the lower strings, the pinky in the upper ones). He makes the changes continuosly, over all the fret, up and down, from 1st to 12th and back, and very fast!

In the Tárrega's exercise, you must keep the fingers over the strings. I mean, in the 323 position, the index and middle are always over the string, you must not raise the index.

Nuno


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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 559
 

Other than stretching my fingers before I play, my exercises are pretty much like those that Wes does, only slower.


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Here is a challenging little Country riff that uses inside picking. I play this in 12 bar Blues form, I will start the same riff at the 5th fret for D, and the 7th fret for E. I can't just do exercises, I like to play something musical when I practice. Make sure to start with an upstoke and continue alternate picking.


Classic Country riff with inside picking in A

e------------------------------------
b----2r----3i----3-----4i----5i----5-
g-2m----2-----4m---5m-----5-----6----
d------------------------------------
a------------------------------------
e------------------------------------
1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3
u d u d u d u d u d u d continue pattern

e------------------------------------
b----5----5-----5-----4------3-----3-
g-6----6-----6-----5-----5------4----
d------------------------------------
a------------------------------------
e------------------------------------
1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3

e------------------------------------
b----3-----5-----5-----3-----2-------
g-4-----4-----6-----4----4---2-------
d------------------------------------
a------------------------------------
e------------------------------------
1 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 4 2 3

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@astonefox)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 75
 

I remember a story in a documentary about blues guys keeping their chops up while in prison by playing this exercise

1234
4321
1434
2414
start at fret one, sixth string and proceed to at least the 12th fret, and back...

Most said to their surprise they came out better than when they went in. Also fredrick noad recommended the same one saying "it's all you need," and I do what fred says. RIP.


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

i play what i know, then i add what i don't know to it.

then usually a passing gnat or something pulls my attention away.


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(@ab0msnwman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 125
 

there is a great exercise that I got from a Steve Morse (jazzer/rocker/all around badass) column a few months back.

This is a classically inspired piece that works out many things--arpeggio execution and alternate picking especially.

While Wes' exercises ARE good for working on your speed those exercises get really boring. I have found that little etudes like these achieve even better results and sound really really impressive. Even if you guys hate this classical stuff you'll still wow all your friends pulling this one out.

It will take A LOT of practice to play this one clean and fast though, so start slow and make sure you hit EVERY note before speeding up! have fun!

here it is---


Morse Drill

PLAY IN EIGHTH NOTE TRIPLETS

E||--------------------------------------|
B||-----------------------------5--------|
G||--------4--------4--------4-----4-----|
D||--2--5-----2--5-----2--5-----------5--|
A||--------------------------------------|
E||--------------------------------------|

--------------------------------------|--------------------2--------3--------|
-----------------------------2--3-----|-----------5-----------5--------5-----|
--3-----------------3--------------4--|--------4-----4-----------4--------4--|
-----4-----------4-----4--------------|--2--5-----------5--------------------|
--------4-----4-----------4-----------|--------------------------------------|
-----------2--------------------------|--------------------------------------|

-----------------------2-----2--3--5--|--7--3-----------3--7--3-----------3--|
--------------------------6-----------|--------5-----5-----------5-----5-----|
--------------4--3--4-----------------|-----------4-----------------4--------|
-----4--3--4--------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--2-----------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

--5-----------------5-----------------|--3--------3--------3--------3--------|
-----7-----------7-----7-----------7--|-----5--------5--------5--------5-----|
--------8-----8-----------8-----8-----|--------4--------4--------4--------4--|
-----------7-----------------7--------|--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

--2-----------------2-----------------|--------------------------------------|
-----4-----------4-----4-----------4--|--5-----------------5-----------------|
--------2-----2-----------2-----2-----|-----4-----------2-----4-----------2--|
-----------4-----------------4--------|--------5--2--5-----------5--2--5-----|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--4-----------------4-----------------|--------------------------------------|
-----2-----------2-----2-----------2--|--4-----------------4-----------------|
--------4-----4-----------4-----4-----|-----5--2-----2--5-----5--2-----2--5--|
-----------2-----------------2--------|-----------2-----------------2--------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

-----------------------------2--3--5--|--7--3-----7--3-----7--4-----------4--|
--------------------2--4--5-----------|--------5--------5--------5-----5-----|
-----------2--5--4--------------------|-----------------------------7--------|
--------4-----------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--3--6--------------------------------|--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------|

--8--5-----8--5-----8--5-----------5--|
--------5--------6--------7-----7-----|
-----------------------------7--------|
--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------|

--10--7-----10--7-----12--8-----------8--|
---------8---------8---------8-----8-----|
--------------------------------9--------|
-----------------------------------------|
-----------------------------------------|
-----------------------------------------|

--11--7-----14--11------15--12----------14--12--|
---------7----------12----------12--15----------|
------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|

--15--12----------14--12--19----------------------|--------------------||
----------12--15----------------------------------|--------------------||
------------------------------16--------------16--|--------------------||
------------------------------------------16------|--14----------------||
----------------------------------14--18----------|--------------------||
--------------------------------------------------|--------------------||


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