Guitar Fitness: 5 Exercises to Get Your Fingers in Shape

These five daily exercises can help you improve and maintain finger dexterity.
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These five daily exercises can help you improve and maintain finger dexterity. Use a metronome for all of the exercises. Start with a slow tempo and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with each exercise. Ty to spend about 15 minutes with these each day at the beginning of your practice session.

FIGURE 1

This first exercise utilizes major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th arpeggios in the key of G. Be sure to use strict alternate picking throughout. Once you master these patterns, try moving them around the fretboard to play in other keys.

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FIGURE 2
This G major scale exercise is arranged in three-note groupings. Use alternate picking and start at a slow tempo. When you feel comfortable enough with it, try starting on the high E string and working your way down the scale.

G Major Scale in 3s

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FIGURE 3

Here’s another exercise that incorporates the G major scale. This time, we’re playing a pattern referred to as “playing in 3rds,” because the distance between each scale degree and the note that follows is a diatonic 3rd. Again, be sure to use alternate picking, and once you’ve got this pattern under your fingers, try starting at the top of the scale and working your way down.

G Major Scale in 3rds

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FIGURE 4
The easiest way to play this next exercise is to assign one finger per fret and use strict alternate picking. When you reach the highest and lowest notes of the figures, slide your finger up one fret and resume the pattern. Continue moving up the neck as far as the guitar will allow, or until your left hand becomes fatigued.

Chromatic Exercise

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FIGURE 5

This last figure is the hardest of the bunch. It involves unusual fingerings along with a challenging pick pattern. The best way to approach this exercise is to follow the suggested fingerings below the tab staff and alternate between upstrokes and downstrokes for each string. Like the previous exercise, continue up the fretboard as far as you are able.

Diagonal Exercise

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