Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Musicians > Guitar
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-30-2007, 03:42 PM   #1
Registered User
 

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
Finger strength exercises

Hey, I've been playing guitar lately, and I realize that one of the major bottlenecks in my playing currently is my finger coordination, strength, and speed. Does anyone have any ideas for exercises that would help for this? I don't play fast, but would love to be able to flawlessly play and change barre chords, powerchords, and play (slower) lead riffs. I guess I'm more meaning to say I'm more interested in a guitar workout program persay, that would help me build accuracy over speed.

Any help is greatly appreciated

Thanks for reading!

CDBongo is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 05-30-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
now has an Xkcer Woman
 
Xkcer Man's Avatar
 

Joined: May 2001
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,845
Send a message via ICQ to Xkcer Man Send a message via AIM to Xkcer Man Send a message via MSN to Xkcer Man Send a message via Yahoo to Xkcer Man
It seems like the best way to strengthen your hand is to play guitar. That way you're getting better at guitar while you're working on your strength. All the things you could buy just seem gimmicky and don't have the added benefit of you getting to practice while you're "working out."
__________________
Xkcer Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
Waiting...
 
Jfool's Avatar
 

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 887
One thing I always do is when I have a chord progression that is challenging, I play them over and over again, increasing speed. Then I go back to playing them at normal tempo and they work much better. Same thing with scales. Try playing things as fast (and clean) as you can and they will improve at normal tempo. Also, practice over long periods. Versus just playing for 15 or 20 minutes at a pop. That will improve endurance. I used to have trouble making it thru a set because I practiced in short intervals.
__________________
Hebrews 12:14-15
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Jfool is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2007, 08:09 PM   #4
Godin/Seagull Man
 
presbystrat's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Amarillo, TX
Posts: 2,796
Paradoxically, the secret to speed is to practice very slowly at first. Play only as fast as you can with perfect technique and then gradually increase the speed. If you practice too fast you end up teaching yourself to make mistakes. When working on chord transitions, I start by doing the transition in super slow motion until my fingers know exactly where to go. Try to make the transition with the least amount of wasted movement. Keep your fingers low to the fretboard; you don't want them flying around all over the place hoping they will land in the right place.
__________________
My Rig

Seagull Artist Series Mosiac--> K&K SBT + mic-->K&K Trinity Preamp-->BBE 362 Sonic Maximizer

Godin SDxt (GFS Vintage '59 humbuckers, GFS Premium Overwound single coil) -->Fender Blues Junior

The Holy Spirit (who turns all my foolishness into beautiful praise to the Father)
presbystrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2007, 08:13 PM   #5
Registered User
 

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
Yeah, I know that simply by playing that one will increase their skill, but I still there are exercises that focus exclusively on finger coordination and accuracy. I've still yet to find them. I've heard good things about rock house method's "hands of steel" but thats pretty expensive for me to pay just for an exercise video. (like $30 on amazon) I also read a review saying that most of them would be just as efficient to tab, and sell tabs or something, does anyone know anything like this? The cheaper the better, free would be nice.

Thanks
CDBongo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2007, 08:20 PM   #6
ERG guitars > All
 
Forged by Fire's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 478
Use a metronome and build speed but remember to let your hands rest every ten minutes. You dont want to overtrain because that will work against you also.

My favorite exercise to warm up is playing the chromatic scale all the way up the neck and working different intervals in the sale in the form of hammer on's and pull off's. It helps strengthen each finger and stretch them with the different distances between intervals.
Forged by Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
Registered User
 

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
thanks, I use the chromatic as well
I'm not necessarily trying to build speed, more just accuracy strength, and as someone else has stated, endurance.
CDBongo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 03:42 AM   #8
Just Passin' Thru!!!
 
Bobby Simcox's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Sunnyvale, California
Posts: 348
Red face

If Yer learning to play on an electric guitar, try practicing on an acoustic,or practice using thicker strings,or raise Your action slightly to give slightly more resistance!!! If Yer learning to play on an acoustic, try practicing w/ heavier strings!!!
Bobby Simcox is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 06:28 AM   #9
Godin/Seagull Man
 
presbystrat's Avatar
 

Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Amarillo, TX
Posts: 2,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Simcox View Post
If Yer learning to play on an electric guitar, try practicing on an acoustic,or practice using thicker strings,or raise Your action slightly to give slightly more resistance!!! If Yer learning to play on an acoustic, try practicing w/ heavier strings!!!
I like to do that. It's kind of like using an extra bat or a batting donut when practicing your baseball swing. I wondering if it might be a good idea to buy a really cheap acoustic guitar that I can put heavy strings on just for building up hand strength.
__________________
My Rig

Seagull Artist Series Mosiac--> K&K SBT + mic-->K&K Trinity Preamp-->BBE 362 Sonic Maximizer

Godin SDxt (GFS Vintage '59 humbuckers, GFS Premium Overwound single coil) -->Fender Blues Junior

The Holy Spirit (who turns all my foolishness into beautiful praise to the Father)
presbystrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 06:43 AM   #10
major 4th to a minor 4th
 
telecasting's Avatar
 

Joined: Jul 2005
Location: England
Posts: 873
Quote:
I like to do that. It's kind of like using an extra bat or a batting donut when practicing your baseball swing. I wondering if it might be a good idea to buy a really cheap acoustic guitar that I can put heavy strings on just for building up hand strength.
The extended scale length on acoustics would give the extra tension as well. I would just recommend not practicing string bends on an acoustic. I think that if you're going to be learning to play fluid bends its best to be completely in sync with the guitar.
telecasting is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 07:23 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Jaymze13's Avatar
 

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 785
Send a message via AIM to Jaymze13
I have a 12 string I don't pull out nearly enough and my thought has been practice on my 12 string and try to play lead on it. If I can get it to where it sounds half decent on the 12 string, I should be able to fly on my electric eventually.

I've noticed, in my case, it just takes time to build up some endurance. I can start playing any given time of day and my arms and hands get a little tired. However, if I keep pushing through, eventually I get up about to the speed I'm capable of right now (which sadly still ain't much). There's been times on Sunday morning I felt like I should have started playing at about...oh...6 that morning, but that's how it goes.

You might also consider getting some exercise equipment to work on your hands and wrist. I keep one of those hand-grip spring thingies here on the desk and sometimes I grab it and start squeezing. I'm sure Wal Mart has them cheap and that's probably where I got the one I use. In fact, I might should start carrying one around in my guitar case.

Would that make you a better player as far as technique? Probably not, but at least as your technique gets better, your hands and wrist won't wear out as fast.
Jaymze13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 10:21 AM   #12
Registered User
 

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 30
One thing I used to do was continuously hammer-on and pull off with my 2nd finger on the 2nd fret while keeping my 1st finger on the first fret. (Low E string works best) until I couldn't do it anymore because of the burn. I'd shake it out and then switch to the 2nd fret with the 2nd finger, 3rd fret with the 3rd finger, then 4th fret with the pinky. Then I'd switch and keep the second finger as the stationary one (on the 2nd fret) and do the same thing with the hammer-ons and pull-offs using the 3rd and 4th fingers. Then I'd switch to keeping the 3rd finger stationary and hammer-on with the pinky.
80sFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 10:22 AM   #13
Registered User
 

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
Interesting idea, off the top of my head it seems like that would help for barre chords, building up the strength to grip the neck, I'll sure try that.
Thanks
CDBongo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-31-2007, 10:54 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Jaymze13's Avatar
 

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 785
Send a message via AIM to Jaymze13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80sFan View Post
One thing I used to do was continuously hammer-on and pull off with my 2nd finger on the 2nd fret while keeping my 1st finger on the first fret. (Low E string works best) until I couldn't do it anymore because of the burn. I'd shake it out and then switch to the 2nd fret with the 2nd finger, 3rd fret with the 3rd finger, then 4th fret with the pinky. Then I'd switch and keep the second finger as the stationary one (on the 2nd fret) and do the same thing with the hammer-ons and pull-offs using the 3rd and 4th fingers. Then I'd switch to keeping the 3rd finger stationary and hammer-on with the pinky.
WOW! I tried your exercises tonight while watching TV. I seem to have some strength in my fingers when I was hammering on between the first and fourth finger, but when it came to the second and fourth, third and fourth........my arm is still a little sore.

And I have absolutely no endurance nor speed when it came to those combinations. I was pretty bummed at how quickly my arm and wrist started to give out when I was hammering between my pinky and ring fingers. And how slow my pinky finger was.
Jaymze13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2007, 04:00 AM   #15
major 4th to a minor 4th
 
telecasting's Avatar
 

Joined: Jul 2005
Location: England
Posts: 873
Quote:
nd I have absolutely no endurance nor speed when it came to those combinations. I was pretty bummed at how quickly my arm and wrist started to give out when I was hammering between my pinky and ring fingers. And how slow my pinky finger was.
Yeah, me too with the ring and pinky. Its a slightly unnatural movement though as if you try and bend your pinky without your ring, its quite hard. I've seen a very talented Jazz guitarist warm up with that exercise and chromatic scales a la Jon Petrucci except sounding smooth.
telecasting is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:43 PM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2