Dexterity Exercises

Now, I would like to present to you some dexterity exercises that will help you get more comfortable on the guitar.

Here is one of the staples of my daily dexterity practice routine. Obviously, this is to coordinate the left and right hands and develop precision in your picking. I do this first before any other patterns. The first part is a very simple chromatic pattern with four fingers in the left hand.

First, pick a position. Let's just say 9th position. So we are going to be playing on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th frets. You are not really playing a chromatic scale. This is simply an exercise in 9th position with one fret per each of the four fingers of the left hand.

Notice here that even though there are four fingers and four frets, I am purposely using a triplet pattern. This is quite on purpose. The reason for this is that if the pattern is four notes, each time you change strings you are more likely to get off the beat slightly. By doing a triplet pattern against the natural four finger position, this forces you maintain the triplet pattern even as you go to the next string.

In addition to the triplet pattern against the four frets, I do a five on four pattern and also a seven on four pattern. You can do a four on four pattern as well but I recommend the odd numbers to keep you more well rounded. You can even to a six on four pattern where you are really accenting the first note of every other three notes. In my opinion, this allows you to go faster because you are playing twice as many notes per pulse or beat.

This next part is about basic execution. The theory here is that in order to play complex things you first have to master simple things. So what we have is a very simple pattern with fingers one, two and four in the left hand. The key here is to start very slow and pick the notes nicely with no imperfections. Then you will slowly accellerate your speed until you are going as fast as you can without sacrificing quality.

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