These next few exercises are really good for building your finger strength, stamina and stretching abilities. As always, they are best performed using some form of metronome as this will help to improve your sense of timing. If you don’t have a real one, then try the internet as there are many available to use on line.
Begin with your 1st , 2nd and 4th fingers stretched across frets 1, 3 and 5. Fret the 6th string 1st fret and strike the note with a down stroke. Now hammer on the 3rd fret with your second finger while still keeping your 1st finger on the 1st fret, now hammer on the 5th fret with your 4th finger while still keeping fingers 1 and 2 in the same positions, (as much as possible anyway. You may find this extremely hard at first so give your self a bit of leeway to start. You could always start the exercise on frets 3, 5 and 7 or 5, 7 and 9 if you prefer.
Now hit string 5 with an upstroke and repeat the process, then string 4 with a down stroke.
Once you reach fret 15, or higher if you prefer, your fingers should be getting pretty tired. Now reverse the process and use pull off’s to get you all the way back down to frets 1, 3 and 5. By the time you reach the end of your exercise, your fingers will be aching like hell and have been stretched to the limit. Give your hands a shake and a bit of a stretch to relieve the tension before you try the next exercise.
Killer Stretch Hammer On’s and Pull Off’s
This next exercise involves string skipping and should be carried out in exactly the same way as above . Travel as far as you can manage up the fret board and then reverse the process and make your way back down using pull off’s and hammer on’s.
Don’t forget to give your hands and fingers a stretch after performing these exercises and if you feel any sharp or extreme pains in your fingers, hands or wrists at any time during your practice, then stop playing immediately. Give it rest for a while and play something a bit less strenuous until you are ready to try again in a few weeks.
Once you’ve got used to these, try and improvise your own exercises working from the examples shown here. I’ll be posting loads more in the weeks to come, so check back soon.
Other Posts of Interest