- 1 Learn to Hold the Guitar Right
- 2 Finger Strengthening Exercises with Guitar
- 3 Finger Strengthening Exercises without Guitar
- 4 Use of Finger Strengtheners or Exercisers
- 5 Conclusion
Remember the very first time you hold a guitar and try to learn the chords. Was it easy? Did you do any finger strengthening exercises?
Guitar learning is a bit challenging at first. It may appear easy and straightforward, but the truth is, it needs a lot of practice than you think. This article will cover some finger strengthening exercises and techniques that you can do in order to be good at playing guitar.
Great guitarists didn’t play well overnight. You need to build callous at the fingertips of your fretting hand. Aside from the strength, you must also develop dexterity and speed to play fast.
Learn to Hold the Guitar Right
Before anything else, you should start right – learn to hold the guitar the right way. Most basic, but oftentimes beginners jumped into learning chords without really starting the right way.
If you don’t know how to position and grasp the fretboard, it’ll be more challenging. But, if you do it right from the start, though it’ll not make things easier, it’ll help you play notes well, producing wonderful tones.
- Place your thumb directly under the neck as you grasp the fretboard – this is the classical guitar technique. This is called thumb-under-neck posture, but which you need more focus and exert more strength.
- Especially if you have a longer hand, putting your thumb to the side of the neck is also acceptable. This means, your thumb is perpendicular to the side of the neck. This position is great for bending, vibratos, hammer-ons, sliding, and all the techniques you can think of.
- If your thumb is placed parallel to the side of the neck, you have a major problem. You’ll have a hard time hitting the frets this way. You need to shift to the first two positions to play more conveniently.
- The fingers must be positioned in such a way that the tip of your fingers nearest to your fingernails must touch the strings. With the tip of your fingers pressing the strings, you can easily hold the chords down. With an ample amount of time you’re going to spend playing guitar, you’ll develop callouses that allow you to easily surf up and down the fretboard without feeling any pain.
Finger Strengthening Exercises with Guitar
Though continuous practice can really help develop your technique and muscle memory, there are still exercises that help you play guitar well. These techniques need the use of the guitar.
Develop Coordination on the Left-Hand Fingers
At first, you’ll find it hard to develop good coordination between ring and index finger, index finger and pinky, and middle finger and index. There are a few exercises that you need to do, perhaps, when you are warming up. Guitar.com has the details of the exercises you can do to increase the coordination of your fretting fingers.
Stretching Fingers – Both Left and Right
Use the neck of the guitar, simply create a V shape between fingers at a time, then lodge the neck of the guitar between them. Gently push them apart by pressing them towards the back of the neck. Do this for a total of two minutes for both hands. This exercise will allow you to strengthen your fingers, so you can play the guitar naturally.
Finger Strengthening Exercises without Guitar
Exercise to develop strength and dexterity of your fingers can be done any time of the day. You can do it on your lap, on the table, or just between your hands. Let’s take a look at some activities that can help you.
Stretch Individual Fingers
Many of you might be doing this, not knowing that this is also a good exercise to stretch the joints of your fingers. Using the end of your table or just a wall, press your fingers one by one straight and in line with the top surface. Slowly push down until you feel your fingers bend back, but don’t push too far. This exercise helps you develop finger independence.
Don’t forget about the thumb. You don’t need to push it against any surface. You can simply push the thumb away from you, using the other hand.
Push All Fingers Backwards
Still on stretching. After doing it on your fingers one by one, how about pushing all fingers back using the other hand. You’ll definitely feel a burning sensation especially if it’s your first time doing it. Hence, you must continue doing it. This exercise is perfect for both hands, especially if you’re playing fingerstyle. Doing this for 10 minutes can really make a lot of difference.
Rasgueados for Your Right Hand
Rasgueados is a right-hand strumming technique used by Spanish flamenco music. This kind of activity gives you a lot of benefits. Aside from training your fingers to perform insanely fast Spanish music, you’ll develop overall power, dexterity, and individual finger control. You can easily do it on your lap. Here’s a YouTube video that will show you how this technique can be done.
Use of Finger Strengtheners or Exercisers
Remember, it’s not just the strength, but also how well you’ll handle all the techniques. Finger strengtheners have some adverse effects on how you’ll play the guitar. Instead of getting more dexterity, you’ll get more muscles.
When you have muscles, there is tension in the fretting hand. So, what happens, since there’s tension, you think you must put more strength in your fretting hand.
Playing guitar seems easy, yet it takes time. You must start right and propel towards success by checking out the finger strengthening exercises for guitar players. The fretting hand needs to have a callous buildup, so you can play for several hours without a problem. On the other hand, the strumming hand needs to develop the dexterity to do fingerpicking and freestyling.
These are just very basic exercises that anyone can slowly bring into their system. What exercise did you do in order to strengthen (or prepare) your fingers to more challenging chord progressions and level up your career? Have we included it here? If not, do feel free to reach out to us and make suggestions. We’re highly appreciative of musicians/artists helping musicians and artists.
Hi music fan! I am Jeff. Hope that you enjoy some stuff I shared here in my personal blog.
About myself, Currently I am in charging as Artist Manager/Music Supervisor at 72 Music Management. I did managed album to Grammy Award in 2017 with 7 Nominations from 2014-2020 and had the opportunities to work with : A.J. Croce, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bobby Rush, Dom Flemons, Dustbowl Revival, Sarah Grace
Governor of the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy is one of a award that I am lucky to achieved. My profile: Linkedin.